Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding shooting enthusiast that the Byers Canyon Shooting Range in Hot Sulphur Springs will once again close Jan. 2, 2014 due to the agency’s continuing efforts to protect wintering elk and deer herds.

Because the animals have moved onto their winter range in and around the shooting facility during especially cold conditions this year, wildlife officials remind the public to give them plenty of space to help prevent additional stress that can lead to mortality, including the deaths of displaced animals due to road and railroad collisions.

“We’ve experienced very cold temperatures in this area recently,” said Property Technician Doug Gillham from Hot Sulphur Springs. “We ask everyone to respect the closure and remember that it exists to protect wildlife by keeping noise and human activity at a minimum over the winter months.”

Gillham says that the closure benefits area residents as well, reducing the number of wintering elk and deer that are forced onto private land in search of safety and food.

“Big game herds that are pressured by human activity often move onto private land,” added Gillham. “That can lead to conflicts and damage, so it preferable that the animals stay on their  traditional winter range.”

The shooting range will remain closed until the animals move toward higher ground in the spring, which typically occurs in early April.

The Byers Canyon Shooting Range, which is owned and operated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is very popular with sportsmen from across the western slope, including the Front Range due to its proximity to the Denver metro area.

For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife shooting ranges and alternative places to shoot, go to www.wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/ShootingRanges/Pages/ShootingRanges.aspx

Logo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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