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DOW launches ‘higher ed’ for elk hunters

Elk hunters looking to expand their “wapiti wisdom” can do so by participating in “Elk Hunting University,” a new online Hunter Outreach Program offered by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Developed by DOW “Huntmaster” volunteers who teach and mentor novice hunters, EHU provides an entertaining and educational look into the exciting world of Colorado elk hunting. The innovative program features in-depth, how-to articles, videos and other resources to help hunters become more successful in their pursuit of Colorado’s most revered big game animal — the Rocky Mountain elk.

“EHU uses online educational products to assist hunters in becoming more knowledgeable and confident in their skills as an elk hunter,” said Jim Bulger, DOW hunter outreach coordinator. “Most of our past hunter outreach efforts focused around youth-oriented mentoring programs. While it’s extremely important and rewarding to engage young hunters, we felt we could do a better job reaching out to the thousands of adults who want to learn more about hunting elk in Colorado.”

The six-month study program features a new online lesson every two weeks. Current articles available on the EHU “lesson” page include, “Elk Hunting 101,” “Planning a Successful Hunt,” “Applying for a License,” “Using Technology” and “Pre-Scouting: Using Maps and GPS.”

Debuting in March of this year, the EHU Web pages have already attracted nearly 40,000 visits, and the DOW anticipates even greater participation throughout the summer as hunters prepare for the fall big game seasons.

“We want to assist as many elk hunters as we can before the start of the 2010 hunting seasons,” said Bulger. “Our ultimate goal is to prepare hunters to pass the definitive ‘final exam,’ which of course is their having a more successful and enjoyable hunt in Colorado’s backcountry this fall.”

Hunters of all skill and experience levels will benefit from the online EHU program, available 24/7 on the DOW website. Visit “Elk Hunting University” at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/ElkHuntingUniversity/.

Class is now in session. Hunters can receive automatic e-mail updates each time a new EHU article is published by signing up for the DOW Insider — the DOW’s e-news service. The Insider is free and is available at the following link: http://wildlife.state.co.us/NewsMedia/DOWInsider/.