Outside Column, Aug. 02, 2009

Leftover elk, bear, turkey licenses a sign fall is nearing

A sure sign of waning summer is this: Leftover licenses for elk, deer, bear and wild turkeys go on sale at 9 a.m. on Aug. 11.

Licenses will be sold at Division of Wildlife offices, license agents, mail order and by phone (800-244-5613). Online sales through the DOW’s Total Licensing System begin Aug. 12.

The staggered approach,  along with online and telephone sales, has alleviated what at times neared pure chaos accompanying leftover license sales. Nothing like standing in line for four hours, waiting for the DOW office to open, and have someone barge in ahead of you.

Leftover licenses are those remaining after the primary application and leftover drawing process. You’ll have plenty to choose from this year.

“There is a good variety of licenses this year,” Henrietta Turner, DOW license administration manager, told The Daily Sentinel on Friday. “We have over 9,000 deer, 3,000 pronghorn and over 42,000 elk licenses still available.”

In addition to knowing the hunt code for the unit and season you wish to hunt, you also should carry with you a driver’s license or state identification card, hunter education card, customer identification number or conservation certificate number, and Social Security number.

All hunters born after Jan. 1, 1949, are required to have passed a hunter education course.

Also, if you’re interested in a private-land-only license, you must have permission from the landowner prior to hunting.

The DOW doesn’t require you to carry proof of permission when purchasing the license, a curious fact for which the agency probably has some good reason.

However, it’s not unheard of for someone to buy a PLO license and then not find a landowner willing to give permission. Or if the permission is offered, it comes with a hefty trespass fee.

Be sure of where you’re going to hunt before you buy the license.

More information and a list of leftover licenses is available on the DOW Web site at: 
http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/Leftovers.

Late summer also offers some of the best fishing of the year. Water levels are low enough to wade safely and comfortably, allowing access to places not reachable earlier in the year.

With some local rivers having some of their more prolific hatches of the year (the Green Drake hatch is all over the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan rivers), this also is the time where the assiduous use of streamers, imitating young fish finally now big enough to swim, may produce the biggest fish of the year.

Joel Evans of Montrose said he recently made a three-day trip into Red Rocks Canyon on the Gunnison Gorge, where he used a Bob Jacklin stonefly pattern and fished deep for the
Gunnison’s big brown trout.

“Outstanding,” Evans wrote in an e-mail. He sank the stonefly, gave it a twitch or two and the browns would “come up from deep and take it like a streamer.”

The best news is the hordes of mosquitoes on Grand Mesa will be diminishing soon, none too soon for most of us.

They aren’t gone yet, although a few more 40-degree mornings (that was the temperature Friday morning at Barron Lake) will make the fishing immeasurably more pleasurable.

Former Daily Sentinel Publisher Alex Taylor, in Colorado on a short reprieve from southern Florida, recently reported he waded through a “brutal” attack of mosquitoes on a walk-in to the Bull Creek reservoirs.

“I think I went through two or three cans of repellent,” he said. “My skin was tingling from all the bug dope. But the fishing was great.”

Also, a quick trip Friday morning to Alexander Lake revealed that while the cool mornings haven’t quite put down all the biting insects, the clouds of biters were considerably diminished.

We are about a week away from the Perseid meteor shower, which is predicted to peak between Aug. 10-14. This is one of summer’s premier meteor showers and may produce 60 to
100 meteors per hour at its height.

The shower, which appears to originate from the constellation Perseus, has been observed for at least 2,000 years.

We’ll be a week or so past the full moon (Thursday) so you’ll have a chance to enjoy the meteors before the waning gibbous moon takes over the sky.

This is a celestial event you can enjoy with your bare eyes. The Web site, http://www.stardate.org, recommends packing comfortable chairs, bug spray, food and drinks and blankets.

A red-filtered flashlight or headlamp makes it easy to read star maps without losing your night vision.

E-mail Dave Buchanan .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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