CPW Roundtable official summary for 7/22/23 meeting

elkduds

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Jan 22, 2016
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Location
Canon City and South Park CO
Colorado Sportsperson’s Roundtable
Saturday, July 22nd, 2023
10:30am - 4:15pm
Breckenridge
Meeting Summary

The Colorado Sportsperson’s Roundtable met in Breckenridge on July 22nd, 2023. Twenty
Roundtable members, sixteen CPW staff, the Executive Director for the Department of
Natural Resources, and the Director for Colorado Parks and Wildlife participated in this
meeting. This document summarizes the group’s discussion.
DNR Executive Director’s Welcome
Dan Gibbs, the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), began with
a brief overview of recent events at CPW. The DNR is in the process of filling multiple
positions across the department, and recently submitted budget proposals for the coming
fiscal year. The Parks and Wildlife Commission (PWC) met in Gunnison the previous week and
welcomed its new commissioners.
One Roundtable member asked the Executive Director about the direction of wildlife
management in Colorado. The state is balancing outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation
in response to the high traffic Colorado’s natural areas are seeing. It is DNR’s goal to bring
both sportspeople and non-consumptive outdoor recreationalists into the conversation, and to
promote collaboration in wildlife management.
The Executive Director discussed the new Commissioners on the PWC, and encouraged
members to engage with them. The Executive Director is confident in the newly appointed
Commissioners’ ability to represent the sportspeople of Colorado. The new commissioners will
need to be approved by the state senate, and the Executive Director encouraged members to
reach out to the new Commissioners to learn more about their qualifications. Although the
date for the state senate hearing has not yet been set, it will occur in the next legislative
session (January-May, 2024).
CPW Director’s Welcome
The new Director for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Jeff Davis, introduced himself to the group.
He has been in his position for four months, and is excited to continue growing into his role.
Director Davis recently attended the Pathways Conference in Fort Collins, which was an
excellent opportunity to engage with human dimensions of wildlife experts from around the
world. He feels it is important to bring all voices and values into the conversation on wildlife
management, including sportspeople, who he acknowledged are critical partners for CPW.

One member asked about non-consumptive recreationalists and wildlife management.
Director Davis expressed his belief that hearing from multiple perspectives is valuable, and
that new voices can be heard without relegating traditional wildlife user groups.
One member asked about Director Davis’ experience hunting and fishing. The Director
described his background in hunting and fishing from an early age as well as his bowhunting
experience. As a lifelong fisherman and hunter, the Director acknowledged the sentiments of
some members and the importance of ongoing collaboration between sportspeople and CPW.
Member Departures and New Member Applications
Three Roundtable members are finishing their terms: Brian Braaten; Steve Schake; and Mark
Scofield. The three departing members were recognized for their four years on the
roundtable.
The application period for new members will open soon. The Roundtable will have openings
for two representatives from the southeast region and one for the northwest region. Loren
Williams will represent the northwest region for a second two-year term.
Any member finishing a term on the Roundtable is encouraged to keep attending regional
caucus meetings. CPW will send out more information on the application for the three open
seats, and members are encouraged to refer potential applicants.
Wolf Reintroduction Update
Reid DeWalt gave an update on wolf reintroduction in Colorado. The finalized Wolf
Restoration and Management Plan was approved by the PWC in May. CPW is working with
other states to identify where the source wolves will originate from. To promote genetic
diversity in wolves, it would be beneficial to import wolves from multiple sources, which may
take time. Colorado does not want wolves with any medical or behavioral issues, and will
examine all potential wolves accordingly.
CPW is also investigating potential release sites around Colorado, with a focus on the suitable
northern areas identified by the plan. The first release will take place in December, 2023.
A license plate bill was recently passed which will help fund preventative measures for
livestock producers.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed rule and draft Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) for gray wolf reintroduction and management in Colorado. The finalized EIS
will be released sometime in August. Additionally, Colorado is in ongoing talks with Utah, New
Mexico, and Arizona, to ensure that the Mexican wolf population will not be impacted by the
reintroduction of gray wolves.

In response to questions about the impact on big game from wolves, CPW staff discussed using
new research to better understand elk cow/calf survival and overall herd population trends.
This additional research, which was made possible in large part due to the Future Generations
Act, will help to properly manage adjacent ungulate and wolf populations.
One member asked about the fourth phase initially included in the draft wolf plan, which
outlined the possibility of gray wolves being managed as a game species after population
targets are met and staff confirmed that such language was removed from the final plan
approved by the Commission.
Big Game Season Structure
CPW gathered public comments concerning the 2025-2029 Big Game Season Structure (BGSS),
both through in-person meetings and via Engage CPW. 642 participants provided feedback
throughout the engagement period. The main topics being discussed are possible
over-the-counter (OTC) elk license limitation, season dates and timing for regular rifle and
early seasons, and potential additional season opportunities for deer and pronghorn.
During the Roundtable meeting, members were asked to complete the same polling questions
as public meeting participants. Please see Appendix 2 and 3 for the results of the feedback.
Results from Roundtable members were then compared against the results received from
public meetings and through Engage CPW to aid discussion among Roundtable members. A
complete summary of public involvement, including public meeting results, will be available
online in advance of the August PWC meeting. The summary of BGSS public involvement will
also include a short summary of the feedback received from the Roundtable.
One member asked about the frequency of nonresident responses in the survey results. In an
earlier stage of the BGSS process, the Big Game Attitude Survey, the population sample was
representative of the hunting community and therefore included many nonresidents. For later
comment forms, including the most recent public meeting polling questions, CPW encourages
any hunter to respond regardless of residency. However, the public meeting polling data was
skewed towards residents as most responses were captured at in-person meetings around
Colorado.
A member also suggested that respondents may be answering questions about topics for which
they have little experience; for example, a rifle hunter answering questions concerning early
season dates.
Several members noted the low level of public participation shown in this round of BGSS
public involvement, and expressed disappointment in the turnout from the Sportsperson’s
community. CPW’s communications team and regional staff used several methods to advertise
the public meetings and polling, including news releases, contacting stakeholder groups, and
engaging regional public information officers to push information through their local
networks. Additionally, multiple public meetings were held in each region as well as two

virtual meeting options to accommodate those who could not attend in person. Roundtable
members were encouraged to reach out to their networks to encourage higher participation
from their community at future meetings. Members and CPW staff discussed how the hunting
community could be fatigued with recent big game public engagement. It is possible that
hunters are “burned out” from providing feedback through recent BGSS, license allocation,
and preference point discussions.
Roundtable members made several suggestions concerning elk OTC licenses. Suggestions
included capping OTC licenses by DAU or GMU, basing any license caps on historic data of
resident/nonresident hunting numbers, and setting some OTC licenses aside for private land
only. The Colorado Bowhunters Association recently put out a survey concerning OTC and
other archery related questions (Appendix 4).
Roundtable members had a mixed level of support for the current BGSS rifle dates. About half
expressed their satisfaction with the current structure, while others expressed their desire for
some change in dates.
Members were more generally supportive of the current early season dates. The overlap
between muzzleloader and archery season has been brought into question by members of the
public, and one Roundtable member suggested shortening muzzleloader from nine days to
seven. Another member suggested moving muzzleloader to the first rifle season, while
removing the current restrictions on muzzleloader equipment. Modern muzzleloader gear
allows for more accurate shots at greater distances.
 
Continued:
Roundtable members were very supportive of the second pronghorn season proposal for late
October, with some members from the northeast and southeast regions indicating that their
local hunting communities were highly supportive due to crowding during first pronghorn
season, particularly on opening day.
Regarding the potential addition of deer hunting opportunities to the first rifle season,
members had mixed opinions, but were generally more supportive of the idea than public
meeting attendees. One member commented that hearing from CPW biologists about the
optional nature of the proposal, which would only be implemented in those units where it
would help to reach deer herd objectives, made them more supportive.
Draw Working Group
Danielle Isenhart gave a presentation on a new CPW big game draw working group that will
aim to improve and streamline the draw and preference point process.
The working group was approved by the PWC at their July meeting. It will be composed of
eight members of the public, and applications will open sometime in August. Membership will
be finalized by October. Three commissioners — Marie Haskett, Gabriel Otero, and Gary Skiba
— will also participate. The group will meet for five required full-day meetings, beginning in

November, and will attend a number of PWC workshops. The group will identify three to four
major discussion topics, which will not include BGSS-related topics such as OTC. Weighted
points will possibly be one of the major discussion topics. Changes decided by the group will
be reviewed by the PWC for possible implementation by 2025.
More information will be available through CPW’s website, and the working group’s meetings
will be publicly noticed and open to the public.
Many roundtable members suggested that the weighted point draw for moose, sheep, and
goat should become more equitable, as high-point holders often do not draw despite spending
significant resources to raise their chances. Soon, many of these hunters will age out and lose
their opportunity. Although weighted points mathematically improve a hunter’s chances, the
large influx of new hunters in lower point tiers have been taking many of the high demand
tags.
The working group will look at ways of possibly resolving some concerns related to the
difficulty of drawing some high demand licenses. One option mentioned would be to limit
applicants to choose one of the “big three” — moose, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep — to
apply for per year, which could reduce application numbers. It is unlikely that CPW will return
to requiring a license fee up-front. The up-front fee presented a barrier to participation, and
also created unsustainable costs for CPW in issuing refunds.
Big Game Calendar
Matthew Eckert and Brian Dreher presented on the Big Game Calendar that CPW uses for
setting annual license numbers (Appendix 5).
The annual big game license setting timeline begins in winter when hunting seasons are still
ongoing. The harvest survey is sent out to 80,000 hunters at the end of the season. By March
and April, CPW biologists are receiving and processing data to begin population modeling on
which to base next year’s license quotas. In mid-April, a sneak peek is made publicly available
and in early May, big game draft quotas are presented to the PWC for public input and
finalization. In short, it is a quick timeline, with little room to release quotas earlier in the
year.
CPW would like to give hunters as much notice as possible to plan their hunts. However, due
to the compressed timeline, the current system provides the most notice that biologists and
managers can give. License numbers cannot be drafted until May. Mandatory reporting would
push the timeline later and CPW data analysts must work with the data before sending it to
the biology team. The process is mainly slowed by the timing of late season data.
Currently, 80% of hunters respond to the harvest survey. Moving to a mandatory survey would
not improve CPW’s data — for example, New Mexico receives an 85% response rate, but then
must try to assess non-responses.

Spawning Closures
Josh Nehring, CPW’s Assistant Aquatic Section Manager gave a presentation on spawning
closures in Colorado (Appendix 6).
Closures are determined by aquatic biologists at the area field level. Factors for these
decisions include the natural recruitment that fisheries depend on, the angling pressure
during and after spawning, and if the needs of fisheries have changed over time. However,
changes to closures are rare. A new closure is added every five to ten years.
Regulation and enforcement of closures is generally successful. Peer pressure from the angler
community assists in ensuring that rivers remain free from angling, although one Roundtable
member added that increased signage would be beneficial. Another member added that
Colorado has temperature-related fishing closures, and increased education would be
beneficial to ensure anglers are aware of the times and areas that closures occur.
Biologists sample each river every two to three years. Larger systems are sampled every year.
CPW tries not to limit angling opportunities, unless there are population drops or other issues
shown by biologists’ data collection. In that case, aquatic biologists will create an issue paper
to be submitted to the PWC and reviewed by the public.
One member commented that angling has increased over the past few years, and requested
more enforcement to ensure that new anglers are not exceeding size or bag limits. Another
member asked about the high number of spawning closures in Montana. This is not a result of
migrations or different species — Colorado relies more heavily on its natural spawning
resources, rather than the artificial spawns that Montana prefers.
 
But wait, there's more:

Regional Caucus Reports
Regional caucus delegates each gave a report on their regional meetings and the topics
discussed.
Southeast Region
About fifteen members of the public attended the southeast regional meeting. The meeting
began with a brief introduction from both Director Davis and Deputy Director Heather Disney
Dugan. This was followed by a terrestrial update and caucus members discussed BGSS issues.
The meeting continued with an aquatics update before the floor was opened for discussion
from the public. Topics discussed included preference points and the five-year BGSS cycle.
The southeast region has been holding outreach events, including a CPW fishing derby that
took place in Colorado Springs. On the 11th and 12th of August, there will be a film showing,
followed by a fundraising dinner.

Northwest Region
The northwest region strongly advertised their meeting and had good attendance. CPW
presented terrestrial and aquatics updates including proposed changes for Lake Dillon fishing
regulations. Attendees discussed resident allocation and the number of resident hunters in
Colorado. Northwest caucus delegates recommended that Colorado resident hunters not
exclude nonresidents from the conversation while also encouraging higher resident hunter
numbers.
Northeast Region
The Northeast region has been using e-news to keep their members up-to-date and the
Northeast delegates recommended that other regions adopt this method. At their caucus
meeting, Rocky Mountain National Park sent a representative to deliver a presentation on elk
management in the park. There was also a presentation on angling and fisheries in northeast
Colorado. In addition, members discussed turkey populations, the BGSS cycle, and
resident/nonresident license allocation.
Delegates noted that mostly males were in attendance at the meeting, and emphasized the
need to keep involvement equitable between genders.
Southwest Region
The southwest region discussed many of the same BGSS topics as were discussed at the
Roundtable meeting. CPW regional staff Jamin Grigg and Brandon Diamond both gave
presentations, which included discussion on the Grand Mesa and leftover license tags from
that area. Members also discussed fossil fuels, urban development, and their impacts on
wildlife and habitat.
Members also discussed the secondary draw. There is a percentage of hunters who no longer
wish to participate in this draw, due to the youth priority rules (youths receive 100%
preference on all four choices). Members suggested that youth receive preference on their
first two choices, rather than all four, or perhaps the draw working group could look at the
issue. Members also discussed Gold Metal Waters, as well as wolves and their potential impact
on other predator species.
At the last Roundtable meeting, members discussed the possibility of presenting to the PWC.
That suggestion will be revisited for a future PWC meeting now that there is a new PWC chair,
Dallas May.
Open Roundtable
The floor was opened for discussion on any topic not previously addressed.

On the topic of preference points, one member suggested a senior preference system that
would not compromise the youth program.
Members and CPW representatives discussed electronic calls and the regulations regarding
their use for mountain lion hunting. Electronic calls have a fairly low success rate, but may
improve hunter safety. They are allowed in the area around Glenwood Springs, but it would
require a regulation change to allow their use in other areas. Since they were approved for
use around Glenwood Springs, only two lions were successfully harvested using electronic
calls.
A member raised the idea of requiring some type of license for shed antler collection during
the approved season. CPW initially considered a shed antler collecting license when originally
regulating shed collection, but the idea was not suggested to the PWC at the time.
Members discussed remote game cameras and their legality in Colorado. In other states,
remote game cameras have been prohibited on some lands. In Colorado, hunters are allowed
to use remote cameras under certain restrictions.
Members also discussed youth big game hunting opportunities, particularly in terms of youth
preference. Some members feel that nonresident youth have a high success rate in the draw
in relation to resident youth.
A member suggested a future agenda item related to CPW’s communication strategy, which
will be considered for the Roundtable’s next in-person meeting.
The Roundtable may have a virtual meeting before the legislative session begins next year.
More details will be available in the coming months. The application for new Roundtable
members will also be made available soon. Members were encouraged to submit any
discussion topics for the next in-person meeting to Jonathan Boydston or Emma Hay.
MEETING ADJOURNED AT 4:15PM
 
One member asked about the fourth phase initially included in the draft wolf plan, which
outlined the possibility of gray wolves being managed as a game species after population
targets are met and staff confirmed that such language was removed from the final plan
approved by the Commission.

This true? The intent to eventually make wolves a fair game animal to hunt for "conservation" purpose, as MT, ID, Wy use has been removed?

Northwest caucus delegates recommended that Colorado resident hunters not
exclude nonresidents from the conversation while also encouraging higher resident hunter
numbers.

This is valuable. I attend hunts (I relax / scout / act as pack mule - haven't hunted CO, yet) with my brother from the Loveland area. We have a planned hunt 2025.
He finds this site too liberal for his interest, as some here find other sites too conservative for their liking. I share the valuable portions, etc and he shares from his preferred sites. All good.

So, if I gather correctly, they're hoping to offset the massive $$$ for wolf harm to stock-growers via license plate sales? Seems Resident and more likely NON Resident Hunters will take the brunt of the $ hit to cover wolf depredation. Is this possible? How are they covering the recent modification, x3's the original coverage for stock loss?

Thanks for your service to CO, @elkduds . Always appreciate your info and often shared with my brother.
 
This true? The intent to eventually make wolves a fair game animal to hunt for "conservation" purpose, as MT, ID, Wy use has been removed?
Sadly true. CPW is aggressively trying to keep 10J management by lethal means in their plan.

Thanks for the recognition. Information is the new ammunition, so stock up.
 
On the topic of preference points, one member suggested a senior preference system
giphy.webp
 
Messing with moose, sheep, and goat to silence a few high point complainers will only outrage masses who bought 3 expensive points over 3 years just to get a fair but unbalanced chance. You already get preference the longer you are in the system and the more points you buy. There are plenty of people with points that may never get a top tag. Just because you’re getting older and joined the system earlier doesn’t mean you should be guaranteed a very limited tag.
 
But wait, there's more:

Regional Caucus Reports
Regional caucus delegates each gave a report on their regional meetings and the topics
discussed.
Southeast Region
About fifteen members of the public attended the southeast regional meeting. The meeting
began with a brief introduction from both Director Davis and Deputy Director Heather Disney
Dugan. This was followed by a terrestrial update and caucus members discussed BGSS issues.
The meeting continued with an aquatics update before the floor was opened for discussion
from the public. Topics discussed included preference points and the five-year BGSS cycle.
The southeast region has been holding outreach events, including a CPW fishing derby that
took place in Colorado Springs. On the 11th and 12th of August, there will be a film showing,
followed by a fundraising dinner.

Northwest Region
The northwest region strongly advertised their meeting and had good attendance. CPW
presented terrestrial and aquatics updates including proposed changes for Lake Dillon fishing
regulations. Attendees discussed resident allocation and the number of resident hunters in
Colorado. Northwest caucus delegates recommended that Colorado resident hunters not
exclude nonresidents from the conversation while also encouraging higher resident hunter
numbers.
Northeast Region
The Northeast region has been using e-news to keep their members up-to-date and the
Northeast delegates recommended that other regions adopt this method. At their caucus
meeting, Rocky Mountain National Park sent a representative to deliver a presentation on elk
management in the park. There was also a presentation on angling and fisheries in northeast
Colorado. In addition, members discussed turkey populations, the BGSS cycle, and
resident/nonresident license allocation.
Delegates noted that mostly males were in attendance at the meeting, and emphasized the
need to keep involvement equitable between genders.
Southwest Region
The southwest region discussed many of the same BGSS topics as were discussed at the
Roundtable meeting. CPW regional staff Jamin Grigg and Brandon Diamond both gave
presentations, which included discussion on the Grand Mesa and leftover license tags from
that area. Members also discussed fossil fuels, urban development, and their impacts on
wildlife and habitat.
Members also discussed the secondary draw. There is a percentage of hunters who no longer
wish to participate in this draw, due to the youth priority rules (youths receive 100%
preference on all four choices). Members suggested that youth receive preference on their
first two choices, rather than all four, or perhaps the draw working group could look at the
issue. Members also discussed Gold Metal Waters, as well as wolves and their potential impact
on other predator species.
At the last Roundtable meeting, members discussed the possibility of presenting to the PWC.
That suggestion will be revisited for a future PWC meeting now that there is a new PWC chair,
Dallas May.
Open Roundtable
The floor was opened for discussion on any topic not previously addressed.

On the topic of preference points, one member suggested a senior preference system that
would not compromise the youth program.
Members and CPW representatives discussed electronic calls and the regulations regarding
their use for mountain lion hunting. Electronic calls have a fairly low success rate, but may
improve hunter safety. They are allowed in the area around Glenwood Springs, but it would
require a regulation change to allow their use in other areas. Since they were approved for
use around Glenwood Springs, only two lions were successfully harvested using electronic
calls.
A member raised the idea of requiring some type of license for shed antler collection during
the approved season. CPW initially considered a shed antler collecting license when originally
regulating shed collection, but the idea was not suggested to the PWC at the time.
Members discussed remote game cameras and their legality in Colorado. In other states,
remote game cameras have been prohibited on some lands. In Colorado, hunters are allowed
to use remote cameras under certain restrictions.
Members also discussed youth big game hunting opportunities, particularly in terms of youth
preference. Some members feel that nonresident youth have a high success rate in the draw
in relation to resident youth.
A member suggested a future agenda item related to CPW’s communication strategy, which
will be considered for the Roundtable’s next in-person meeting.
The Roundtable may have a virtual meeting before the legislative session begins next year.
More details will be available in the coming months. The application for new Roundtable
members will also be made available soon. Members were encouraged to submit any
discussion topics for the next in-person meeting to Jonathan Boydston or Emma Hay.
MEETING ADJOURNED AT 4:15PM
Thank you for posting this recap. Is there a video or audio recording of this mtg? Does cpw release these on YT the same as Commission mtgs and regional mtgs?
 

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