Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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061913_OUT_Rifle_hatchery_fire

Rifle Gap, Falls 
reopen as fire starts to recede

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado Highway 325, Rifle Gap State Park and nearby Rifle Falls State Park have reopened to the public as firefighters continue to contain the Ward Gulch Fire. The 385-acre Rifle Gap Reservoir and the 89 camping and picnicking sites are open to boating and camping, although Colorado Parks and Wildlife reports the swim beach at the west end of the park remains off-limits to the public due to firefighting efforts. Also open is the Rifle Falls State Fish Hatchery, which had been closed to ...


Talk of hunter boycott fades in light of jump in license applications

By Dave Buchanan

Among the topics on the farthest back burner during last week’s Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Gunnison was any discussion of big-game hunters boycotting Colorado this fall. The boycott, you remember, was called in response to the state’s adoption of laws mandating background checks for private and online gun sales and restricting gun magazines to 15 rounds, which is more than twice (six is the limit) what’s allowed for big-game rifles during hunting ...


061613_OUT_Sun_Fred_lynn

Lake Powell ready to play ball 
with hopeful summer anglers

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. — Now that he’s retired, former Major League Baseball player Fred Lynn has his summers free, with plenty of time to fish. Which is good because fishing at Lake Powell is ready for summer. The water level stabilized at 3,600 feet, which means the Castle Rock Cut is wet but not passable. With water temperatures now in the 74- to 78-degree range, anglers will find summer fishing patterns now in play. The key, regardless of species targeted, is to fish early and ...


061213_OUT_CPW_hunt_brochure

Complexity of license draw 
hinges on preference points

By Dave Buchanan

Any questions about how the big-game hunting licenses are allocated can be answered quite simply. “It all depends on preference points,” said Henrietta Turner, manager of the license administration section for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “It’s a misconception” to think there is any preset order by which licenses are drawn. Turner’s explanation of what’s typically thought of as a complex system of administrative hieroglyphics came Friday during ...


060513_OUT_licenses_art

Loss of non-resident license 
sales hurts Parks and Wildlife

By Dave Buchanan

Among the more-complex topics the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has on its agenda for Gunnison this week is the topic of resident vs. non-resident big-game license allocations. The topic is of importance to every hunter who fails to draw that coveted elk or deer tag and can’t figure out why. It’s also of note to every Parks and Wildlife supporter wondering why that once-flush agency is running short of funds. The economic foundation of the wildlife part of Colorado ...


052913_OUT_fish_photo

Take your best shot: fishing photos made to last

By Dave Buchanan

With the Memorial Day weekend behind and a full summer of fishing ahead, it’s probably time to pay a bit more attention to your photography. That perfect moment only comes once and with the advances in digital point-and-shoot cameras, there are no reasons why every angler can’t be ready and able to take a memorable photo that ends up being displayed instead of being tossed. The Internet offers an abundance of angling-centric photography lessons, whether you’re chasing ...


052613_OUT_Free_fish_day

Live bait-fish not allowed west of Divide

By Dave Buchanan

The long weekend finally is here, the mid-elevation lakes and reservoirs are ready for boating, and there’s no reason not to spend a day or more at your favorite fishing hole. Anglers new to Colorado — and those who might have forgotten — may find useful a refresher in what’s legal and what’s not when it comes to using live bait. Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently sent out a newsletter outlining the state’s bait-fishing policies, and among the points ...


052213_OUTsidesmokey

Heritage Day and fishing derby in Delta on June 1

By Dave Buchanan

The City of Delta’s Outdoor Heritage Day and Youth Fishing Derby takes place June 1 at Confluence Lake. The fishing events begin at 8 a.m. with a “Pathway to Fishing” program from the Colorado Sportsmen Wildlife Fund and a fishing pole giveaway. The fishing derby (for youths 16 and under) begins at 9:15 a.m. Outdoor Heritage Day exhibitors will have booths, activities and demonstrations from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. All events are free, family oriented and the day includes ...


052213_OUTmule_deer_fawn

Deer insights

By Dave Buchanan

Sometime within the next two weeks, a new generation of mule deer will start to appear. Pregnant does typically begin dropping fawns in the final week of May and the births continue until the end of June or early July. If all goes as planned, within a day or two of birth, many of those new fawns will be wearing radiocollars as part of several ongoing, multi-faceted research projects by Colorado Parks and Wildlife into what’s causing the general decline in mule deer numbers. That ...


051913_OUT_Sun_fish_Blake

Putting 
the bite 
back in 
Harvey 
Gap

By Dennis Webb

With a setting sun lighting the waters of Harvey Gap Reservoir, a group of Limon High School students Thursday evening took the hard-earned product of months of school work and unceremoniously tossed it overboard. The students showed little sadness at the release of 250 tiger muskies in the reservoir a few miles north of Silt. Maybe that was because of all the time they spent enduring the sting of sharp teeth, and even occasionally watching the fish they were trying to raise eat each ...


051513_Out_muledeer_fawn_art_RStewart

Colorado Mule Deer Strategy aims to restore state’s herd

By Dave Buchanan

Sometime this summer, what’s being plotted as a path to reverse the decline in the state’s mule deer herds will be unveiled. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, with a lot of help from state and federal land-management agencies, hunters, conservation groups and, most important of all, the general public, will open discussion on a new mule deer initiative titled “The Colorado Mule Deer Strategy.” It won’t be a set-in-stone policy but rather an adaptive management ...


051513_OUTside_connect

All-women seminar set for Saturday

By Dave Buchanan

Forget the pressure. Women learn better when they are among their peers. “Many ladies want to hunt or fish, but they don’t have a mentor,” said Kathleen Tadvick, education coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “This class is perfect for them because it teaches the fundamentals of fly fishing, archery and the safe use of shotguns in a comfortable, women-only environment.” The class is Parks and Wildlife’s “Cast, Blast and Twang” ...


051513_OUT_bear_tags

More bears, more licenses

By Dave Buchanan

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission’s approval May 9 of more black bear licenses for Grand Mesa is part of a statewide plan to rein in a bear population that may have gotten out of hand. Bear licenses across the state this year were increased, but nowhere saw as great an increase as the eight game-management units in the Grand Mesa bear management area. From 480 licenses in 2012 to 1,000 licenses in 2013, the inflation continues a trend in which the number of Grand Mesa bear ...


051213_OUT_bear_hunt

Increase in licenses reflects concern over black bear numbers

By Dave Buchanan

It’s not a good time to be a black bear in western Colorado. After years of seeing the state’s black bear population grow amidst a chorus of complaints from hunters, livestock growers and farmers, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is set to reverse that growth. Several years of black bear research are saying the state’s bear population is substantially higher than previous estimates, something ranchers have been saying for years. “In my country, there’s a bear ...


051213_OUT_deer_hunter

As herds improve, deer hunting tags receive lift

By Dave Buchanan

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission on Thursday approved slight changes in deer licenses (up) and elk licenses (down) for the 2013 big-game hunting season. Total deer-license numbers went up by 4 percent to 82,600 for the 2013 hunting season in response to the constant appetite for deer hunting. West of Interstate 25, 67,700 licenses will be available in the draw. State big-game manager Andy Holland told the commission that demand for deer licenses remained steady over the past ...


The stars come out Saturday at Highline Lake

By Special to the Sentinel

Enjoy the wonders of the universe, at least as we know it, Saturday night when the 2013 Summer Star Party, presented by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Western Colorado Astronomy Club, opens the skies over Highline Lake State Park. Club members will have high-powered telescopes, videos, and a world or two of astronomical information to share with park visitors. The focus this year is on Jupiter and The Beehive Cluster - a cluster of stars in the constellation Cancer that contains a ...


Vega State Park opens to boating

By Staff

The ice is gone and Colorado Parks and Wildlife has opened Vega State Park to boaters. The Island boat ramp is now open and the Oak Point and Early Settlers boat ramps are expected to open by Memorial Day weekend, depending on water levels. Beginning May 15, park personnel will turn on the water in the campgrounds as well as the dump station and camper services building. “Vega State Park is popular place for visitors from across the state,” said Park Manager Kedrick Robinson. ...


050813_OUT_commission_harvey_gap

Wildlife commission eyes emergency fishing regs at Harvey Gap

By Dave Buchanan

Final license numbers for the 2013 big-game season and an emergency fishing regulation to protect tiger muskies in Harvey Gap Reservoir are among the items to be considered when the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission meets Thursday in Grand Junction. The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Horizon Dr. A full agenda and meeting details are available online at http://wildlife.state.co.us/ParksWildlifeCommission/. Thursday’s agenda includes the consideration of an ...


050813_OUT_hunter_ed

Hunting 101

By Dave Buchanan

Anyone who knows the history of hunting safety in Colorado also knows how worthwhile the many volunteer Hunter Education instructors have been to generations of Colorado hunters. In 1970, in response to a rash of hunting-related injuries and deaths, including two young boys killed while riding a motorbike near Gunnison during hunting season in 1967, the state adopted mandatory hunter safety training and the wearing of blaze orange. Colorado’s legislature made it a requirement that ...


050513_OUT_Sun_tiger_muskie_2

Parks and Wildlife adds tiger muskies to fish mix at Harvey Gap

By Dave Buchanan

Tiger muskies, the hybrid sterile offspring of muskellunge and northern pike, again have been stocked in Harvey Gap Reservoir, and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission is set to enact an emergency regulation at Harvey Gap to protect those young predators. The emergency regulation, which would prohibit anglers taking northern pike by spearfishing, archery or gigging (using a hand-held pronged spear), is among the items the commission will consider Thursday during its meeting in Grand ...


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