Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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122610 antler

Hunting for antlers? Make sure you do it the correct, legal way

By Dave Buchanan

The stress of the holiday season is nothing compared to the winter stress on big game animals. Not only are deer, elk and pronghorn still weary from the rigors of breeding season, the animals face an ever-shrinking food supply just when they need the calories the most. Any added stress, including sometimes inadvertent and sometimes purposeful harassment by shed antler hunters, only makes survival that much more difficult. Maybe it’s the economy, maybe it’s the exercise, ...

Colorado’s big-game season so-so as weather fails to cooperate

By Dave Buchanan

If you’re busy still making that list and checking it twice, you might want to consider leaving something extra for Mother Nature. Maybe next year she’ll smile more kindly on big-game hunters. Colorado’s 2010 big-game season started slow, nearly got snowed out and then ended slow. Hunters in the early archery and muzzleloader seasons and the first combined season were greeted with near-summer temperatures and mostly blue skies. Which is fine if you’re looking ...


Hunt for 703-pound bear attracts amazement, criticism

By Dave Buchanan

When hunter Richard Kendall crawled into the darkness of a bear den in late November, he was prepared to face the largest black bear he had ever tracked. What he wasn’t prepared for was the 703-pound bear waiting for him or the firestorm that erupted after he left that den. Kendall, 55, of Craig, said he’s had years of experience hunting black bears in Colorado and after seeing the 8-inch-wide tracks left by this bear, knew he had a potential record on his ...

112810 desert bighorn

Keys’ strong guidance helps Sapa complete Grand Slam of bighorn sheep hunting

By Dave Buchanan

Joe Keys has many good memories after more than two decades as a big-game guide and outfitter, but this November certainly stands out. Keys, who owns Keys Guide and Outfitting in Mesa, helped Montana hunter Dick Sapa harvest the first desert bighorn ram allowed a nonresident hunter from sheep unit S56 on Black Ridge. That game unit is bordered by Colorado Highway 141 and the Dolores River on the east and south, the Utah border on the west and the Colorado River on the north. “We ...

Aurora youth lands state-record smallmouth bass

By Dave Buchanan

Aurora Reservoir must be the place to go if you’re seeking a state-record fish. Just more than a month after 20-year-old Jessica Walton landed a state-record 43-pound channel catfish at the reservoir east of Denver, another Aurora youth has eclipsed the state’s mark for smallmouth bass. On Nov. 12, Conner Peitsmeyer, 11, caught a 20.75-inch smallmouth weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Conner was fishing with his dad Michael when the big fish bit. “We had caught quite a few ...

Disgraced Parker outfitter put profit before ethics in the hunting arena

By Dave Buchanan

A series of missteps by an outfitter from Parker has resulted in him paying fines in excess of $13,000 after pleading guilty to illegally hunting deer in eastern Colorado. In addition, outfitter Tom Tietz, 56, faces two years of supervised probation and lifetime loss of his hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 34 other member states in the Wildlife Violator’s Compact. According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Tietz was paid $5,000 from each of three clients in 2008. ...

111610 Taxidermy

Elk, deer remain elusive through third big-game season

By Dave Buchanan

Hunters may remember this latest big-game season as a season of two seasons. When the third installment of the 2010 big-game season ended at dusk Sunday, hunters had to weather yet another winter storm warning to get out of the hills. In contrast, at the beginning of the nine-day season hunters were dealing with 60-degree days and faint prospects of using those new snow tires. The mix of weather was enough to change hunting strategies several times and hunters lucky or prescient enough ...


Youths can go wild over turkey this year

By Dave Buchanan

Can you say “Thanksgiving turkey?” The Division of Wildlife can, and is offering a special youth-only fall turkey hunt starting Saturday in selected units around southwest Colorado. The hunt is open to all Colorado hunters under age 18. Licenses are available at any license agent or DOW office. Youngsters holding a unfilled turkey tag from the regular season can use that tag to go hunting again. Each hunter must be accompanied by a non-hunting mentor who is 18 or older and ...

East Portal Road closed for winter

By Staff

Icy conditions from the latest round of winter storms have moved the Bureau of Reclamation to close the East Portal Road for the winter. The road, reached from the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, provides access to the Gunnison River and Crystal Dam within the Curencanti National Recreation Area. The road will reopen next spring when road and weather conditions allow. For more information, contact Ted Dunn at (970) 240-6300.  ...


Blind hunter sights in opportunity to take a buck

By Dave Buchanan

After cautiously waiting and watching the shadows grow light, the buck mule deer slowly stepped out of the trees. Vance Wilson turned his head and whispered, “He’s out now, I think we’ll get a shot.” Darrel Chapman, sitting next to Wilson in front of a large pinyon tree, barely tilted his head at Wilson’s voice. “Stand up and get ready,” Wilson said, and the two men rose together, Chapman mounting the rifle on a tripod stand. At the sound, the ...

Struggling economy leads to closure of popular fly shop in Montrose

By Dave Buchanan

With no more splash than a mayfly landing on a pond, veteran guide and fly shop retailer Bob Burke quietly closed the doors in September on a 20-year venture with Cimarron Creek Fly Shop in Montrose. The surprise end (at least to those of us not in the retail business) to one of western Colorado’s premier fly fishing shops emphasizes the economic doldrums plaguing the region. Burke was one of the more-knowledgeable shop owners in Colorado, particularly when it came to the Gunnison ...

Outreach program offers two private-land hunts

By Dave Buchanan

Thanks to the generosity of two Meeker area ranchers, six lucky hunters this fall will be hunting deer and elk on private land for free. The hunts, offered through the Division of Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach Program, include a private-land youth deer hunt for hunters 12–18 years old. The hunt will happen during the fourth rifle season, Nov. 17–21, and applicants must not already have a 2010 deer license. The second hunt is a private-land cow elk hunt on the 2,900-acre ...


Quick taste of winter leaves hunters empty handed

By Dave Buchanan

Blaze-orange hunting shorts, anyone? What began as a promising and very wintry start to the 2010 big-game season eased noticeably last week and took with it many hunters’ hopes. It didn’t help that hunters were battling a full moon and suddenly speechless elk, but mid-day temperatures hovering above 40 degrees might have been the final insult. There’s not much change in the short-term forecast, with mostly clear skies and temperatures above 7,000 feet expected to top ...

Gray wolf in northern Rockies relisted under ESA

By Staff

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reinstated federal protection under the Endangered Species Act for the gray wolf in most of the Northern Rocky Mountains. The reinstatement complies with a District of Montana court order of Aug. 5. Under the regulation, gray wolf populations in the northern half of Montana, the northern panhandle of Idaho, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and north-central Utah as considered endangered. The ruling also reinstates the designation of the ...

DOW seeking information about Estes Park elk killling

By Dave Buchanan

The illegal killing of a popular bull elk earlier this month in Estes Park has the Colorado Division of Wildlife seeking information and offering a massive reward. The elk, recognizable for sporting seven points on each antler and the star attraction at this year’s Elk Fest in Estes Park, was struck by an arrow in the spine near its hind quarters on or around Oct. 15. Estes Park police officers euthanized the elk after it was determined the animal was unable to walk or eat and the ...

102710 OUT Lake Powell Wayne

Winter fishing can be exciting at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,634 msl Water Temperature 66 - 69F PAGE, Ariz. — Where did the summer go? I will be sampling uplake during the first two weeks of November so this will be my last regular fish report for the year. If something good happens a supplemental report will be posted on Wayneswords.com. Here is what to expect during the next month. Striped bass will continue to be found in deep water. Focus on the 60 foot depth strata to make best use of graphing time and eliminate ...

Hunting Elk 1

First season notes: Sun’s out, so are elk

By Dave Buchanan

The elk are here, where is the weather? The first of this year’s major rifle hunting seasons started Saturday under clear skies and temperatures a bit above average, neither of which are particularly welcome to determined elk hunters. Still, early reports indicate many hunters are at least seeing elk if not putting one in the freezer. “The report from North Park is that the hunting has been good with hunters getting into elk about everywhere,” said Division of Wildlife ...

102010 Lake Powell

Rain brings cooling and revived fishing to Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,634 msl Water Temperature 69 -72F PAGE, Ariz. — Lots of rain this week will create some absolutely beautiful waterfalls tumbling off the cliffs walls surrounding Lake Powell. Cooler days will finally cool the water into the 60s. Cooler water will bring the best fishing period of the fall for all species. Adult stripers will continue to actively hit frozen cut bait but they will be able to move into shallower water. The holding depth now is 50 to 70 feet. Finding ...

Colorado Division of Wildlife’s weekly fishing report — Oct. 19, 2010

By Special to the Sentinel

Seasonal Report: On Colder Ponds The leaves have changed, the days are shorter and frost has returned to greet us in the mornings. Big changes are taking place as Colorado begins its yearly transformation into a winter wonderland. As temperatures plummet, the high country’s lakes, ponds and streams will soon make way for different types of fishing experiences.  One of the best things about fishing in Colorado is the year-round opportunities and challenges that it presents. ...

101310 Lake Powell Jones

Lake Powell fishing gets better every day

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,634 msl Water Temperature 70-74 F PAGE, Ariz. – Summer continues with a bit of spring runoff thrown in for good measure. Lake Powell rose a foot with recent rain storms helping the water level. Water temperature is a pleasant 72 F with the return of warmer than usual days. With all that good news there might as well be more. Fishing gets better by the day. Striped bass are ready, willing and eager to bite frozen cut bait in the main lake.  Shad are scarce ...

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