Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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OUT: Pair of poachers get the book thrown at them, as it should be

By Dave Buchanan

Those slamming doors you’ve heard recently are, with any luck, the last sounds you’ll hear from a couple of local poachers. Thanks to some diligent work by wildlife investigators and public prosecutors who take wildlife crimes seriously, we won’t hear from Kirt Darner and Erik Ambriz for a long, long, time. Darner, you recall, is the Crawford poacher convicted in New Mexico of a litany of wildlife crimes, including illegally transporting wild elk and receiving stolen ...

Shimano buys Innovative Textiles

By Dave Buchanan

A giant in the fishing industry has purchased a Grand Junction company. Innovative Textiles Inc., a locally-based manufacturing company that started out making braided kite strings, was purchased recently by Shimano American, a subsidiary of Japan-based Shimano Inc. Shimano, founded nearly 80 years ago, is the world’s third-largest manufacturer of fishing equipment. The company also has a reputation for precision engineering, which makes the acquisition of Innovative Textiles a ...

Repeat poacher gets 4 1/2 years in prison

By Amy Hamilton

The actions of a Grand Valley man who was sentenced Tuesday in court for illegally killing a six-point trophy elk was described as one of the most aggravated cases one veteran of the Colorado Division of Wildlife had ever seen. Erik Ambriz, 28, who has a criminal history of poaching, was sentenced Tuesday on two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge to four and a half years in prison, the high end of a sentencing range imposed by Mesa County District Court Judge Brian Flynn. ...

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OUT: Count on using smaller flies in limited dayligh

By Dave Buchanan

ALMONT — As you pull into the turnout next to the Taylor River, you notice the thermometer on the truck’s dashboard reads minus 12. You tap it, just to see if something is stuck, but you do it gently, in case the numbers want to go down, instead of up. “At least it’s not windy,” you mumble, looking out to where the dark river curls past head-high mounds of snow. There isn’t anybody on the Taylor River today, at least no one here in the quarter-mile ...

OUT: Sunday Column January 25, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

There’s still time to file a few comments about prairie dogs and the state’s proposed “Colorado Gunnison’s and White-tailed Prairie Dog Conservation Plan.” Whatever you think about these ‘dogs,’ the plan is aimed at keeping the furry critters off the Endangered Species list, which would be good for prairie dogs and bad for people. The native range of these two speces together includes most of western Colorado. If you want to see the plan in its ...

OUT: Darner Sentenced January 18, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

Former hunting legend Kirt Darner of Crawford hit the skids this week in New Mexico when he was sentenced to pay $10,000 in fines and perform 4,500 hours of community service for various wildlife crimes. Darner, who once was recognized for his outdoor skills by some of the world’s best-known hunters, was convicted of illegally transporting elk and receiving stolen bighorn sheep heads. The penalties included a lifetime suspension of his hunting and fishing rights. Because New Mexico ...

Briefs: OUT sports brief January 17, 2009

By Staff

Fishing guide presents Wyoming cutt-slam • The January meeting of the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers will feature fishing guide Mike Kraul of Pinedale, Wyo., and Wyoming’s cutt-slam program. The meeting is 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Piñon Grill at Tiara Rado Golf Club, 2057 So. Broadway. Western Wyoming is home to four species of cutthroat trout and the Wyoming Department of Fish and Game offers the cutt-slam, catching each ...

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OUTside Connection January 14, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

For the past 15 years, more than 4,700 Colorado individuals and families have donated their love for wildlife, along with immense quantities of free time, muscle and brain power, as volunteers for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Programs include, but aren’t limited to, helping transport wounded wildlife, teaching youths hunting and fishing techniques and ethics, conducting “bear aware” training and assisting fisheries or wildlife biologists. Jean Sanchez, a DOW ...

OUT: No big-game surprises January 14, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

The Colorado Wildlife Commission stayed the course Monday, approving the 2009 big-game seasons as planned. This fall’s seasons start with archery from Aug. 29–Sept. 27 with blackpowder wedged into the Sept. 12–20 time slot. The four regular rifle seasons will be Oct. 10–14 (limited elk only); Oct. 17–25 and Oct. 31–Nov. 4 (combined deer and elk); and Nov. 11–15 (limited combined deer and elk). Archery and blackpowder hunters can look forward to ...

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OUT: Utah hunter’s ‘spider bull’ elk measures world class numbers

By Dave Buchanan

An Ammon, Utah, hunter this fall killed what’s been scored as the largest elk ever taken on public land and perhaps the largest elk ever killed in the wild. A special judges panel from the Boone and Crockett Club last week gave Denny Austad’s bull elk a final score of 478-5/8 nontypical points, more than 93 inches above the Club minimum score for nontypical elk and more than 13 inches larger than the previous world record. According to Boone and Crockett officials, the bull ...

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OUTside Column January 07, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

When it’s so cold your eyelashes ice up as fast as your rod guides, it’s time to come out of the water for the annual trek to Denver for The Fly Fishing Show. Interrupt that long winter’s nap for three concentrated days of shows, seminars, demos, drawings and contests. Best of all, it’s your favorite sport, only indoors. OK, maybe your second-favorite indoor sport. WHAT: The Fly Fishing Show WHERE: The Denver Merchandise Mart Pavilion, 451 East 58th St. Take ...

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OUT: Winter Counts December 17, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

As western Colorado readies itself for another winter storm, Division of Wildlife biologists are up in the air about elk and deer. It’s that time of year when biologists start logging air time in helicopters and light airplanes to determine sex and age ratios in elk and deer herds, information that contributes to herd management plans, including future hunting seasons. The flights don’t count every elk and deer but they do give biologists an idea of how well herds are ...

OUT: Gunnison deer tagged December 17, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

Don’t be surprised to see deer in the Gunnison Basin wearing smart new collars this spring. The collared deer are part of a multi-year survival study being conducted by the Division of Wildlife. While the DOW has been conducting deer research around the state since at least the 1930s, this study is the first of its kind in the Gunnison Basin. In most cases, studies done in one area are used as the model for deer herds in similar environments elsewhere. For example, studies in ...

OUT: DOW faces revenue challenges December 14, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

The Colorado Division of Wildlife continues to feel the effects of last winter’s record snows. Storms that pounded Colorado and strained both physical and natural resources now are having a fiscal bite. A report Thursday to the Colorado Wildlife Commission said the Division of Wildlife is about $3.2 million short this year in revenue from license sales. The biggest drop was seen in deer licenses. That $3.2 million includes all hunting and fishing licenses, said Henrietta Turner, ...

OUT: Division of Wildlife has two more youth hunts

By Dave Buchanan

Young hunters have two more opportunities to get out this fall. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is offering a youth hunt for cow elk on private land near Meeker on Dec. 6 and 7. Hunters between 12 and 18 years of age are eligible to apply for the limited licenses available. Application deadline is 5 pm. Friday. Successful applicants will be notified Dec. 1. Several restrictions apply, including having a valid hunter safety card and not previously participating in a DOW-sponsored youth ...

OUT: TACKLING THE CHILL November 26, 2008

By Dave Buchanan

ECKERT — Fishing has made that expected but still-sudden transition from warm fall to not-so-warm early winter. The high country isn’t actually snowy, a fact obvious enough from the webcams at ski resorts across the state, yet the chill of the dark season already has chased most anglers from rivers and streams. Water temperatures in the low 40s have trout sulking in their deep holes, close-mouthed and simply uncooperative when it comes to chasing nymphs and streamers. The ...

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OUT: Ranchers contract with state to allow hunting

By Guest Columnist

LARAMIE, Wyo. — It used to be that antelope season at the Harris Ranch northwest of Laramie brought hundreds of hunters crowding onto the ranch on opening day. “It was a zoo,” said manager Ryan Wilson. “I said enough.” But instead of closing the 20,000-acre ranch to the public, Wilson enrolled it in the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Hunter Management Program. The entire area — which also includes 10,000 acres of leased public land — is ...

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OUT: Moose hunt considered for Grand Mesa herd

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists are considering a limited moose hunt starting next year for the herd on Grand Mesa. The hunt, which in its initial years will likely be limited to one bull moose per year, is part of the overall management strategy developed when the DOW proposed re-establishing a moose herd on Grand Mesa in 2001. The first moose, two young bulls and an adult cow, were transferred to Grand Mesa from a herd near Creede in January 2005. Over the next two years, 91 ...

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OUT: Anglers head to Gunnison Basin before winter blows in

By Dave Buchanan

GUNNISON — With full-on winter expected any day in the Gunnison Basin, anglers heading that way preface all fishing plans with the conditional, “if the weather holds.” So far, the weather in the 7,700-foot high basin has remained mild, keeping in mind the difference between mild in Gunnison and mild in Grand Junction can be 20 degrees or more. While the mountains ringing the Gunnison Valley carry the first of many coats of winter white, most of the snowless basin is ...

OUT: Whitefish targeted for special regs

By Dave Buchanan

One of Colorado’s least-known native fish species received some much-needed protection Thursday from the Colorado Wildlife Commission. Mountain whitefish are the Rodney Dangerfield of sportfish, their introduction usually prefaced with “the lowly.” But whitefish are a native species, Colorado’s other salmonid native species in addition to cutthroat trout, and a fish that has fed and entertained generations of anglers. At its meeting Thursday in Colorado Springs, ...

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