Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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 ...

110409 OUTdoors rand

Elk, deer harvest tally low across Western Slope

By Dave Buchanan

If you really want to learn how well hunters are doing in their quest for elk and deer, check out the local meat processors. A quick tally Monday of the carcasses hanging in coolers across the Western Slope revealed this year’s elk harvest might be a bit down overall while deer hunters are well down from recent years. That’s reflective of the move by the Colorado Wildlife Commission to reduce elk and deer licenses across much of the Western Slope. Last summer, the commission ...

Generally accepted: Elk, mule deer population on par

By Dave Buchanan

Our next example of understanding what you read involves the recent proclamation by the Colorado Division of Wildlife saying the elk population on Grand Mesa is roughly one-third larger than estimated, and mule deer numbers are off by the same amount. Although knowing there are approximately 6,500 more elk and 10,000 fewer mule deer in the handful of game management units that comprise Grand Mesa might excite hunters and ranchers — for decidedly different reasons — ...


Hunters have mixed success in first season

By Dave Buchanan

Mid-October finds many Colorado sportsmen entranced by elk, a relationship that’s all too often a one-sided affair until Mother Nature decides to intrude. Wildlife managers might create numerous opportunities to get man and beast together but rarely does much happen without a winter storm or two putting pressure on big-game herds to leave one range (summer) and get within another range (rifle). That’s apparently the scenario in the first combined deer and elk rifle season, ...


Seasons change: Fall is here and gone are the crowds

By Staff

Gone are the torrents of spring. Fading is the memory of the sweet smell of an afternoon summer rain. Now, golden leaves of fall glide downward on the fading breeze to the waiting water, visually confusing the cast of hope I have made to the consistently rising brown trout. Seemingly, there is no insect hatch detectable by my strained but focused vision. Yet clearly I can see the spots on the side of the trout and the white inside of his opening mouth as he comes up with each take. What ...

Shotgun start: 14-year-old Montrose student has big success on opening day

By Dave Buchanan

At the tender age of 14, Justin Mahan has enjoyed elk-hunting success that eludes most men many times his age. Or maybe he just has the right friends in high places. Either way, you can’t argue with this young hunter’s success. On the opening day of this year’s first rifle elk season, Justin went into the hills outside his home near Montrose and killed a 7x7 bull elk that measured a green score of 386, just under the Boone and Crockett Club’s record book for ...

Veteran angler reveals secrets to fall fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley

By Dave Buchanan

October offers more choices than brilliant leaves, brisk mornings and big-game hunting. The change of seasons affects fish and fishermen, making the former more aggressive (particularly the fall-spawning brown and brook trout), which in turn makes the latter more aggressive, particularly when chasing the large trout stocking up on winter calories. The Roaring Fork Valley, which for our purposes includes the Roaring Fork, Fryingpan, Crystal and Colorado rivers, offers an angler several ...

Rifle hunters lucky to spot elk on public land

By Dave Buchanan

This week’s lowering skies and the layering of high-country snow that often accompanies them come at an auspicious time for hunters. The first of four rifle seasons opened Saturday, and hunters leaving the lowlands Friday should have been prepared for sloppy roads and unseasonable temperatures. They also might want to be on the look out for elk, because in some places only early season hunters have the certitude of seeing elk. Studies in the Bears Ears and White River areas of ...

Senators take aim at improving public shooting areas

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (D-Boulder) and Idaho Sen. Jim Risch (R-Boise) are co-sponsoring a bill that aims to improve and create more public shooting ranges for gun owners and sportsmen. Titled “The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act,” the legislation would allow states to allocate a greater proportion of the federal Pittman-Robertson funds for recreational shooting and target practice.  The Pittman-Robertson Act is a sportsman-driven fund began in ...

A trip to Lake Powell is always a good idea

By Dave Buchanan

Sometimes, it’s OK to be forgotten. When TV documentarian Ken Burns forgot (or perhaps simply overlooked) Lake Powell for his stunning six-part documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” he missed what so many of us already know: Lake Powell is a vision to behold amidst a land of extremes. No one tires of seeing sun-burnt slickrock cliffs slip into blue-green waters, the song of canyon wrens echoing along isolated canyons and finding that special spot ...

092309 OUT HS fish 1

Students get hands-on lessons in fly fishing, outdoor adventures

By Dave Buchanan

A little fish can make a big difference in a young adult’s life. At least that’s the premise of a well-received program involving volunteers from the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and students from Grand Junction-area high schools, including Sandy Story’s’ Lifetime Activities class at Grand Junction High School. The class that’s not your ordinary high school class begins with sessions on fly-tying and introductory fly casting, two skills ...

Colorado. One name, endless destinations.

By Special to the Sentinel

By JOEL L. EVANS Special to The Daily Sentinel Colorado. One name, endless destinations. A lifetime of exploring the backcountry might not be enough. Even if one were to limit their adventure list to just the blue lines on the map, the fisherman would still be short on time and long on a bucket list of waters yet to experience. Such was my recent choice of blue for a weekend — my way of saying that I got out the map, focusing on blue river lines and blue lake dots. Longing for a ...

Briefs: Outdoors Sept. 13, 2009

By Dave Buchanan

Mountain lion meetings set The Colorado Division of Wildlife will host two meetings about the upcoming mountain lion season and ongoing mountain lion research in game management units 61, 62 and 70 on the south end of the Uncompahgre Plateau. These are not general information meetings but are strictly for mountain lion hunters. Discussions will include quotas, season dates, a permit system for research and how hunters may participate in the research. Meetings are Sept. 16 in Montrose ...

It all adds up to final long weekend of outdoor activity

By Dave Buchanan

The date is 09-09-09, which adds to 27, and two plus seven is nine. While auspicious simply for the numeric parallel, today might be especially of interest to numerologists, who remind us that there are nine Supreme Court justices, Beethoven wrote nine symphonies, a round of golf is nine holes and baseball features nine-person teams playing nine-inning games. And this is the ninth month, a time when we are shifting away from the long days of summer to activities fitting into the days ...

Multiple factors will cause seasonal changes to Blue Mesa mussel inspection program

By Dave Buchanan

Lower water levels, fewer boaters and a reduction in staffing will bring changes this month to the mussel inspection program at Blue Mesa Reservoir. Connie Rudd, superintendent of Curecanti National Recreation Area, announced the following changes: •  Stevens Creek boat ramp will be closed to boat launching and retrieval beginning Tuesday (Sept. 8). The campground will remain open; •  Elk Creek and Lake Fork boat ramp hours will be 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. beginning ...

Lions are here

By Staff

A woman walking her dog Wednesday morning reported seeing a mountain lion in the area of 33 and C roads, near a school bus stop, said Randy Hampton, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. “The lion was about 70 yards away,” sitting near a heavily used deer trail, Hampton said. An officer from the DOW responded, but was unable to find the cat or any tracks. But from the woman’s description of the animal, “He thinks it probably was a lion,” Hampton ...

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