Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Mild winters + more deer = more licenses for Gunnison Basin

By Dave Buchanan

A series of mild winters has allowed mule deer herds in the Gunnison Basin to recover enough to offer more hunting opportunity this fall. A story that appeared in Wednesday’s Gunnison Country Times quoted Colorado Parks and Wildlife terrestrial biologist Brandon Diamond as saying herd health across the basin continues to improve. “Pretty much across the Gunnison Basin, we’re within our sex-ratio objectives,” Brandon told a public meeting in Gunnison to discuss ...


Demos, deals, Dennis: Expo’s coming to town

By Dave Buchanan

It’s like Christmas in April for fly anglers, and without the cold. The 15th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition includes tours, seminars, fly-tying demos, guest speakers and fly-fishing clinics and contests. The best deals — other than the tours, seminars, listening to Jack Dennis and watching the fly tying — are the silent and live auctions during the banquet Saturday night. Poke around, you can hook up with angling art and fly fishing gear, or maybe an ...


Time to catch them all 
at Miramonte Reservoir

By Dave Buchanan

With Miramonte Reservoir set for a complete fish removal this fall, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is giving anglers a rare opportunity. In an effort to see as many of the sport fish as possible go to licensed anglers, starting Monday all bag and possession limits on smallmouth bass and trout will be removed, according to Parks and Wildlife. “This emergency public salvage will allow licensed anglers a unique opportunity to catch and keep these fish prior to the treatment,” said ...


A day on the river with Jack

By Dave Buchanan

World-renowned guide, author and fly-fishing innovator Jack Dennis is returning to Grand Junction April 5-6 for the 15th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition at the DoubleTree Hotel. In addition to Dennis’ guest appearance and his popular “A day on the river with Jack Dennis,” this year’s expo features a full day of fly-tying by many of the best tiers from across the West, special tours of Ross Reels and Scott Fly Rods in Montrose and Whiting Farms in ...

Take the time to learn a lot at fly fishing exposition

By Dave Buchanan

Looking back on long years of fly fishing, there are few moments that really stand out. On that list might be the night on the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park when a blizzard of Green Drakes flew like snow on the wind; that mid-summer morning on the White River when it seemed every trout in the stream was rising for your fly; and the few hours spent on the Gunnison River listening and learning from Jack Dennis. It’s not wrong to say Dennis, one of fly fishing’s ...


Outdoors proves to be great economic driver in Colorado

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado is set to receive more than $21.8 million as its share of federal excise taxes paid last year by hunters, anglers and motorboat operators. The funds, generated through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs, help support fish and wildlife conservation and recreation efforts across the state. More than $884.2 million was raised nationwide last year through these taxes, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ...


Fly Fishing Film Tour will electrify anglers

By Dave Buchanan

Below on this page you’ll see a note about Joel Evans’ presentation Thursday night called “Colorado Kaleidoscope.” It’s a fitting title as Evans changes photos, scenes, locales and just about everything (including flies) as quickly as that rotating kid’s toy once changed your immediate outlook on life. Another change anglers are sure to enjoy is the 2013 Fly Fishing Film Tour, a panoply of fishing videos set to appear April 5 in Grand Junction at the ...


Watching out after 
the West Creek spill

By Dave Buchanan

The January tanker spill on West Creek still is leaving marks. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Land Management issued a caution to anglers and other recreationists using the waters of West Creek this spring and summer. According to the EPA, even though the accident, which dumped 6,000 gallons of gasoline and 2,000 gallons of diesel into the creek, happened 
Jan. 25, visitors still may find a visible petrochemical sheen on the water. “The bulk ...


Parks and Wildlife offering how-to turkey-hunting clinic

By Dave Buchanan

Turkey hunting continues to be one of Colorado’s fastest-growing outdoor activities, thanks in great part to the abundance of turkeys and hunting opportunities on public land. But, while wild turkeys may be seen and heard in canyons and draws from the state line to Glenwood Springs, being a successful hunter entails knowing a few more tricks than the wily bird with the droopy snood. Colorado Parks and Wildlife feels your pain and is offering a free, how-to turkey-hunting clinic ...


Lake Powell is returning to old ways

By Dave Buchanan

Wayne Gustaveson, the veteran Lake Powell aquatic biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says welcome to the new (old) Lake Powell. With the lake level down Monday by more than 99 feet and expected to drop another foot before runoff starts to move the lake skyward, Gustaveson urged anglers to recall how the lake fished prior to all of the brush growth in the high-water years. “Declining lake level will have a huge impact on spring fishing,” Gustaveson said in ...


Cold winter culprit in Canyon View fish kill

By Dave Buchanan

Winter continues to leave its mark on the Grand Valley. The prolonged cold blamed for killing trees and rose bushes around the city also is being blamed for a fish kill in the south pond in Canyon View Park on 24 Road. The kill was reported earlier this week by Rusty Johnson of Grand Junction, who said she regularly spends winter days walking around the park. “I’ve done it for, oh, six to eight years now,” she said. “But this was the first year I didn’t see ...

Apply online for big-game hunting licenses

By Dave Buchanan

Hunters seeking a limited license for the 2013 big-game hunting season can find applications in the Colorado Parks and Wildlife 2013 big-game brochure. Deadline for applications for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, sheep, goat and bear is April 2. The quickest and most accurate way to apply is online. Of the more than 474,000 applications received in 2012, more than 80 percent of those came via the online system, say CPW officials. “Applying online means almost no chance for entering ...


Anglers excited for Lake Powell migration

By Dave Buchanan

If some of the birding reports are correct, migration this year already is under way, with hummingbirds showing up in South Carolina and bluebirds in western Colorado. Another sort of migration is about to start, as well. These mild days of late winter make anglers eager for a migration west to Lake Powell. Although the high-desert weather continues to fluctuate between winter and spring, it is trending more and more to spring, which means warmer days and fish getting more active as ...

Three men in trouble for mule-deer poaching

By Dave Buchanan

Two Texas men and a Norwood resident paid hefty fines and two of them face losing their fishing and hunting privileges after admitting guilt in a mule-deer poaching incident in western Montrose County. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Nathan E. Wilson, 30, of Norwood; Weldon. R. Kavecki, 65, of Throckmorton, Texas; and Timothy Taylor, 69, of Euless, Texas, confessed to illegally killing in early December two mule-deer bucks in a remote area known as Pony Draw south of Dry Creek ...


52 rivers. 52 weeks.

By Dave Buchanan

In her career as a librarian, Shelley Walchak spent countless hours fishing through library stacks. Now retired and her libraries behind her, she is spending the first year of her second life fishing 52 rivers in 52 weeks. The year-long trip began in January and this week finds her on the South Platte River, next week on the Flaming Gorge stretch of the Green River, following that she’s at Paco-Chu-Puk on the Uncompahgre and, well, you get the drift. Shelley said her initial ...


Ice fishing at Stagecoach State Park

By Dave Buchanan

In what may be the last hurrah for the 2013 ice-fishing season, Stagecoach State Park and Steamboat Springs guide and outfitter Steamboat Great Outdoors are hosting an ice-fishing tournament Sunday at Stagecoach Reservoir. The tourney runs from 
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a limit of 200 adult entries (50 youth anglers). All entrants ages 16 and 17 are required to show proof of age. Adult contestants must accompany entrants under age 13. Entry fee is $25 before Sunday, $30 on the day of ...

Battling the cold is a big part of fishing challenge

By Dave Buchanan

Shelley Walchak’s quest to fish 52 rivers in 52 weeks demanded finding open water even in the coldest months, and open water in the winter is most assured below dams. That is why she recently spent several nose-nipping days fishing the tailwaters of the Williams Fork River when it was minus-11 degrees and the Taylor and Fryingpan rivers at not much warmer. Her days on the Taylor and Fryingpan were shared with her friends Pat and Carol Oglesby of Grand Junction, whom she met at a ...

San Luis Valley reservoir to see dam repairs

By Staff

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will start a two-year construction project this summer to repair the dam at Beaver Creek Reservoir, located about 5 miles south of South Fork in the San Luis Valley. A Parks and Wildlife spokesman said the 4,400-acre-foot reservoir will be re-filled by summer of 2015 if the repair work is successful. Fishing at the reservoir will be allowed this summer but the work will require completely draining the reservoir in 2014. No fish have been stocked at the ...

Dorsey to serve as Southwest Region manager for CPW

By Dave Buchanan

A Colorado native and longtime wildlife officer has been selected manager of the Southwest Region for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Patt Dorsey, who began her career with Parks and Wildlife in 1991 as a district wildlife manager in Boulder, was selected to the Southwest regional position Feb. 1 by Parks and Wildlife director Rick Cables. She has been the district wildlife manager in Durango since 2003. The new job comes less than a month after Dorsey was selected the 2012 Wildlife ...


Winter fishing can 
mean real big catch

By Dave Buchanan

Winter fishing, particularly in a winter like this with a deep freeze gripping western Colorado like a too-small hat, is a tale of two waters. The first is Lake Powell, that immense reservoir three hours west where most of us venture only during the other three seasons of the year. The other waters are those smaller, popsicle-like rivers hiding under a glacial mantle of ice and snow. The benefit of Lake Powell is that it rarely freezes, and with January temperatures reaching into the ...

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