Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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 ...

Poacher’s appeal denied by 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

By Staff

Convicted poacher and former outfitter Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh, 73, of Meeker, had his appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected earlier this week. This means Rodebaugh’s 41-month prison sentence and fines from the 2013 conviction for illegally baiting deer and elk with salt will stand. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators, between 2002 and 2007, Rodebaugh and an associate used large quantities of salt to attract elk ...

Temporary lift on bluegill restrictions at Jerry Creek

By Staff

Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Ute Water Conservancy District are cooperating to temporarily lift the catch-and-release restrictions for bluegill at Jerry Creek Reservoir
No. 1, beginning Friday until Sunday, Aug. 23. All restrictions for other fish species will remain in effect at the reservoir, and fishing is permitted during daylight hours only. Jerry Creek Reservoir No. 1 is a popular fishing location about 32 miles northeast of Grand Junction. It is the smaller of two ...


Enjoy a trip to Eagle River

By Joel L. Evans

Longing to fish every river we encounter, even if the occasion is brief, is a common emotion of every angler. With so many rivers in western Colorado alone, angst to stop and fish every water we see is a natural but sometimes fleeting affair. Some places we return to often. Others are visited only occasionally, maybe just once. How can the Eagle River not grab you? For a multitude of reasons, it is common for western Colorado residents to travel to the eastern side of the hill. So, for ...

Fishing tournament helps with smallmouth bass problem at Ridgway Reservoir

By Dale Shrull

Smallmouth bass in Colorado? That’s right. But how in the world did a freshwater fish found in places like the upper Mississippi River basin, parts of the Great Lakes system and the Hudson Bay basin, find its way into a high-country reservoir like Ridgway Reservoir in Ouray County? The answer is simple. Smallmouth bass were illegally stocked in Ridgway Reservoir, located at Ridgway State Park, and the prolific fish reproduced rapidly, which is a major concern for Colorado’s ...


The fishing is Grand

By Joel L. Evans

So many waters, so little time. Such can be said of most any hobby or activity, especially an outdoor-related adventure. The world is abundant with outdoor recreational opportunities. Fishing can be worldwide, but the geographic area covered by the rectangular lines of the state of Colorado are alone enough to fill a lifetime of angling opportunity. Although you would not want to intentionally limit yourself, if the only place in Colorado you could get to has “grand” in its ...


Trout trouble: Report finds that native fish face several threats

By Dale Shrull

The future of native trout in the United States is in big trouble. That’s the finding of a new Trout Unlimited report recently released. The report by the cold-water conversation group cites climate change, nonnative species, energy development and the demand on water resources as the main threats to native trout. “We wanted people to know about the threats that these fish face, and we looked at four main threats in detail,” said Jack Williams, senior scientist for ...


Rally of the rainbows

By Dale Shrull

The rainbow trout is making a comeback. Actually, these colorful fish worthy of the name rainbow were never completely gone from Colorado waters, but they are now again reproducing in the wild. After whirling disease devastated the rainbow populations in the 1990s, Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic scientists and biologists went to work. The 20-year effort paid off with some great news. “It’s been a long road, but bringing back populations of fish that were essentially ...

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