Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Lake Powell ready for another season

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. — Weather is warming, trees are budding in the high desert, and it’s time to start thinking about fishing and what to expect from Lake Powell in 2014. The lake’s elevation has dipped to 3,575 feet, the lowest point since 2005. With the precipitation falling this winter in the Colorado River drainage, we can expect the lake to reach 3,600 or perhaps a bit more. The old brush line came out of the water when the lake dropped below 3,604 mean sea level. If the ...

Big-game workshop planned

By Dave Buchanan

The Southwest Region office of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting a workshop March 12 for people new to the big-game application process. The free workshop is from
6-8 p.m. at the Montrose office, 2300 S. Townsend Ave. The workshop will cover the application process with Parks and Wildlife staff assisting participants in applying for a big-game license. The workshop is limited to 25 people. To register, call Parks and Wildlife in Montrose at 970-252-6000 or e-mail .(JavaScript ...


North Fork is on the rise

By Dave Buchanan

Midday Monday found the North Fork of the Gunnison flowing at close to 600 cubic feet per second, a level that didn’t concern angler Chris Kozak of Grand Junction in the least. “I was here about two weeks ago, and it was a bit lower, but this is OK,” said Kozak, stopping at the bottom of the boat ramp from the parking lot above the confluence with the main stem Gunnison River. “I try to get over here about once a week or so, and I’ve had no problems” ...


As weather warms up, lake ice starting to thin

By Dave Buchanan

The recent spate of warm weather has turned the tables on anglers. Area lakes and ponds are showing open water, in some cases a lot of it, and Parks and Wildlife officials are cautioning anglers about avoiding the cloudy ice still remaining. It’s generally accepted that 3 inches of ice is the minimum needed to safely support one person, and it’s not unusual on shallower lakes to find weak spots where the ice is thinner than elsewhere. “Even though there is still ice on ...

Public meeting on big-game hunting season changes is Tuesday in GJ

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting a public meeting Tuesday in Grand Junction to gather input on changes proposed for the 2015-2019 big game hunting seasons. The meeting is from 6-8 p.m. in the Kokopelli Room of the DoubleTree Hotel, 743 Horizon Dr. Similar meetings have been conducted around the state this month as part of the agency’s planning process for the five-year hunting structure. Major issues being considered include the number of seasons for each species, the ...



By Dave Buchanan

Anglers love to talk, even aside from the occasional bragging about the big ones. They also love to ask questions, and one of the more common questions some angling guides hear is about the phenomenon called “lake turnover,” the seasonal mixing where the top and bottom layers of water switch places. “I’ve been asked about this more often recently and thought I’d do more research about it,” said Gunnison River guide Gale Doudy, who recently spoke before ...


Youngsters can be part of guided turkey hunt

By Dave Buchanan

Three young hunters will have the opportunity this spring for a wild turkey hunt on private land near Meeker. Colorado Parks and Wildlife and several landowners in northwest Colorado have partnered to offer a mentored spring turkey hunt on private land on April 12 and 13. Parks and Wildlife officials say the hunt, part of the agency’s Hunter Outreach Program, continues an effort to instill hunting traditions, along with an interest and respect for wildlife, in Colorado’s ...


Goose on the loose

By Dave Buchanan

Forget the vortex. The polar blahs have settled over Colorado. The Broncos fizzled, a February thaw has brought rains (rain? In February?) to turn the rivers muddy and we’re left watching Mad Vlad leer over the Olympics like some Dickensian landlord. When a friend from the Front Range called and mentioned the goose season, which ended last month on the Western Slope, still had two weeks to run east of the Continental Divide, two of us pulled out of town like the Sundance Kid ...


Gale the guide

By Dave Buchanan

It’s winter on the Gunnison River, but the fishing season really never ends. Veteran Gunnison River fishing guide Gale Doudy, who can be seen year-round fishing the Gunnison River, will present a talk at 10 a.m.
on Saturday about fishing the Gunnison. Doudy’s presentation is free and will be at Western Anglers, 413 Main St., in Grand Junction. Doudy, who frequently guides for Gunnison River Expeditions out of Delta, is one of the more-prolific fly-tiers in the area, ...


February meetings have a lot of topics

By Dave Buchanan

Hunters get a chance this month to voice opinions about the proposed 2015-2019 big-game hunting regulations. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be hosting 16 public meetings around the state to present changes considered in the five-year season structure, including the number of seasons for each species, the overlap among different seasons, breaks between seasons and the beginning and ending dates of hunting seasons. Also up for discussion are the preference-point system and totally ...


The governor

By Dave Buchanan

Jeff Draper has spent 36 years hunting mule deer in western Colorado, and in December he got the hunt of a lifetime. Draper, co-owner of Glass Pros Inc. in Grand Junction, won one of the two raffles for a special 2013 Colorado mule deer license and wound up harvesting a mule deer buck that preliminarily was scored at 226 points, a true trophy according to the Boone & Crockett Club mule deer records. “I’ve always loved hunting mule deer,” said Draper, who drew his ...


Big day on ice for anglers at Rifle Gap

By Dave Buchanan

Nearly 470 anglers of all ages packed the ice Jan. 18-19 at Rifle Gap Reservoir for the 16th annual Mountain Air Mechanical Ice Fishing Tournament. With 12 or more inches of solid ice and a bluebird-sunny day to enjoy, many anglers caught fish, and several anglers took home prize money for the biggest fish in three species. Jeb Limbaugh scored twice by a catching 22-inch brown trout on 
Jan. 18, which easily was the longest brown trout and also the biggest fish of the tournament. ...


Fly Fishing Film Tour 
to hit Grand Junction

By Dave Buchanan

The latest version of world’s largest roving collection of premier fly-fishing films once more is on the road. The Fly Fishing Film Tour, better known as The F3T, finished its seventh year in 2013, touring for nearly nine months, playing more than 150 shows, reaching more than 50,000 anglers and helping to add more than $250,000 to the coffers of local and national conservation groups. “It’s an awesome feeling to know that we reached nearly 50,000 people across 45 ...


Problems with Pebble

By Dave Buchanan

An Alaska Senator is the latest to join the opposition to an immense copper-and-gold mine proposed for the headwaters of Alaska’s famed Bristol Bay. In Monday’s edition of the Anchorage Daily News, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is quoted saying the proposed Pebble Mine cannot be developed without harming the Bristol Bay region’s world-famous red salmon runs. “Wrong mine, wrong place, too big,” Begich said in an interview with anchorage Daily News reporter Lisa ...


Rebirth of Arkansas River yields Gold Medal results

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado’s Gold Medal Trout Waters, considered among the best trout-producing waters in the state, grew by one-third last week with the addition of 102 miles on the Arkansas River. The designation was approved by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission at its January meeting in Denver. The reach of river now officially considered as Gold Medal is the longest such stretch in the state. It weaves from the upper river’s confluence with the Lake Fork of the Arkansas River ...

Shooting a key cog for economies in U.S.

By Dave Buchanan

Spending related to target shooting in 2011 contributed $287 million to Colorado’s economy and supported 2,574 jobs, according to new report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. The report, “Target Shooting in America: Millions of Shooters, Billions of Dollars,” was released Wednesday in Las Vegas at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT ...


Electronics, new gear lead the change in the ice-fishing climate

By Dave Buchanan

Among the innovations in ice fishing is what you see on, and under, the ice. Rarely, although it’s not impossible, do you see someone standing far from the hole, haggling with the same long rod, bulky reel and stiff nylon line used for warm-weather trout fishing. Today’s ice anglers, dressed for success in high-tech insulated layers or snug inside a wind-stopping portable shelter, seem to prefer short, fast-action rods with small reels and lighter-weight line. Lures may be ...


A lovely day at Rifle Gap

By Dave Buchanan

RIFLE — On a squinty-bright day on an ice- and snow-covered Rifle Gap Reservoir, it seemed there wasn’t much reason not to be ice fishing. The Broncos were off, Friday’s storm had blown over, and there were the hopes the reservoir might give up a few secrets one week before the big ice-fishing tournament. As it turned out, two out of three were the best most anglers could do. “It’s pretty slow,” said Hayden Flesch of Grand Junction as he readied ...


The search is on for shed antlers

By Dave Buchanan

One fast-growing outdoors pastime has nothing to do with a ball or score. It’s searching out and collecting dropped antlers, also called “shed antlers.” Discarded by elk and deer in the winter and early spring (moose drop their antlers starting in November) and then regrown later the same spring, elk and deer antlers are among the curious things both hunters and non-hunters acquire. So popular is shed-antler collecting that in some parts of the U.S. kennels train dogs ...

Regulations surround collecting shed antlers

By Dave Buchanan

Deer and elk lose weight in the winter, but it’s not all from the waistline. Wild ungulates also drop a few pounds of antlers each winter, with deer losing their antlers beginning in late January and elk about one month later. Biologist say deer, elk and other big game may lose 30 percent or more of their body weight during the winter, an amount that increases if the animal has to burn extra calories avoiding human disturbance. The “why” of the human disturbance ...

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