COLORADO LOSES $2 MILLION IN REFUNDS – We recently published an article that notified hunters of an option to return their tags. Due to the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires this year, Colorado decided to give hunters the option to return their tags. Upon return, hunters were given a refund for the tag. This had a large impact on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s financials.
2020 has been a weird year. Many circumstances made the hunting season a difficult one. First and foremost was the COVID pandemic. It limited travel and prohibited resources that hunters are used to enjoying. Another big impact in Colorado was the fires. Each year, there is usually a fire that can impact a hunt or two. However, this year, the fires were so large that they impacted many hunts. They also did much worse that impact hunts. They drove people from their homes and burnt some homes to the ground.
There are many financial impacts from the fires, but one impact that the CPW saw first hand was from the refunds they offered to hunters. Randy Hampton, who has been a guest several times on the Ehuntr Newscast, shared that the impact was very large.
“The agency lost more than $2 million in refunded hunting licenses and tags in an unprecedented year”, said Randy Hampton.
“We know there were people that did not show up due to the fires and COVID; there was a lot of concern there,” he said.
Overcoming the Deficit
Hampton went on to confirm that the department did receive funds in new and diverse ways in 2020. In a year when people were forced to social distance, escaping to the outdoors was a fantastic option.
“Anything outdoorsy was huge this year, especially,” Hampton said. “Anything that got people outdoors was a huge hit; people went crazy for that stuff.”
Hampton said that the department did see an increase in over-the-counter tags. They also saw an increase in state park use and fishing licenses which will help overcome the deficit caused by the refunds.
Many people are looking forward to the new year, with hopes we will see things return to normal. The CPW and hunters alike hope that next year’s hunting season also returns to normal.