Helaine settles into the fishing challenge. All photos by © Doug Skinner/CPW
October in Colorado is as close to perfection as you might find anywhere in the country. The air is cooling in the evening and morning, but there is still a midday warmth that keeps you comfortable in your favorite t-shirt. Hillsides are lit up with the golden glow of aspens and meadows have begun the shift from greens to browns.
With a limited number of warm weather days remaining, I’m thinking about all of the trips that I’d like to take this Fall – camping trips, kayaking trips, fishing trips, hiking and hunting trips and I realize that I’m facing a free time deficit. What I typically think of as outdoor adventure requires a fair amount of planning, travel and a half or full day commitment. Often, the magnitude of the “adventure planning” can sabotage the opportunity to get out into nature. This is not to say “Don’t plan big trips.” I’m simply saying there is big value in small trips. Read more
By mid-summer, the exhilarating memories of hunting cagey mountain Merriam’s turkeys during April have started to fade and thoughts of fall hunts begin creeping into the psyche of hunters everywhere. One of the best ways to scratch that itch is to visit the local gun club or public range and start blowing the dust off of latent shooting skills.
Shooting trap is perhaps one of the easiest ways for both experienced and novice upland game hunters (and others) to get back in the swing of swinging a shotgun. Clay targets are launched from a single machine. The targets usually move up and away from the shooter before gliding down to the ground. This is the simplest form of clay shooting and probably the best for working on basic shooting mechanics. Read more
The Shiras moose is Colorado’s largest big-game animal. The moose is also one of Colorado’s biggest conservation success stories. Thanks to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and sportsmen, the once rare Shiras moose is now thriving in Colorado’s mountain parks. Read more
As a parent of a ten-year-old, my wife and I struggle to find a balance between our son’s interests in music, Dude Perfect videos and scheduled sports activities with our family’s interest in getting out into nature. The unscheduled outdoor adventures that were the cornerstone of my youth seem to be a casualty of the modern hustle and bustle. Right out of the gate, I feel like this is getting dangerously close to sounding like one of those “When I was a kid” stories, but things have really changed since I was a kid. Spontaneous pickup sports with a group of friends has been replaced by organized club soccer and team baseball, all with hectic practice schedules and weekend commitments. Even the physical landscape has changed. Along the Front Range, and many other areas of Colorado, once seemingly ubiquitous farm ponds and abundant fishing access appear to have been gobbled up by a rapidly growing housing market. Whether you have kids or not, you probably feel that some things are just a little different than they used to be. Read more
The biggest walleye of the day. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
The author with his first-ever walleye.
With a big smile on my face, I posed with my first-ever walleye. For our group, it was the first fish of the day, and the first walleye I had ever seen in person — all pointy fins, sharp teeth and cataract eyes. If Disney made a movie about freshwater fish, a walleye would be cast as the quirky sidekick to the main villian (probably a pike). I was proud; if it had been a trout, it would have been a keeper. However, since it was just under 18 inches long, we had to release it. But, as it slipped back into the waters of Chatfield Reserevoir, I began to calculate how much per inch that walleye had cost. Read more
Colorado’s weather can change in an instant and the ability to quickly find shelter in the backcountry is crucial to survival.
An unexpected change in weather over Ridgeway State Park. Photo by Nick Clement/CPW
A great option for an emergency shelter is a brightly colored 4mm thick trash bag. The bags are affordable, easy to transport and provide a durable and effective shelter. Read more
Rapidly changing weather above French Pass. Photo by Dennis Mckinney/CPW
Changes in weather may come at any time, especially in the high country. In the event of an unexpected change in weather, the only shelter you can truly count on is your clothing. And your clothing’s ability to keep you warm may be the difference between life and death. Read more
A lynx surveys its new home in the San Juan Mountains. Photo by CPW.
Colorado boasts one of the most diverse and abundant wildlife populations in North America. Home to an astonishing 960 wildlife species, it might be easy to assume that Colorado’s fish and wildlife have always flourished. However, many of the state’s most cherished and iconic species prosper today only because of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) species conservation and wildlife reintroduction programs.
From the majestic Rocky Mountain elk and bighorn sheep, to the esteemed cutthroat trout and the renowned Canada lynx, here’s a summary of some of the species that are benefiting from ongoing conservation efforts, as well as the fish and wildlife that are thriving today because of CPW’s long and distinguished history of past achievements.
Colorado Outdoors Online thanks CPW employees, both past and present, who have dedicated their careers to protecting and perpetuating Colorado’s fish and wildlife resources, and graciously acknowledges Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), sportsmen and the many conservation organizations who have generously supported these efforts. Read more
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
A golden eagle. CPW file photo.
Did you know that Colorado has more than 170 known active bald eagle nests and over 80 known active golden eagle nests? Valentine’s Day is almost here and it marks the height of eagle breeding season.
February is a good time to get out and see some of these majestic animals begin to build nests. Two species of eagles call Colorado home: the bald eagle and the golden eagle. The state’s eagle population has increased dramatically since the 1970s, when Colorado only had two documented nests of bald eagles. Multiple Colorado state parks offer eagle viewing opportunities, but Colorado’s Lake Pueblo and Barr Lake state parks both provide excellent habitat for eagles to winter and nest.
These parks provide two eagle viewing opportunities in early February: Barr Lake’s Fifth Annual Eagle Fest is Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lake Pueblo’s 21st Annual 2017 Pueblo Eagle Days are Feb. 3 to 5. Read more