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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The Pronghorn Rut

When most think of the rut in Colorado, their minds picture bugling, battling, big-boy bull elk; mule deer bucks locking antlers in Greco-Romanesque scuffles; whitetail bucks laser focused on tending to their does; and the NFL-helmet-on-helmet-like crash of bighorn rams. What few picture is the equally impressive battles and behaviors that take place during the pronghorn rut.

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Elk Hunting University

Bull, calves and cow elk

Hunters looking for information to help with their big game adventure will find plenty of useful material in Elk Hunting University. The information includes how to apply for a license, where to hunt, tips for hunting elk, detailed maps, how to field dress a big game animal and much more.

“We’re providing hunters with helpful information that will make their hunts more enjoyable and productive,” said Jason Duetsch, CPW’s hunter outreach coordinator. “These articles are not just aimed at novices, even veteran hunters will benefit from them.”

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Tiger Muskie; the role of this silent predator in Colorado’s waters

A non-native fish, and one that is a hybrid, the Tiger Muskie plays an important role in the management of fisheries across Colorado. Photo by © Jason Clay/CPW.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist Ben Swigle stocked seven-inch Tiger Muskie fish into Gross Reservoir on a sunny Tuesday at the 440-surface acre reservoir sitting at 7,282 feet in southwest Boulder County. 

A non-native fish, and one that is a hybrid, the Tiger Muskie plays a small, albeit, important role in the management of fisheries across Colorado.

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Reservations Accepted at 18 Colorado Public Hunting Areas

Waterfowl hunter

There are few things worse than waking up early to be the first hunter at your favorite hunting spot and finding that someone has beat you to it. One way to avoid that frustration is to use Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s new hunting reservation system (hint: the government loves acronyms, so you may see the system identified as HRS). The new hunting reservation system allows licensed hunters to make reservations at 18 different locations around the state. This system is used primarily for waterfowl and small game hunting reservations, but several of the properties will offer turkey hunting reservations as well. 

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Uncovering Staunton State Park’s Impactful Track-Chair Program

Chris Luna uses Action Trackchair to explore the trails at Staunton State Park. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW.
Chris Luna explores the trails at Staunton State Park. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW.
Friends of Staunton State Park logo

It was a beautiful, bluebird day when I drove up to Staunton State Park on August 27th. The air was crisp and cool, atypical given the hot summer weeks we had been experiencing this year. Distinctive, too, were the reasons for my park visit. I was there to discover an inspiring program, the first of its kind in Colorado when it was founded in 2017. Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Track-Chair Program, run by more than 80 dedicated volunteers and completely funded by donations raised by the Friends of Staunton State Park, provides opportunities for people with disabilities to live life outside and to share outdoor experiences with friends and family.

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The 2019 Colorado Outdoors Hunting Guide is Now Available!

2019 Colorado Outdoors Hunting Guide cover

This special edition of Colorado Outdoors magazine features articles that will help you make the most of your fall and winter out in the field. Learn how elevated temperatures affect the animals and those who hunt them. Discover small-game hunting tactics for scaled quail and snowshoe hare. And prepare a trophy meal with a venison tamales that are sure to be a hit at your next game dinner. Enjoy these articles and much in the 2019 Colorado Outdoors Hunting Guide.  Purchase your copy or an annual subscription today.

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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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10 Tips For Colorado Bear Hunters

Colorado Black Bear
Although called black bears, they can be honey-colored, blond, brown, cinnamon or black.

The fall bear hunting season is quickly approaching and there are still some great opportunities for hunters to pick up a 2019 license. The map below highlights some of the archery, muzzleloader and rifle bear hunting opportunities that were recently available on the Leftover Limited License List and Over-the-counter (OTC) with Caps License List and do NOT require hunters to have a concurrent deer or elk license. If you already have a 2019 deer or elk license, the lists may provide even more options for purchasing a 2019 bear license.

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