Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Rising water levels and temps good omens for Lake Powell

By Dave Buchanan

If you haven’t been looking, Lake Powell is rising. The elevation as of Thursday was 3,583 feet (full is considered 3,700 feet) and going up about six inches per day. It’s the highest Lake Powell has been in six months, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries biologist Wayne Gustaveson says the “lake looks refreshed” with water covering previously bare shoreline vegetation. “The rejuvenation is needed as low water over the past two years has ...


Early season fishing

By Dave Buchanan

An impulsive stop Monday at Mogensen Ponds State Fishing Area along Plateau Creek proved to be unexpectedly fruitful. I saw Jess McElroy of Grand Junction fishing at the upper pond and pulled in, waiting 20 minutes or so until he was walking out before asking how he had done. “Well, I caught a 15-inch bass and a few bluegill,” said McElroy, admitting it was the first time he had stopped at the 11-acre fishing area. “This is the first time I’ve fished here, and I ...


Destination: Pelican Lake

By Staff

As this is being written, another winter storm is moving across the high country and rivers everywhere are in seeming disarray from spring runoff. It’s enough to drive an angler to the brink of ... Pelican Lake, about 25 miles southwest of Vernal, Utah. Pelican Lake, so named for the American white pelicans often seen around the impoundment, is a shallow natural lake that was enlarged to hold irrigation water diverted from the Uintah River. It sits on private and public land ...


Moose news good, 
at least in Colorado

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado is one of the few states where moose are doing well, said state big-game manager Andy Holland during Thursday’s meeting of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission. “Because of moose declines elsewhere, we have a lot of demand for our moose season,” he said. Colorado has an estimated 2,250 moose in 39 game-management units. Last year, there were 18,360 applicants vying for the 228 licenses available. This year, the state will offer 250 moose licenses. For ...


Deer license numbers 
rise as elk licenses fall

By Dave Buchanan

A continuing rebound in the state’s deer herds, particularly west of Interstate 25, means more deer-hunting licenses will be available this fall. Speaking Thursday to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, state big-game manager Andy Holland said the state will issue approximately 9,500 doe deer tags and about 39,500 buck tags, up about 300 from 2013. The increase comes because the overall ratio of bucks to does is climbing above the state’s long-term objectives, Holland ...


It’s a long trip, but worth it for this trout fishing

By Bill Haggerty

The Conejos River in southern Colorado, a few miles from the New Mexico border, is a well-kept secret. It’s so secret, in fact, even a lot of the locals don’t know how full of trout it is. From private waters in the San Luis Valley near the small hamlet of Antonito, to miles and miles of public water below Platoro Dam in beautiful Rio Grande National Forest, the Conejos is jumping with trout that few people will ever discover. It’s a long way to the Conejos from ...

CPW commission to eye using night-vision for hunting

By Dave Buchanan

Whether to allow night-vision goggles for hunting predators and addressing the escalating cost of insurance for river outfitters are among the issues considered this week when the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission meets Thursday and Friday in Grand Junction. The meetings begin at
8:30 a.m. at the Clarion Inn, 755 Horizon Dr. Among the issues is a petition from hunter Ken Papineau of Lakewood seeking approval for night vision and thermal imaging eyewear for night hunting of ...


‘The time is now’ at Lake Powell

By Dave Buchanan

The best tip I know about fishing Lake Powell is this: When Wayne Gustaveson says “the time is now,” drop everything and go. Gustaveson is the long-time (30-plus years) fisheries biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources who likely knows more about the 186-mile long lake than anyone around. He used those long-awaited words this week in his regular Lake Powell fishing update and suddenly there’s no reason not to pile into the car and head west, where some of ...

Outside Connection: The outdoors awaits at annual Heritage Day

By Dave Buchanan

A taste of outdoor adventure awaits you Saturday at the seventh annual Outdoor Heritage Day from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Riverbend Park in Palisade. Colorado Parks and Wildlife partners with more than 40 local agencies, businesses and organizations for this free event highlighting the outdoor activities available in the Grand Valley and across Colorado. It’s all about encouraging families to get off the couch and have fun outside, said District Wildlife Manager Frank McGee of Colorado ...


When fishing Wyoming, leave the beads at home

By Dave Buchanan

Anglers headed to Wyoming this summer might want to check their beads at the border. A popular fishing technique that originated in Alaska and now is used in many Western states is coming under scrutiny from Wyoming’s Department of Game and Fish. In recent years, the use of plastic beads as a method to fish for trout has been adopted by anglers looking for another advantage when trout are hard to catch. Usually, a small plastic bead resembling a fish egg is affixed to the line a ...


Healing Waters recognizes local couple for volunteer work

By Bill Haggerty

This community is blessed with thousands of volunteers. These generous souls assist at Partners, Grand Valley Outreach, Hope West (Hospice), KAFM Radio and every neighborhood school in the valley. Volunteers help the Grand Mesa Nordic Council (GMNC), the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA), Colorado National Monument Association, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Grand Valley Audubon, Grand Valley Bikes, Colorado Riverfront Commission, Mesa Land Trust, Western ...

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, ...

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