Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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OUT: Sunday Column April 12, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

Each year hunting trips seem to take a bigger bite out of the budget, and a new report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reveals how big that chunk is. The report says waterfowl hunters in 2006 spent $900 million on necessities and hunting-related toys ranging from dogs, decoys and guns to the trucks needed to haul them. The information was collected in 2006 as part of the agency’s national survey of fishing, hunting, and wildlife-associated recreation, which is done every ...


OUT: Sunday Column April 05, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

That deadline for 2009 limited-license big-game hunting applications is, like, Tuesday. Your taxes can wait another week, but something as important as having a place to hunt next fall can’t. If you’ve procrastinated this late, the easiest and fastest way is to log on to the Division of Wildlife Web site at wildlife.state.co.us, click on Hunting and follow the links to the application page. It takes about 10 minutes or less, if you already know the season and the game ...


OUT: Exxon Valdez spill effects felt 20 years after

By Special to the Sentinel

When the Exxon Valdez smashed in to Bligh Reef in the Gulf of Alaska on March 24, 1989 and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, many species of wildlife were decimated. While many are showing signs of returning to normal populations levels, several bird species have not yet recovered, and the status of five others remains unknown. “Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez spill, oil still poses a grave threat to marine birds,” said Dr. Michael ...


032509 OUT AVA Sophia

OUT: Kids learn fly-fishing at expo

By Dave Buchanan

You’re never too old or too young to learn to fly fish. Well, maybe you can be too young. “I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who’s not yet walking,” offered Taila Oulton of Gunnison, one of the featured fly tiers and speakers for the 11th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo set for Friday and Saturday at the Doubletree Hotel. At 13, Taila knows something about learning young. She tied her first fly at the age of “3 or 4,” she said, under ...


OUT: Sunday Column March 22, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

Bikes and bears, not boards, will dominate most ski resorts by mid-April. Powderhorn, which still has good snow cover on most of its runs, closes March 29 with many other areas loading their last chair for 2008-2009 on April 5. Thursday at Powderhorn, we found only a few skiers and boarders enjoying what might have been the some of the best skiing of the year. It wasn’t deep powder but instead near-perfect spring conditions that had people exploring on and off trail. As we were ...


031809 OUT shock boat 2Stocking of fish in the

OUT: Flooding from snowpack catches juvenile trout emerging from nest

By Dave Buchanan

The immediate effect of watching flood waters last spring roar from the bypass tubes at Blue Mesa Reservoir was amazement at the power of so much water. That water’s ultimate power, however, might be felt in years to come if anglers notice what biologists already have seen: there are fewer fish in stretches of the Gunnison River. Perhaps not enough to register on the sensitivities of anglers but sufficient to hint at what might happen should the Gunnison Basin see a series of ...


031710outNedTrout

OUT: Let your Irish eyes smile on fish in Green, Gunnison rivers

By Dave Buchanan

It’s St. Patrick’s Day but instead of wearing the green, why not try fishing it? We’re not referring specifically to Utah’s lovely Green River where it courses through the sun-burnt cliffs of Flaming Gorge, although that is never a bad bet for an early spring getaway. “It’s really fishing great this time of year,” said guide Curtis Brown from Trout Creek Flies in Dutch John, Utah. “The flows are right at 900 (cubic feet per second), which ...


OUT: Western Colorado wild turkey anything but BIRDS OF PLAY

By Dave Buchanan

Spring means different things to many people, and to hunters it means a time to stretch the legs and the hunting skills seeking one of America’s wariest game birds. Colorado’s wild turkey hunting season runs April 11 to May 24 on the Western Slope. Other parts of the state have various starting dates. A complete list of turkey seasons and regulations is available on the Division of Wildlife Web sites, wildlife.state.co.us. One way to get started is to hang out with ...


Bill Schneider Column March 15, 2009

By Guest Columnist

I went to my first gun show a couple of weeks ago, but when I wrote about it, I left out the buzz concerning the proposed reauthorization of the federal assault weapons ban. I have a lot to say about it, so I saved it for this column. For starters, with all the massive messes the Obama administration has to unravel, why is our new president allowing his Attorney General Eric Holder to embark on a meaningless mission to nowhere? And in conflict with his campaign commitments and his ...


OUTside Connection Column March 11, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

When the scourge of whirling disease hit Colorado fisheries in the early 1990s, what once was a world-class rainbow trout fishery disappeared faster than federal bailout money to General Motors. However, drowned in the hew and cry over the lost rainbows was a similar threat to cutthroat trout, Colorado’s only native trout and one of the iconic fish of the West. The fanfare and accolades have been fewer in the case of cutthroat trout but the research and diligence has been as ...


OUT: Lake Powell Report March 11, 2009

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. — Lake elevation: 3,611 msl; water temperature: 50-52 F. Water temperature is still stalled in the low 50s. Warming that triggers bass activity, walleye spawning, and striper feeding is still anticipated but not factual yet. On the bright side, you haven’t missed any lakewide fishing opportunities. Specifically, the only bright spot is striper fishing in the upper lake between Hite and Good Hope. Shad are still abundant in the upper lake and stripers are there to ...


031109 OUT jack teach

OUT: Jack Dennis headline speaker at Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo

By Dave Buchanan

When the Western Colorado Fly Fishing Expo opens its doors March 27 at the DoubleTree Hotel, a familiar face will welcome you. Renowned fly tier, guide and fly fishing ambassador Jack Dennis of Jackson, Wyo., will be the featured guest and speaker for the 11th annual fly fishing expo. The expo starts March 27 with a tour of the Scott Rod and Ross Reels companies in Montrose, a special on-the-water clinic with Dennis and a meet-the-fly-tiers gathering at 5:30 p.m. The real fun starts at ...


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OUT: Mercury in Fish March 08, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

Last week’s story about the fish consumption advisory from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Division of Wildlife raised some questions about mercury in trout. The advisory cautions anglers, particularly pregnant anglers and those under 6 years old, to limit the eating of certain fish because of concerns about mercury moving up through the food chain and eventually accumulating in the fish’s tissues. The list of waters included Rifle Gap and ...


OUT: Sunday Column March 08, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

Spring (or at least weather remarkably similar to spring) continues to dominate the local scene, which means anglers are digging out their dust-covered waders and boots and wondering when their favorite water might be fishable. Even though much of the state snowpack is rated at least 110 percent of long-term average, the forecast is for a far shorter runoff than last year’s, which lingered well into July in some areas. And that, in turn, means it behooves you to be ready for what ...


030409 OUTside connection

OUTside Connection March 04, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

The Outside Connection this week varies from its normal menu of events that won’t cost you any money in which to participate. However, this week features something worth the money. The Grand Valley Chapter of Ducks Unlimited has made an interesting revival after nearly unraveling a few years ago due to some internal discord. Since then, however, the chapter has come back stronger than ever and last year was awarded a Top Flight Award for being one of the nation’s top ...


030409 OUT wills move

OUT: Pegging it! March 04, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

BASALT — The calendar says the last week of February but the weather says spring. Which are you going to believe? There is more bare earth than snow lining the Roaring Fork River upstream of the hamlet of Basalt. Well-tanned skiers continue to zip towards Aspen’s white lodes while river-wise anglers tease hungry trout from the river’s clear depths. Cottonwoods stretch their naked branches toward the mid-winter sun. Let’s believe it’s spring. On what might ...


030109 OUT PR

OUT: Colorado due to receive more than $7.5M from Fish and Wildlife Service

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado sportsmen, anglers and shooters soon will see some real benefits from paying taxes when the state gets its annual share of allocations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The funds are money returned to the individual states from two federal excise taxes on sportfishing equipment and archery, guns and ammunition sales. A total of $740 million is being divided among the states, and Colorado will receive $1.27 million from the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and ...


Fish contaminated by high mercury levels

By Dave Buchanan

Popular fishing destinations Rifle Gap and Juniata reservoirs are among a handful of western Colorado lakes added last week to the growing list of waters with fish contaminated by unsafe levels of mercury. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, anglers should strictly limit their eating of certain fish from Rifle Gap and Juniata reservoirs as well as Elkhead Reservoir near Craig, Catamount Lake near Steamboat Springs and Lake Granby. The warnings will ...


Yellowstone wolf drifts into Colo.

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado’s known wolf population grew by one — to one — this week when a wolf wandered into the state from southwest Montana. The wolf, an 18-month old female known as 314F, is being tracked by a Global Positioning Satellite collar she wears. According to researchers, the wolf separated from her pack north of Yellowstone National Park in September and since then has logged at least 1,000 miles on her dog-legged route across five states to her last-known location in ...


022509 OUT Befus mug

OUT: Fly-fishing whiz kid in town

By Dave Buchanan

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.” It’s clear he never met Tyler Befus of Montrose. Tyler, at the venerable age of 11, certainly isn’t wasting his youth. He’s an accomplished artist, fly tier and fly-fishing instructor, has a youth fly-fishing instructional DVD in process and recently released his second book, this one titled “A Kids Guide to Fly Tying.” In addition, Tyler holds ...


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