Elk Population

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A new elk-hunting season is under way in southern Colorado, where state wildlife managers hope to thin a rapidly-growing population of elk in the Sangre de Cristo foothills.

The animals are considered a threat to vegetable farms.

Division of Wildlife manager Rick Basagoitia says damage to seed-potato fields or to alfalfa and other farms could hurt producers through the loss of crops, and could cost taxpayers (m) millions of dollars.

State law requires reimbursement to farmers for certain wildlife-caused damage.

A cow-elk season began Monday and runs through December. A bull-elk season is scheduled in the spring.

There are more than five-thousand elk in the area, far above the 15-hundred the division set as a goal several years ago.