Carol Walker, WHFF’s Dir. of Field Documentation, opposes elk hunting on open space

As always, we are very proud of Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF)

Source:  dailycamera.com

Carol Walker lives near Rabbit Mountain and does not approve of a proposal for limited elk hunting on the Boulder County open space. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Boulder County elk hunt on open space triggers some dissent

by Charlie Brennan

A Boulder County proposal to create a limited season for hunting elk at Rabbit Mountain Open Space is stirring the passions of people on both sides of the issue.

Carol Walker has lived within a mile of Boulder County’s Rabbit Mountain Open Space northeast of Lyons for the better part of two decades, on property where she cares for three formerly wild mustangs, which she adopted.

A photographer specializing in photographing wild horses across the Rocky Mountain West, she sees the elk as her neighbors, and is appalled at the idea that the counting would permit a limited hunting season as a program for managing a herd that wildlife officials see as having grown out of control.

“I think there absolutely should never be hunting on open space. It is just too dangerous,” Walker said. “I also worry about hunters wandering around over here, horses getting hurt, neighbors getting hurt. I’m worried about that. And out-of-state, out-of-town people who are just wandering around.”

The county’s draft proposal, which is endorsed by and would be implemented on about 5,000 acres in and around Rabbit Mountain in cooperation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, first came to light in March and was the subject of an open house conducted April 6 at which more than 100 people showed up to learn about the plan — and made their feelings known.

A hearing on what the county labels a “public harvest program” is set before the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee on Thursday evening, at which public comment will be heard, and the committee will possibly make a recommendation on how to go forward. Those who wish to speak are asked to sign up in advance.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

11 replies »

  1. Which is it, I wonder? First we’re told that elk and deer numbers are too low because of wolves and coyotes, so the wolves and coyotes have to be killed, and then when it suits people, the elk and deer numbers are too high, and they need to be killed also?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agreed there are ethical and knowledgeable hunters and then there are the unethical hunters. There are the one’s who follows the law and or ordinance and the shoot anything you see hunters who trespasses and obviously makes a bad name for all ethical hunters . I deal with it all the time shooting to close to the house ,not within the time frame ,on my property. I have seen some very bad sportsman and sone good . Overall to many trigger happy

    Liked by 1 person

    • My nephew hunts and he knows I don’t approve. We were talking about it and her was saying that there are too many hunters that just shoot at anything if it moves. He hunts on private property ( not here because he knows better than to ask) but if others start showing up he leaves and finds another place to hunt. He doesn’t want to risk his own life. Although I still don’t approve add there is plenty of beef for food and I see the price will be coming down because of relations with other countries as it stands. of course we’ll subsidize their losses for the beef. So if they choose to eat meat just eat what is being grown to eat. I’m tired of all the hunters myths..


  3. Just as an aside, did anyone catch 60 Minutes last night? There was a absolutely gorgeous horse featured called Senior Senator – when I heard he was a former racehorse who wouldn’t behave on the track, my heart stopped thinking what could have become of him. His spiritedness makes him good at steeplechase, I guess. I’m not a racing fan by any means, just a horse fan. What a beaut!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you own the property you can get a no hunting permit through the DNR. That’s what I did when I bought my property. When you sign it the DNR takes it upon themselves to file charges and take the perpetrator to court. I learned of this right after I bought my property. of anybody is caught hunting on my property they either get fined or they get taken to jail..this is one way to rid yourself of hunters and their stray bullets. If more people knew about this I don’t believe that there would be so many horses shit and killed. I despise hunting so it stands to reason that I would not tolerate it on my land.I don’t even like to have my horses up near the road. You have rights..use them.


  5. Every year a few farmers and ranchers in hunting areas lose some of their stock to careless hunters who shoot first and only afterwards trouble themselves about the nature of what they were firing at. It is not that these folks are incapable of distinguishing cows and horses from elk, deer, and moose, but that they act in haste, erroneously concluding that anything that moves and is not wearing an orange vest is game.

    Years ago, living remotely in the mountains, we would tie red cloth to our horses’ manes and tails during deer hunting season even though this was on large private land parcels where NO hunting was allowed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When we would ride during hunting season – a friend would put a sleigh-bell “collar” around her mares neck AND wear red (us, not the horses) Even then we only rode on land that belonged to the barn. It does seem – at least here – there are fewer hunters than there used to be. Years ago NYC guys would come up here – made quite a name for themselves!


  6. I didn’t even realize elks stop migration and settle in year round. I guess because the herds never been hunted is why they don’t go higher in spring? or are they fenced in and can’t migrate? I would hate to see the fish & wildlife type of ‘cull’ where they drive them into fence and slaughter them all. 350 animals grown from 40 is a problem. When they hunt elk in states like Alaska they get a tag that only allows a male elk kill, or a cow kill only during the time of year a calf won’t be orphaned. Just not sure what’s right in this day and age. The USA just doesn’t have the open land anymore for wildlife to live a natural life with migration.


    • Sun, nothing is too simple in the natural world. Fences rarely deflect Elk unless they are specifically built extra tall and with impenetrable wire mesh construction, and even then they just follow them until a poorer fence intersects that one and go over or through that one. Wildlife-friendly fence designs are widely used nowadays which allow them safe passage in the winter months, and save the landowners the perpetual headache of rebuilding miles of fences each spring.

      We have Elk in CO year round, and it’s not always certain where they will go at what time of the year, except they hide out to calve in spring. The bigger problem in the Open Space area mentioned here is that they have probably figured out they are safe from hunting there, and also their normal foraging ranges are being increasingly fragmented by housing developments as the Front Range is rapidly growing — and expected to double its current population by 2050. It’s also worth noting the winters are getting milder, with less snow, and this winter the Front Range experienced some severe wildfires. The Elk can stick around if the snow isn’t too deep to trap them, and they can find enough to eat.

      CO also hosts one of the largest Elk herds in the US, which is largely in part to managment practices which are paid for in significant measure by hunting groups (hunting is one of the top revenue generators in NW CO), so we have an unnaturally large Elk population most of the time as a result. The report referenced here shows the population migrated into that area in the early 2000s and has increased by about tenfold since then.

      They are also smart, and won’t easily leave a good food source in winter.

      On a quick read of the report, it looks like they propose allowing licensed rifle hunting in that area for a full FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS, which I find hard to support as the Elk will get warier, winter will make everything harder on them and the hunters, and this action would effectively risk public safety in a popular urban corridor public open space area for nearly half a year. In my opinion, if a hunt is to be allowed, it should be short (say one week or one weekend only) and at that time the open space should be closed to all others as a safety measure.

      The option of doing nothing isn’t really doing nothing, but rather allowing a negative situation to become even moreso on many levels. Limited hunts have been proven successful in other similar circumstances and might be the best option here — emphasis on LIMITED!


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