Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Make bear hunting more bearable with seminar

By Dave Buchanan

Never expect bear hunting to be easy, but Tony Bonacquista can make it easier. Bonacquista, a district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and an experienced bear hunter, will reveal his secrets during a bear hunting seminar March 10 in Montrose. He is expected to discuss bear biology, hunting tactics, field dressing, rules and regulations and human bear conflict issues. “Bears are very challenging to hunt, but hunters who know where to look and how to hunt them can ...


No trespassing: Hunter keeps property boundaries in his sights

By Dave Buchanan

It happens to every hunter and angler: A trip is ruined when an illegal gate, fence or “No Trespassing” sign prevents access to public land. In most cases, the hunter or angler gives up and goes elsewhere, which is just what the landowner wants and expects. But sometimes a hunter refuses to back down. Brandon Siegfried decided not to back down after being harassed by landowners illegally posting public land along Roan Creek near De Beque. “My buddy and I were turkey ...


Cactus bucks increasing in Hotchkiss area

By Dave Buchanan

A curious condition that leaves mule deer bucks carrying velvet covered antlers year-round apparently has cropped up in the Hotchkiss/Crawford area. State wildlife officials say reports about what are known as “cactus bucks” have increased over the past decade in parts of the North Fork Valley. It isn’t known why so many reports of cactus bucks have surfaced in the past few years in this one area since the condition, while infrequent, isn’t entirely unknown in ...


Utah adds units, decreases licenses for 2012 deer hunting season

By Dave Buchanan

The application period for 2012 Utah deer hunting season begins today and prospective hunters have several new regulations to consider. Instead of the traditional five hunting regions, Utah now has 30 deer hunting units. A hunter familiar with a former hunting region should consult a map to see which units are in that region. According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the change was made after hunters expressed concern about the few bucks seen during the 2010 hunt ...

Ice, fish grand at Vega Reservoir

By Dave Buchanan

More cold means more ice means more room to fish. Anglers know ice fishing is the Great Equalizer, no matter what Horace Mann said about education. Winter allows you to fish places you can’t reach in summer without a boat. And you get to catch all those big fish that spend the summer hanging out just beyond your ability to cast. There are a lot of fish like that at Vega Reservoir. Revenge is sweet. WHAT: Vega Reservoir Ice Fishing Tournament, sponsored by Collbran Lions Club ...


Icy greeting: Eager anglers head for fresh ice at Rifle Gap

By Dave Buchanan

RIFLE GAP STATE PARK — A scar of raw ice slashing across the mostly frozen surface of Rifle Gap Reservoir splits the new from the old. The scar is a pressure ridge, formed as the lake gradually froze and indicative of the plate tectonics movement of ice caps on this and other frozen lakes. Such ridges often are considered weak spots in the ice cap, a place anglers and skiers would do well to avoid. But ironically, this particular ice ridge, snaking from the west end of the dam to ...


Frozen in place: Perfect, safe spot key to ice fishing at area reservoirs

By Dave Buchanan

VEGA STATE PARK — It’s true in real estate and it’s true if you’re going fishing: success depends on location, location, location. That’s particularly apt in this winter of vagaries, if you’re an ice angler seeking out some ice through which to angle. The best advice for now is to stay high. “We’re pretty thankful to have the ice we have now,” said Vega State Park ranger Kedrick Robinson during a brief stop on his rounds Friday. ...


Slow fishing follows New Year’s Eve crowd on Crawford Reservoir

By Dave Buchanan

CRAWFORD STATE PARK — The ice cap Sunday morning on Crawford Reservoir creaked and groaned — perhaps it, too, was recovering from a New Year’s Eve surfeit of too many people and too much noise. It couldn’t have been Sunday’s anglers, since for most of the day there weren’t enough people on the ice for a rugby scrum. Those who were there, however, weren’t enjoying much action. “Man, it’s slow,” lamented one angler as he and his ...

Fly fishing event worth a showing

By Dave Buchanan

Keep the New Year’s resolution to learn to fly fish and hit this weekend’s Denver Fly Fishing Show. Nothing better than spending a day or two among some of the sport’s finest to turn the novice into a, well, former novice. There will be new products, new demos and even new films at the accompanying International Fly Fishing Film Festival. You will be sure to find everything Santa forgot. WHAT: The 12th anniversary edition of the Denver Fly Fishing Show. WHERE: The ...

Fruita park to close entrance road

By Staff

The entrance road to the Fruita Section of the James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park will be closed Dec. 12-15 to repair a section of the road damaged when a drainage pipe collapsed. Park manager Pete Firmin said the closure is necessary to allow the Grand Valley Drainage District to repair the pipe. Firmin said closure will affect only vehicular access. Pedestrian access still will be allowed during the repair. For more information, call the park at 434-3388.  ...


Deer-hunting opportunities rebound

By Dave Buchanan

Kierra Hall chose the perfect time to go deer hunting. A resurgent deer population, boosted by more than a decade of limited hunting pressure and a progression of mild winters, meant many deer hunters this fall had an opportunity to harvest a nice buck. Kierra, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Holy Family Catholic School, also had the advantage of hunting with her grandfather, Doug Hall. “She’s been going with me for three or four years and last year she got a doe,” said ...


Weather at Powell is fine, but fishing is even better

By Dave Buchanan

It’s late fall in the Grand Valley, but it’s an endless summer at Lake Powell. At least according to long-time Lake Powell fisheries expert Wayne Gustaveson, author of the much-read Lake Powell fishing report, Wayne’s Words. Even though the summer crowds have deserted the lake, which spans 186 miles when full, Gustaveson’s latest report says the fishing remains excellent thanks to a prolonged warm spell. “Water temperature this morning (Monday) at the ...


Increase in wild turkey nunmbers leads to more hunting opportunities

By Dave Buchanan

It’s particularly fitting: On this singular national holiday with a bird as its centerpiece, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is asking you to go wild about turkey. Specifically wild turkeys, and so much the better should your efforts include the feathered troublemakers cavorting around the Eastern Plains. The feathered felons have caused so much ruckus the commission recently liberalized turkey hunting licenses and hunting opportunities in two particularly hard-hit ...

No immediate impact from spill seen in fish, wildlife

By Dave Buchanan

GATEWAY — Gravity saved West Creek. Not Isaac Newton’s gravity, at least not directly, but the gravity of the crude oil spurting from an overturned tanker truck on Oct. 24. That crude oil, described by one witness as “fluorescent lime green” and smelling “like 90-weight gear oil,” was a light crude condensate from oil wells near Blanding, Utah. The American Petroleum Institute (API) rates an oil’s gravity in relation to how heavy or light a ...

East Portal Road closed for winter

By Dave Buchanan

MONTROSE – The East Portal Road from the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to the Gunnison River has been closed for the winter. The Curecanti Field Office of the Bureau of Reclamation announced the closure Thursday, citing icy conditions on the steep, serpentine road. The road, which takes off Colorado Highway 347 at the south entrance to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, ...


Carelessly off target

By Dave Buchanan

With Colorado’s big-game season half over and two more weeks to go, the tally of illegally killed moose continues to grow. As of Monday, 11 moose have been reported killed unnecessarily since the start of the hunting season on Oct. 15. All but one of those moose died in the northwest region, home of most of the state’s estimated 1,700 moose. And there is still the nine-day third season Nov. 5-13 and the five-day fourth season Nov. 16-20. Call the moose deaths negligent, ...

Study shows similarities in illegal moose kills

By Dave Buchanan

A 1999 study by the then-Division of Wildlife spanning 21 years (1978–1988) and 277 reports uncovered distinct behavior patterns with hunters who accidentally killed a moose. The Moose Mistaken Identification database shows 95 percent of the hunters were licensed elk hunters who illegally shot a moose. Although the hunters were all ages, 33 was the average, which should indicate a level of expertise in hunting. Apparently the expertise didn’t go so far as to carrying ...

102111 Lake Powell Deb

Subtle changes in techniques make fishing trip a successs

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,651 asl Water Temperature:  67-72 F PAGE, Ariz. – Oct. 20: The armor plating worn by most game fish this fall is finally starting to tarnish.  There are a few chinks now apparent that can be exploited by anglers willing to meet bass and stripers on their own terms. Subtle changes in techniques and timing can turn a fishing trip into a success when resorting to normally fishing logic may result in failure.  Here are some suggestions. Stripers in the ...


Take a look at ‘Off the Grid’

By Dave Buchanan

Get on course and fish off the grid. Translated: Visit the Grand Valley Anglers’ meeting Thursday at Tiara Rado Golf Course and be among the first to see the fly fishing video “Off the Grid.” This breath-taking, two-hour video was produced by Beattie Outdoor Productions of Aspen. Owner and videographer RA Beattie has long been a good friend of Trout Unlimited and the Grand Valley Anglers chapter in particular. The video was released Oct. 7 and, thanks to Beattie, the ...

Elk hunting slow, but the fishing is fine

By Dave Buchanan

Various shades of orange, gold and brown color the days of autumn, and you’ll find them everywhere you turn. A lone hunter, fashionably outfitted in blaze orange from cap to ankles, was walking a spur road on the east side of Grand Mesa on Sunday when a nosy sort in a passing vehicle stopped to query about his success. “It’s been pretty slow,” the hunter said, shaking his head in dismay about the opening days of the five-day limited elk season which ends ...

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