Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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