In Colorado: Herds and Hostility

Minutes after dawn on a chilly morning, high in the Rocky Mountains, Jeff Madison tethers his horse in a stand of aspen trees and moves slowly in a crouch past a beaver lodge, through grass still wet with dew. Below in a meadow at the edge of the forest, some 50 elk are feeding. Quietly, so as not to spook the animals, Madison sets up his 60-power spotting scope on a tripod and begins to count the elk, classifying them by age and sex.

Madison, 32, a Colorado state wildlife officer, or game warden, is worried. Too many bull elk are...

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