Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Dogs plus moose equals trouble

By Dave Buchanan

Just in case you were wondering, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is cautioning dog owners not to let their pets approach a moose. Although there are some people who understand that moose do not differentiate between dogs, coyotes and wolves, apparently there are some people who think Fido loves moose and vice versa. Since early spring, wildlife officers have responded to three human/moose conflicts, including two recent incidents in Grand Lake. In all three instances, dogs — both on- ...

As duck season opens, hunters hope they get perfectly ‘fowl’ weather

By Dave Buchanan

Waking to the sound of shotguns at first light along the Colorado River reminds many local residents the 2013-14 Pacific Flyway waterfowl season has begun. Despite the desert environs, waterfowling is a popular activity in the Grand Valley, and the handful of public hunting areas see a lot of use during the four-month season. Western Colorado has a split season for waterfowl. The first split began Saturday and goes through Oct. 9, and the second split goes from Nov. 2 through Jan. 26, ...

Meeker ranch offers rare chance to hunt private land

By Dave Buchanan

Deer and elk hunters holding a 2013 limited license for Game Management Unit 23 are eligible for one of nine private-property hunts this fall on the Miller Creek Ranch near Meeker. As part of some large-scale efforts to protect big-game habitat, local Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers reached an agreement with ranch owner Richard Bachmann to allow limited public hunting access in perpetuity on his 3,100-acre ranch, located in unit 23. “This is a very rare private-land hunting ...


September brings quality fishing, lower water at ramps

By Dave Buchanan

If you’re headed to Lake Powell this month, be ready for the year’s best overall fishing conditions. That’s the latest word from Utah fisheries biologist and longtime Lake Powell veteran Wayne Gustaveson. According to Gustaveson, the combination of cooler nights and warm days is perfect for anglers returning to the lake after the busy Labor Day weekend. “With Labor Day weekend in the past, visitation by recreational boaters decline while fishermen start to ...

Mountain lion permits to drop after upswing in female harvest

By Dave Buchanan

Mountain lion quotas for the 2013-14 lion season will drop slightly from this year’s numbers if the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts recommendations from state biologists. The commission is scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday at the Montrose County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 1001 N. Second in Montrose. The two-day meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. on Friday. Mountain lion harvest quotas will drop to 622, down from 630, across the 20 distinct ...


Floods churn Dolores into Sea of mud

By Staff

SLICKROCK — A series of flash floods starting Aug. 21 on the lower Dolores River raised river levels an estimated 4,000 percent and churned a normally placid river into a sea of mud, killing an unknown number of native and endangered fish. A team of fisheries biologists with Colorado Parks and Wildlife had begun a native fish survey Aug. 18 when the floods occurred on Aug. 20-21 and again Monday. Heavy rains those days flooded Disappointment Creek, a Dolores tributary, bumping up ...


Public vs. private

By Dave Buchanan

MEEKER — It’s hard to imagine there being anywhere a more scenic valley than that of the White River, meandering between spruce-covered mountains and through emerald-green hayfields in its wandering from Trappers Lake to Meeker. In those 50 or so miles the river’s face changes little, although the meanders get wider and the banks more open as the river cuts through the miles of private ranches and developments, busy this time of year with harvesting the 800-pound round ...

It’s never easy to hike hunting fees

By Dave Buchanan

It’s no secret the Wildlife part of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is scrambling to maintain the cash reserve it needs to pay the bills. As you remember, a little more than a year ago it was discovered what’s termed “an accounting error” drained Wildlife’s cash reserve by an estimated $32 million. The loss caused some Department of Natural Resources projects to be delayed, including moving the Southwest Region headquarters out of Durango to the much-awaited ...


Time for stripers at Lake Powell

By Dave Buchanan

School is in, even at Lake Powell. According to Utah fisheries biologist Wayne Gustaveson at Page, Ariz., a large school of small stripers has moved into the forebay at Glen Canyon Dam. “Young stripers are most abundant near the second barricade from the west wall, but they are also found in many places along that wall,” wrote Gustaveson in his latest weekly Lake Powell fishing report. Although the small (9-12-inch) stripers are attracted to a large plankton school along the ...


Parks and Wildlife reaches out with hunting seminars

By Dave Buchanan

Fall means more than football. Sportsmen busy fishing, boating and ATVing all summer turn their eyes toward other quarry when the temperature drops and the days grow a little shorter. Even would-be hunters feel a bit of that natural urge and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is eager to make sure novice and experienced hunters have the knowledge they need to make that day in the field successful. Whether your quarry has wings or four legs, this month the CPW Northwest Region Hunter Outreach ...

Outdoor options

By Dave Buchanan

Granted, the recent span of cooler mornings haven’t been sufficient to make us break out the skis and boots, but the noticeably shorter days and 60-degree mornings give one a sense of the passing of summer. Upland bird hunters get a bit restless around mid-August, with dove season only two weeks away and the cool weather sure to chase most of the thin-skinned birds south for the winter. Other upland bird seasons opening Sept. 1 include: dusky and mountain sharp-tailed grouse (no ...


Late-summer rains improve fishing at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. – Late-summer weather patterns bring much-needed rain to Lake Powell, not enough to offset the lake’s decline of a foot per week (3,592.5-feet elevation as of Monday) but enough to offer cooler water temperatures, which were 77-81 degrees reported Monday. The result is fishing for stripers and smallmouth bass remains exceptional. It’s wise to remember that although the water level is 107 feet below full, the reservoir still is more than 460 feet deep at the ...

Summer wildfires will impact hunting in numerous ways

By Dave Buchanan

Among the topics set for this week’s Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Trinidad is a consideration of emergency regulations dealing with the impacts of the summer’s wildfires on hunting. There weren’t any specific regulations announced before the meeting, but it’s not surprising some concern has arisen after the fires this year in Colorado. The National Interagency Fire Center reported this year alone wildfires have burned more than 2.46 million acres ...


Stealth angling

By Staff

There are numerous places where fishing extends well into the fall, but August marks the beginning of the end for anglers divining high-country streams with a fly rod. One such end-is-near location is the stream-rich country in the broad arc of mountains running from Taylor Park to Kebler Pass. Spring Creek starts well above Gunnison in the laps of Italian and American Flag mountains, works its way past the dam at 10,000-foot-high Spring Creek Reservoir and wends through meadow and ...

Parks and Wildlife offers free bowhunter education class

By Dave Buchanan

A free bowhunter education class is being offered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Aug. 17-18 at Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area. Colorado does not require archery hunters to take the bowhunter education class, although some states mandate such education prior to obtaining an archery hunting license. Colorado’s Bowhunter Education card is accepted anywhere such certification is required. The free course will cover such topics as the bowhunter’s responsibilities, ...


Utah proposing license-fee break for youth anglers

By Dave Buchanan

In an effort to foster more youth interest in fishing, a new regulation being proposed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources would allow that state’s anglers who are 14 to 17 years of age to purchase a 365-day fishing license for $16. As it is now, once an angler turns 14 he or she must buy the same $26 license adults buy. The DWR also is recommending an increase in the cost of a 365-day fishing license for those 18 to 65 years old. If approved, a fishing license for those 18 ...


Taking a lake break

By Dave Buchanan

The clear waters of Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap reservoirs are in contrast to the rain-swollen streams found across much of the Western Slope. This seasonal break in the steamy, 100-degree weather came none too soon as warming and dropping water levels in rivers and streams had raised concerns from guide shops about possible long-term impacts to valuable fisheries. Prior to the weekend storms, the Roaring Fork River was running about 365 cubic feet per second, low enough the website for ...

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 ...

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