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
Pheasant Hunting Conditions
In comparison to last year, Colorado’s forecast for the 2018 pheasant hunting season is going to be right around the average mark. Conditions for nesting and brood-rearing weren’t optimal this year, but the conditions weren’t bad either. Last winter was dry, which means that there wasn’t a lot of soil moisture early this year. So green wheat and early brood-rearing habitat didn’t get an early start. Wet weather did arrive in May, which was good, and then June dried out, with warmer than normal temperatures for several days. In late July and early August, a series of pretty significant hailstorms came through the core pheasant region. And those storms definitely had an impact on habitat, as well as birds with some being killed by hailstones. Read more
Weighing up to 1,000 pounds and towering 6 feet high at the shoulder, moose are Colorado’s largest wild mammal. These massive animals are relatively unafraid of people and can pose an enormous risk to public safety. Each year, more people are attacked by moose than by any other species of wildlife, and moose are one of the most unpredictable and dangerous animals in our state. Read more
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
CPW biologists find evidence of a comeback for Colorado’s greenback cutthroat trout.
Something fishy is taking place up at the headwaters of Clear Creek, and that is exactly what aquatic biologists for Colorado Parks and Wildlife were hoping to see when they went looking for the native greenback cutthroat trout. Read more
Even the best-laid plans sometimes go wrong. As hunters, when heading into the field, we attempt to control as many variables as possible. Exploring Colorado’s backcountry requires knowledge of the terrain, proper nutrition and hydration, functional equipment and an appetite for adventure. And while we can control most of these variables, there’s one factor that is always out of our control – weather. This doesn’t mean hunting should be tabled until the weather is ideal; it simply means we need to adjust our strategies and approaches to work around what we cannot change. Read more
Colorado Parks and Wildlife recognizes the contributions of the state’s sportsmen and women by celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 22. National Hunting and Fishing Day is observed annually on the fourth Saturday of September, honoring hunters and anglers for their leadership in conserving America’s wildlife and wild places. Read more
“Do you know how to shoot straight?”
While some people might take offense at such a question, it is one that big game hunters need to ask themselves every year. Shooting an animal with a high-powered rifle, no matter the distance, is not a natural skill. Hunters must know the capabilities of their rifles, the intricacies of their scopes, the characteristics of their ammunition, the distance of their targets and their own ability to quickly set up an ethical shot.
“Shooting is a perishable skill. If you haven’t done it in a while, you’re going to get rusty,” says Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager in the San Luis Valley. “There are people who believe they can go out, buy an expensive rifle and without any practice start shooting like the guys on the hunting shows on TV. Well, they can’t.” Read more
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
Our fly-fishing series has walked you through the basics of picking fly-fishing gear and making the correct fly selection. So now it’s time to put it all together and learn some basic casting techniques. In this segment, Howard Horton, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Angler Outreach Coordinator, demonstrates basic casting techniques that you can practice and perfect in the backyard and then use on the majority of Colorado’s waters.
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