Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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030310outLakePowell

Biologist: ‘Fish are grinning at Lake Powell’

By Dave Buchanan

Most of us still have snow piled in the shady spots on our lawns and that has Wayne Gustaveson smiling. The veteran Lake Powell fisheries biologist is eager to spread the word that fishing conditions at the reservoir this summer likely will be some of the best in recent years. Water levels in the reservoir, which dropped substantially during the long drought starting in 2000, are expected to rebounded a bit thanks to plenty of snow in the upper Colorado River basin. “A modest ...


Festivals celebrate sandhill crane migration

By Dave Buchanan

Craniacs, get ready. The sandhill cranes are on their way. The spring migration of thousands of sandhill cranes is under way and avid birders have plenty of opportunity to view these magnificent birds. Enjoy seminars, early morning wake-up calls and plenty of binocular time with birds winging their way to nesting grounds in northern Colorado and beyond. The 27th annual Monte Vista Crane Festival is March 12–14 and the Eckert Crane Days celebration is March 20 and 27. It’s ...


Black Canyon featured at Thursday’s TU meeting

By Dave Buchanan

Three seasons of fishing in the Gunnison Gorge will be featured Thursday at the February meeting of the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Pinyon Grill at Tiara Rado Golf Club, 2057 So. Broadway. Ben Olson, manager of Black Canyon Anglers, will talk about fishing the 14 miles of the Black Canyon from Chukar Trail to the Pleasure Park at the North Fork confluence. A former fly shop owner, Olson spends his summers and falls guiding one- ...


Fly-tying seminar Saturday at Western Anglers

By Dave Buchanan

A free fly-tying seminar at 10 a.m. Saturday at Western Anglers Fly Shop, 413 Main, features Ben Olson, manager of Black Canyon Anglers. Olson will be demonstrating new techniques he uses for tying some patterns he has developed for high mountain streams and the Uncompahgre River. Olson spends from May through November floating the Gunnison Gorge guiding clients in search of large brown trout. His fly collection also includes “guide patterns” he uses on the Gunnison ...


Tie my fly: Dennis to teach patterns in session

By Staff

Fly fishing author Jack Dennis of Jackson, Wyo., is hosting two days of fly-tying lessons this week in Grand Junction. Dennis will be offering classes from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Western Anglers Fly Shop, 413 Main. Each session costs $75 and includes video-enhanced, personal instruction for 11 different fly patterns and five fly-tying DVDs produced by Dennis. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. Participants should have a basic knowledge of ...


Tiny worm carries big burden

By Staff

By DAVE BUCHANAN Blame it on a worm. The mystery of why Colorado was so hard-hit by the scourge of whirling disease may be solved by a small aquatic worm known as tubifex tubifex. Whirling disease is caused by a microscopic parasite that attacks the soft cartilage in young salmon and trout, including rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. The water-borne parasite (myxobolus cerebralis) may not directly kill trout, but highly infested fish can become deformed or exhibit the erratic ...


012010 out befus tree

Try your hand at fly-tying

By Dave Buchanan

When snow returns to the Grand Valley, inside activities take precedence over snow shoveling. Add fly-tying to that list of preferred activities, and add the free Saturday morning flying seminars at Western Anglers Fly Shop as the place to learn. This week’s featured tier is Tim Jacobs of New Castle, a specialist in deer hair and warmwater fly patterns. (You know, just in case you really get it together and take that mid-winter trip to Mexico or the islands.) WHAT: Free Saturday ...


Look for modifications to hunting regs for western Colorado

By Dave Buchanan

Big-game hunters have some studying ahead of them before submitting that license application for the 2010 hunting season. In addition to the changes to the state’s hunting regulations noted Sunday in this space, several other notable modifications were undertaken last week by the Colorado Wildlife Commission. Here is a short list of the changes significant to western Colorado hunters. A complete list can be found at the wildlife commission Web site (wildlife.state.co.us) and in ...


Wildlife feeding program not forgotten despite mild winter in Gunnison

By Dave Buchanan

The memories are still fresh of the massive emergency feeding program the Division of Wildlife undertook two years ago this month as winter clamped an iron fist around the Gunnison high country. Record snows and accompanying cold forced deer and elk into the Gunnison Basin, where an immense, four-month effort by the DOW and scores of volunteers prevented what surely could have been a terrible die-off of wildlife. At one time, the DOW was feeding about 9,500 deer, an estimated half of all ...


Hunter bags lion that may have mauled dog

By Paul Shockley

A Lake City hunter on Friday shot a young mountain lion believed to have mauled a family dog last week on the outskirts of the small town. The licensed hunter, Jim Higgins, said he took aim Friday afternoon after stumbling across the lion as it fed on an elk’s carcass following a kill. The lion was bagged roughly four miles north of the home of Schuyler Denham, whose dog, Jane Doe, was attacked the evening of Jan. 11, near the Denham’s front porch. Higgins said the lion, ...


Grand Junction man gets jail time, fine for wildlife violations

By Dave Buchanan

A Grand Junction man with a history of wildlife violations will spend a year in jail for his latest infractions. Jonathan H. Gilbert, 29, was sentenced on Jan. 8 in Garfield County District Court to one year in the Department of Corrections and fined $952 after being caught last January illegally shooting at a bobcat decoy near Baxter Pass. Gilbert pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon by a previous offender and to unlawfully hunting with artificial light, according to court records ...


South banks, good gear make winter river fly fishing a warming proposition

By Dave Buchanan

What to do when it’s January and the cabin fever is getting bad? Grab your fishing rod, some warm clothes and a Thermos of soup, and head off to your favorite river. Even in mid-winter you’ll find open water on the Gunnison, Colorado, Fryingpan, Uncompahgre and Taylor rivers, among others. While sometimes it can be seriously too cold to go out, we’re blessed because there are many sun-splashed winter days when air temperatures climb above freezing. Staying out of the ...


Hunting area disclosure rule implemented for property buyers

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Complaints from residents about gunshots along local rivers and in other traditional hunting areas have prompted the Mesa County Commission to take steps to advise property owners what to expect in their new surroundings. Commissioners recently adopted a resolution requiring notification whenever a development application is approved in an area where hunting occurs. The notice will inform future home or business owners that they’re occupying an area where people traditionally have ...


121609outBlueSnowGoose

Plentiful snow geese nuisance for some, good hunting for others

By Dave Buchanan

“These damn geese, they pretty hard to fool.” Spoken in the cadenced patois of Cajun Louisiana, the ghost words hang like smoke on a frosty morning in late December. Tommy Redbone, camouflaged head-to-toe in what he called his “Cajun tuxedo,” was putting down a couple thousand white rag decoys across a recently harvested rice field. “I got to put all these out, otherwise the birds don’t pay no attention,” he explained, crossing and crisscrossing ...


120909outSnowshoes

OUT: Ice fishing, Christmas tree hunting in full swing on Grand Mesa

By Dave Buchanan

MESA LAKES — Steve Stiers’ walrus-sized mustache had barely defrosted Saturday when a nosy visitor cornered the owner of Mesa Lakes Lodge to query about early season ice fishing on Grand Mesa. Stiers, a large-framed rambling sort who easily fills a doorway or one of the comfortable seats in the redecorated lodge’s dining room, didn’t hesitate with his answer. “Well, if you’d have been here about five minutes ago, you’d have seen us out on Beaver, ...


120609 OUT elk herd art

Controlling fertility: Wildlife commission considers allowing DOW to manage problems

By Dave Buchanan

Taking care of business with a needle, not a gun, will be on the agenda this week for the Colorado Wildlife Commission. When the commission sits down to its December workshop Thursday in Pueblo, among the items set for adoption is a formal policy on using fertility control on wildlife. The policy allows the Colorado Division of Wildlife the “limited use of fertility control to manage problem or nuisance wildlife under very specific conditions.” Controlling wildlife ...


120209 OUT streamers pan

With warm weather, fishing is still looking up

By Dave Buchanan

It isn’t often you might plan a fishing safari for the first week of December, but so far this isn’t a normal winter. As skiers and boarders join resort owners anxiously eyeing clear skies, a few anglers are taking advantage of mild temperatures and the late-fall hunger of post-spawn brown trout. “We fished the Uncompahgre River below the dam Sunday and by 11 o’clock we were taking off our hats and gloves,” recounted Phil Trimm, shop manager at Western ...


Funding for land conservation makes for good outdoor recreation and good economic sense

By Staff

Many of us will be afield this fall spending time in our favorite hunting and fishing spots. We will be enjoying the tradition of these field sports so important to our lives. But as you head out to the fields, rivers and streams we want to take a moment of your time to let you know about an important tool for conservation of those areas we find near and dear to our hearts. The United States Congress has a very full plate this fall. Important topics will be debated and may become law. ...


DOW might expand efforts to collect salmon eggs

By Dave Buchanan

A forecast earlier this summer by the Colorado Division of Wildlife of a possible shortage of kokanee salmon eggs is becoming a reality. With most of the egg-take operations around the state winding down, biologist are reporting the state has collected about 75 percent of the 12 million or so eggs needed to meet the various demands for the popular game fish. So serious is the shortfall that the DOW is considering expanding its egg-taking operation to three reservoirs — Cheesman, ...


Opening of pheasant season a mixed bag for hunters

By Dave Buchanan

Thousands of Colorado upland bird hunters taking to the field Saturday for the opener of the 2009/2010 pheasant season may find the abundant moisture of spring and late summer left a mixed blessing. “There’s plenty of cover out there for the birds thanks to the moisture we received this spring and bird numbers have rebounded,” said Ed Gorman, the Division of Wildlife’s small game manager. “I saw well over 300 while driving around Yuma County last week and if ...


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