A Family Affair – DIY Colorado Archery Elk Hunt

Elk Hunter, Angela
Angela Huitt

September in Colorado brings cooler mornings, the color change of Aspen leaves in the mountains, the fascination with pumpkin spice everything and most importantly, archery season. This year I got my first elk tag for a draw unit. In years prior, I hunted with an over the counter tag. The excitement of this hunt dwindled some as the summer passed due to the dozens of wildfires and severe drought. Hunting, in general, would be more difficult; I was going to have to work for it if I wanted a chance at harvesting a bull.

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Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

Hiking at Roxborough State Park

As Coloradans, living life outside is what we do. Whether hunting, fishing, hiking, biking or engaging in other forms of recreation, the majority of us spend valuable time enjoying Colorado’s magnificent outdoors. Statistically speaking, approximately 92% of Coloradans recreate in the outdoors at least once every few weeks and some, four or more times per week. With one of the country’s fastest-growing populations, however, residents and tourists are facing crowding at public recreation areas, maintenance backlogs and conflicting outdoor recreation pursuits.

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Duck Decoy Basics

A good set of duck decoys is a must-have item for any waterfowl hunter.

Yet, with the vast assortment of decoys and brands available to hunters, it can be overwhelming to know exactly where to begin.

If you’re a novice hunter who is about to purchase waterfowl equipment, a dozen floating mallard decoys are usually enough to begin hunting Colorado’s smaller sloughs, marshes and rivers. Read more

Start 2019 0n the Right Foot

2017 First Day Hike at Stagecoach State Park

Hikers at Stagecoach State Park. All photos by © Nora Logue/CPW

First Day HikesYear’s end often leads us to reflect on the past and plan for the future. As Coloradans, we make outdoor recreation an important and valuable part of our busy lives. So we may find ourselves reflecting on the reward and reinvigoration of hunting seasons spent in the mountains and out on the plains; hikes to the tops of 14ers and relaxing walks in Colorado’s open spaces; or quiet mornings spent by a favorite fishing hole. Read more

2018 Colorado Outdoors Photo Issue Video

COLORADO’S OUTDOORS

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Colorado Outdoors, and we’re thankful for the ability to share the stories of conservation, wildlife and our sporting and recreation heritage with you over eight decades. Started in 1938 as a publication of the newly formed Colorado Game and Fish Commission, the original Colorado Conservation Comments has undergone several changes over the years to become the full-color bimonthly magazine you hold today. One thing that has not changed is our mission to deliver information about the intersection of hunting, angling, recreation and conservation that is perhaps more vital today than ever before. Read more

Battle Scars

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Mule deer buck after a fight. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.

For hunters, photographers, biologists, wildlife watchers, etc., when it comes to deer in the fall, the talk always turns to the rut. “When does it start? Which is first — whitetails or muleys?” While the people are debating, the bucks are out battling and chasing does in the field. This mule deer buck was captured by my camera this morning, coursing through the grasslands right after a fight. I’m not sure if he was the winner or loser, but he was riled up, sniffing, grunting and intent on finding a receptive doe. At one point, three does were on one side of a fence, so he squeezed under it to get to them as soon as possible and gave each a good sniff. Read more

Whirling disease-resistant trout thriving in Arkansas River

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A Gunnison River rainbow trout after it was caught last May during spawning operations by Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists. Because they are resistant to deadly whirling disease, Gunnison River rainbow trout are being spawned so that strain of rainbows can be stocked in rivers across the state. Photo by © Bill Vogrin/CPW

A recent survey by Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists found rainbow trout thriving in the Arkansas River near Salida offering a hopeful sign for wildlife conservation efforts aimed at overcoming whirling disease, which decimated trout populations in Colorado after its discovery in the 1980s. Read more

A Weekend in the Rut

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Mule deer buck and doe during the rut. All photos and video by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.

Let me start by stating that I am not a videographer — no awards will be won by me. I’m a decent photographer and an acceptable (I think) writer, but I am fully aware that David Attenborough will not be contacting me any time soon for my video skills. That being said, if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth considerably more of those words.

For years, words and pictures have been all I have had to go by when researching the behaviors of deer (both white-tailed and mule) during the rut, but last weekend I was lucky enough to find myself surrounded by deer acting quite rutty. So, in between capturing still photos, I made use of my Nikon’s video function. According to some of my sources, white-tailed deer start their rut a week or so earlier than the muleys and that seemed to be true last weekend. Whitetail bucks were running through the shrubs and over the hills like hormonal teenagers, but once a whitetail buck found a doe that might be receptive, he tended to her with laser focus, only taking breaks to run off competitors.

However, the mule deer were just ramping up. “They’re not acting very rutty,” said one of the other photographers as we shot different angles of the same buck and doe. The bucks would chase the does to see whether they were ready and receptive. There was a fair amount of thrashing at rubs, snorting, sniffing, stamping and performing the flehmen response. If I capture more of their behaviors, I will update this post. Read more

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