The announcement of a limited elk hunt on Boulder County’s Rabbit Mountain was made back in June as population levels have gone through the roof in recent years.

Only a decade ago, there were an estimated 25 elk residing on the mountain, fast forward to present day and biologists are pegging the population of elk in the neighborhood of 350 animals.  Put to a vote by county voters, a staggering 73 percent of the 605 Boulder County voters supported the idea of a hunt to cull the population.

With fears of the long-term effects the large mammals could have on the landscape, the planning process that would allow a limited hunt was released by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Boulder County Parks & Open Space.

With the approved hunt kicking off on September 11, the open-space area will be closed to the public Mondays through Wednesdays from then until January 31, 2018.  Allowing only two hunters on the mountain at a time, the process for acquiring licenses for hunting in the area were allocated by a lottery system.

In addition to the drawn license, all hunters will also require a special Rabbit Mountain access pass and according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, between 40 and 50 hunters will have a shot at one of the elk this year.

Officials were quick to note that despite this year’s hunt, there are no immediate plans to create a new policy to continue to allow recreational hunting on Boulder County open space properties.