Author Archives: travisduncan23

Field Notes of a Rookie Sportsperson: My first dove hunt

Sunset on the farm
Photo by © Travis Duncan/CPW.

My first dove-hunting trip as a member of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Rookie Sportsperson Program (RSP) had nearly everything I could want in an outdoors weekend: camaraderie with friends, dinner of fresh game, card-playing and storytelling, camping in a beautiful and remote wildlife area and a chance to use my new skills as a hunter.

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Colorado Waterfowl Hunting Forecast

Duck hunter
Photo by © Doug Skinner/CPW.

Colorado hunters can expect good waterfowl hunting opportunities during the 2019-2020 seasons

Despite drier conditions across most of the state as we head into the fall, Colorado hunters should be able to find good waterfowl hunting opportunities during the 2019-2020 seasons. Waterfowl hunting seasons in Colorado extend from September teal and Canada goose seasons to light goose conservation seasons ending in April.

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Field Notes of A Rookie Sportsperson: The Language of Hunting

RSP participants receive archery instruction.
Rookie Sportsperson Program participants receive archery instruction as part of CPW’s recent Bang ‘N Twang event.

First we learned about “Bang ‘N Twang.” Then we were taught to “keep your chicken wing up.” Finally we were instructed about our “cheek weld,” how to “stay in your gun” and taught to identify “puddle ducks” and “potholes.”

Who knew hunting has its own language? Thanks to our participation in the year-long Rookie Sportsperson Program (RSP) offered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Southeast Region in Colorado Springs, my daughter, Natalie, and I are becoming fluent in hunting. 

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Field Notes of A Rookie Sportsperson: Walleye Fishing

Natalie shore fishing at  Lake Pueblo State Park.
Shore fishing with Natalie at Lake Pueblo State Park. Photo by © Travis Duncan/CPW.

Back in May, my daughter, Natalie, and I experienced our first hunt together and came away with great father-daughter memories, even if we didn’t bag a turkey as we hoped.

In July, Natalie and I went on our first real fishing trip together. Oh, we tried fishing before, but I was clueless about catching fish. This trip we knew what we were doing because we’d been taught by Colorado Parks and Wildlife experts on how to bait, cast and land fish. And CPW officers even accompanied us and coached us as we fished.

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Field Notes of A Rookie Sportsperson: Evaluating the Harvest

Hunting blind and turkey decoys.

At an early meeting of the 2019 Rookie Sportsperson Program, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Frank McGee told us we should each have our own individual response to the question: Why do you hunt?

“Because I guarantee you,” McGee said, “at some point, you will be asked that question.”

After a couple turkey hunting trips with our Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) mentor, District Wildlife Manager Logan Wilkins, and with my daughter, Natalie, I feel like I’m a little bit closer to knowing my answer.

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Studying Beetle Impacts on Wildlife

Game Camera
Wildlife Technician Tim Hanks with one of the game cameras installed in a recent study.

As Colorado’s private and public forests recover from insect and disease outbreaks and other disturbances, humans and wildlife are adjusting to significant environmental changes. Spruce beetle and mountain pine beetle outbreaks may have changed the way you recreate, but have you thought about how wildlife are responding?

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The True Meaning of the Christmas Bird Count

CPW Wildlife Biologist April Estep and volunteer Bobby Day participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count at the United States Air Force Academy.
All photos by © Travis Duncan/CPW

2018 was The Year of the Bird, a year in which Colorado Parks and Wildlife joined organizations like National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and BirdLife International to help rally local and worldwide awareness and support for birds and their habitats in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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CPW seeks comment on CWD Management Plan

CWD-feature

 Mule deer buck. Photo by © Wayne Lewis/CPW.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife along with the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Advisory Group seek public comment on CWD management plan.

CWD-Plan-ShadowFrom October 1 – 31, 2018, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is asking for interested individuals to review and comment on the chronic wasting disease (CWD) adaptive management plan created by the CWD Advisory Group. Your comments will be carefully considered before management actions are voted on by the CPW Commission in January.

Please provide feedback using this public comment form.

There are many problems facing our state’s deer and elk herds and CPW is working to overcome these challenges to stabilize, sustain and increase populations and habitats throughout the state. Read more

New camping options for last-minute planners

CheyenneMtn-THOMAS-KIMMEL.jpg

Tent camping at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Photo by © Thomas Kimmel/CPW.

The ability to make last-minute camping reservations is coming to some of Colorado’s state park campgrounds.

My dad sends me a text on Friday: Hey, let’s go camping this weekend! Want to head up to Eleven Mile State Park, go fishing, and camp on Saturday?

Yes, yes, I do. I’ll see if I can book us a campsite.
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