It’s Hunting Season in the Colorado High Country!
Public Shooting Range: Locked and Loaded for 2015
Another recreational opportunity in Lake County has just secured funding, and will move forward with construction early next year.
Lake County has been approved for $51,500 in grant funding for a 15 acre, free public shooting range located 1 mile east of the Lake County OHV Park on the power-line road. Jim Guthrie, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Shooting Range Development Grant Program Coordinator, has approved a $40,000 grant and $11,500 is from the Friends of the NRA.
The shooting range will provide locals and visitors a designated safe and contained area for firearm use. A 50 yard pistol range, 100 and 200 yard rifle ranges with concrete benches and a vault restroom are included. After completion, grants for a second phase will be applied for adding more benches with shelters, an improved road to the range and adding a shotgun area.
The planning for the project began early last year after the Lake County Recreation Advisory Board included a Public Shooting Range into its 2013 Recreation Master Plan. A volunteer Lake County Public Range Committee was formed under the direction of the Lake County Commissioners and the Recreation Advisory Board. Public meetings then followed with the Lake County Commissioners allocating the property to be used.
The group has begun clearing some of the land. Free wood cutting permits are available to the public from Mabel Bogeart , at the Road and Bridge office (486- 0259) for tree harvesting at the area.
Support for the project included the Lake County Commissioners, Lake County Recreation Director Amber Magee, Lake County Sheriff Rod Fenske, State Representative Millie Hamner and State Senator Gail Schwartz. CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jim Aragon and CPW Wildlife Officer Tom Martin also supported the project.
Hunters Urged Caution with Small Game
The following information was submitted by Jackie Littlepage BS, CP-FS, Director of Environmental Health/Health Inspector with the Lake County Public Health Agency.
October is the beginning of small game hunting season in Colorado. As the number of human tularemia cases in our state continues to rise, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reminds small game hunters to “hunt healthy” this year.
“We haven’t seen this many tularemia cases in Colorado since the 1980s,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House. “Historically, we see cases of tularemia in hunters, and the disease is so widespread this year, we want to make sure our hunters understand the risks.”
“In the last 10 years Colorado has averaged three human cases of tularemia a year,” Dr. House said. “So far in 2014 we have had 11, and additional suspected cases are under investigation.”
Local health departments have received numerous reports of rabbit and rodent die-offs across the state this year. Animals from 12 counties tested positive for tularemia, a bacterial disease that can affect small game animals. It commonly causes illness and death in rabbits and rodents such as squirrels. People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals or are bitten by ticks or deer flies.
People also can be exposed to tularemia by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria. Hunters are most at risk when skinning game and preparing and consuming the meat.
- Harvest only small game that looks and acts healthy. Beware of lazy rabbits!
- Avoid hunting in areas where dead small game has been found.
- Wear gloves when handling small game animals, and wash your hands after removing your gloves.
- Cook all game meat thoroughly to 160-170 F.
- Notify your public health department or local wildlife office if you notice sick or dead rabbits or rodents.
Symptoms of tularemia include abrupt onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, vomiting, dry cough and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms are skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, diarrhea or pneumonia. Tularemia often is overlooked as a diagnosis because it is rare, and the symptoms are similar to other diseases. Nine of the 11 people infected with tularemia this year were hospitalized for treatment.
Anyone who becomes ill after exposure to a sick or dead animal, or after spending time in areas where sick or dead wild animals have been seen, should talk to a health care provider about the possibility of tularemia. Tularemia is treatable with antibiotics.