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Dolores considers rules against bow hunting

Archery target practice would still be allowed
A proposed ordinance in Dolores would give more protection to wild turkeys who wander about town.

The Dolores Town board continued its discussion about adding hunting restrictions in town and addressed several other topics.

Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said that according to a town weapon’s ordinance, it is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits, which thereby prohibits that type of hunting.

However, he suggested the ordinance be amended to include prohibiting bow hunting. Archery target practice would still be allowed within town limits, and live trapping would continue to be permitted for certain animals like skunks and raccoons.

The town board agreed to consider a ban on bow hunting at the request of Nowlin after an incident on Thanksgiving in which a man with a bow shot an arrow at a wild turkey in town limits near the Dolores River.

Town attorney Jon Kelly suggested the town could add a provision to the ordinance making it unlawful to hunt any animal for which a hunting license is required within town limits, in-season or out of season. An exemption would be for wildlife or sheriff deputies who need to dispatch an injured animal.

Other suggestions were to prohibit shooting a bow in an open area and shooting an arrow that leaves private property.

Kelly and board members emphasized that safe archery ranges would continue to be allowed in town. Nowlin supported the proposed law changes.

Board member Jen Stark noticed that part of the town’s weapons ordinance appears outdated. The law passed in 1968 states that concealed firearm can be carried only by law enforcement. But under Colorado law, a concealed weapon is allowed if the person has a concealed-carry permit.

Kelly said it “is a good idea” to change the town’s outright ban on concealed carry, because it conflicts with state statute that allows it with a permit. Nowlin agreed the ordinance law is outdated and “should be repealed.”

A draft of the ordinance changes will be presented at the March meeting.

Other Town Board news

Permission was granted to a citizen wanting to start a program to help those in need. Lauren Ragland plans to create a list of elderly, ill, or disabled residents who need help with shoveling snow. The idea is that a group of volunteers could then access the list and volunteer to help out. For more information, email gosnowdoco@gmail.com The town is drafting an agreement with the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project to plant fruit trees on the east end of Joe Rowell Park. The idea is to plant 70 to 100 trees, including heritage apple and peach varieties. Once planted, the trees would provide fruit for the community and promote agricultural tourism. Each tree would be labeled with information regarding its local origin and variety. A water tap would need to be installed to water the trees. Stark said the town – not MORP – should own the water tap, in case the project did not succeed in the future. Board member Val Truelsen agreed the town should own the tap and install it and suggested MORP help pay for the materials. On March 25, the town workshop will focus on economic development. Local business owners, the Dolores Chamber of Commerce and real estate officials are expected to have a roundtable discussion on the issue.

jmimiaga@the-journal.com

Permission was granted to a citizen wanting to start a program to help those in need. Lauren Ragland plans to create a list of elderly, ill, or disabled residents who need help with shoveling snow. The idea is that a group of volunteers could then access the list and volunteer to help out. For more information, email gosnowdoco@gmail.com The town is drafting an agreement with the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project to plant fruit trees on the east end of Joe Rowell Park. The idea is to plant 70 to 100 trees, including heritage apple and peach varieties. Once planted, the trees would provide fruit for the community and promote agricultural tourism. Each tree would be labeled with information regarding its local origin and variety. A water tap would need to be installed to water the trees. Stark said the town – not MORP – should own the water tap, in case the project did not succeed in the future. Board member Val Truelsen agreed the town should own the tap and install it and suggested MORP help pay for the materials. On March 25, the town workshop will focus on economic development. Local business owners, the Dolores Chamber of Commerce and real estate officials are expected to have a roundtable discussion on the issue.

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