Category Archives: Outdoor Adventure

Field Notes of a Rookie Sportsperson: All-day Upland Adventure

Aaron Berscheid gives last-minute instructions to a group of novice hunters
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Aaron Berscheid gives last-minute instructions to a group of novice hunters who are members of the Rookie Sportsperson Program.

One of the things my daughter, Natalie, and I have enjoyed about learning to hunt is the friends we’ve made during the process.

For the past 10 months, we have attended Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Rookie Sportsperson Program (RSP) offered by CPW’s Southeast Region headquartered in Colorado Springs. The RSP takes people like Natalie and me, who have little or no outdoor experience, and teaches them outdoor skills. Hopefully, attendees are inspired to get outside and sample all the adventures available in Colorado’s great outdoors.

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Into the Dark – A Night of Bats

Jorge the hoary bat.
Jorge the hoary bat.

Under a blanket of stars, we waited in a circle, straining our ears for any chirping sounds. Wildlife Biologist Lance Carpenter took a look at his watch. “It’s probably about time,” he said.

Wearing waders and lots of bug spray, Lance, fellow bat Biologist Heather Halbritter, several other CPW staff, and I were going out every 15 minutes to the river below us hoping to catch a specific nocturnal animal: a bat.

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Chasing Colorado’s Cottontails

Rabbit hunter
 All photos by © Doug Skinner/CPW.

Colorado’s rabbit hunting season opened in early October, as leaves, grasses and even pumpkins were turning from green to autumnal oranges and yellows. Moving into November, an increasing frequency of cooler nights brings the expectation of morning frost and summer quickly gives way to the fall hunting seasons. For most, thoughts of Colorado hunting conjures up images of high elevation elk herds or majestic mule deer out on the plains. But for many, the splendor of fall reminds us of our first trips afield – hunting small game.

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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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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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