Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Hearing the gospel of the Boundary Waters

By Dave Buchanan

ELY, Minnesota — Tim Barton, a guide and outfitter for Piragis Northwoods Company in Ely, Minnesota, likely knows as well as anyone the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a 1.09-million-acre gem of public land that stretches for 150 miles along the U.S./Canada border. It’s a land that’s mostly water, where most of the more than 1,100 lakes, spruce-dotted islands and rivers with white-water falls are accessible only by paddle or portage. It’s also a land of ...


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TROUT SEASON NEVER ENDS

By Joel L. Evans

Gone are the torrents of spring. Sweet smells of a summer afternoon rains linger in a recent but fading memory. Soon, golden leaves of fall will glide downward on the fading breeze to the waiting water, visually confusing the cast of hope I have made to the consistently rising brown. Seemingly there is no insect hatch detectable by my strained but focused vision. Yet clearly I can see the spots on the side of the trout and the white inside of his opening mouth as he comes up with each ...


Colorado Parks and Wildlife schedules meeting about finances

By Staff

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will hold a series of public meetings around the state to discuss the financial challenges facing the agency. The Grand Junction meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the new R5 High School, 455 N. 22nd St. The meetings will take public feedback as CPW continues to search for possible solutions to effectively manage the state’s wildlife and 41 state parks in light of the agency’s budget shortfall. “Operating with a strained ...


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The great adventure

By Dave Buchanan

What does a person think about after 47 years as a game warden for what is now Colorado Parks and Wildlife? And how are those years summarized? What memories stand out after nearly 50 years with an agency recognized as one of the leaders in wildlife management? On June 30, Ron Velarde quietly closed the door on his 47 years with CPW, the final 17 years as regional wildlife manager for the Northwest Region. A few days later he sat down to talk about his nearly half-century with an agency ...


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Crystal clear

By Joel L. Evans

The Crystal River is not my favorite river. How’s that for an opening line? Not exactly a compelling story, huh? But, does not being great mean one should ignore it? Absolutely not! In order to have favorite rivers that are great, you also need to have some other rivers that are good, even if they are not great. Otherwise, what would you have to compare with to define a great river? So it is with the Crystal River as it flows down a beautiful Colorado valley. Beginning in the ...


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LUNKER LAKE?

By Dale Shrull

CRAWFORD STATE PARK — Dennis Wentzel packed up his gear after a leisurely Sunday afternoon of fishing at Crawford State Park. “I caught a few, not a bad day,” he said. Was largemouth bass part of his take on the day? Wentzel, a recent transplant to the Delta area, had a befuddled expression take over his face. “There’s bass in there?” he said, his voice taking on an excited tone. Many anglers who come to the state park have no clue that largemouth ...


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North Platte thrills

By Dave Buchanan

WALDEN — This bear failed to go over the mountain. Instead, the hard-charging animal turned with a loud huff and came running downhill at an angle to intercept our boats. As the bear rapidly closed the gap, just as rapidly, the 6-weight graphite fly rod in my hands seemed to shrink. Only after fishing guide Royce Olney let out a piercing whistle did the animal take a hard left, covering another 50 yards along the bank before disappearing into thick willows. “Wow, I think he ...


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Outside Briefs, July 1, 2017

By Staff

Fishing Annual bass-fishing event runs July 7-30 in Ridgway The third annual smallmouth bass tournament at Ridgway State Park is scheduled for July 7-30. There is no entry fee and anglers will vie for more than $8,000 in prizes. The more smallmouth bass anglers catch the better their chances of winning prizes. Anglers get a raffle ticket for every smallmouth they catch. The top prize is a 14-foot Tracker fishing boat with trailer, a 25-horsepower outboard engine, life jackets and a ...


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Shedding light on Black Canyon

By Joel L. Evans

The Rocky Mountains give birth to many creeks, streams, and rivers, but few of them are legendary. Legendary rivers earn their reputation, and the Gunnison River has a reputation that is unquestionably deserved. For decades, the Gunnison River in western Colorado has consistently produced wild trout that will curl a rod and churn a reel. Born out of the high country snowpack of the Colorado peaks, the Gunnison grows from a trickle to a roar by the time it pounds its way through a canyon ...


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Exhausted, but exhilarated

By Dale Shrull

Dan Meade and Ryan Wharton were breathing hard as they reached the final target. A quick look through his range-finder and Meade barked “24 yards!” He pulled the string on his bow, his right-side shoulder muscles and biceps rippling. Then a fluid release and the arrow zipped into the bighorn sheep model target with a “thump.” “Good shot!” Wharton said, then took his shot, and the same “thump” could be heard. “Nice shot, let’s ...


Outside briefs, June 24, 2017

By Staff

Highline Lake offers programs for all ages Highline Lake State Park’s “Oasis in the High Desert” outdoor program is underway and will continue until July 26. The program will be held every Wednesday and is for kids ages 5- 12 years old. The Kid’s Outdoor Adventures is a program for youngsters to experience nature. “You’ll need water, snacks, some good hiking shoes and be ready for adventure,” Highline Lake State Park Interpreter Danielle ...


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NO SOLSTICE SURPRISES

By Joel L. Evans

Once a year a great day dawns. Once a year there is a fishing day for which there is no excused absence. Then it’s gone for 364 more days. Consider your lifetime. When something is in great supply and available readily, we tend to value it less — we can seemingly always get more. Narrow that to a once-a-year event. Assume some number of years you might live, then discount for the childhood years and the senior years when you might not be able to take advantage of the outdoors. ...


GJ youngsters honored to participate in Justin Burns Memorial Hunts

By Staff

A pair of young hunters recently were selected to participate in the first two Justin Burns Memorial Hunts. The recognition was part of a brief ceremony at a recent Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Grand Junction. The hunt is named in honor of a 14-year-old from Palisade killed in a tragic accident while hunting with his father on Grand Mesa in 2015. By living up to the ideals and character of the hunt’s namesake, both boys earned the opportunity to hunt cow elk on ...


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Invasive mussel infestations a big concern for Colorado

By Staff

The aggressive aquatic nuisance species inspection program operated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been successful in keeping quagga and zebra mussels out of the state. Waters in several surrounding states, however, are infested with mussels and that is a serious problem for Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife continues to be successful in keeping quagga and zebra mussels out of the state. Boats entering the state from Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Utah have been ...


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OLD HABITS DIE HARD

By Dave Buchanan

The initial plan was to find something new to open the 2017 fishing season with. Which, in a roundabout way, shows how little I’ve been fishing lately, since we all know the year-round Colorado fishing season never actually ends but only tasks us to purchase a new annual license each April 1. The idea of something new to greet the summer was curious but not entirely sufficient, at least when it came to parsing ideas for what’s new in the world of fishing. That goes ...


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RELATIVE REMOTENESS

By Joel L. Evans

PAGOSA SPRINGS — The word “remote,” according to some dictionaries, is a place situated far from the main centers of population or distant from others. Well, sort of. I suppose that is relative. What is considered a densely populated area to some might be insignificant to others. What is distant to some might be just around the corner to others. For many Americans, western Colorado as a whole could be considered remote. But as a resident of western Colorado, I tend ...


Bill to hike hunting, fishing fees advances in House

By Charles Ashby

DENVER — Nearly every license, fee and penalty charged by Colorado Parks and Wildlife could go up by as much as 50 percent under a bill that won approval in a House committee on Monday. While the bill itself doesn’t increase fees, it does give the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission the authority to do so as it pleases, at least to a point. The measure, HB1321, establishes caps on the increases, and includes a new fee on all boats over 10 feet in length whether they are ...


Predator reduction plan hits resistance

By Dennis Webb

Conservation groups have sued a federal agency in connection with a Colorado Parks and Wildlife plan to reduce bear and lion numbers to study the effect on mule deer, after one of the groups previously sued CPW over the matter. WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity have brought the new action against Wildlife Services, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They’re challenging the agency’s overall carnivore-killing program in Colorado, ...


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LEARNING AS WE GO

By Dave Buchanan

On a gentle, spring morning a decade or so ago, Denny Breer pushed his fishing dory into the dam-controlled flows of Utah’s Green River and settled into the rower’s seat. We were headed down the “A” section of the Green, that eight-mile reach of bright water below Flaming Gorge Dam that ends at Little Hole and understandably each year attracts the majority of the Green’s thousands of fly anglers. This is because of the section’s proximity to a paved ...


Outdoor Briefs, March 25, 2017

By Staff

CPW baiting done in Gunnison Basin Colorado Parks and Wildlife has finished its big-game baiting operation in the Gunnison Basin. Warm weather during the past month has opened up the range for deer and elk, and the animals are moving across the landscape and finding adequate sources of natural food. The agency started a baiting operation in early January after heavy snows made it difficult for deer and elk to find natural sources of food. The project used hay and specialized pellets ...


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