Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Leftover licenses go on sale Aug. 6

By Staff

In years past, the biggest day for hunting-license sales was just prior to the start of the season. Now, with all deer licenses and most elk licenses available through the state’s computer drawing, the biggest sales day comes in early August, when all those licenses that didn’t go via the computer are made available on a first-come, first-served basis. This year, that’s Aug. 6, when at 9 a.m. an estimated 33,000 elk licenses, 6,800 deer licenses and 3,800 pronghorn ...


Hunter Outreach programs help women, youth gain valuable hunting knowledge

By Dave Buchanan

It’s the “chicken or the egg” question: Which is lost first, the desire to go hunting or the knowledge of how to hunt? That the hunting population is aging and shrinking isn’t much of a secret, and some of that isn’t simply because of old hunters getting older. Much of it has to with too many other diversions, fewer licenses available (which is a dubious argument on its own) and no one from whom to learn how to hunt. Colorado Parks and Wildlife can’t ...


Song of summer

By Dave Buchanan

Late last night, just as Scorpio was emerging in the southern sky, a song of summer began. The rasp of crickets sounding across the back lawn is more than a simple way to estimate the temperature (count the chirps in 15 seconds, add 39 to get degrees Fahrenheit), it’s also a signal that it’s time to carry a few extra terrestrials with you when you fish. Not E.T., of course, but crickets, grasshoppers, ants, beetle and cicadas. How important are terrestrials in a ...

Once it’s down, the hard work of hunting begins

By Dave Buchanan

When the shooting stops, the work begins. Every big-game hunter, no matter his or her weapon of choice, lives by the above mantra. In comparison to the labors involved in skinning, cleaning, boning and carrying out an animal bigger than a rabbit, all that stalking and shooting seems pretty casual. And while the stalking and shooting obviously are important, taking care of that hunk of meat so it’s fit to eat is what makes the hunt a true success. With that in mind, and the first ...

‘Wind hatch’ on high lakes 
a challenge

By Dave Buchanan

Fishing terrestrial insect patterns isn’t limited to small streams where the encroaching brush grabs your rod, clothes and hat on each cast. Granted, there may be more land-grown insects on those creeks where the stream-side vegetation hangs well out over the water, but even lakes can offer great dry-fly fishing with ants, beetles and other terrestrial insects. “Take a beetle pattern with you when you go up on Grand Mesa, and you’ll always be successful,” said ...


The contradiction of accessible remoteness

By Staff

Inaccessible or remote. Consider the difference as comparable to fishing real estate. Inaccessible could be the wonderful river immediately next to the busy paved road in the middle of town, a river with no public access. Remote could be the questionable river along a dirt road for miles and miles in the backcountry with ample public access. Certainly, fishermen prefer the latter over the former. In a word, actually in a name, remote is Cebolla. Cebolla is the Spanish word for onion. ...


My fishing story

By Staff

While Daily Sentinel outdoors writer Dave Buchanan was busy penning a hiking column about Crag Crest Trail last week, I went fishing. It’s a switch in rolls, although those who have read these pages over the years have certainly discovered many of my hiking destinations either take me along a fishable river, or to some lovely trout lake in the mountains. Especially this time of year. Same with Buchanan. Many of his fishing stories include a memorable hike. One picturesque hike ...

Limited deer hunts offered soon at local wildlife areas

By Dave Buchanan

Deer hunters interested in a unique, close-to-home opportunity can apply for six limited-license, special-access hunts being offered on state wildlife areas along the Colorado River. The hunts will take place on the Tilman Bishop SWA and the Orchard Mesa and Grand Junction wildlife areas. The hunts are sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Association. Three of the hunts will be held during the regular archery ...

Wildlife commission to adopt Harvey Gap fishing regs

By Dave Buchanan

The final adoption of regulations prohibiting certain types of fishing at Harvey Gap Reservoir will be considered Thursday and Friday when the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meets in Walden. The new regulations prohibit using spearfishing, archery or gigs in an effort to protect newly transplanted tiger muskies. Additionally, the commission will update small game hunting regulations, including increasing the daily bag limit for dark geese in the Central Flyway to 5 birds, and ...


It’s all very basic when it comes to carp fishing

By Dave Buchanan

The basics of carp fishing are basic, indeed. That 4- or 5-weight trout rod will suffice, although you might go a bit heavier if you’re fishing in weeds or brush. Use 3x or 4x tippet, although 2x will be OK in discolored water or if the fish are particularly well-muscled. Remember, these fish were originally brought to the U.S. in 1831 to augment local diets and have long been known as hard-fighting sport fish with highly refined senses of smell, sight and hearing. And how about ...


Fish tales from 
Carpocalypse 2013

By Dave Buchanan

There is something to be said about fly-fishing for carp. And as any dedicated carp chaser will tell you, most of it is good. “It’s a really challenging fish, it’s big and strong and we have an unlimited amount of opportunity on the Colorado and lower Gunnison rivers,” said Justin Edge, a fishing guide for Western Anglers Fly Shop in Grand Junction and certainly a dedicated pursuer of old Mr. Rubberlips.“I probably go out two or three times a week and every ...


No distress here: The damsels are back

By Dave Buchanan

The bugs of summer are back. Not just any bugs, like the ghostly slugs nibbling away at your garden or the well-armored cockroaches that appear a day after the exterminator leaves, but those bugs that attract rising fish make a day on a high-country lake an experience to remember all year. A few hours spent at any lake on Grand Mesa this month reveals how prolific insect life can be in the summer at 10,000 feet. Ants, beetles, mosquitoes (of course), damselflies and the impressive ...


It’‘s all about location in quest for quality fishing

By Wayne Gustaveson

Runoff is slowing and Lake Powell has topped out at 3,601 feet elevation. That means the Castle Rock Cut is wet but not passable. However, fishing is still great, making it worthwhile to head upstream from Wahweap or to take a fishing rod along when heading out from Bullfrog or Halls Marina. Lake location often determines which fish may be caught. While all species are available in each canyon, there are some habitats that favor a particular species. For instance, the steep canyon walls ...


The story on runoff: Call first

By Dave Buchanan

ALMONT — In most years, mid-June means runoff: high, discolored water that grinds boulders into rocks, sweeps rivers and streams from bank to bank and keeps fish-hungry anglers dabbling along the edges of their favorite water. The winter snowpack was uneven, and it wasn’t until late in the year many high-country areas started seeing close to normal snowfall. The question most asked is: Where is runoff this year? Earlier this month some water forecasters were predicting the ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...

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