Waterfowl hunters now must reserve blinds
Waterfowl hunters in the Grand Valley will have more to check this fall in addition to the gun, the dog and the decoys.
A new reservation system for the valley’s 20 public hunting blinds has been initiated based on a similar system used successfully for years on the Front Range.
Reservations are free and hunters can reserve blinds up to two weeks before their hunting date.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said the system will be in place before the Sept. 1-9 early goose season.
“We heard from many hunters that felt the previous system needed improvements,” said JT Romatzke, Area 7 wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “We believe that the reservation system will make the process more fair and will give more waterfowlers a chance to use the public blinds.”
The reservation system covers the following blinds: two blinds at Tilman Bishop State Wildlife Area, a single blind at Colorado River Island State Wildlife Area, a single blind at Orchard Mesa Wildlife Area, nine blinds at Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area and seven blinds at Highline Lake State Park.
Romatzke said the system will reduce the number of hunters who illegally sleep overnight in their vehicles in order to secure a blind before other hunters show up.
The free reservations can be made by calling 1-800-UGO-WILD (846-9453).
Hunters are urged to remember:
Reservations are free and can be made between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday;
Blinds can be reserved no more than 14 days in advance;
Unreserved blinds may be occupied on a first-come, first-served basis after 5 a.m.;
Reserved blinds unoccupied after 7 a.m. can be used on a first-come, first-served basis, but must be yielded to a reservation holder upon request.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said complete details are available in the current waterfowl regulations brochure.
Two additional blinds are being planned, one at Island Acres State Park and another at Franklin Island State Wildlife Area (north side of the Colorado River just west of Corn Lake).
Additional blinds in other areas also are being considered, officials said.