Outside Briefs, March 4, 2017
Turkey hunting clinic set for March 28
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will host a one-night only ‘Turkey Hunting 101’ clinic at 6 p.m. March 28 at CPW’s Hunter Education Building, 711 Independent Avenue in Grand Junction.
Novices can learn tips and techniques from three experienced CPW Hunter Outreach Volunteers — Russ Means, Dan Uhrich, and Jason Eckman.
There is no fee for the class and pre-registration is required. Click on register-ed.com/events/view/99491, or go to register-ed.com and select ‘Colorado’, then select ‘View Upcoming Events” under the ‘Colorado Outreach’ link, then scroll down to ‘Turkey Hunting 101’ in Grand Junction.
Colorado wildlife managers say turkey populations are increasing across the state and license sales continue to rise from year to year, providing everyone with the opportunity to experience hunting gobblers.
The evening’s topics will include turkey calling basics, field tactics, information about local turkey populations, tips for hunting on public land and firearm safety. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussions with veteran turkey hunters.
Highline Lake now open for boating
Highline Lake State Park is now open to boating.
The state park offers camping, biking, hiking, hunting and fishing in addition to boating and other water sports.
Before launching a craft, CPW advises all boaters to be sure that their vessel is registered and that all of the required safety gear is on board.
In addition to safety, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds boaters of the required aquatic nuisance species inspections at the park.
Through the month of March, Aquatic Nuisance Species inspectors will be available daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Until further notice, only the west ramp will open for launching watercraft and aquatic nuisance species inspections all of this month. If an inspector is not available at the west ramp, boaters are advised to go to the Visitor Center at the east side, or call 970-858-7208 to ensure they get an inspection and decontamination if needed.
Fishing licenses go on sale March 15 and are valid until March 31, 2018.
Crane migration coming through state
Eckert Crane Days will be March 17 through 19. This features the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado’s Western Slope.
Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9-11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.
More than 10,000 cranes will be heading to Idaho over the next month.
More than 5,000 cranes have already have been reported in the San Luis Valley, the stopover site before they head north to Fruitgrowers. The cranes stop overnight to feed and rest at the reservoir and generally starting lifting off to head on the next leg of their spring journey between 10-11 a.m. the following morning. Viewers are asked to remain at the viewing site or along the road and not approach the birds.
The viewing site can be reached by taking Highway 65, then north six miles to the Big E Market, then turn east on North Road to Crane Point. Viewers are asked to park at the parking lot or off the highway along North Road and be careful of traffic.
CPW officials restrict antler harvesting
To protect wildlife currently enduring severe winter conditions in the northwest corner of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have approved temporary restrictions on shed antler hunting in western Moffat County.
Restrictions began on Friday and remain in effect until April 15.
During the closure, the collection or possession of shed deer and elk antlers and pronghorn sheaths is prohibited on all public lands in portions of Game Management Units 1, 2, 201, 10, 21, 11 and 3 around the towns of Rangely, Dinosaur and Maybell.
“This area is very popular with shed hunters, both locally and from Utah,” said Bill de Vergie, area wildlife manager in Meeker. “However, we have received a lot of snow — including an additional 12-18 inches in late February — and conditions are very tough for big game right now. Because of the limited fat reserves these animals have in late winter, people moving and pressuring them would certainly lead to increased mortality if shed hunting was to continue unrestricted at this time.”
Also, de Vergie says human-caused disturbance can drive deer and elk onto private property where they can cause significant financial losses if they damage haystacks and other produced crops.
The latest shed hunting order is in addition to other similar restrictions already in place in other areas of the state.