Outdoors Briefs, Oct. 1, 2017

COURTESY PHOTO Rifle Gap State Park Ranger Matt Schuler, right, receives his award from Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Boating Safety Coordinator Grant Brown, left, while Rifle Gap State Park Manager Brian Palcer looks on during a recent presentation. Schuler was selected as the Boating Law Enforcement Manager of the Year.

Rifle Gap State Park ranger receives 
recognition for law-enforcement efforts

Rifle Gap State Park Senior Park Ranger Matt Schuler was recently recognized as the Boating Law Enforcement Manager of the Year.

According to Rifle Gap Park Manager Brian Palcer, Schuler has a reputation for having extensive boating knowledge and experience, having worked at five Colorado State Parks featuring boating activity during his 10-year career.

In addition to his regular park duties, Schuler teaches Basic Marine Officer Training to newly hired full-time Park Rangers and law enforcement officers from other agencies.

During his four-years at Rifle Gap, Schuler has increased boat patrol hours during summer. Schuler is also a Level 1 boat accident investigator and has extensive knowledge of seated Standard Field Sobriety Testing, allowing him to detect inebriation in a person seated in a vehicle or boat.

Schuler also coordinates and instructs monthly boating safety classes at Rifle Gap, designed to help educate novice boaters. He attends local safety fairs where he stresses the importance of having proper equipment, focusing on the need to wear life jackets while on a boat.

Ducks, goose, ducks and goose seasons getting underway in western Colorado

The 2017 waterfowl hunting season started this weekend and the Western Slope is in the Pacific Flyway, and has split seasons for waterfowl.

The seasons are:

■ Ducks — first split, Sept. 30 — Oct.18

■ Goose — first split, Sept. 30 — Oct.9

■ Ducks and Goose — second split, Nov. 4 to Jan. 28, 2018

Highline Lake State Park only allows hunting during the weekdays, so the first day of hunting at the park will be Monday.

This year, Highline Lake State Park will be open to youth waterfowl hunting from Oct. 28 to 29. This is the only weekend the park is open to hunting, providing youth with an additional waterfowl hunting opportunity. All youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting mentor.

Grand Valley blinds are available by reservation only. To reserve a blind, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 970-255-6161. Hunters need to provide their CID number and a valid email address.

Reservations are not accepted more than 14 days in advance of the hunt and not after noon the day before the hunt. Unreserved blinds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

Parks and Wildlife issuing license refunds for victims of hurricanes and wildfires

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is issuing hunting license refunds and preference point restoration exceptions for hunters who had to cancel Colorado hunts because of recent hurricanes or one of western states wildfires. The fire exception is only for those fires that are burning outside of Colorado.

"We're making an emergency exception to our policy of only providing refunds 30 days prior to the start of the hunting season," CPW Director Bob Broscheid said. "We hope this provides some relief to the hurricane and fire victims, the first responders, and family members with their homes flooded."

Requests for refunds are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and no refunds will be made for licenses that have been in the field. All refund requests must be submitted by January 31, 2018. Those affected should call Limited License Refund Coordinator Sarah Lovik at 303-291-7208. 

Hunters need to provide proof that they've been affected by the hurricanes or wildfires. Acceptable documents include: insurance claim number; FEMA number; copy of cancelled hotel or flight reservations; affidavit with signed narrative stating why you had to cancel your trip.

Volunteers sought at Connected Lakes

The Grand Valley Audubon society is looking for volunteers to work at its bird banding station in Connected Lakes State Park.

Volunteers will assist as professional bird banders weigh, measure and record information about area bird population.

Bird banding is currently going and will continue every weekday morning until Oct. 13. Volunteers will check nets for migrating birds and help record data.

Information: Cary Atwood, catwood814@gmail.com.

Community streets event set for Oct. 7

The 2017 Grand Junction Community Streets event will happen Oct. 7 in downtown from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be family activities, including a bike rodeo, art festival and block party. There will also be mural painting, and comic con at the Mesa County Library. Food trucks and entertainment will also be part of the event.

There will be street closures to be aware of for the event.

Tenth Street, from the alley between North Avenue and Belford to Main Street, and Main Street from 10th Street to 7th Street will be closed.

CPW launches new fishing phone app

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has launched CPW Fishing, the agency's official mobile fishing smartphone app. For anglers seeking information on new fishing locations or needing to check for updated regulations while on the water, CPW Fishing is an easy way to keep angling details close at hand.

The app allows discovery of over 2,000 fishing locations in Colorado, and provides information on the type of fishing at each location, stream gauges, species availability, accessibility, family-friendliness and more.

The CPW Fishing app is available on both the App Store and Google Play.

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