Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Fishing’s sweet season

By Joel L. Evans

Some states close the fishing season for the winter. They have their reasons, I suppose. Not so in Colorado. Thankfully there is not “a” season in Colorado. Instead, there are several seasons from which to choose and experience. For trout fishing, most would say summer is the best. Can’t argue with that. Summer weather is great, the high country is accessible, fish behavior is predictable. I would agree. But, I like spring. Spring is the sweet spot. Spring is short but ...

Next Sportsmen’s Roundtable meeting is Monday

By Staff

Hunters and anglers interested in expressing ideas and concerns to their representatives on the Sportsmen’s Roundtable will have that opportunity during a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials will attend to update sportsmen about recent issues and answer questions about a variety of hunting and fishing topics. In addition to regular business, attendees will have the opportunity to nominate and vote to ...

Rocky Mtn. Foundation focused on elk country

By Dale Shrull

The Grand Junction chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a busy bunch. Every year, the local chapter is a fundraising machine, and 2015 was no exception. In 2015, the Grand Junction chapter raised more than $572,000 to rank second for all chapters in the nation. The Colorado chapters raised more than $1.7 million in 2015. Over its 28 years, the local chapter has raised more than $4.48 million, making it the first chapter in Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation history to break the ...

American Dipper like a bird, and a fish

By Meredith Swett Walker

Of all of our local bird species, the American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) is the oddest in my mind. This small songbird doesn’t have bold, unusual plumage or a boisterous, strange song. The drab, low-profile Dipper is remarkable because it is a bird that thinks it is a trout. The American Dipper was formerly known as the “water ouzel.” Like many birds, the Dipper eats insects, but it specializes in aquatic insects — that are still underwater. ...

Officials worried about wildlife

By Staff

The most recent dose of snow and frigid temperatures has created some of the harshest conditions in the state during the past 35 years, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers in the state’s Northwest Region. Temperatures consistently have dropped below zero degrees, and deep snow limits big game’s access to available forage. Parks and Wildlife officials are concerned the extreme winter conditions could lead to increased wildlife mortality in portions of the region ...


Winter warmup

By Joel L. Evans

It’s summer in the southern hemisphere and all of the fishermen, fishing guides and outdoor retail stores are doing a big business, I suppose. Sort of like our local ski areas here in the winter. So, speaking of here, what are the local fishermen, guides and shops doing now that the fishing opportunities are diminished? Notice I said less, not none. There are some winter fishing destinations such as the lower Gunnison or the Frying Pan or the hard water for those of that mind, ...

Antler hunters reminded to follow rules

By Staff

Antler hunters reminded to follow rules Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind hunters of shed antlers that new restrictions will be strictly enforced on public lands in portions of Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield and Routt counties. The restrictions were approved by the Parks and Wildlife Commission last year to reduce the significant disturbance of big-game animals struggling to survive after a long winter. These limits are in effect on public lands in game-management units 25, 26, 35, ...

Petition calls to end overlap between archery, muzzleloading seasons

By Dale Shrull

A citizen petition was submitted to Colorado Parks and Wildlife requesting the overlapping of archery and muzzleloader seasons be eliminated in the late summer for safety reasons. The petition was submitted after a bow-hunting accident killed a Palisade teenager. Justin Burns was shot and killed by a muzzleloader hunter on Sept. 13. The teen’s grandparents also submitted a letter to Parks and Wildlife requesting the elimination of the season overlap. After a short discussion at ...



By Dale Shrull

Kayla Coleman calmly traced the bird with her 20-gauge shotgun and gave the trigger a gentle squeeze. Her shoulder absorbed the jolt, and she heard a cheer go up from the onlookers as feathers flew and the pheasant dropped to the ground. Kayla didn’t celebrate. She turned, eyes wide and her jaw slightly unhinged. A look of disbelief. Then she smiled. Her first bird — ever. A chocolate Labrador retriever named Sam bounded through the snow to retrieve the bird, and then Kayla ...

Not in Colorado: Parks and Wildlife votes to ban release of Mexican, gray wolves in state

By Dale Shrull

Pro-wolf groups came out in force Wednesday, but they were forced to swallow the bitter pill of defeat. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission listened to presentations and speakers for nearly two-and-a-half hours, then voted 7 to 4 to ban the release of Mexican wolves and gray wolves in Colorado. Pro-wolf groups, which had more than 60 people at the regular Parks and Wildlife monthly meeting, many standing outside the building in Denver, made a passionate plea to the commissioners ...


The ice is nice

By Joel L. Evans

Mostly I just want to go fishing. I am always itchy. I don’t much care where or how, but just that I go. In January in Colorado, the choices are few. Problem solved. Ice fishing. OK, I know for some of you this makes matters worse. After all, who of sound mind would voluntarily put themselves into a cold outdoor environment when you can stay inside at home and watch football? After all, the biggest football games of the season are now. Well, I won’t be alone. There are ...

Reminder: Please don’t feed the wildlife

By Staff

Feeding big game is never a good idea. It’s also illegal in Colorado and can be deadly for wildlife. “There’s no doubt that life’s tough for big game during the winter, but feeding these animals can make them sick and kill them,” said Scott Wait, southwest region senior terrestrial biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  The digestive systems of deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep are specialized for natural food sources, not the common types of ...


When it comes to fishing, every minute counts

By Joel L. Evans

Put on your best shorts and favorite T-shirt. Rub on some suntan lotion. Get out the sunglasses. Make some lemonade. Summer is here! No, I’m not referring to the weather in the southern hemisphere, nor am I looking at an altered calendar designed by some mousey cartoon character. So, I say again, summer is here! Why? How can that be? Afterall, this is December in Colorado. Now if you were to check your calendar, it would note that Dec. 21 is the winter solstice. In other words, it ...


Funny name, 
serious fishing

By Joel L. Evans

Mostly I am interested in the week ahead. Since I will be out fishing, my major points of concern are such things as expected weather, current fishing conditions, how to get there, public-access points, and: Do I have peanut butter in the pantry for my sandwich? But I am also interested in history. In Colorado we have some unique names for our rivers and lakes that we visit to fool a fish. I suppose that is true the world over, and there are certainly a number of places named elk or ...


Training to hunt

By Dale Shrull

Besides target practice, Jeff Decavitch never thought about preparing for hunting season. Now, he understands that training makes for a better hunt. “I was way out of shape,” he said. “I used to be in pretty good shape when I was younger but I let myself go.” About three years ago, Decavitch started getting back into shape through a strict training regimen. He quickly discovered that it complemented his hunting. Then he combined the two and walked away with a ...

Check stations planned throughout rifle season

By Staff

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will have several check stations throughout the state during the current rifle seasons, continuing through Nov. 10. Animal check stations help officers ensure compliance with big-game regulations and also offer hunters the service of routine animal and data gathering customarily provided at CPW service centers. All hunters should be prepared to present their license if a wildlife officer stops them for a courtesy check. Hunters should anticipate interactions ...


Restoration project

By Joel L. Evans

Remodeling. Maybe your hobby is about remodeling or restoration. Some people enjoy taking something faded or worn and bringing it back to like new. For example, cars, furniture, houses, clocks, bamboo rods, tractors. For the fishing enthusiast, restoration is different. Fish themselves and the places they live are not an object to be held and crafted. But the world over, there are examples of a fishery or ecosystem needing protection from further degradation, or even an about-face ...

Angling areas get a boost from CPW funds

By Staff

Colorado Parks and Wildlife awarded funds totaling more than $200,000 this summer to six projects to improve angling opportunities around the state. One project has $30,000 going for a new boat ramp on the Colorado River at Rifle. All of the projects approved for funding will result in new and expanded angler access to a number of rivers and creeks. “Colorado has incredible fisheries, truly world-class,” said Bob Broscheid, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. ...


Brown’s big buck

By Dale Shrull

Zachary Brown took a deep breath and drew back on his bow. A big buck was in the cross hairs. His nerves were churning, but he focused on the deer. The situation was similar, but this hunt was different for the 14-year-old boy from Crawford. He’d already had successful hunts: two elk; three wild turkeys; and a bear, which is mounted and hanging on his bedroom wall. But those kills came with a rifle. This was his first archery hunt, and this buck was huge. But he didn’t take ...


‘In the middle of nowhere’

By Joel L. Evans

Some places are more “in the middle of nowhere” than others. And western 
Colorado has plenty of them. If you look at a state map and consider where the population centers are, the northwest quadrant of the state seems to be the most in the middle of nowhere. For outdoor enthusiasts, that’s great. For the fishing addict, that can mean exploring some waters with the minimal crowds that go with the middle of nowhere. Here are a few clues — Yampa River, White ...

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