Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Numbers game

By Dave Buchanan

Call it, for the lack of a better name, the “Four Fs” of why hunters didn’t hunt in 2013. “Firearms, fires, floods and feds,” is how Randy Hampton, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, put it when asked what kept hunters home this fall. Not that a lot of hunters stayed home, according to some preliminary numbers from Parks and Wildlife. Big-game hunting license sales were up for deer, elk and black bear, with only pronghorn showing a drop. Those ...


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Rain, snow kept hunters working to find animals

By Dave Buchanan

You might forgive early season hunters this fall who forgot Colorado has been in an extended drought. Rain and snow, and significant amounts of both, greeted the archery hunters in August and never really relented through the end of the final rifle season on Nov. 17. “I had archery tags for deer and elk in a unit around Lake City but it rained most of the time,” recalled local bowhunter Denny Behrens, field representative for the Colorado Mule Deer Association. “I think ...


Processors good barometer of hunting season

By Dave Buchanan

If you want a real idea of how the hunting season went, it doesn’t hurt to talk to a meat processor. Packing plants that deal in wild game can offer a business-eye view of hunter success in the fall season, and long-time readers know two of my favorites are Old World Meat & Marketplace in Grand Junction and the Purkey Packing Plant in Meeker. “Just about everybody I see is nonresident,” said Jason Purkey, at 26 the fourth generation of Purkeys to work in the plant ...


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Parks and Wildlife honors Northwest Region education coordinator

By Dave Buchanan

Kathleen Tadvick of Grand Junction, the Northwest Region Education Coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, recently was honored with the agency’s John H. White Memorial Membership Award. Tadvick was praised for her efforts and contributions to Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach program, including leading nearly 2,000 novice hunters on what for many is their first experience in the field. The award’s namesake, John H. White, was one of the first members of the ...


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Hunting for all

By Dave Buchanan

Looking through some of the photos that have appeared during the recent hunting seasons at The Daily Sentinel was a reminder that hunting is no longer a male sport, if it ever was one. It’s not unusual to see hunting photos submitted for the “You Saw It” section, and it’s less unusual to see a woman as the successful hunter. Although men still account for the majority of the 13.7 million U.S. hunters, the number of women actively hunting is on the rise. Recent ...


Proposal to ban drones for hunting a hot topic

By Staff

Among the items discussed at last week’s meeting of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission was a proposal to ban the use of drone aircraft “as an aid in scouting, hunting and taking of wildlife.” After a brief discussion, the largely unimpressed commission voiced support to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft in hunting and will take up the matter again at a future meeting. Although the matter was well down on the commission’s agenda, its presence was enough ...


Price increase could be on way for non-resident big-game hunters

By Dave Buchanan

Non-resident big-game hunters will see a small jump in their 2014 licenses if the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approves the price increase next week. The commission is scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday in Lamar. Other items on the extended agenda include adding tiger trout and cuttbow (a hybrid of rainbow and cutthroat trout) to the state’s list of game fish, setting either-sex moose hunts in two game units west of Hot Sulphur Springs and adopting the final version of ...


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Sighting, hitting a bull elk two different things

By Staff

As Chris White and I slipped from thick brush into an aspen meadow in the predawn darkness, a bull elk bugled from a nearby knoll, stopping us in our tracks. We clicked off our headlamps and listened, hoping it would challenge us again. The day was Sept. 14, White’s final morning of his weeklong elk bowhunt in southeastern Idaho, but he said he’d gladly pay the rescheduling penalty for his flight home to Ohio if a bull made a fatal blunder before noon. When the bull bugled ...


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Getting your lady to fish (with you)

By Staff

“You’re so lucky. I wish my wife would fish with me.” “My girlfriend is just not interested in fishing. I took her once, but she didn’t have a good time and won’t go again.” These are some of the messages imparted by gloomy guys who long for a lovingly shared life on the white caps of a roaring river, fishing from daybreak long into the dusky light.  Of course, there is an occasional man who has been introduced to fly fishing by a woman, ...


Enjoying the sport on their own terms

By Staff

For some real insight into why women take up fly fishing, get a copy of Barbara Klutinis’ DVD, “Stepping into the Stream.” This 43-minute video captures the spirit of women who enjoy the sport on their own terms. Klutinis is a former teacher of film studies at Skyline College and San Francisco State University. The majority of women begin fishing because their father or their spouse was an angler and got them interested, but men are not the reason women stay with the ...


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Meet author of ‘Biggest Bucks and Bulls’

By Staff

Maybe you wonder how Susan Reneau came up with all those big bucks, bulls and other really large animals in her latest edition of “Colorado’s Biggest Bucks and Bulls.” How about all those fascinating stories and the 1,000 or so photos doing their share to fatten this tome on hunting the biggest of the big game in Colorado? You can find out when she and co-author (and son) Richard Reneau come to town starting Oct. 28 for a swing-through-Grand Junction book-signing party ...


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Trout don’t hibernate

By Special to the Sentinel

Perhaps the greatest question in life is: “Can I still get down the trails to the Gunnison, or has it snowed too much recently?” Coming in a close second is: “If I head over to the Roaring Fork on Saturday, will my favorite pullover already have a vehicle sitting there?” Such life-critical questions demand an answer only available with a lacing of the boots and a turn of the ignition key. Have you laced the boots or turned the key recently? Many consider fishing, ...


Reasons to buy Duck Stamp

By Dave Buchanan

Buying a Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp is a simple and direct way for people to contribute to grassland and wetland conservation. Here are a few more reasons to buy a stamp today. ■ Costing only $15, a Duck Stamp is perhaps the single simplest thing you can do to support a legacy of wetland and grassland conservation for birds. ■ Your purchase reaches out to more than 5.5 million acres. There are more than 560 individual National Wildlife Refuge units within the United States, ...


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Duck Stamp provides key funds for conservation

By Dave Buchanan

If you think the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly called the Duck Stamp, is just for waterfowl hunters, think again. Whether you like to hunt, bird, photograph wildlife and scenery, collect stamps, or conserve habitat, you’ll want to purchase this stamp. When you buy a $15 Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, as much as $14.70 goes to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetland acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge System. More than 250 of this ...


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Phenomenal fall fishing

By Special to the Sentinel

Checking the calendar I see that fall is here. Checking the weather is less conclusive. Some days are hot like summer. Some days it rains. Some days the wind blows like spring. But the evenings are definitely cooler, and the daylight is shorter. “Seasons change, and so do I. You need not wonder why. You need not wonder why.” These lyrics from the rock song “No Time” by The Guess Who speak to both this season of the year and our own lives. The outdoors change, and ...


Hunters have responsibility to conduct themselves ethically

By Staff

Hunting is an integral part of wildlife management in Colorado. Although you are involved in an enjoyable recreational activity, remember you also are an active and important participant in managing big-game herds. With your license comes a responsibility to hunt and conduct yourself in an ethical manner. Please, take a few moments to answer the following questions. Then, remember the answers when you are out in the field: ■ Are your hunting actions providing a “fair ...


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Politics take a fishy turn at Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Editor’s note: The on-going partial shutdown of the federal government is affecting anglers headed to Lake Powell within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which has been closed. The closure has caused the cancellation of this weekend’s Bullfrog Open fishing tournament. According to one source, the cancellation will affect concessionaires — including lodging, food and fuel purchased form competitors — by as much as $100,000. PAGE, Ariz. — Individual fish ...


Bill would open access to lands cut off to public

By Dave Buchanan

A New Mexico Senator has introduced legislation that directs federal efforts to improve hunting and angling access on currently inaccessible public lands. The Hunt Unrestricted on National Treasures Act, or “HUNT Act,” introduced Sept. 21 by Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., asks federal agencies to inventory all public lands greater than 640 acres where hunting and fishing are legal but inaccessible with the goal of expanding access for members of the public. Any land ...


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A black eye

By Dave Buchanan

In what at first sounds like something from the 1972 movie “Deliverance,” four South Carolina hunters recently were found guilty of using poison arrows to kill deer in Colorado. One of the four, George Plummer, told officers he had knew it was illegal but had been using drug-carrying arrows in Colorado for the past 20 years. And another of the quartet, James Cole used the lame defense that “everybody (in South Carolina) hunts with” poison ...


Tips can help bring poaching offenders to justice

By Dave Buchanan

Sometimes, even the smallest clue leads to a break in a poaching case. In several recent high-profile poaching cases in Colorado ­­— including the arrest of eight men from Michigan, Indiana and Colorado for extensive, multi-state illegal wildlife activity — the investigation began with a tip from the public, either directly to a wildlife officer or anonymously through Operation Game Thief. “Many poaching cases are brought to our attention by a concerned ...


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