Parks and Wildlife to teach skills to women

A golden eagle nears its nest on a limestone-cliff ledge near Rifle Falls State Fish Hatchery. Golden eagles and other raptors are among the many bird species seen and recorded during the annual Spring Bird Count scheduled for Saturday by the Grand Valley Audubon Society.

Catch a fish, shoot a shotgun, twang a bow.

It’s not the latest reality TV show (though it’s not a bad idea, especially with the theme from “Deliverance”) but instead an offer from Colorado Parks and Wildlife of a free, women-only seminar May 19 in Collbran.

This beginner’s class in using a fly rod, squeezing (not jerking) the trigger of a shotgun and shooting a bow with panache will be taught by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers and volunteers.

The three-part Cast, Blast and Twang class is designed specifically for women interested in learning about these popular outdoor activities in a comfortable, women-only class.

“Some women may not have a mentor or an experienced person to teach them these skills, and this class is perfect for them,” said Education Coordinator Kathleen Tadvick.

Going unsaid is the fact the class also is for those women who have only their husbands or boyfriends to teach them.

The day-long seminar and hands-on class is part of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Women Afield Program.

Through workshops, clinics, seminars and educational hunts, the program focuses on teaching the skills, ethics and traditions of hunting to novice women.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and is scheduled to conclude mid-afternoon.

For details, or to register, contact Tadvick at 255-6181.

Parks and Wildlife commission tackles sandhill cranes, big game license numbers: In addition to the rock climbing proposal mentioned on this page, the Parks and Wildlife is expected to hear about a staff proposal to offer limited hunting of Rocky Mountain sandhill cranes in portions of Routt and Moffatt counties.

Cranes are hunted on a limited basis elsewhere in the West, including the eastern plains of Colorado, and any licenses possibly accruing to Colorado’s newest hunt would come from other states’ share.

There have been few comments about the crane hunt issue, said a Parks and Wildlife spokesman.

Few comments also have been expressed about the proposed big game license numbers, which again include fewer elk tags for this fall to account for herds reaching desired population levels.

Parks and Wildlife biologists estimate a statewide elk population of 259,760 animals, down from 264,170 a year ago and nearly 24,00 fewer than the 283,430 reported post-hunt 2010.

This year, 104,365 either-sex and antlerless licenses will be offered along with 14,590 limited bull tags.

Hunters last fall killed 43,480 elk, down significantly from the 48,018 harvested in 2010.

This year, bull licenses will increase by 8 percent but that figure is offset by a 4 percent drop in both cow and either-sex licenses.

Quotas for limited licenses, among them black bears and mountain lions, also will be adopted.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 765 Horizon Blvd.

Spring bird count Saturday: The Grand Valley Audubon Society will host its popular Spring Bird Count on Saturday in conjunction with International Migratory Bird Day.

Conducted the second Saturday in May, the event offers a one-day snapshot of birds at during their spring migration.

Twelve teams of experienced and less-experienced birders will be scouring all of Mesa County, counting every species and individual bird seen. The event also is part of the Grand Valley Audubon Society’s Birdathon, its annual fundraiser.

It’s hard to find a better way to develop and improve birding skills, and inexperienced birders are particularly welcome.

Participants are asked to bring binoculars, lunch, water, snacks and sunscreen. A $5 fee is charged to help defray the work and goals of the GVAS.

For information, contact Paul Didier at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 242-8643.


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