Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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 ...

OUT: Sunday Column February 22, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

When House Bill 1298 sailed through the state Legislature by a unanimous vote way back in 2007, it was hailed as an avenue to lend a voice to wildlife, wildlife habitat and the long-term economies derived from wildlife resources being impacted by energy development. Specifically, to let the Colorado Division of Wildlife and its professional experts speak for wildlife and its adjuncts in danger of being bulldozed by the seemingly uncontrolled rampage of natural resource ...

OUT: OUTside Connection Column February 18, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

Cabin fever? Not when it’s Super Bowl time. This isn’t your usual Super Bowl, with over-fed guys “wearing helmets on their melons,” as sportscaster Mike Golic once said. Rather, this is the Super Bowl of bass fishing, the 2009 Bassmaster Classic. This year’s classic, the 39th, takes place Friday through Sunday on waters around Shreveport and Bossier (say that “Bo-zher”) City, La., and features 51 anglers, including the first woman to qualify for ...

021809 OUT habitat stamp 2

Division of Wildlife dodges a couple of legislative bullets.

By Dave Buchanan

The legislative session isn’t quite half over and already the Division of Wildlife has dodged a couple of errant bullets. House committees shot down two proposed bill, one from Rep. Wes McKinley, D-Walsh, and the other from Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, that would have prohibited or delayed the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from adhering to House Bill 1298, the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Act, which passed the 2007 Legislature by a unanimous vote. Still to be ...

OUT: Sunday Column February 15, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

This midwinter warming has brought thin ice to some lower-elevation lakes and reservoirs, indicating February might be the last month for hard-water anglers to enjoy their sport on some local lakes. If the ice stays thick enough long enough. “There’s no such thing as safe ice,” cautioned Zach Taylor, park ranger at Rifle Gap State Park. “We already have a lot of open water on the east end of the reservoir.” Last week, a park ranger at Chatfield State ...

OUT: Outside Connection February 11, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

There are trout, and then there are Gunnison River rainbow trout. A bit rare in the past 15 years or so due to the effects of whirling disease, the much-loved and sorely missed Gunnison River rainbows apparently are making a comeback thanks to a genetic contribution from a distant cousin found a decade ago in Germany. Anglers on the Gunnison River above the Plearsure Park recently have reported catching offspring of the Gunnison/Hofer hybrid, which makes a lot of anglers have hope the ...

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. ...

012809 OUT marc fish

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 ...

011409 OUTside youth

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 ...

011109 OUT austad elk-color

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 ...

010709 OUTside armstrong

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 ...

121708 OUT elk three

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, ...

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