How long would it take you to locate a rare toad in the mountains of Colorado? How about spotting a federally endangered black-footed ferret hiding underground in one of Colorado’s many prairie dog towns? Both species are extremely rare and elusive, and are always on the radar of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists and wildlife officers. To get a leg-up on this challenge, CPW launched a K9 pilot program, enlisting a pair of highly trained working dogs who use their natural abilities to find what the human eye often cannot see. Read more
Greater sage-grouse display on a lek in northwest Colorado. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis.
In the pre-predawn haze on a northwest Colorado prairie, every dark spot, smudge or blot you see is a greater sage-grouse — until the gathering light proves they’re not. As sunrise approaches, the “sage-grouse” become the rocks, sagebrush and clumps of dirt they actually are. But you know the birds are there because you hear them — everywhere. It’s not the distinct call of a western meadowlark (also heard in the mix) or other prairie bird, but much more otherworldly. It’s like the sounds the exotic-cute indigenous critters would make as they surround the Zachary Quinto version of Spock on some far-off planet in a Star Trek movie. Whether we know it it or not, the occupants of Mick and Nancy Sommer’s 4Runner are in a contest to see the first real greater sage-grouse. I end up taking bronze. Read more
Colorado’s 2018 turkey season kicks off Saturday, April 14. And, if you plan to hunt gobblers, there are plenty of reasons to get out there and “strut your stuff” this spring. Abundant turkey populations, easy to obtain licenses and good access to public land are all available to hunters this season.
“Turkey hunters should see a good season here in Colorado in the spring of 2018,” said CPW Small-Game Manager Ed Gorman. “Populations are healthy and robust. Production was good last summer. Good numbers of birds, good access–all the things you look for in a successful turkey season.”
The “gobble” of a wild turkey is one of the most recognizable sounds in all of nature. Yet, the wild turkey’s boisterous call was nearly silenced in the early 1900s due to poaching and habitat loss. Thanks to decades of conservation programs and aggressive trap-and-transplant efforts, however, the turkey is now one of Colorado’s most abundant gamebirds and also one of the state’s biggest conservation success stories. Read more
Are you interested in big game hunting opportunities in Colorado, but you’re struggling with the limited license application process? If so, Bryan Posthumus’ Secrets to the Big Game Draw Seminar will help you simplify the application process, create a preference point strategy, and make the most of your limited license applications. If you want to hunt big game in Colorado, this is your chance to learn the secrets to the big game draw. Read more
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
Each year, as the anticipation mounts for the photo issue, I find myself reflecting on the year and how intertwined our future is with our past. I am grateful for the abundance of wildlife, healthy habitat and our world-class state parks that provide the intersection of conservation and outdoor recreation.
For more than a century, conservation work has been the primary mission of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Nationwide, wildlife agencies were created to ensure the prosperity of both game and nongame species. CPW employees are dedicated professionals who work passionately for Colorado’ resources every day. And the agency is fortunate to be supported by dedicated sportsmen and sportswomen who cherish Colorado’s parks and wildlife. 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
As summer fades and temperatures cool, Colorado’s big-game seasons are about to heat up. And, if you plan to hunt this fall you have plenty of reasons to look forward to opening day. Wildlife biologists, in general, predict good hunting across most of the state.
This video provides statewide and regional forecasts for the 2017 big-game seasons:
Blog post and video by Jerry Neal. Neal is a videographer and information specialist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Images from the Colorado Outdoors annual photography issue. All images are copyrighted. Colorado Outdoors is published six times a year by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. To order Colorado Outdoors call 1-800-417-8986.
Water purification tablets. Photo by Nick Clement/CPW.
Dehydration is one of the greatest threats to hunters, hikers and outdoor recreationists. Each year, hundreds of people face potentially life-threatening situations in the outdoors simply because they didn’t bring enough water with them. In this Colorado Outdoors Survival Series, we’ll discuss the best methods for purifying water and offer tips on how to stay properly hydrated in Colorado’s backcountry.
Click HERE to visit the previous chapter in this series.