‘Hunter Testimonials’ will allow wildlife enthusiasts to share outdoor success

If you’ve ever dreamed of being the next Ernest Hemingway or Robert Ruark, or simply think your hunting stories are worth sharing with other hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, the Colorado Division of Wildlife wants to hear from you.

Beginning this year, hunters can submit stories and photos to be posted on a new “Hunter Testimonials” page featured on the division’s website at wildlife.state.co.us.

There are no requirements, qualifications or restrictions as to experience, age, background, or species of big game you’re after.

“We are really looking for diversity,” said Tyler Baskfield, communications manager for the Division of Wildlife. “We want to give everyone the chance to share their story, from the hunter who shoots their first cow elk to the seasoned enthusiast who harvests a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.”

The stories can’t be long-winded. Limit them to 250 words, and should be accompanied with high-resolution digital photos. No Polaroids or film photos, please.

Expect your submissions to be edited and reviewed to ensure division rules and regulations are followed.

For instance, if you’re taking an action hunting shot, make sure your subject is wearing the required amount of blaze orange, it’s the right season for the species you’re hunting and you have permission if on private land.

Publication is not guaranteed and photos and stories become the division’s property.

For submission instructions and to view the division’s “Big-Game Hunter Testimonial” page, go to the division website, click on hunting, then big game and then hunter testimonials.

GJ canoeist competing in Slovenia: Whitewater canoeist Micki Reeves of Grand Junction is competing in the 2010 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Tacen, Slovenia.

The races began Wednesday, with Reeves reaching the semifinals by placing 15th in the first round.

The schedule was altered to have four events on Wednesday because of rain, with one event Thursday to allow time for water levels to recede before the weekend.

“The team is focused and well-prepared for the different conditions that we are expecting over the course of the next few days,” USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director William Irving said.

Reeves is a 2007 graduate of Fruita Monument High School.

Ex-DOW law officer tapped for TU position: Former Division of Wildlife law enforcement chief Rob Firth is the new Upper Colorado River project coordinator for Trout Unlimited’s Colorado Water Project.

Firth, a longtime resident of Hot Sulphur Springs, retired from the division in 2008 after a 25-year career. During his time with the division, Firth also served as a district and area wildlife manager in Grand, Summit and parts of Routt and Eagle counties.

His responsibilities with TU will include working to protect fish and wildlife habitat in the Upper Colorado River Basin, including the Fraser and Williams Fork rivers and other tributaries.

Among his challenges will be protecting a river system already threatened with extensive withdrawals and transbasin diversions and facing even more threats.

Firth is well-known among the state’s hunters and anglers. In 2005, Grand County presented him an Outstanding Citizen award and in 2007 Firth was selected the Colorado Trapper’s Association Wildlife Professional of the Year.

National Hunting and Fishing Day: Celebrating its 38th year, the 2010 National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sept. 25. This year’s honorary chair is the entire USA Shooting Team.

Initially authorized in 1972 by President Richard Nixon, the annual celebration of the nation’s hunters and anglers is held on the fourth Saturday of September.

Denise Wagner of Wonders of Wildlife, the Springfield, Mo., official home of NHF Day, said every hunter, angler and sport shooter should speak up about the conservation benefits of these activities.

“All of us must work together to build public understanding and appreciation for what we do,” Wagner said.

According to the National Hunting and Fishing Day website (http://www.nhfday.org), the 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S. generate around $100,000 every 30 minutes on licenses and through special taxes on firearms, ammunition, and other hunting and fishing related items.

This amounts to more than $1.75 billion each year, the NHF said.


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