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Colorado landowners can earn extra cash from big game access

From Colorado Department of Natural Resources

-- Landowners in southeastern Colorado who open their property to hunters can earn extra cash by enrolling in Parks and Wildlife's Big Game Access Program for the 2012 hunting seasons.

Participation is by application only, and applications are due Feb. 25.   Properties enrolled in previous years must re-apply to participate in 2012.

Because of budget limitations, not all properties are accepted.  CPW employees rate properties according to habitat quality and the number of pronghorn and deer that use the habitat.

This year marks the sixth year the program opens public access for deer and pronghorn hunting on private lands in Game Management Units 116, 117, 120, 121, 122, 125, 126, and 127.  In previous years, up to 140,000 acres were enrolled.

"The Wildlife Commission has funded the program again for 2012 to pay landowners who allow big game hunting access to their property," said Travis Black, Lamar area wildlife manager.  "As the program progresses, we are continuing to review landowner interest, sportsmen's satisfaction, harvest statistics and financial viability."

Eligible types of land include river bottom or riparian land with a focus on deer, and upland grass or prairie habitat for pronghorn.  Landowners who meet the requirements of this program receive payment for allowing hunters onto their land.

Landowner payments range from 25 cents per acre up to a maximum of $3 per acre depending on the size of the property, type of the habitat and number of days access is allowed.

Access to land enrolled in BGAP is by walk-in only.  Hunters must have a valid hunting license plus buy a $40 BGAP permit to gain access to enrolled properties.  Hunters can purchase BGAP permits at any license agent or Colorado Parks and Wildlife office. 

The BGAP access stamp allows access to hunt to pronghorn and deer only.  Small game hunting is not allowed unless the hunter gets special permission from the landowner.

Properties enrolled in BGAP are posted with Walk-in Access signs.  Landowners' names, addresses and telephone numbers are kept confidential.  

Information about ranch locations, maps and GMUs can be found on the Big Game Access Program page on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website (http://wildlife.state.co.us/).  Landowner applications can be downloaded from the same site.

For more information, or to obtain an application to enroll land, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office in Lamar by calling (719)336-6600.  Address written correspondence to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, c/o BGAP, 2500 South Main St., Lamar, CO 81052.

For additional information online see http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/AccessProgram/.

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