Big Mack Attack

IMG_7051

Theo focused on landing his first Mackinaw. All photos by © Doug Skinner/CPW 

white-fish

Flathead Lake Whitefish

For several weeks, my wife and son have been asking to plan a fishing trip. And Theo was not just asking for any fishing trip, but a trip where he would have a chance to add new species and preferably a new size record to his fishing list. Last summer, he caught his personal record in Montana – a good-sized whitefish out of Flathead Lake. The whitefish was not huge, but it whet his appetite for bigger fights. And while he enjoyed catching the whitefish, it was bothering him that his biggest catch was an out of state fish. He was looking for a Colorado fish to be his “personal record.” Read more

10 Tips for Hunting Doves in Colorado

dead dove

A harvested mourning dove. Photo by Jerry Neal (CPW)

When it comes to small-game hunting, doves are arguably the greatest challenge for wingshooters. Although these fast flyers are Colorado’s most plentiful game bird, you’ll need to bring your “A” game to fill the 15-bird daily limit.  The following tips and information will help you have more fun and put more doves in your game-bag.  Additionally, the 2017 season has been extended to November 29, which will give huners an increased opportunity to get out into the field.
Read more

Video: Colorado Big-Game Hunting Forecast

As summer fades and temperatures cool, Colorado’s big-game seasons are about to heat up. And, if you plan to hunt this fall you have plenty of reasons to look forward to opening day. Wildlife biologists, in general, predict good hunting across most of the state.

This video provides statewide and regional forecasts for the 2017 big-game seasons:
video index logo


Blog post and video by Jerry Neal. Neal is a videographer and information specialist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

Congrats to the 2018 Photo Contest Winners!

Colorado-Public-Lands-Day-Logo-267x300The votes are in and the 2018 Colorado Public Lands Day Photo Contest winners have been selected! With hundreds of submissions, photographers around the state captured an amazing variety of photos – highlighting Colorado’s diverse landscape and recreational opportunities. We congratulate all of the winners and we thank one and all for sharing their images and participating in the voting for this year’s “people’s choice” winner. Please view this year’s winners below and continue the celebration by getting outside and enjoying our unparalleled public lands. Read more

The Be-THE-GUY (or THE GAL) Fishing-License Challenge

Dream-Stream-Wayne-D-Lewis-DSC_0024 3

Fishing is often a solitary endeavor, but it’s more fun when it’s not. Photos © by Wayne D. Lewis.

In the early 80s, for a group of gangly, basketball-loving young men in Golden, Colo., Pat Sanner was The Guy. He had the backyard basketball court, the basement sports cave, close access to a park for football and a mom who tolerated our group better than most. Sanner was genetically wired for sports: His father was Lynn Sanner, the sports director for KBTV (now KUSA) and host of “The Broncos with Red Miller,” the weekly Denver Broncos recap. I never met Lynn; Pat had lost his father right around the time my family moved to Golden, but you could see the impact the father had on the son. Read more

BACKCOUNTRY BASICS

IMG_0675-web.jpgFOR THE HIKING BOOT-CLAD FLY FISHERMAN

Every outdoorsman has their specialty. Whatever the pursuit, there is somebody passionate enough to fill that niche. For me, that niche is backcountry fly fishing. I’m fortunate that I live in Colorado, where miles and miles of backcountry wilderness sit at my backdoor. For years I’ve explored rivers and lakes without names and no permanent address on topographic maps. Some are seasonal ponds or creeks only to be found during runoff, and I suppose others are ones the cartographer just never got around to naming, so they sit patiently waiting for the weary fly fisherman to come along and unlock their secrets. These waters can be either quite rewarding, painfully stubborn or barren of any life form. However, most tend to be quite willing to relinquish a few fish. At altitude, these fish have a short growing season, which means they are quite occupied with filling their gut with as many invertebrate vittles as possible. This is excellent news for the angler, but certain strategies can enhance success and even the quality of fish one might land. Although most backcountry fish have rarely — if ever — seen a fly, they can still be extremely spooky at the slightest disturbance. The following are guidelines I follow trip after trip that have treated me well over the years. Read more

Colorado Big Game Hunters, You Have Post Draw Options

Schendel-ColoradoStateForest--19.jpg

BGBrochureSmall.jpgFor many Colorado big-game hunters, June is a time of celebration or sadness. By June 11, the 2018 big game draw results will be final. For successful applicants, the planning process will continue. Summer scouting trips will be planned, valuable shooting range time will be scheduled, and diets and exercise can all be optimized in preparation for exciting fall outdoor adventures. For those that were unsuccessful in the draw, don’t be discouraged. If you have the desire to hunt and a sense of adventure, there is a very good chance that you can acquire a license and be hunting big game in Colorado this fall.

While a successful draw is ideal, there are a number of “Plan B” options that will get you out in the field and provide a great chance for you to put some wild game in your freezer. And developing an alternative to your current big game draw strategy can be a positive experience that exposes you to new areas of this great state and possibly even new methods of hunting. With many opportunities still available, I think it’s best to look at license options on a species by species basis. Read more

Video: ‘Livin’ the Wildlife’ Red Fox

groupkitsforblog

Sibling rivalry at its best: Fox kits pose for a photo at a den near Evergreen, CO. Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest and most common fox species in Colorado.

Known for its cunning nature and intelligence, the “sly” fox is a skilled predator and scavenger. The fox is also well adapted to live among humans, and it often dens and hunts in urban/suburban areas. Read more

What to See Now: Western Meadowlarks

YOTB_stacked_KIn celebration of the Year of the Bird, we will highlight some of the birds and their behaviors that you can observe at certain times throughout the year.

 

western-meadowlark-Wayne-D-Lewis-DSC_0761

A male western meadowlark in the Pawnee National Grasslands. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.

While driving along a gravelly country road, I notice a squat shape sitting on a fence post bracing itself against a stiff Colorado breeze. To me, it looks a bit like a crude grade-school art project where the assignment is creating a bird by applying a chocolate chip beak and popsicle stick tail to an egg — a dull, mottled, grayish brown, grumpy egg. But then it raises up, exposing its bright yellow and black “V for varsity” sweater vest and bursts into song. If its melody isn’t the official song of the prairie, it deserves it as much or more than anything on country radio. Whether the song of the western meadowlark is cheerful or soulful is up to the listener, but the melody signals spring in Colorado’s grasslands. Read more

K9 Cash: A Nose for Natural Resources

Cash1

How long would it take you to locate a rare toad in the mountains of Colorado? How about spotting a federally endangered black-footed ferret hiding underground in one of Colorado’s many prairie dog towns? Both species are extremely rare and elusive, and are always on the radar of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists and wildlife officers. To get a leg-up on this challenge, CPW launched a K9 pilot program, enlisting a pair of highly trained working dogs who use their natural abilities to find what the human eye often cannot see. Read more

WHAT TO SEE NOW: GREAT HORNED OWLS

YOTB_stacked_KIn celebration of the Year of the Bird, we will highlight some of the birds and their behaviors that you can observe at certain times throughout the year.

 

GH-owl-chick-Wayne-D-Lewis-DSC_0070

A young great horned owlet shares its nest with its mother and two siblings. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW

Nothing sparks the attention of a neighborhood like a new family moving in. On a quiet block of well-kept, mid-century homes, an unlikely pair took up residence in a penthouse condo formerly occupied for years by . . . red-tailed hawks?? Yep, these aren’t the typical new suburban arrivals, they are great horned owls. This pair, and especially their offspring, have united neighbors much more than backyard BBQs and block parties ever would. Read more

« Older Entries