Category Archives: Colorado Outdoors ‘Quick Tips’

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

15 Items For A Colorado Big Game Hunt

It may be the crunch of dry leaves or sensing movement out of the corner of your eye that elevates your heart rate and turns a day out in nature into a hunting trip. While it’s easy to relax and become absorbed in nature, most of us are out there to put some healthy, free-range meat in our freezer. And as any successful big-game hunter will tell you, the real work begins after you’ve harvested your animal. No matter how you look at it, that statement is always true. If you hiked a couple of miles to locate your elk or deer, hiking back out with the meat, while rewarding, is going to be harder. Having a well-stocked big game backpack will help you through long days in the field and guarantee that you make the most out of your harvest. Read more

High-altitude Survival

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Every year, more than a few hunters must be rescued from the wilds and high country of Colorado. Hunters get trapped by snowstorms, injured in various types of accidents or simply get lost in the woods.

Hunters must remember that altitude can affect their health and their ability to move easily. And in the Rockies, weather can change quickly with fast-moving storms dumping a couple of feet of snow in just a few hours. 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

Quick Tips: Hunting Quail in Eastern Colorado

Quick Tips: Hunting Quail in Eastern Colorado. Video by © Crystal Egli/CPW

With very good quail populations in Colorado and hunting seasons extending into January, it’s a great time to get out and go quail hunting. Trent Verquer, Grasslands Habitat Coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, shows how to identify and locate scaled and northern bobwhite quail in eastern Colorado.

Some helpful resources for your next quail hunt:

Field Dressing Pheasants

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Yuma County Pheasant. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW

December and January offer ideal pheasant hunting conditions in Colorado. The opening day crowds have thinned, crops have been cut and harvested and the cooler air is just right for walking the draws, sloughs and grassy fields in search of roosters. For those lucky hunters that are able to get some time in the field, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has some field dressing advice that will help protect your harvest and keep you legal. Watch Trent Verquer, Grasslands Habitat Coordinator, and Josh Melby, District Wildlife Manager, for some tips that will get you on the right path to field dressing your next pheasant. Read more

Quick Tip: Big-Game Recovery on Long-Range Shots

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It’s 15 minutes before last light on the final day of the season.  You’re hunting alone and still trying to fill your tag.  As your mind pours all its energy into flexing your senses to the max, you notice movement; then an ear; then a head; and finally the full body of your four-legged quarry making its way out of shadow-dappled trees and into your view some 350 yards away.

You confirm your target with binoculars then settle into the appropriate shooting position, aim, and gently, but purposefully, press the trigger.  The animal goes 25 yards and drops.  You smile, your heart races and you take 10 minutes to collect your thoughts.  It’s now rather dark but you’re not concerned.  You grab your headlamp and eagerly head to the animal only to discover that you can’t find it.  You spend the next hour searching but come up empty handed–not even a drop of blood.

You go back to camp and spend a sleepless night wondering what happened. The next morning you find the animal more than 200 yards away from where you thought you saw it drop.  Embarrassed and frustrated, you quickly void your carcass tag, get the animal field dressed and start packing it out.  Thank goodness none of the meat has spoiled. Read more

Colorado Outdoors ‘Quick Tip’ Video: Primetime for Ticks

Whether you hunt turkeys or simply enjoy hiking in Colorado’s backcountry, you need to be on the lookout for ticks. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other serious diseases. In this Colorado Outdoors “Quick Tip” video, you will learn a few precautions that you can take to prevent tick bites anytime you are hunting or hiking in tick-infested areas.

Colorado Outdoors ‘Quick Tip’ Video: DIY Duck Blind

When hunting waterfowl, a blind is essential to stay hidden from the sharp, well-trained eyes of ducks and geese. Although permanent blinds and pit-blinds typically offer the best cover and concealment, they are usually not an option when hunting public land. In this Colorado Outdoors “Quick Tip” video, you will learn how to build a simple but effective duck blind that works well for most applications. Best of all, this portable, light-weight blind costs less than $40.

Colorado Hunting Atlas – Getting Started

Virtual scouting is important if you want to increase your chances of harvesting a big-game animal. The Colorado Hunting Atlas is a great tool, developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s GIS team, to help you achieve greater success in the field.  In this Colorado Outdoors Online “Quick Tips” video, you will learn how to use the Colorado Hunting Atlas and see an overview of the main functions and features.

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