Author Archives: Doug Skinner

Colorado Big Game Hunting – Post Draw Options

Colorado big game hunter
Photo by © Wayne Lewis/CPW.

The 2019 Colorado big game draw results are now available for elk, deer, moose and bear. And by now, all applicants should have received an email revealing your Colorado big game license fate (results can also be found by logging into your account at CPWshop.com). If you successfully drew your license, you’re probably daydreaming about your upcoming hunt. However, for many of us – me included – luck was simply not in the numbers this year. But fear not! Failing to draw a limit license does not mean that you won’t be hunting big game in Colorado this year. Trust me, there is a lot of positive in that negative-sounding statement.

Not drawing a big game limited license (or didn’t apply) can actually be a good thing. Sometimes the challenge of finding a new hunting area is just what’s needed to add a new sense of adventure to your hunting routine.

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Colorado Hunters – Big Game Season Structure Input Needed

Bull Elk
Bull Elk. Photo by © Tony Gurzick/CPW. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 5-Year Big Game Season Structure is close to being finalized, but there is still time to add your valuable input to the process. Public input is a crucial part of the planning process and up to this point, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has heard from several thousand hunters, both residents and non-residents, who have shared feedback in public meetings, telephone town halls, focus groups, and the initial public comment form. This valuable feedback has aided Colorado Parks and Wildlife in developing recommendations and alternatives for the 2020-2024 Big Game Season Structure. And in July, a 5-Year Big Game Season Structure proposal will be presented to the Parks and Wildlife Commission for final approval. But before that happens, there are still two important opportunities for hunters to participate in the planning process.

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Safe Boating Is No Accident

CPW Staff and Volunteer celebrate "Take Your Life Jacket to Work Day."
CPW Staff and Volunteer celebrate “Take Your Life Jacket to Work Day.” Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW.

Summer’s first big holiday weekend is rapidly approaching. In Colorado, that means ice out at many mountain lakes, boat ramps opening for the season and people all around the state preparing to head to local waters for everything from fishing, kayaking and rafting to stand up paddleboarding (SUP). And while enjoying the outdoors is part of our way of life, it’s important to remember a couple of safety tips that will keep you, your friends and your family safe on the water this season.

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Field Notes of a Rookie Sportsman: Excitement Builds for our First-ever Turkey Hunt

Natalie examines turkey feathers
Natalie Duncan, 14, examines turkey feathers during a Turkey Hunting 101 class that was part of CPW’s Rookie Sportsman Program which introduces newcomers and novices to Colorado’s outdoor opportunities including hunting, fishing, camping and hiking. Natalie is taking the class with her father, Travis Duncan, who is a CPW public information officer.

Calling a turkey is much different than being called a turkey. In fact, it’s much harder to call a turkey than I ever dreamed because the birds are really smart.

Thanks to what we learned about the wild, upland ground bird in our Rookie Sportsman Program (RSP) classes in April, my daughter, Natalie, and I have a much deeper appreciation for wild turkey and are more excited than ever as we prepare to go seek them out on what will be our first-ever turkey hunt.

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2018 Hunter Testimonials

Marty with bull elk
Marty Campos with his bull elk.

Hunter: Marty Campos

I drew my elk tag for muzzleloader in 2018, this was the first time using a muzzleloader for elk. Got this guy on the second day of the season, after not hearing or seeing an elk on the first day. The day started out great. When we got to our hunting area there were elk bugling all around us. I harvested my elk around 12 noon, after stalking him into the timber and finding him feeding with some cows. An 85 yd shot. First time hunting unit 14.


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Spring Fishing Tips: A Beginner’s Guide to Catching Trout

Theo fishing at coot pond.
Trout fishing at St. Vrain State Park. All photos by © Doug Skinner/CPW.

While most anglers are excited by the idyllic fly fishing scenes in “A River Runs Through It,” few of us learn our first lessons by fishing big rivers with a fly rod. For many of us, a love of angling is cultivated on ponds catching bluegills and bass, and approachable rivers and lakes catching trout – often stocked trout. Story and memory are built by the fish we’ve landed and more so by the ones that got away. We learned from family members and friends, mentors who knew that the secret to building a long and successful fishing career was rooted in a simple approach.

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4 Significant Changes For Colorado Big Game Hunters

The release of Colorado’s Sheep & Goat and Big Game brochures brings the promise and excitement of new hunting seasons. With over-the-counter maps, hunt codes, season dates and fees, the brochures confirm that what we’ve done in the past is still available, aid us in finding new opportunities and help support a strategy to secure a license for the upcoming seasons. Most years, we dive in with purpose, flipping to the sections that we know will help us get the job done (or scrolling if you’re looking at the brochures online). I caution you – do not take that approach this year!

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Nature’s Dinner Table

On a recent outing along the Colorado River, wildlife photographer Richard Spitzer witnessed the power and beauty of raptors in a way that few ever will. In the series of photos below, Spitzer captures golden eagles, a bald eagle, and a number of magpies in a heated competition for a seat at nature’s dinner table. Warning: While the following photos showcase the agility and magnificence of some of Colorado’s largest raptors, they do depict graphic content.

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2019 COLORADO OUTDOORS PREFERENCE POINT ISSUE

If you’re a Colorado big-game hunter, now’s the time to prepare for the 2019 hunting seasons.

Colorado Outdoors, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s conservation magazine, is a valuable planning resource for hunters. The Jan/Feb issue features big-game preference points for deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose.

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