Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Wyoming elk hunters enjoying an increased harvest

By Dave Buchanan

According to the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish, Wyoming elk hunters are enjoying their “good ol’ days” right now. Game and Fish harvest surveys show Wyoming elk hunters in 2013 killed 25,968 elk, slightly under the record 26,365 elk taken in 2012. In 1995, elk hunters killed 17,695 elk, more than 8,000 fewer than the average Wyoming harvest of the past few years. In comparison, Colorado in 2013 reported 219,166 elk hunters killed 43,606 elk, including 22,766 ...


Snapshots from camp

By Staff

In just one hunting season, you would be surprised how many of our clients are a physical disaster. The only time they get any physical exercise is walking from their car back home at night. They are overweight and probably a little lazy. Then, they decide to go on a big-game hunt! They pack about four times too much gear and take every conceivable thing except the kitchen sink. They rarely dress properly and do not bring a warm sleeping bag, disregarding the list they had been sent of ...

Guide and hunter can become good friends

By Staff

In their 44 years of operating a guide and outfitting business, Dick and Norma Pennington and their son, Alan, saw every type of hunter you might imagine, from the rich and famous (Country Music Hall of Fame member Loretta Lynn was a client) to the normal Joe who had saved for years to go on a hunt. Here are Norma’s thoughts (edited) on matching a hunter with guide and guide with a hunter: When a hunter picks a guide, he can obtain plenty of information about him. Check with ...

It’s time to learn how to tie a fly at fishing expo

By Dave Buchanan

The 16th Annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo and banquet is Saturday. Yes, this Saturday. Starting at 9 a.m., you’ll find fly-tiers tying, rod casters casting and seminar presenters presenting. Learn to tie a fly and then learn how to cast that fly. Bid on really cool fishing gear and trips and art offered in the day-long silent auctions. Stick around after the events end at 4 p.m. for the live auction and the banquet featuring Chris Hunt, national communications director for ...

Changes coming to landowner program

By Dave Buchanan

A program that rewards landowners with special hunting licenses for tolerating big-game animals on their property is undergoing change. After two years of statewide meetings with hunters, landowners, agricultural groups and others, plus a legislative push, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is streamlining the landowner-preference program. This program provides private landowners with vouchers that can be exchanged for big-game hunting licenses in the areas where the landowners have ...


On the Hunt

By Dave Buchanan

Chris Hunt, national communications director for Trout Unlimited and featured speaker at this year’s Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo on April 12, hesitated a bit when a caller recently asked how the fishing has been for Hunt this spring. After all, Hunt lives and works (most of the time) in Idaho Falls, Idaho, a double-haul cast away from where the famed Henry’s Fork and North Fork of the Snake River converge and within an easy drive of Yellowstone and Teton national ...


Warming at Powell slow and subtle

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. — The weather is warming, but the changes are subtle. On calm, warm days, surface temperature spikes from 50 up to 60 degrees or higher. The cold, winter water is still below, so warm water floats only on the surface. Then, on windy days the warm surface layer is mixed into the cold water. That warm layer is not completely lost as it starts warming the deep layer. Each calm period will hasten the warming. Spring warming starts all kinds of fish activity. Here is what ...


Waiting on water

By Dave Buchanan

AUSTIN — Early Sunday, with the sun’s burning eye still hidden behind the ridges squeezing the Gunnison River near its confluence with the North Fork, Bob Dewaard already was headed home to Basalt. Dewaard had fished the Gunnison on Saturday and then spent the night at Cottonwood Campground, a bare-bones hitching place a mile and a half downstream of the confluence. I encountered Dewaard at the Bureau of Land Management parking lot/staging area at the foot of Smith Mountain, ...

Three men pay up for destructive behavior

By Dave Buchanan

Three California men, including the owner of a outdoor-based clothing company, have paid multiple fines after pleading guilty to numerous wildlife violations in Colorado and New Mexico dating back to 2011. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the men — alleged ringleader Anthony Bauer, 35, of Palm Desert, Calif., Frank D’Anna, 29, of San Diego, and Hank Myll, 33, of Palm Desert — also face the possible loss of their hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado, ...


Free, all-day fly fishing expo at DoubleTree

By Dave Buchanan

The 16th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo is set for April 12 at the Doub-leTree Hotel, and there is a place for you. The free, all-day expo takes place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is presented by the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers. Just like the Trout Unlimited chapter, the expo is only as successful as volunteers make it. “Oh, there’s definitely a need for more volunteers,” said expo co-coordinator Steve McCall, ...


Multi-step strategy in place to conserve native 
Rio Grande cutthroats

By Dave Buchanan

One of Colorado’s most-elusive native cutthroat trout species has a firmer grip on the future. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, federal agencies and several American Indian tribes recently updated a multistep strategy to conserve and protect the Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The agreement, said John Alves, southwest region senior aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, may help keep the fish off the Endangered Species list. The Rio ...


Montrose angler Joel Evans to talk about Gunnison River, then and now

By Dave Buchanan

Most readers of this space are familiar with Joel Evans of Montrose. Evans is, to put it mildly, an avid angler, and he is as likely to be seen wandering the haunting depths of the inner gorge of Black Canyon as he is the banks and riffles of the Gunnison River in less-rigorous settings. He also a talented writer and photographer and loves to say that during the past 30 years he’s fallen into the Gunnison River more times than he can count. He’ll share some of those varied ...


License Application 101

By Dave Buchanan

Before you tackle that confusing IRS tax form, which is due April 15, you might want to practice answering multiple-choice questionnaires. Like, say, on the 2014 Colorado Parks and Wildlife 2014 big-game hunting-license application. After all, that miniscule tax refund can be eased knowing there’s an elk or two in your freezer for the coming winter. If you’ve ever been stumped by the big-game license (sorry, we can’t help you with your taxes), Parks and Wildlife is ...


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 ...

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