Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Kokanee salmon of concern at Granby

By Dave Buchanan

It’s become a familiar refrain for Colorado Parks and Wildlife — a topline predator fish eats itself out of its prey, forcing fisheries managers to find ways to control the predator. It happened at Blue Mesa, where lake trout plundered the kokanee salmon and eventually became over-populated, leading to some large-scale management and regulation changes at the southwest Colorado lake. Now, a similar situation has arisen at Lake Granby, once home to some of the largest lake ...


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Winter fishing has its perks

By Dave Buchanan

To this reporter’s surprise, a recent Sunday noon found the Bureau of Land Management parking lot at the Gunnison Forks, where anglers can cross the North Fork to reach the main stem of the Gunnison River, empty of any signs of anglers. A few tire tracks showed where someone had been there earlier in the day, and a short walk to the bank of the North Fork solved the mystery. A lip of shelf ice, of indeterminate thickness and strength, stretched six feet into the stream, making ...


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SILENT NIGHT

By Dave Buchanan

Dawn Gwin paused, thoughtfully taking census of the neatly arranged fly boxes arrayed before her. “I have different boxes with flies for different fishing situations,” said Gwin, reaching across the array of boxes while sitting at the well-appointed fly-tying table at Western Anglers Fly Shop. “I’ve done 12 boxes so far, and have more to do.” The exacting task — at last count up to 18 boxes — is a special duty for Gwin, a Navy veteran and ...


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‘Net-gunning’ useful in preventing harm during research

By Dave Buchanan

The capture of wild animals is one of the most exciting and most difficult part of any research project. Among the preferred methods for capturing wild big- game is “net-gunning,” which involves catching the animal in a large net launched from a helicopter. A skilled and well-rehearsed helicopter crew can capture, immobilize and release unharmed four-legged targets ranging from coyotes to bison. Once an animal is captured and blindfolded, researchers are able to record a ...


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TAKING INVENTORY

By Dave Buchanan

Beginning early this month and continuing through late March, Colorado Parks and Wildlife employees are flying across expanses of wildlife habitat in search of big game animals. It’s not a sightseeing tour, but rather part of the agency’s annual survey to judge ages and sex ratios in herds of deer, elk and pronghorn. Hunters and outdoor recreationists are cautioned that low-flying helicopters or airplanes may be encountered at any time. In addition to that inventory of ...


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Despite boycott attempt, hunting numbers steady

By Dave Buchanan

The outdoors side of the news for the last few days has been led by the results of the recent Colorado big-game hunting season, news made more “newsy” by the apparent failure of the highly touted nonresident boycott of Colorado. Apparently the boycott, called to protest the state’s tightening its gun laws, failed to have the punishing affect its backers desired. Instead, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says its preliminary numbers indicate a surge in elk, deer and black ...


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Numbers game

By Dave Buchanan

Call it, for the lack of a better name, the “Four Fs” of why hunters didn’t hunt in 2013. “Firearms, fires, floods and feds,” is how Randy Hampton, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, put it when asked what kept hunters home this fall. Not that a lot of hunters stayed home, according to some preliminary numbers from Parks and Wildlife. Big-game hunting license sales were up for deer, elk and black bear, with only pronghorn showing a drop. Those ...


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Rain, snow kept hunters working to find animals

By Dave Buchanan

You might forgive early season hunters this fall who forgot Colorado has been in an extended drought. Rain and snow, and significant amounts of both, greeted the archery hunters in August and never really relented through the end of the final rifle season on Nov. 17. “I had archery tags for deer and elk in a unit around Lake City but it rained most of the time,” recalled local bowhunter Denny Behrens, field representative for the Colorado Mule Deer Association. “I think ...


Processors good barometer of hunting season

By Dave Buchanan

If you want a real idea of how the hunting season went, it doesn’t hurt to talk to a meat processor. Packing plants that deal in wild game can offer a business-eye view of hunter success in the fall season, and long-time readers know two of my favorites are Old World Meat & Marketplace in Grand Junction and the Purkey Packing Plant in Meeker. “Just about everybody I see is nonresident,” said Jason Purkey, at 26 the fourth generation of Purkeys to work in the plant ...


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Parks and Wildlife honors Northwest Region education coordinator

By Dave Buchanan

Kathleen Tadvick of Grand Junction, the Northwest Region Education Coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, recently was honored with the agency’s John H. White Memorial Membership Award. Tadvick was praised for her efforts and contributions to Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach program, including leading nearly 2,000 novice hunters on what for many is their first experience in the field. The award’s namesake, John H. White, was one of the first members of the ...


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Hunting for all

By Dave Buchanan

Looking through some of the photos that have appeared during the recent hunting seasons at The Daily Sentinel was a reminder that hunting is no longer a male sport, if it ever was one. It’s not unusual to see hunting photos submitted for the “You Saw It” section, and it’s less unusual to see a woman as the successful hunter. Although men still account for the majority of the 13.7 million U.S. hunters, the number of women actively hunting is on the rise. Recent ...


Proposal to ban drones for hunting a hot topic

By Staff

Among the items discussed at last week’s meeting of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission was a proposal to ban the use of drone aircraft “as an aid in scouting, hunting and taking of wildlife.” After a brief discussion, the largely unimpressed commission voiced support to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft in hunting and will take up the matter again at a future meeting. Although the matter was well down on the commission’s agenda, its presence was enough ...


Price increase could be on way for non-resident big-game hunters

By Dave Buchanan

Non-resident big-game hunters will see a small jump in their 2014 licenses if the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approves the price increase next week. The commission is scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday in Lamar. Other items on the extended agenda include adding tiger trout and cuttbow (a hybrid of rainbow and cutthroat trout) to the state’s list of game fish, setting either-sex moose hunts in two game units west of Hot Sulphur Springs and adopting the final version of ...


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Sighting, hitting a bull elk two different things

By Staff

As Chris White and I slipped from thick brush into an aspen meadow in the predawn darkness, a bull elk bugled from a nearby knoll, stopping us in our tracks. We clicked off our headlamps and listened, hoping it would challenge us again. The day was Sept. 14, White’s final morning of his weeklong elk bowhunt in southeastern Idaho, but he said he’d gladly pay the rescheduling penalty for his flight home to Ohio if a bull made a fatal blunder before noon. When the bull bugled ...


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Getting your lady to fish (with you)

By Staff

“You’re so lucky. I wish my wife would fish with me.” “My girlfriend is just not interested in fishing. I took her once, but she didn’t have a good time and won’t go again.” These are some of the messages imparted by gloomy guys who long for a lovingly shared life on the white caps of a roaring river, fishing from daybreak long into the dusky light.  Of course, there is an occasional man who has been introduced to fly fishing by a woman, ...


Enjoying the sport on their own terms

By Staff

For some real insight into why women take up fly fishing, get a copy of Barbara Klutinis’ DVD, “Stepping into the Stream.” This 43-minute video captures the spirit of women who enjoy the sport on their own terms. Klutinis is a former teacher of film studies at Skyline College and San Francisco State University. The majority of women begin fishing because their father or their spouse was an angler and got them interested, but men are not the reason women stay with the ...


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Meet author of ‘Biggest Bucks and Bulls’

By Staff

Maybe you wonder how Susan Reneau came up with all those big bucks, bulls and other really large animals in her latest edition of “Colorado’s Biggest Bucks and Bulls.” How about all those fascinating stories and the 1,000 or so photos doing their share to fatten this tome on hunting the biggest of the big game in Colorado? You can find out when she and co-author (and son) Richard Reneau come to town starting Oct. 28 for a swing-through-Grand Junction book-signing party ...


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Trout don’t hibernate

By Special to the Sentinel

Perhaps the greatest question in life is: “Can I still get down the trails to the Gunnison, or has it snowed too much recently?” Coming in a close second is: “If I head over to the Roaring Fork on Saturday, will my favorite pullover already have a vehicle sitting there?” Such life-critical questions demand an answer only available with a lacing of the boots and a turn of the ignition key. Have you laced the boots or turned the key recently? Many consider fishing, ...


Reasons to buy Duck Stamp

By Dave Buchanan

Buying a Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp is a simple and direct way for people to contribute to grassland and wetland conservation. Here are a few more reasons to buy a stamp today. ■ Costing only $15, a Duck Stamp is perhaps the single simplest thing you can do to support a legacy of wetland and grassland conservation for birds. ■ Your purchase reaches out to more than 5.5 million acres. There are more than 560 individual National Wildlife Refuge units within the United States, ...


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Duck Stamp provides key funds for conservation

By Dave Buchanan

If you think the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly called the Duck Stamp, is just for waterfowl hunters, think again. Whether you like to hunt, bird, photograph wildlife and scenery, collect stamps, or conserve habitat, you’ll want to purchase this stamp. When you buy a $15 Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, as much as $14.70 goes to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetland acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge System. More than 250 of this ...


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