Colorado Parks and Wildlife Seeking Sharpshooters for Elk Dispersal at Great Sand Dunes National Park

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images)

The state of Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park is the place for any self-proclaimed “sharpshooters” to immediately head to if you’re interested in hunting elk.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the department is looking for “qualified volunteers” to help hunt. They need help with the second year of an elk dispersal project in Great Sand Dunes National Park and National Wildlife Refuge.

Part of this dispersal effort involves culling, or selective slaughtering, of some of the elk. However, according to CPW, the effort should be viewed as part of the intensive elk management project. It should not be viewed as hunting or recreation.

Volunteers may have to commit up to two days of effort. They can also keep the carcass of antler-less elk kills.

While volunteers will come from the Colorado public, there are very strict requirements for participation. This includes a shooting qualification test. In this test, applicants must prove that they can hit small targets the size of an elk’s vitals at 200 to 300 yards. They also must strike each target three times in a row without missing in a three-minute time period.

Wildlife Manager Rick Basagoitia has described the shooting challenge as difficult “for even the most seasoned elk hunters.”

Once a hopeful volunteer has submitted their application to join the effort, they’ll have to wait on an invitation to qualify. Only 25 shooters per day can be tested. This means the process of finding hunters with the skill required for the project may take time.

You can apply for the role here.

Then, tips on how to complete the shooting qualification can be found here.

Incredible Time-Lapse Shows Shooting Stars, Meteors Above Great Sand Dunes National Park

The Orionid meteor shower is widely regarded as the “most radiant” shower of the year. It lived up to its billing and then some earlier this year, as it put on a show across Colorado and around the world last weekend. 

According to a report from NASA, “The Orionids, which peak during mid-October each year, are considered to be one of the most beautiful showers of the year. Orionid meteors are known for their brightness and for their speed. These meteors are fast – they travel at about 148,000 mph (66 km/s) into Earth’s atmosphere.”

A timelapse shared to Reddit by user Anon1230984567 shows the night sky above Great Sand Dunes National Park. This timelapse occurred just after the shower’s peak. 

“This was from around midnight to 5AM on Saturday. 633 photos taken at 25 second shutter speed in order to accomplish this timelapse!” they said. 

Check out the video here.

However, these events aren’t as uncommon as you might think. Recently, in Utah, there was an event similar to this Colorado meteor shower.

Crazy video footage emerged showing what seems to be a meteor burning through the atmosphere over northern Utah. The incident generated an incredibly loud boom heard by thousands in the area.

Around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, residents from Orem, Utah to southern Idaho heard the blast, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Snowbasin Resort wrote on Twitter: “Did you hear that loud boom this morning? Our web cams captured this meteor flying over Snowbasin!” The resort then posted the video depicting the meteor falling over the mountains.