Hunting season goes on despite government shutdown

By: Joseph Dames Email
By: Joseph Dames Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Many hunters are packing their gear getting ready for Colorado's famous rifle hunting season, but the federal government closure has many wondering if their trips can happen because of the shutdown.

Good news for Western Slope hunters: the quick answer is no. Even still, the closure of federal lands is encroaching on lands that are normally prime hunting grounds.

Hunter Bill Schaefer always spends this time of year hunting. It's a tradition he passed down to his son, and says it would be devastating if they couldn't go out this year because of the shutdown.

"We look forward to it every year, it would be a major blow to us if we couldn't hunt on federal land," he said.

That's been the concern of many hunters over the last 10 days. The phones at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife offices have been ringing off the hook, with everyone asking if this year's hunt is going to go through.

The answer is yes, as despite all the national park closures, federal lands are still open.

"I've had to convince a lot of people that we are still open and that there is no closures and you can still hunt on national forest, BLM land. All federal land is still open," Faye Hall with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says.

That's just what the Schaefers wanted to hear, and soon this father-son team will be out hunting elk in Colorado's high country.

Rifle season for deer, elk and moose starts this Saturday.

The rifle dates are broken into four seasons, lasting through the month of October and into November.

Getting to your favorite hunting grounds may be more difficult with road closures, but officials say overall, nothing should be significantly impacted.

KKCO firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKCO 11News.

powered by Disqus
KKCO NBC 11 News 2531 Blichmann Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81505 Station Phone: 970.243.1111 Business Fax: 970.243.1770 Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793 News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 227315261 -
Gray Television, Inc.