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Colorado rescue crews race to find missing hiker, dog near Aspen trail

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Colorado rescue crews race to find missing hiker, dog near Aspen trail


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The search is on for a 75-year-old woman and her Irish setter who went missing while hiking in the mountains of Colorado on Sunday.

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The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said that at about 8:40 p.m., a citizen waved down a deputy to say a family member, Jennifer Hearn, had not returned from her hike on Triangle Peak.

Triangle Peak Trail is in the Snowmass Canyon area of the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen.

The family did not know what Hearn’s exact plans were, but told the deputy her vehicle was parked at the Triangle Peak trailhead, which she hikes three to four times a week.

CHILDREN ATTACKED, STOMPED AT LOCAL PARK BY AGGRESSIVE COW ELK, OFFICIALS SAY

A team of Colorado rescuers are searching for Jennifer Hearn, who was reported missing when she did not return from her hike on Triangle Peak. She is believed to be hiking with her 3-year-old Irish setter, Tawny. (Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office)

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The sheriff’s office described the nearly five-mile trail as steep with limited foot traffic because of its difficult and rocky terrain. The trail also has multiple intersecting trails near its highest peak.

On Sunday night, a team of Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) volunteers went to the trailhead of Triangle Peak to search for Hearn, though the search was called off just after 2:30 a.m.

The search continued on Monday morning, with 30 MRA volunteers, a helicopter, multi-mission aircraft from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention, and a dog and handler team from Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States (SARDUS).

DOG RESCUED AFTER BEING CHASED OFF ‘STEEP CLIFFSIDE’ BY RACCOONS: VIDEO

Tawny-Irish-Setter

A team of Colorado rescuers are searching for Jennifer Hearn, who was reported missing when she did not return from her hike on Triangle Peak. She is believed to be hiking with her 3-year-old Irish setter, Tawny. (Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office)

Fox News Digital reached out to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office seeking the status of the search on Tuesday but did not hear back.

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The sheriff’s office said Hearn is 5-foot-10 and 125 pounds, with shoulder-length gray hair and brown eyes.

She is believed to be wearing a green t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt and jean shorts.

LOYAL DOG SAVES CAMPER’S LIFE AFTER RUNNING MILES FOR HELP: ‘NO WORDS’

Triangle Peak Map

Triangle Peak is in the Snowmass Canyon area of the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen, Colo. (Google Maps)

Authorities also said Hearn may have been hiking with her 3-year-old Irish setter, Tawny, who may be skittish. If found, the sheriff’s office urges the public to approach Tawny with caution.

“We understand and are immensely thankful for the public’s desire to aid in the search efforts. We are using specialized aircraft with equipment that can detect activity with heat sensors,” Pitkin County Undersheriff Alex Burchetta said. “That equipment could register false positives that are not the person we are searching for if we have unauthorized personnel in our search area. Our focus is to search for and find Jennifer. 

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“We want to avoid someone else possibly being injured and distracting our efforts from that goal.”

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Officials ask the public to avoid the Triangle Peak area while the search is underway.



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Colorado

Meet Georgia Grace Spencer, proud papa is CBS Colorado anchor Michael Spencer

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Meet Georgia Grace Spencer, proud papa is CBS Colorado anchor Michael Spencer


Meet Georgia Grace Spencer, proud papa is CBS Colorado anchor Michael Spencer – CBS Colorado

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Georgia Grace Spencer was born on June 5 and big sister Stella is excited about the new addition to the family.

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Hulk Hogan to promote beer brand in Colorado this summer: ‘Real American Beer’

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Hulk Hogan to promote beer brand in Colorado this summer: ‘Real American Beer’


(KTLA) – Say your prayers, take your vitamins and … drink your beer?

Real American Beer, a beer brand co-founded by wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, is preparing to launch in four states this month, with over a dozen more to follow over the summer.

“Bringing America together one beer at a time, with Real American Beer,” Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, posted to Instagram Wednesday. “Coming to a city near you.”

Hulkamaniacs ages 21 and over in Hollywood, Florida, can begin imbibing the Hulkster’s new brew Friday after an official launch at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The launch continues Saturday at MacDill Air Force Base and the Hard Rock resort in Tampa Bay.

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Hulk Hogan is promoting his new Real American Beer, to be available in 17 states by the end of the summer. (Real American Beer)

The WWE Hall of Famer’s brand secured distribution across 17 states this summer, according to a press release issued by Real American Beer. After Florida, Hulk and his beverage “team” will travel in June to Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado to promote the beer.

The beer, described as an “American-style light lager,” will also be distributed in an additional 13 states by the end of the summer, per Real American Beer. The other 13 states will be announced in July and August.

Retail partners include ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Albertsons, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Total Wine & More, Walmart, and many more, according to the press release. Restaurants and bars within launch markets will also be offering the beer, including Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, select Hooters of America locations and on U.S. Military bases.

Hogan’s latest venture in the alcohol business follows in the footsteps of WWE superstars Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Austin partnered with El Segundo Brewing for his Broken Skull Beer, and Johnson has found success with his Teremana tequila brand.

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Will mountain lion hunting be banned in Colorado? Anti-hunting group takes aim practice

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Will mountain lion hunting be banned in Colorado? Anti-hunting group takes aim practice


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An animal rights organization attempting to ban mountain lion hunting in Colorado has brought out the big guns for a final push to acquire enough signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

Cats Aren’t Trophies held an online rally June 4, saying it has about 130,000 to 135,000 signatures collected but still needs 40,000 to 50,000 signatures in the final month to secure enough valid signatures to deliver to the Colorado Secretary of State.

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It assumes around a 75% signature validation rate.

The deadline to submit just more than 124,000 verified signatures for proposed citizens initiative 91 is July 5. If enough valid signatures are secured, the measure will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

During the June 4 rally, those answering questions included Colorado First Gentleman Marlon Reis; Pat Craig, founder of the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg; Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy; and Howard Baskin, husband of Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin of “Tiger King” fame.

Reis joined the online rally and said his role for the last six years as first gentleman was to advocate for animals. He said it was a no-brainer to back the mountain lion hunting ban effort, as he did the successful citizen initiative to reintroduce wolves.

“It’s a treat for me to be in the role I’m in,” he said during the online rally. “Whenever I find an effort to help animals not be taken advantage of or dispatched or treated in a really cruel way, I’m happy to help.”

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Jennifer Burbey, president of the Colorado Outfitters Association, said the so-called “rewilding” of the West by organizations like Cats Aren’t Trophies, which want to revert to a landscape before human settlement, is pie-in-the-sky ideology.

“They truly believe that we can put the genie back in the bottle,” she said. “We have 5.8 million people in Colorado. Do we have to tell more than 5 million people they can’t live here anymore? Coexisting with wildlife is a beautiful idea until a mountain lion grabs your child from your backyard and you want to fight them to the death.

“The whole thing is grabbing at heartstrings,” Burbey said.

If the initiative receives enough valid signatures, voters will basically be deciding whether they believe hunting mountain lions and hunting and trapping bobcats is inhumane or if those actions should still be allowed since the populations of both species are stable to increasing with current hunting seasons.

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Should citizen-initiated ballot measures regarding wildlife issues be allowed in Colorado?

Colorado is one of 26 states that allows at least one form of statewide citizen-initiated ballot measure. It allows for citizen-initiated constitutional amendments, statutes and veto referendums.

There are states that do not allow wildlife-related citizen initiatives.

Wildlife citizen-initiated ballot measures that have passed in Colorado include:

Sam Miller, Cats Aren’t Trophies campaign manager, told the Coloradoan: “We have gone to the legislature with this before and got a lot of pushback from hunting organizations. So as a last resort we have taken the initiative of using democracy and science to bring it to the voters. I am very confident we can win.”

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Perry Will is a Republican member of the Colorado Senate, representing parts of seven western counties. He was against the citizens initiative to introduce wolves but was a sponsor of a recently passed bill to reintroduce wolverines. He was also a 40-year employee of the state wildlife agency now known as Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“Ballot box biology is the absolute worst way you can manage wildlife,” Will told the Coloradoan. “Our capable wildlife professionals are put in charge to manage our wildlife. But they feel the power to do this because that’s how reintroducing wolves was passed. They would have done it with wolverines if I wouldn’t have put a bill in place, which is a better way to do these things.”

What initiative 91 is asking the voters to decide if it gets on the ballot

The initiative calls for banning hunting of mountain lions, bobcats and lynx.

A hunting season currently exists for mountain lions and hunting and trapping seasons exist for bobcats.

You can neither hunt nor trap lynx, which are federally protected as endangered in Colorado. Cats Aren’t Trophies included lynx on the measure because it believes the rare animals are accidentally injured or killed by hunters and trappers who mistake them for similarly-looking bobcats.

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The proposed measure allows for the killing of mountain lions and bobcats if deemed a threat to human life, livestock and property.

Dylan Roberts is a Democrat member of the Colorado Senate, representing parts of 10 western counties. He was against the citizens initiative to introduce wolves but also was a sponsor of the bill to reintroduce wolverines.

“When voters from the entire state make decisions on matters that will only negatively impact a certain part of the state, we widen the rural-urban divide,” he told the Coloradoan. “I hope this question does not make it to the ballot. If it does, Colorado voters should reject it.”

Main reasons Cats Aren’t Trophies proposed banning the killing of mountain lions and bobcats

What Colorado Parks and Wildlife says about hunting mountain lions and hunting/trapping bobcats

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it takes no position for or against proposed initiatives such as initiative 91 but does provide information regarding the recreational hunting and trapping regulations of mountain lions, bobcats and lynx; population trends and study research.

  • Trophy hunting is already illegal in Colorado. Colorado law requires hunters to prepare big game, including mountain lions, for human consumption and hunters and trappers are required to present the head and hide of mountain lions and bobcats for mandatory checks. The agency told the Coloradoan it has not had a “wanton waste” citation for mountain lions in the past five years.
  • The agency said the mountain lion population has grown in Colorado since 1965 when they were classified as a big game species and hunting was allowed. It said bobcat populations are stable and may be increasing in some areas.
  • It said its highly regulated hunting does not negatively affect the population stability of the state’s mountain lions or bobcats and added, “Allowing lions to coexist with humans without thoughtful management has not proven successful in real-world scenarios.”

Why does Colorado allow the use of dogs to hunt mountain lions? Do other states allow the practice?

Colorado is one of 13 western states that allow mountain lion hunting, with California the lone exception.

Some states, including Wyoming, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and Idaho, allow the use of dogs or hounds. Others, including Oregon and Washington do not.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife said mountain lion hunting with hounds allows for hunters to be more selective of gender. It said the statewide annual hunting proportion of females in Colorado is generally at or under 40%, whereas states that have banned hound hunting see females making up around 60% of the animal taken during a hunting season.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife told the Coloradoan more than 90% of mountain lions killed during the hunting season is with the use of dogs. It also said prospective mountain lion hunters must complete an additional lion certification course to ensure they can properly determine sex and age of a lion.

This is what Miller said about the practice: “I have hunted myself and using packs of dogs equipped with electronic devices to tree and kill mountain lions at close range is target hunting.”

Colorado recently closed the April mountain lion hunting season and banned the use of electronic calls statewide after pressure from animal rights groups.

Mountain lion near Estes Park: Photographer captures footage of mountain lion fending off coyotes

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What is the population of mountain lions, bobcats and lynx in Colorado?

Here are Colorado Parks and Wildlife population estimates:

  • Mountain lions: 3,800 to 4,400, not including kittens. A recent agency study found Boulder County has one of the highest reported densities in the country. 
  • Bobcats: The agency doesn’t make statewide population estimates for abundant wildlife such as bobcats, which are found throughout Colorado and are the most common North American wildcat species. The agency is in the process of an ongoing bobcat research study to further estimate bobcat density.
  • Lynx: 150 to 250 believed to be in Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife started reintroducing lynx in 1999.

Craig, of the Wildlife Animal Sanctuary, said during the June 4 online rally that he is fearful for the future of mountain lions in Colorado.

“We are murdering these animals, and they are disappearing at an alarming rate,” he said. “Pretty soon they will be on the endangered list and eventually become extinct.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s data on mountain lion population trends disagrees with Craig’s assessment: “Mountain lion populations are not biologically threatened” in Colorado and data suggests Colorado’s lion population “is strong and lions are abundant in appropriate habitat.”

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Watch as mountain lion makes deer kill in Colorado backyard

This incident took place in the backyard of a foothills subdivision near Livermore, Colo., on April 28, 2024.

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How many mountain lions and bobcats are killed by hunting and trapping each year in Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said its mountain lion hunting season is the shortest among states that allow hunting lions and that regulations protect kittens and females with kittens.

  • Mountain lions: 505 killed on average annually in the three most recent years. Colorado Parks and Wildlife sets a quota for certain areas and if that quota is reached for hunter kills, the area is closed for the season. Colorado has sold, on average, 2,500 mountain lion licenses per year during the past three years, generating nearly $287,000 annually in revenue. Hunter success rate is around 20%. The success rate for hunters in Oregon, where use of hounds is not allowed, is around 2%. The Colorado season runs November through March.
  • Bobcats: 880 killed on average annually in the three most recent years. Bobcat hunting/trapping is allowed December through February. There is no limit on how many bobcats can be killed during the three-month season.

Senior reporter Miles Blumhardt is a general assignment reporter with emphasis on trending and breaking news, wildlife, outdoors, weather and transportation. Contact him at milesblumhardt@coloradoan.com or follow him on X or Facebook.

Here are other recent stories he has written.



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