As the area around the Preserve has grown over the last 20 years we have seen increased reports of hunters on the Preserve every fall hunting season. This season is no different although we are hearing about this more frequently.
Recently we have had reports of both bow & arrow as well as rifle hunters in full camouflage near the main parking lots.
According to the Division of Wildlife and the USFS hunting is allowed all throughout the Preserve except for the 35 acre administrative Hot Shot area. Target shooting is not allowed.
Many member of the Friends of Monument Preserve are pro-hunting and hunters themselves; however, we are all in agreement that the Preserve is an inappropriate place to hunt – much of the “Urban Interface” has too much human traffic and really should not be hunted for safety reasons, yet some hunters do not feel the same as we do (at least 1 BOD member pulls licenses for Elk and Deer every year themselves).
We have also received the following report this week:
“Yesterday morning, I found a cleaned doe dumped in the scrub oak at the main trail head (in the scrub oak right where the two parking lots join). Full neck and head, cleaned rib cage, legs with flesh on them, and cleaned skin. A mountain biker who is a veterinarian confirmed that the animal had been recently killed because the tissue was still fresh. There were no entrails.”
The BOD finds this unacceptable from any hunter or any other Preserve user. Dumping trash of any kind (including shoveling horse manure from trailers) is illegal. Take your trash with you, clean your horse trailers at home, and pick up after yourself if you hunt.
The FOMP BOD has repeatedly brought the issue of hunting in the Preserve up with USFS management and we will again at our next opportunity.
Any unsafe, or potentially illegal issues: such as shots towards houses, over roads, over occupied trails, poaching, etc. needs to be reported to the DOW (DOW Website Contact page) , local law enforcement (El Paso County Sheriff — 719.520.7333), and Tom Healy (USFS’ sole law enforcement office for the district — 719.477.4204) ASAP. This includes the Preserve itself and any surrounding areas such as Mt. Herman Road.
Thanks and please be careful out there!