Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Outfitters on commission to decide license rules

By Dave Buchanan

In what appears to be the inmates running the jail, a pair of Colorado Parks and Wildlife commissioners, both of whom are registered big-game hunting outfitters, are set to play major roles in deciding how the state’s wildlife agency doles out big-game licenses. More exactly, the decision will determine how many of the most-coveted of those hunting licenses will be taken from the allotment set aside for resident hunters and be given to nonresident hunters, who make up the great ...


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Boosting mountain lion quotas on agenda

By Dave Buchanan

An increase in mountain lion quotas for this year’s November through March season and the addition of a new fall mountain lion season starting in 2015 are among the items to be considered when the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meets this week in Glenwood Springs. The meeting is set for 8 a.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Ramada Glenwood Springs. According to a memo to the commission from Parks and Wildlife director Bob Broscheid, the agency is developing a new ...


Colorado’s license cap is ‘unfair’

By Dave Buchanan

An attorney representing the Colorado Outfitters Association has questioned the state’s method of distributing big-game hunting licenses to nonresident hunters,  saying it could be unconstitutional. “We have real concerns with the current (license) allocations,” said Kent Holsinger, speaking to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission during the August commission meeting in Fort Collins. “We believe the current system is unreasonable and unfair and that it ...


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Get in the (small) game

By Dave Buchanan

This past weekend marked more than the unofficial end of summer, it also was the beginning to the state’s hunting season. Archery season began Friday, which may have surprised some mushroom hunters who spent the day in the woods and unexpectedly ran into someone dressed in camouflage and carrying a bow. Archery hunters aren’t required to wear fluorescent orange unless hunting during a rifle season. Archery runs through Sept. 28, with muzzeloader (blackpowder) season opening ...


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Young Utah hunters can learn the ropes

By Dave Buchanan

In a play-before-you-pay effort to attract more people to hunting, this year Utah is offering a program where any licensed hunter 21 years or older can take a person 12 years or older hunting. The licensed hunter does not need to be a trained hunter-education teacher nor does the first-timer need to have taken a Hunter Education course. The only requirements for Utah’s new Trial Hunting program is the “student” possess the proper licenses and permits and complete an ...


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Lily Lake pretty ... and quiet

By Dave Buchanan

Looking up from the rainbow trout he was unhooking, the angler nodded toward the dark trees on the other side of Cottonwood Lake No. 4. “You want to see a real pretty lake?” he asked, sharing another of his life-time supply of insider hints about fishing Grand Mesa. “You ever been to Lily Lake? It’s not that far and it’s one the prettiest lakes I’ve ever seen.” When asked if there were any fish in Lily Lake to make the hike worthwhile, he ...


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Free seminar will teach fly fishing to novices

By Dave Buchanan

Expand your world of fishing by learning to fly fish, courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Grand Valley Anglers chapter of Trout Unlimited. Novice anglers are invited to a free, three-hour seminar about fly fishing at 6 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Parks and Wildlife Hunter Education Building, 711 Independent Ave. All equipment will be provided. Topics will include insect biology, casting techniques and gear, such as rods, reels and flies. Participants will have the opportunity to ...


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The last hook

By Dave Buchanan

Iron-gray clouds and water the same color, the latter made even more obscure by a quick breeze from the southwest, greeted angler Dan Wieckert when he arrived Monday morning at Kitson Reservoir on Grand Mesa. Wieckert, however, had driven his pickup camper nearly 2,000 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, so a little wind wasn’t about to stop him from fishing. “It’s my first time in Colorado, I usually head to Montana,” said Wieckert, an IT specialist back home. ...


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Arkansas River receives Gold Medal designation

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado’s newest entry in the list of Gold Medal waters is a stretch of the upper Arkansas River downstream from Leadville. Part of the river already carried Gold Medal designation and this newest reach brings the total on the Arkansas to 102 miles, stretching from the confluence with the Lake Fork of the Arkansas River, near Leadville, downstream to Parkdale at the U.S. Highway 50 bridge above the Royal Gorge. No fishing regulations were changed when the river was designated Gold ...


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Shad populations at Lake Powell nearing decade peak

By Dave Buchanan

The fishing enigma we know as Lake Powell is offering another puzzle for anglers to solve. The fishing food chain at Lake Powell relies on shad, which in the past few years have been (compared to other years) in relatively short supply. Low water, lack of spawning areas — the reasons for the shad shortfall were several. Although this meant the top-line predators, particularly stripe bass, suffered a bit in size and weight, it made fishing a bit easier because anglers found less ...


Feasting on leftovers – 20,000 tags still available

By Dave Buchanan

When you’re hungry, leftovers may be the best option you have. Particularly when it comes to big-game hunting licenses. Hunters with an appetite for a 2014 hunting license still can take advantage of the estimated 20,000 leftover big-game and turkey licenses available, officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. These licenses include pronghorn, elk, bear, deer and turkey licenses as well as over-the-counter elk tags. With more than 23 million acres of public lands, ...


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Waterfowl framework ready to go

By Dave Buchanan

Waterfowl hunters will enjoy a 107-day season this fall after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed liberal hunting season lengths and bag limits for the upcoming 2014-15 late waterfowl seasons. The various states will select their individual seasons from within the federal frameworks that establish the earliest beginning and latest ending dates and the maximum season length and bag limits. According to the Fish & Wildlife Service’s 2014 Waterfowl Population Status ...


Get ready for elk season with class

By Dave Buchanan

Cooler mornings and changing weather signal hunting seasons are approaching quickly. Eager hunters are preparing themselves and their equipment in anticipation of one of the most exciting times of the year for sportsmen and sportswomen. As part of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s continuing efforts to help hunters have a safe and successful season, the agency and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will offer a one-evening only “Elk Hunting 101” class from 6-9 p.m. on Aug. ...


Tons of hunting licenses still available despite record day

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado Parks and Wildlife survived a computer-system crash during the early hours of its big-game license sales Tuesday, but it had to halt sales for three hours. According to a Parks and Wildlife spokesman, an unprecedented volume of hunters purchasing various tags caused stress on the system and forced agency officials to halt sales statewide. As sales resumed at noon Tuesday, a record number of licenses were sold by 2 p.m. and continued to grow. The licenses being sold included ...


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No drone zone

By Matt Meyer

Early in the morning, a buck grazes on a grassy hillside, dew gathering on his antlers. It’s a scene so picturesque, you can almost hear soft music swelling behind it. Then, the soft buzzing noise of fans. A small drone, mounted with a GoPro camera, zips high above the hillside. Moments later, a short whine of truck brakes sounds in the distance, and a hunter dutifully dawdles into view. He takes a shot from 100 yards, tags and cleans his kill, and is done in less than an hour. ...


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Hunters in Colorado grateful for public land

By Dave Buchanan

This might give you one more reason to be thankful for living in a state where more than one-third of the land is public. The latest survey from Southwick Associates asked hunters where they hunted most often during the past 12 months, and roughly two-thirds of the respondents (66 percent) said private property. Only about one-third (30 percent) said they used public lands the majority of the time. This included hunters from every state, many of which have much less (and in some cases, ...


Leftover licenses available

By Dave Buchanan

Leftover and over-the-counter big-game hunting licenses go on sale Aug. 5 and with plenty of licenses on the block, now is the time to make a decision. A list of the approximately 6,000 deer, 30,000 elk, 5,000 pronghorn and 1,800 bear licenses available for the fall hunting seasons can be found on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website, cpw.state.co.us. Sales begin at 9 a.m. on Aug. 5, and once started, the list will be updated every 15 minutes. This year is the first time both ...


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When up is down

By Dave Buchanan

Midsummer in Grand Junction. Heat, heat and more heat. Not like the popcorn-dry swelter of the Sonoran desert, where Abbey is said to be buried amidst the saguaro cactus and naked rocks, and where it’s so dry the trees are whistling at dogs, but more the kind of heat that recalls author Kristin Hannah’s novel “Summer Island,” where “The heat made people crazy. They woke from their damp bedsheets and went in search of a glass of water, surprised to find that ...


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The Hatch is here

By Dave Buchanan

Pause for a minute or two during your busy days and make a list of the bugs of summer. Mosquitoes, wasps, houseflies, deerflies, various spiders, ants, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, horseflies and ticks. And that’s just for starters. Note how most of this list might also fall under the general heading of “pests.” Now, ask any fly angler to name the bugs of summer and the list may be much shorter. Green Drakes, grasshoppers, Green Drakes, stoneflies, Green Drakes, ...


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Powell at summertime high in elevation and fishing success

By Dave Buchanan

With the summer fishing season nearing its mid-point, Lake Powell has topped out at 3,609 feet in elevation and will soon begin its annual decline. That’s the latest word from Utah fisheries biologist Wayne Gustaveson on his Lake Powell fishing site, wayneswords.com. What the rest of the summer will bring is steady fishing success and pristine beaches, Gustaveson said. “The bright side of this picture is that brush and drift-wood cluttered camping and recreational beaches ...


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