Denver Unseasonably hot, dry weather has impeded hunters tracking elk and deer through Colorado's first two big game rifle seasons.
However, wildlife biologists say cooler days and higher head counts promise to boost success harvest rates in the third and fourth seasons.
State biologists would have preferred it if winter weather had moved into Colorado after a mild-weathered first season to boost hunter success rates.
Unfortunately, unseasonably dry and hot weather plagued most of the second rifle season, which ended last Sunday.
Wildlife officers said hunters would have to use their wilderness wiles the rest of the year to bag elk and deer that are basking in the warm weather.
Harvesting success has been mixed around the state, depending on the hunting skills employed by hunters and the regions they visit, state wildlife biologists said.
Over-the-counter elk licenses are still available for the third and fourth seasons, along with leftover deer and elk "limited" licenses.
The third rifle season started last Saturday and will end next Friday. The fourth season will run from Saturday through Nov. 12.
Meanwhile, hunters need to be aware that the hot weather will quickly spoil meat that has not been properly treated.
Wildlife officers have been ticketing hunters who allow meat to spoil in the field with "waste of wildlife" citations.