Author Archives: Amy Bulger

Breaking the silence: Hearing loss can’t keep hunter, 16, from bull moose harvest

When a father and his 16-year-old son pick a campsite for a bull moose hunt, you’d assume Dad drew the tag and Son was along to help, maybe interested in burning the giant old pine stump in the middle of camp, just because it looked like fun.

But when Richard Nicolas and his son, Jason, pulled into Jackson County last year it was Jason’s trip. He drew a bull moose tag at age 15 and this hunt would be the ultimate test of communication and teamwork between him and his dad — one made more challenging because Jason was born with a progressive hearing loss that has kept declining as he has grown. Now he hears very little on his own.

“When I checked to see if he pulled a tag, I almost fell over,” said Richard. “It was like, ‘hey, we’ve got to get serious about this.’ ”

In camp, Jason was just a teenager on his first moose hunt — eyeballing the giant pine stump, saying he was gonna burn it if he got his moose. He was full of a hunter’s anticipation as he and Richard watched a small bull amble through camp before opening day. Read more

Turkey Report: Luck is there, but sporadic on South Republican SWA

Amy Bulger harvested a mature tom on May 9, 2014, at the South Republican State Wildlife Area in Yuma County.

Amy Bulger harvested a mature tom on May 9, 2014, at the South Republican State Wildlife Area in Yuma County.

 

The “Gooble Obble Obble Obble!”  rolled in through the front window of our Double Bull and The Shakes started on queue. We had watched two toms and two jakes follow six hens across the field for two hours. It was our third day of hunting the former Bonny Lake State Park. The birds were getting closer, strutting 75 yards in front of the blind.

“Gooble Obble Obble Obble!”  They took their time, grazing on an abundance of tiny new grasshoppers all the way in. They were eyeing the decoys, inching closer but slowly. We were set up on a funnel that led to the next sunny field where they wanted to strut, and not calling. The Shakes were growing — my limbs twitched in the spastic tribal dance of the amped-up turkey hunter. I was comically helpless to stop it. If you know the magic of a turkey hunt, maybe you know this dance?

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Bad Weather, Baby Goats Pave Way to Smithsonian

Tomajko's photo, that was the cover of the 2013 Colorado Outdoors Photography Issue, will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in September.

Tomajko’s photo, that was the cover of the 2013 Colorado Outdoors Photography Issue, will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in September.

Braving the weather at 14,000 feet on a summer afternoon and waiting out that one right moment with rambunctious baby goats has paid off for Colorado photographer Verdon Tomajko. He was recently awarded for his photo that graced the cover of the 2013 Colorado Outdoors Photography Issue — four frisky little goats playing while a single lightning bolt strikes in the background.

The image has been named the “amateur winner” in the wildlife category of the Wilderness Forever Photography Competition 2014. It will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., in an exhibit that begins in September. It will also be published in the 2014 spring/summer edition of Nature’s Best Photography magazine. Read more

Eagle River: Great Fishing on Your Big-Game Scouting Trip

Scouting trips for your next big-game hunt are just as much about the unexpected adventures as they are about narrowing down the perfect place to set up elk camp in the fall.  At our house, “scouting” is the magic code word for “perfect excuse for a fishing trip.”

If you are scouting along the Interstate 70 corridor in the next few weeks, don’t forget to pack your rod and plan a stop along the Eagle River. The river is fishing excellent right now and reports from local fly shops keep getting better and better.  Large browns and rainbows inhabit these waters and make for some of the best river fishing in Colorado.  With a two-trout daily bag-limit, fish over the 20-inch mark aren’t uncommon here.

My husband and I recently took a camping trip to scout a new rifle hunting spot in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. After finding a promising locale — where a curious dusky grouse nearly hopped right into our tent — we headed south out of the Flat Tops en route back to the Metro area. Read more