Ready, Aim, Fire – Hunting Season is Underway
The 2017 Colorado Hunting Season officially got underway on August 26 with the opening of archery season. And while the thick of the season – rifle season – doesn’t start for another couple of weeks with Rifle season opening on October 1, 2017, sportsmen and women have already been spotted (or not?) around town in their camouflage get-ups.
Hunters are good for the economy. They not only purchase hunting gear, trucks, ATVs and boats; they also fill their gas tanks and coolers. They stay at motels and resorts. They buy hunting clothes and those goofy hunting hats with sayings like, “If the Lead Don’t Fly, the Meat Don’t Fry.”
Hunting contributes $919 million in total economic impact to Colorado. Reports indicate that a five-day elk hunt trip runs around $6,000.
While other places in the state might not appreciate the hunters’ tourism dollars, Saguache County is keenly aware of it. And maybe that’s because there is a large population of local hunters, who recognize that wildlife recreation is an important component of the local economy.
Hunters also pay a truckload of special excise taxes, in the form of licenses, fees and equipment. In turn, those funds are earmarked for wildlife and habitat conservation.
In Saguache County, hunting has strong generational ties, with grandpas and granddaughters taking to the trail together, to stock the family’s freezer with fresh game for the winter. Many families rely on their Fall harvest to get them through until Spring!
Another benefit of hunting that should not be under-rated, is that it is good for body, mind and soul. As the world seems to spin faster and faster – even for alpine dwellers – hunting provides a healthy escape. It offers relaxation and affords quality time with family and friends, many times out of range of cell service or internet connection. So, as the bright orange vests begin their annual migration into the San Luis Valley, be sure to make them feel welcome, with a friendly elk bugle.
Hunter Pink is the New Orange
According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division, it is now legal for hunters to wear solid fluorescent pink clothing as an alternative to solid daylight fluorescent orange garments. This law which went into effect on August 10, 2016 after the Colorado legislature passed Senate Bill 16-068, applies to those who take deer, elk, pronghorn, moose or black bear with any firearm. Find out exactly what this means for hunters with the Authorized Fluorescent Pink fact sheet.