By Hal Herring
The wild red and yellow-rock canyon of the Yampa River appears beneath the little plane, the river shadowed and darkest green, the sandbars at the bends a deep maroon. North of the river is Dinosaur National Monument, and west the smoke and steam plumes of the Bonanza coal-fired power plant at Vernal, Utah. As we bank south towards the White River, we fly over a wild corrugated country of pinon and juniper, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, and high plateaus of sagebrush and grass. The steep coulees are blanketed by aspen groves, leafless and stark in December against the bare earth. The Red Cliffs loom, Moosehead Mountain towers. This is Colorado’s Unit 10. It looks like spectacular elk country, and it is. The region is home to some of the biggest trophy bull elk in North America.