Colorado’s pheasant season is now a month old. Hopefully, with some luck and good marksmanship, you’ve bagged a few roosters by now. But unless you’re as skilled with a skillet as you are with a shotgun, you may be wondering what to do with those birds in the freezer.
Phear not! This pheasant pheast is sure to please the entire family. This simple and delicious recipe has been a favorite of mine for years. The medley of fresh mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup and white wine is a superb way to cook wild pheasant — a bird that can be drier than a 007 martini if not prepared properly.
Check out the video below and give this easy recipe a try. Serve with mashed potatoes or wild rice for the perfect ensemble. Pheasant is also a great alternative to that tired Butterball centerpiece on the holiday dinner table.
Written and produced by Jerry Neal. Neal is the editor for Colorado Outdoors Online and is a media specialist for CPW.
The author holds a shotgun for the first time at a Women Afield hunt. Photo by Crystal Egli/CPW.
The first time in my life I’ve held a shotgun is also the first time I’ve hunted. On a cold and clear morning in November, I joined thirteen other women for a Women Afield pheasant hunt organized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The number of hunting licenses sold to women has grown slowly but steadily over the past few years in Colorado, according to CPW data. In 2015, 9.4 percent of the total licenses sold were to female hunters, an increase from 7.8 percent in 2011. Recent articles in Denver’s 5280 Magazine and The Washington Times show interest among women in hunting, and CPW has identified a need for increased outreach to this population.
“Our main focus right now is getting youth and women into the field and trying to promote our hunting tradition,” said Crystal Chick, the statewide hunter outreach coordinator for CPW. “A lot of people don’t have a family member or friend who hunts and it’s really hard to get into hunting without that mentor.”
The Chaffee County Shooting Range
A shooter takes aim at the Chaffee County Shooting Range. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
“Don’t tell anyone about this place,” said the target shooter as the smell from the rifle rounds he just shot hung in the air. “This place is great and I don’t want it to get too crowded.”
“Sorry, but telling people about this place is why I’m here,” I replied, smiling.
“This place” is the Chaffee County Shooting Range, or “the best, nonfee, public range in the state,” as Jim Aragon, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) area wildlife manager for Area 13, proudly stated. And from my tour of the range, I would enthusiastically agree. While I understand the shooter’s worry, with the range covering more than 55 acres, I think there is room for more visitors. Read more
Get the most out of your time in the field this fall by purchasing the 2016 Colorado Outdoors Hunting Guide. This special edition of Colorado Outdoors magazine features a big-game hunting forecast with statewide population estimates for elk, deer, pronghorn, moose and bear, as well as the inside scoop on all things big-game hunting from CPW wildlife managers and biologists. In addition, this issue provides strategies for pulling off the perfect pheasant hunt and offers tips on processing your own game meat. To view an entire contents page for this issue, click HERE. Purchase your copy or an annual subscription today.
A harvested mourning dove. Photo by Jerry Neal (CPW)
When it comes to small-game hunting, doves are arguably the greatest challenge for wingshooters. Although these fast flyers are Colorado’s most plentiful game bird, you’ll need to bring your “A” game to fill the 15-bird daily limit. The following tips and information will help you have more fun and put more doves in your game-bag when the season opens statewide Sept. 1:
Colorado Pheasant hunters have plenty to be excited about when the 2015-16 season opens statewide Nov. 14. Although pheasant populations are still recovering, abundant rainfall throughout Colorado’s core pheasant range bolstered this year’s pheasant crop. Check out this Colorado pheasant forecast video to see what’s in store for upland hunters. Pheasant hunting tips are also available right here on Colorado Outdoors Online.
A black Lab proudly displays a rooster pheasant near Burlington, CO. Photo by © Jerry Neal/CPW.
On Nov. 12, hunters and bird dogs alike will celebrate as Colorado’s 2016-17 pheasant season opens statewide.
According to wildlife managers, pheasant populations have improved significantly over last season. Precipitation returned to much of the core pheasant range in the last three years helping to improve nesting conditions and rebuild Colorado’s pheasant crop. Although pheasant populations remain below the peak numbers that hunters enjoyed seven years ago, there are enough roosters to keep things exciting and plenty of additional reasons to lace up your hunting boots and explore Colorado’s Eastern Plains this fall.
As an avid wingshooter, pheasant hunting has long been one of my favorite outdoor pastimes. The flash of brilliant color and raucous cackle of a rooster pheasant bursting from dense cover is enough to make even the most seasoned hunter giddy with excitement. I’ve hunted these birds for decades, and it’s a sight and sound that still captivates me. Read more
Ducks land against a vibrant sunset at Barr Lake. Barr Lake is just one of many state parks that offers hunting opportunities. Photo by © Jerry Neal/CPW.
Colorado’s 42 State Parks are famous for providing world-class hiking, camping, boating and fishing opportunities. But did you know that 30 state parks also offer hunting? Whether you’re interested in pursuing small game, waterfowl or hunting elk or deer, don’t overlook a state park as a potential hunting location. In addition, many parks offer overnight camping amenities, which provide a great place for families to enjoy a day’s hunt and share a relaxing evening around the glow of a campfire. With fall fast approaching, now is a great time to make plans to hunt one of these prime locations.
A prairie rattlesnake in Morgan County. Prairie rattlesnakes are the most common and the largest rattlesnake in Colorado, reaching sizes of 3.5 feet in length. CPW file photo.
Springtime in Colorado is a great season. The warm days provide a glimpse as to what lies ahead, while the cool nights remind us that winter hasn’t retired quite yet. It’s also a time when nature begins waking up; leaves bud out, migratory birds return and (my favorite) the reptiles reappear.
In fact, I had my first report of a snake just a couple weeks ago. Amazingly enough, the e-mail arrived during a spring snowstorm, though, the picture was obviously taken days earlier in the warm sunshine. Read more
Cathy Brons and Aaliyah. Photo by © Jerry Neal/CPW.
A southerner by birth, I moved to Colorado last year with the mindset that I would be open to new opportunities. The moment arose last fall when a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in joining her on a duck hunt. I had met Randi through work, and was thrilled to make a connection with another female who shared similar passions for the outdoors and wildlife. I hastily agreed, eager to understand her enthusiasm for hunting and to find out if I might enjoy the experience myself.
I hadn’t given much consideration to hunting until I took wildlife management classes in college, which fostered both my appreciation for the hunter’s role in conservation and hunting as a valuable wildlife-management tool. Yet the physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness I experienced as a novice in the field was unforeseen; something that could not have been revealed to me from the pages in a book or a lecture in a classroom.
My initiation into hunting was unique in that it was not a traditional, family-centered process. My Granddaddy passed away when I was very young, but I have always been told that he was a passionate dove and duck hunter. It saddens me that I did not have the opportunity to learn from him—to go out in the field with him or to be able to listen to the stories of his endeavors. However, I believe that I am sharing a connection with my past generations through my present hunting experiences. I know Granddaddy would be proud of my newfound eagerness and commitment to preserve the hunting heritage in our family. Read more