Entering the bear den: CPW concludes study on human-bear interaction

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CPW Researcher Heather Johnson. Photo by Nora Logue/CPW.

On a sunny March day, a group of eight crouch silently outside a bear den dug into a ridge near Durango as Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Heather Johnson literally pokes the sleeping mama bear inside.

This expedition is part of the conclusion of a first-of-its-kind study conducted over six years in southwest Colorado. It is one of the most comprehensive studies to date on human-bear interactions and the impact of urbanization on bear populations.

“This study was motivated by the increase that’s happened in human-bear conflicts in Colorado. As the state wildlife agency that manages those conflicts, we wanted to better understand what was causing those conflicts to increase, and ultimately what we should do about it,” said Johnson, a wildlife researcher. Read more

Hay for Haxtun (CPW Helps Eastern Plains Landowner)

 

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A home burns in northeast Colorado. Photo by Brian Biesemeier.

In early March, a wildfire in northeast Colorado burned more than 30,000 acres near Haxtun, destroying several homes, thousands of acres of agricultural fields and an untold number of outbuildings.

Last week, Colorado Parks & Wildlife donated approximately 66 bales of hay to help a landowner who was affected by the fire. Wildlife managers transported the hay from Tarryall Reservoir and Cline Ranch state wildlife areas in South Park. The hay will help the rancher feed his livestock until grazing lands recover.

Area Wildlife Manager Todd Schmidt talks about the fire and the hay donation in the video below:

Read more

Colorado’s Top Springtime Fishing Destinations

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Early spring is an ideal time to catch lake trout (Mackinaw). Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.

If you’re a fisherman, there’s no better time to fish Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs than early spring. Not only is it a great time of year to shake off your cabin fever, but many trophy sized rainbow, cutthroat, cutbow and brown trout are caught in those first days and weeks after ice-out. If those weren’t enough reasons to make you want to grab your fishing rod and tackle box, spring is also the best time to catch lake trout (aka Mackinaw) — a species that can reach upwards of 50 pounds in Colorado.

Although many of Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs offer excellent fishing, the following waters provide exceptional fishing opportunities this spring: Read more

Colorado Outdoors March/April 2017 Issue Available Now!

 

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Have you seen the March/April 2017 issue of Colorado Outdoors? In this issue you’ll read about fishing the Yampa River, learn how to fish the many backcountry lakes in the Rio Grande National Forest and discover how donating your tax refund can help support endangered and nongame wildlife.

Pick up your copy or subscribe today! Click HERE to see a full contents page and to order back issues of Colorado Outdoors magazine.

5 Big Reasons to Hunt Big Game in Colorado

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Did you know that Colorado offers some of the best big-game hunting in North America? Whether you’re an experienced hunter seeking a new adventure or a complete beginner who is looking to participate in your very first elk hunt, here are five reasons why you should hunt big game in Colorado this fall:

1. Millions of Acres of Public Land

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Wide open spaces. That’s what you’ll find here. With more than 23-million acres of public land, Colorado boasts some of the best hunting access in the nation. To put this into perspective: Colorado’s public-land acreage is equal in size to the entire state of Indiana. Here you can hunt national forests, state wildlife areas, state parks, state trust and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. Hunting big game in Colorado truly epitomizes the spirit of fair chase in vast expanses of open terrain. Read more

Tax Check-Off for Colorado Critters

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a big job:  managing and protecting 42 beautiful state parks throughout the state, perpetuating Colorado’s full range of furry and finny wildlife and providing enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities.

I’ve been a Colorado taxpayer for many years, but only recently learned about a small action I can take to support a key part of CPW’s work: Make a contribution through my state income tax return to the “Colorado Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. ” Nongame wildlife are those species that are not hunted, trapped or fished. And there are a lot of these critters in Colorado—an estimated 750 species. Read more

Colorado Big-Game License Drawing: What You Need To Know

 

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The April 4th deadline to apply for a big-game license is fast approaching. And if you plan to hunt big game in Colorado this fall, now’s the time to submit your application.

Although Colorado offers a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) hunting licenses, many big-game tags, called “limited licenses,” are only available through the annual drawing.

Whether this is your first time applying for a limited license or you’ve applied before but are seeking some additional tips, here’s some information to help you successfully navigate this year’s drawing. Read more

Eliminating Angling Stereotypes: Colorado is More Than Just a ‘Trout’ State

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The author displays a Colorado bass.

Stereotype: “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”

Do you think Colorado is stereotyped? I do. Firmly. And as with many stereotypes, the belief is not congruent with the reality. Is it a bad thing? Maybe, maybe not…depends on your position. As a Colorado outdoorsman, I think it’s a shame more of my peers don’t see through it.  What is this oversimplified idea our fine state is tagged with? Trout . . . specifically the idea that trout are all Colorado has to offer anglers. Trust me, the stereotype doesn’t fit.

As a professional fisherman, I travel a lot. Since I angle from a traditional bass boat, I’m often viewed as “bass fisherman” – another stereotype that doesn’t quite fit because I pursue all kinds of fish but just happen to like a bass boat’s fishability on the water. Anyway, when “Joe Angler” see’s my boat at some gas station or even many of the lakes in our region, I very often get comments about our perceived lack of bass fishing. Same thing when the conversation turns to walleye, pike, panfish and a slew of other nationally popular species. Geez, last summer I coached the high school bass fishing national championship consisting of 175 high school teams from around the country competing on a huge lake in Tennessee. The fact that we were from “Colorado of all places” as the emcee put it at one point, was amusing until we won the whole event. In an ensuing interview, I was asked how we won it all given that “all you fish for is trout back home” . . . an incorrect assumption that perfectly makes my point. Read more

Video: Plan Your Colorado Big-Game Hunt Using ‘Draw Recap Reports’

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If you’re a big-game hunter, now’s the time to prepare for Colorado’s limited-license drawing. The application deadline for this year’s drawing is April 4.

Did you know that Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Draw Recap Reports provide a valuable resource to help you apply for a limited big-game license? The newly redesigned reports show how many licenses were available last year in all game management units (GMUs) throughout Colorado, how many hunters applied for those limited licenses, how many of those hunters were successful drawing and preference-point requirements.  Be sure to study these reports before submitting your 2017 big-game application. Knowledge is power! Read more

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