For Colorado outdoor memories, local family learning to hunt

Ben Collins, 9, practices shooting at a milk-jug target as Phil Gurule, district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, instructs him Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at the Ramah State Wildlife Area.

Even though public health experts acknowledge that outside activities with social distance are a relatively safe environment from COVID-19, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has nonetheless released a list of recommendations for hunters this season.

CPW advises that people hunt with those in their household, and to keep groups small. Hunters should be familiar with the pandemic precautions of those in their group with whom they do not live. 

“Even when folks are outside they must be careful. Know who you’re hunting with and be careful when you come in contact with others in towns or in the field,” said Cory Chick, the agency’s Southwest Region manager.

CPW mentioned that to date, there have been two hunting-associated outbreaks in Colorado. Steamboat Pilot & Today reported in late September that a hunting camp in Routt County experienced 10 COVID-19 cases. None of the infected persons was a county resident. A person from out of state who was symptomatic while in the camp transmitted the virus to the other occupants.

Among the agency’s other recommendations were to wear a mask indoors at all times when with people outside of one’s household, and to return home to get tested if feeling sick while hunting. There were also reminders applicable in normal times as well as in a pandemic: ensure someone knows where the hunters will be and leave "no trace" on the environment.

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