Elk numbers in Southwest Colorado are on the decline. Heavy hunting pressure and low calf retention are to blame. After years of massive numbers of elk and massive numbers of complaints from farmers and ranchers; The Colorado Division of Wildlife allowed very generous tag allocations to help reduce the competition between cattle and elk. The hunters hunted, and dropped elk numbers quickly. Now calf retention is dismal and researchers are trying to figure out why. With the perfect storm of successful hunters and low calf recruitment, the elk won’t recover unless more restrictions are put in place.
Do you hunt elk in southern Colorado? What trends have you seen over the years? Drop a comment below.