Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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OUT: Trout Unlimited to host annual Fall Cleanup

By Dave Buchanan

Call it paying your dues. Or simply giving respect to a favorite stream. The Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers will host their annual Fall Cleanup along West Creek on Nov. 1. The cleanup focuses on a few miles of Colorado Highway 141 paralleling West Creek, a year-round stream that supports a population of wild brown trout. Participants should meet at the Bureau of Land Management picnic area north of Gateway at 9:30 a.m. Bring water, ...


OUT: Sunday Column October 26, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

Late last week, as big-game hunters jammed counters at license agents across the Western Slope, no one would have expected to hear complaints about under-crowding. But the promise of a bountiful season may have come too early, as late-week reports indicate a first-season slump has dragged into the second. Today is the final day of the first combined deer and elk season and it’s the season that traditionally brings out the hunters. The lure of over-the-counter bull elk tags plus a ...


SPT 5b Lake Powell 10-23

OUT: Lake Powell Fishing Report October 23, 2008

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. — Main lake stripers have gone quiet. My best guess for the lack of feeding is a general attitude of satisfied luxury. They have all the food they want or need. They feed only when they want and are quickly sated. They seem to have little regard for the anglers who would really like to get up close and personal with these fat fish. Here is what’s happening. Stripers are feeding quickly during their prime feeding times. At first light and last light there is a ...


OUT: Sunday Column October 19, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

Call it the hex of the full moon. Or “Gone with the Wind,” but I seem to remember that title already being taken. Elk hunters eager for the early elk-only season that ended Wednesday found their hopes, and in some cases their tents, dashed after the opening weekend offered a full moon, snowstorms and tree-toppling winds. “That first day was pretty much miserable conditions for hunting all around the Gunnison Basin,” said J Wenum, area wildlife manager for the ...


OUT: Brunot Agreement fulfilled October 19, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

An agreement signed more than 130 years ago between the U.S. government and the Ute Indians finally is being fulfilled. Starting next year, the Southern Ute Tribe, which has its offices in Ignacio, will exercise its rights under the 1874 Brunot Agreement to hunt under tribal regulation on non-reservation land in southwest Colorado. The area, which covers nearly 4 million acres, originally was part of the Ute reservation delineated in 1868 that covered most of the western third of ...


101608 OUT Lake Powell art

OUT: Lake Powell Report October 16, 2008

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. — I went fishing the morning of the Oct. 14 just to make sure the full moon hex was still viable. Sure was. I didn’t get a bite. But that is now over and each night will get darker and hopefully days will be warmer after the first major cold front of the season. By the coming weekend, good fishing should prevail. The full moon is actually helpful right now with cold, windy mornings, in that shad-chasing fish all seem to wake up mid-day and begin feeding. There ...


OUT: Fishing Report October 15, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

Northwest • Big Creek Lakes — Fishing for lake trout has been slow, with fish in deeper water, but should improve with cooler temperatures. • Blue River (Dillon to Green Mtn. Res.) — The most effective approach is to fish a nymph in the morning while waiting for rising fish to take dr­y flies. Kokanee salmon are being taken in the lower portion of the river. • Colorado River (below Parshall) — The river is in a fall fishing mode ...


101508 OUT Andy Grilo

OUT: Fall casts its yearly chill

By Dave Buchanan

GUNNISON — Autumn trout fishing is a game of trade-offs. Trading the sandals and shorts you wore all summer for breathable waders and fleece jackets. Trading the big flies dressed to resemble July’s thumb-sized bugs smashing against your hat and vest for tiny hooks laced with motes of feather and silk. And trading a summery, clear-sky morning for a gusty afternoon with clouds the color of dirty wool scraping across the mountain-rimmed horizon. Season changes come ...


OUT: Wasting disease still a factor in wildlife policies

By Dave Buchanan

It’s no longer in the forefront of most hunters’ minds, but chronic wasting disease still haunts some of Colorado big game herds. The always fatal neurological disease, which received a lot of national attention a few years ago when it first appeared on the public’s radar screen, hasn’t gone away and it likely never will. But at least you no longer read reports saying the disease will wipe out deer and elk herds. “I would say certainly the concern has ...


OUT: Sunday Column October 12, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

First things first. Wednesday’s story on scuba diving contained a horrible misquote. Cindy Stanfield of The Travel Connection and Scubaventures in Grand Junction never said a wetsuit cost $2,000. She said a beginning scuba diver can get a wetsuit and all the necessary equipment for diving, including but not limited to mask, fins, regulator and dive computers, for up to $2,000, not simply the wetsuit alone. Stanfield said wetsuits can be purchased for as little as $90. She also ...


101208 Out-JT Romatzke

OUT: Parachute-area DOW official moves up in ranks

By Dave Buchanan

When JT Romatzke took over as the Division of Wildlife’s district wildlife manager for the Parachute area, the wave of energy development was about to become a tsunami inundating western Colorado. Now, nearly five years later, Romatzke is moving down the road, to Grand Junction and a promotion to Area 7 Wildlife Manager, which includes overseeing nine district officers, three wildlife technicians and the same energy companies he dealt with in Parachute. “It’s going to ...


OUT: Lake Powell Fishing Report October 08, 2008

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell Report Lake elevation: 3,626 mean sea level Water temperature: 71-73 F PAGE, Ariz. — Striper fishing is very selective and bass fishing continues to get better. The pattern for fat and fussy stripers requires finding fish and then conforming to their feeding behavior. There is no room for deviation. The overriding factor is abundant shad. In these conditions, stripers will only eat shad, so find what their feeding technique is in your fishing location. At Hite, the ...


OUT: OUTside Connection October 08, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

Hard to believe, but there are more reasons to visit the Gunnison high country other than the magnificent fall colors that have turned the region into a photographer’s dream. Kokanee salmon, a landlocked version of Pacific salmon, are making their annual fall run out of Blue Mesa Reservoir to Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery a few miles north of Almont. There, biologists with the Colorado Division of Wildlife spawn the salmon to raise future generations of the popular game fish. Because ...


OUT: Cattlemen’s group opposes reintroduction of wolves

By Dave Buchanan

A petition to bring wolves back to Colorado has been met with opposition from the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. The petition, filed last week by WildEarth Guardians, asks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop recovery plans for gray wolves in the southern Rockies. Four areas in Colorado, including the Flat Tops north of Glenwood Springs, are targeted for the reintroduction, said the group, because those areas offer the best chance to establish viable ...


OUT: Lake Powell Fishing Report October 02, 2008

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell Report Lake elevation: 3,626 msl Water temperature 73-75 F PAGE, Ariz. — The upper lake is slumbering under a warm blanket of shad. It has been a pleasant month for predators as they simply have to open their mouths and swim quickly for a few feet to catch all the shad necessary. So they bask in the forest of brush and eat at their leisure. The lack of urgency, minimal movement and abundance of food combine to add inches to length and girth. All game fish are growing ...


100108 1B OUT zipperts elk

OUT: Lots of elk mean lots of opportunity

By Dave Buchanan

GUNNISON — With elk bugling day and night in the dark forests around the Gunnison Basin, there’s little opportunity for a hunter to sleep. Which is fine. You can sleep when the season’s over. “Yeah, they’re pretty active right now,” said Jeff Oulton, a district wildlife manager with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. “It seems I hear them every time I go outside.” Oulton patrols the area north and west of Gunnison between U.S. Highway 50 ...


OUT: Preparing hunters for change

By Dave Buchanan

Seen from the air, the scar of the Bull Mountain pipeline corridor snakes across open meadows, dark spruce forests and immense stands of green and gold aspen. “The pipeline cuts through what’s thought to be the largest single contiguous stand of aspen in the world,” said Sloan Shoemaker, peering intently from the right-hand seat of the Cessna 210. “This one stand of aspen stretches from Grand Mesa and Battlement Mesa all the way to the Flat Tops and south to ...


092808 OUT chads fawn

OUT: DOW eyeing number of bucks

By Dave Buchanan

With the start of the 2008 general big-game hunting season less than two weeks away, the Colorado Wildlife Commission could be accused of being a bit premature by focusing on the 2010-2014 seasons. But the two intervening years will go quickly, especially considering the amount of work and immense number of decisions to be made before the commission can put its final stamp on the framework for upcoming hunting seasons. Managing elk and deer herds always have been ticklish matters which ...


OUT: Lake Powell Fishing Report September 25, 2008

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell Report Sept. 19 Lake Elevation: 3,627 msl Water Temp: 77-79 F Striped bass have apparently gone on a two-week vacation. Fishing for the normally voracious predators has been uncharacteristically quiet. The culprit seems to be living the high life for most of the summer. Stripers are fat and apparently content to coast for a while on the reserves they stored during the easy days of summer. Shad are still abundant, but some schools are moving to the backs of coves. This is ...


092108 WILD OUT ALASKA FISH

Briefs: OUT Chapman Fishing Trip September 21, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

When 75-year-old Tom Chapman, Sr., of Orchard Mesa, mentioned earlier this summer to son Tom Chapman, Jr., that the senior Chapman had once visited Alaska but never had the opportunity to fish that magnificent state’s waters, Tom, Jr., took the announcement to heart. The two anglers recently spent a week in Alaska, including two days fishing for halibut and two days fishing the lower Kenai River for salmon. The two-some brought home 130 pounds of fish, said Tom, Jr., a captain with ...


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