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Colorado looking for landowners to lease access for 2010 hunting

From the Colorado Division of  Wildlife

-- The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is looking for landowners in SE Colorado to lease access for the 2010 hunting seasons.  The DOW's Big Game Access Program (BGAP) will continue for a fourth year.  This fourth year will provide ongoing private lands access while allowing the DOW time to complete the analysis of the first three years of the pilot program (2007-2009).

The program analysis will be conducted for the first three years, including an annual evaluation to determine the ability to sustain the program and potential to expand.  The evaluation will be based on landowner satisfaction, sportsmen satisfaction, game harvest by species, economic viability, and overall participation in and success of the program.

The pilot was focused on deer and pronghorn hunting in southeast Colorado on private lands in the following Game Management Units: 116, 117, 120, 121, 122, 125, 126, and 127.  This fourth year will continue within the same GMU's.

The Division of Wildlife will pay landowners to allow big game hunting access on their property, similar to existing programs that allow access to hunt small game and upland birds.

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

Landowners whose properties meet BGAP requirements will receive payment for allowing hunters onto their land.  Payments to the landowner will 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 day's access is allowed.

Landowners must apply by Feb. 25.  There will be a ranking process and properties will be rated based on habitat quality, number of pronghorn and/or deer, and budget limitations.  Only a limited number of properties can participate.  The 2010 program will begin with the fall hunting seasons.

Previous properties in the program must re-enroll to participate again in 2010.

BGAP benefits both landowners and hunters.  The benefit to landowners is that it provides additional income.  Hunters benefit because it opens up more hunting opportunities.

Enrolled properties will be clearly marked with DOW "Walk-in Access" signs.  All posting is done by the DOW.  Landowners' names, addresses or telephone numbers are kept confidential.

Access to hunt on the land enrolled in BGAP is by walk-in only.  Hunters must have a valid license for the season they hunt in and buy a $40 BGAP permit to gain access to enrolled properties.  BGAP permits may be purchased at any license agent or DOW office.

The access stamp will apply to Pronghorn and Deer hunting only.  Any other hunting on the lands enrolled in this program (such as small game) will be at the discretion of the landowner with permission only.

Basic information on GMU's, locations, and ranches enrolled will be posted on the Colorado Division of Wildlife website (http://wildlife.state.co.us/) prior to the big game license application deadline.  Maps of enrolled properties will be available on the internet as soon as possible after enrollment is completed.  Landowner applications may also be downloaded from the same site.

For more information, or to obtain an application to enroll your land, please contact the DOW office in Lamar at (719) 336-6600.  Correspondence can be sent addressed to the Colorado Division of Wildlife c/o BGAP, 2500 South Main St., Lamar, CO. 81052.

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