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CORTEZ JOURNAL

SATURdAy, MARCh 31, 2012 7A

Deadline for hunters nears Journal Staff report

Aeden Marie Burris

LifE

Generous community helps out From Page 1A doing the best they can right now.” Jones said that she and other employees of the shop, the Streamline trailer at the west end of Main Street, wanted to help. They knew they could only try to provide comfort to their grieving friend. As her obituary reads, Aeden never complained of her illness, but smiled in the face of it. “There’s nothing we can do besides for us to just be there for them,” Jones said. Jones said Hern was taking some time off work for now. Gigi Schwartz has owned the Silver Bean for 13 years and said that the community has come out with overwhelming support for Hern and Burris. The Silver Bean staff put out a donation jug to help raise funds for the family. “There is just an outpour of support from the community,” she said. “Amazing generosity.” The shop has collection cans for donations to help with the cost of the funeral. People were stopping by the Silver Bean all day, stuffing bills and coins into the can.

Casey DePue is a first year teacher at Kemper Elementary who had Aeden in her kindergarten class. She described Aeden as a cute, bright-eyed little girl. “I knew she had health problems but she came in so excited to be there, just to be in school,” DePue said. “She was just a good little girl.” DePue said that Aeden and her parents had been back and forth to Denver since the holiday season and that she was finally removed from class in February. “We sent her letters and the kids even sent her a poster,” said DePue. “Everyone loved her.” DePue said that she will send a letter home with students for parents over spring break and that a counselor will visit her classroom. DePue described Aeden’s mother and father as amazing parents. The teacher was gripped with emotion as she talked about Aeden. “She really loved her mom and dad.” Memorial contributions may be made in Aeden Burris’ name to the Children’s Hospital Heart Institute in Aurora, Colo.

AmA zing g e n e rosit y ■ On Thursday, March 29, The Silver Bean coffee shop declared a Benefit Day to raise funds for the family of Aeden Burris. The community has responded in a manner to be proud of. Gigi Schwartz, the owner of the business, expresses her appreciation:

A big thank you to the Cortez community for coming out in droves on short notice this past Thursday to support a worthy cause. In addition to all of your donations and kind wishes, all of the business’ daily sales went directly to our employee to help defray funeral costs for her young daughter who sadly lost her battle with a lifelong illness. The outpouring of support from our community touched me in a way that I will not soon forget. Thank you for making a difference! Gigi Schwartz, The Silver Bean

End of Season Sale!

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are reminding hunters to submit 2012 biggame hunting applications before the deadline passes. Applications for limited licenses are due by midnight Tuesday, April 3, said Joe Lewandowski, a Durangobased spokesman for parks and wildlife. About 60 percent of Colorado hunters apply online now, Lewandowski said during a telephone interview. From Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s website resources and secure license application portal to video tutorials and hunt planners manning the agency’s call center, hunters have at their fingertips all the resources they need to plan their hunt, the wildlife agency’s director, Rick Cables, said in a written statement the agency released Tuesday. “Colorado has more elk than anywhere else in the world and loads of hunt options,” Cables said in the statement from parks and wildlife. “We’ve also got a ton of information on our website that can help you select the right hunt for you and your hunting buddies. A little time spent planning this week can pay off with a memorable Colorado hunt this fall.” Andy Holland, the state’s big game manager, encourages hunters to improve their chances of success in the draw by applying for second-, third- and fourth-choice licenses. Hunters can also select “leftover draw” instead

From Page 1A enced a slight decline in populations during the past few years, Lewandowski said. “Wildlife — it takes them a long time to recover, and we had a couple of tough winters …,” he said. “When you have rough weather like that, deer — obviously they’re very hardy animals, but all the fawns don’t make it.” Increased human development, along with industries such as gas and mining, also affect deer populations, Lewandowski said. So do people recreating in the outdoors. “We’ve got a lot more people running around on ATVS (all-terrain vehicles) and a lot more people hiking, and all

these things have an effect on the critters,” he said. Deer herds declined some due to a tough 2008-2009 winter, but the relatively mild 2011-2012 winter could help stabilize populations, Lewandowski said. Even so, fewer doe tags will be available for fall 2012 hunters. Statewide, an estimated 76,445 hunters bagged about 33,200 deer in 2011. About 47 percent of rifle hunters had a successful season. ELK HUNTING Success rates for Southwest Colorado elk hunters dipped some in fall 2011, according to the parks and wildlife survey. Game Management Unit

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rent and valid photo identification, proof of hunter education and proof of residency before they sit down to fill out an application. Hunters ages 18 to 64 are also reminded that they will need to purchase a $10 Habitat Stamp prior to applying for or purchasing their first Colorado hunting or fishing license of the license year. Only one stamp is required per hunter per year. Customer service representatives and specially trained hunt planners will be available to assist hunters by phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 303-297-1192. On April 3, the phones will be open until midnight. Hunters can get personal assistance at one of parks and wildlife’s regional service centers in Denver, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs or Durango or any one of the agency’s 16 area offices. To view the interactive version of the 2012 Colorado Big Game brochure or download the PDF, go to http://wildlife. state.co.us/RulesRegs/RegulationsBrochures/Pages/BigGame.aspx. To learn more about license options, see http:// wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/ PlanYourHunt/Pages/BGLicenseOptions.aspx. To apply for your big game license on line, go to http:// wildlife.state.co.us/ShopDOW/AppsAndLicenses. Southwest Colorado hunters interested in more information also can call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Durango office at 247-0855.

72 elk hunters tagged a 17 percent success rate, compared to the five-year average of 20 percent. GMU 73 hunters saw a larger decline, from a five-year average success rate of 28 percent to a 16 percent success rate in fall 2011. Colorado’s elk population is at a fairly good level now, Lewandowski said. “Overall our elk populations are real good in Southwest Colorado,” he said. Elk herds exceeded optimal population levels in previous years, Lewandowski said. “For the past about three seasons we really kind of got into too many elk,” he said. “From about 2000 to 2007, we had a lot of complaints from ranchers and a lot of other

people who thought we had too many elk. During those years we issued a lot of cow (elk) permits; that’s how you stabilize or knock down a population.” Elk hunters who get off their ATVs and work harder to pursue elk tend to have higher success rates, Lewandowski said. Statewide, an estimated 212,000 hunters harvested about 43,400 elk in 2011. Although the harvest represents a 9.5 percent decrease from 2010, it’s still more than in any other state. Colorado’s elk population is estimated at 280,000. Reach Russell Smyth at russells@cortezjournal.com or 564-6030.

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the more than 600 locations across Colorado where licenses are sold. As the deadline approaches, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is encouraging hunters to use the secure Internet portal to submit their limited license applications. About 75 percent of hunters applied online in 2011, up from 64 percent in 2010. The Internet license application is programmed to prevent hunters from making common errors on their applications. Last year, parks and wildlife staff called more than 15,000 individuals concerning 45,000 errors or problems with their big-game applications, many of which would have resulted in rejection of the license application. Only 25 of those calls went to hunters who used the website application portal. For 2012, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has made some significant changes to late youth elk hunting regulations. Since 2000, 12- to 17-year-olds with an unfilled elk tag could take advantage of cow elk hunting opportunities in any unit offering a late-season hunt. While these hunts were extremely successful in encouraging youth participation, they also created high levels of hunting pressure around Craig, Meeker and Steamboat Springs. Changes to the program detailed in the biggame brochure will ensure hunting pressure is more evenly distributed. Hunters should have a cur-

Hard-working elk hunters have more success

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of “refund” on their deer and elk applications, according to the statement from parks and wildlife. This gives them first chance at leftover deer and elk licenses before they go on sale to the general hunting public on Aug. 14. Additional information from Colorado Parks and Wildlife follows: Hunters can plan to purchase an over-the-counter bull elk tag, available for the second and third rifle seasons, starting July 10. Colorado’s over-the-counter bull elk tag is unique in that it allows a hunter to hunt anywhere in 92 units, which includes some of the best elk hunting in the state. About half of the bull elk harvested every year fall to hunters with over-thecounter tags. The 2012 big game seasons open in late August for archery hunters and run through mid-winter with late-season private land tags. Information about season dates and license application requirements can be found in parks and wildlife’s 2012 Colorado Big Game brochure, which provides all of the information needed to apply for elk, deer, bear, pronghorn and moose licenses. The brochure includes easy-to-read tables, information about changes to hunting seasons this year, and a reference page with important details about Colorado hunting regulations. Copies of the brochure can be downloaded from the parks and wildlife website and are available at any of

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