Tag Archives: adult-onset hunting

Women Afield: My first pheasant hunt

alicia-trigger-fix

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.”
Read more

A Nonhunter Takes Hunter Ed: My Story

Hunter Education-3209

A Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunter education class. Photo by Crystal Egli/CPW.

Hunting has never been a part of my life. I have never desired to take down a bull elk with a gun or even whack a trout on the head. Yet, somehow, I found myself in a hunter education class, enjoying the lessons and learning more than I ever expected. If I’m clearly not a hunter, why on earth did I sign up for hunter-ed?

Utterly disconnected from where food comes from, I stopped to think about it for the first time when a coworker offered me slices of sausage harvested from an elk hunt. I’m a regular person who eats regular supermarket meat, with no room in the budget for local butcher shops or organic, free-range, grass-fed beef. Taking the first bite of elk, it dawned on me that I could finally ask someone exactly where the meat came from. Within 10 seconds I had my answer and more. The elk came from game management unit 32, near Meeker. It died quickly with two shots to the lungs, and the hunter shared the meat amongst family and friends. Sure, you could ask your local grocer the same question, but unless you work somewhere along the supply chain, you can never be 100 percent certain where supermarket meat comes from or how humanely it was harvested.

Being directly connected to this elk meat started a chain reaction of questions I had no answers for. I have always enjoyed blissful ignorance in regard to where my meat comes from. So why did I care about this meat, and not the burger I ate last night? Could this animal have had a better life—and death—than the animals I usually consume? Could these factors make hunting… better? To answer these questions I needed to know more about hunting. Read more

A Supper Fit for Grandad

4-blog-grandad-photo

A hunting party, most likely from the 1940s.

One of my most-treasured inherited pieces is a hand-colored photo of a hunting party, most likely from the 1940s. Seventeen hunters proudly pose with 17 deer — my grandfather is third from the left. The man standing second from the right pops out from the crowd — bow tie, crisp white shirt and apron, and in place of the rifles all the others are holding, he grips the largest frying pan I have ever seen. Both Grandad and the frying pan come to mind as I start the night’s meal: peppered deer steaks.

These are not just any ol’ deer steaks, but backstrap meat from the first doe I ever harvested. The first deer I ever gutted and butchered, and the first game meat I ever processed. Those in the growing Locavore movement would call it a meal of “fresh, locally sourced, organically raised, in-season protein” . . . or, as Grandad would have called it, “supper.”

Just like the deer from the photo, this wasn’t a one-man tale of hunting. Over the last few years, my buddy Alex has been a hunting mentor giving valuable advice in the field, and hands-on instruction with skinning and butchering. And Sheila Lewis, or who I prefer to call Mom, lent her hands and years of wisdom processing and wrapping the steaks, roasts and stew meat. Even the steak recipe I’ll describe below was handed down by Dennis McKinney from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife video crew. Read more

A QUICK GUIDE TO DIFFERENTIATE MULE DEER FROM WHITE-TAILED DEER

Mule vs Whitetail Buck head

The mule deer gets its name from its overly large ears. In its scientific classification, Odocoileus hemionus, the species name is Latin for “half-mule.” The white-tailed deer is Odocoileus virginianus — the later part of that title referring to when the species was once known as the “Virginia deer.” If mule deer get their common name from up front, whitetails get theirs from the other end. However, the majority of the time you see more white on the tail end of a mule deer, which has a very large patch of white, only partly covered by a rope-like, white tail with a black tip. Whether the tail is up or down, you can always see plenty of white on the rump of a mule deer. A whitetail, on the other hand, normally covers most of its narrow white patch with a thick, dark tail but raises its tail to alert, or flag, others of danger. To make it an effective defense mechanism, the difference between “calm” and “freaked out” has to be as big as possible. Read more

Let the Games Begin (Part Two)

Cow and bull elk

This or that? Applying for either-sex licenses will increase our chance of success. Photos by Wayne D. Lewis (CPW).

April 1st is quickly approaching. Normally I would be planning an April Fools’ prank or two, but not this year. If my hunting partner, Alex, and I do not get our big-game limited license applications submitted in time, we will be the fools.

Alex and I needed advice, tons of it, and help was just a door away. Amy Bulger’s office is right next to mine where she does an incredible, and sometimes thankless, job producing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) regulation brochures. After a short chat, Amy offered up the services of her newlywed husband, Aaron. He built CPW’s hunt planner program, and for years guided hunters through the application process. He has since left the agency for a career as a paramedic and fireman, but he has taken his knowlege with him. (CPW hunt planners can be reached from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (MST) Monday through Friday at 303-291-7526 (303-291-PLAN).

Read more

CPW Field Journal ‘Adult-Onset Hunting’ (Part 4)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

CPW Field Journal

When it comes to outdoors expertise, no one understands Colorado’s fishery and wildlife resources better than Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s diverse staff of wildlife managers, park rangers and biologists.  For these dedicated individuals, working for CPW is not just an occupation but a way of life.  When they’re not enforcing fish and game laws, patrolling state lands or conducting fish and wildlife research, most CPW employees are avid sportsmen and women who spend their leisure time hunting and angling throughout the state.  Here, CPW staff share their personal stories and experiences, provide on-the-ground field updates and offer a unique, “inside” perspective on all things hunting and fishing in Colorado.

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

In this special, multipart series of CPW field Journal, Chris Johnson, GIS analyst for CPW, shares his experiences and thoughts as a first-time hunter.  Johnson is part of a growing trend of adults, known as “Adult-Onset Hunters,” who are taking up hunting as a midlife pursuit.

Read more

CPW Field Journal ‘Adult-Onset Hunting’ (Part 3)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

CPW Field Journal

When it comes to outdoors expertise, no one understands Colorado’s fishery and wildlife resources better than Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s diverse staff of wildlife managers, park rangers and biologists.  For these dedicated individuals, working for CPW is not just an occupation but a way of life.  When they’re not enforcing fish and game laws, patrolling state lands or conducting fish and wildlife research, most CPW employees are avid sportsmen and women who spend their leisure time hunting and angling throughout the state.  Here, CPW staff share their personal stories and experiences, provide on-the-ground field updates and offer a unique, “inside” perspective on all things hunting and fishing in Colorado.

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

In this special, multipart series of CPW field Journal, Chris Johnson, GIS analyst for CPW, shares his experiences and thoughts as a first-time hunter.  Johnson is part of a growing trend of adults, known as “Adult-Onset Hunters,” who are taking up hunting as a midlife pursuit. Read more

CPW Field Journal ‘Sssssh . . . I’m Hunting’

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

CPW Field Journal

When it comes to outdoors expertise, no one understands Colorado’s fishery and wildlife resources better than Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s diverse staff of wildlife managers, park rangers and biologists.  For these dedicated individuals, working for CPW is not just an occupation but a way of life.  When they’re not enforcing fish and game laws, patrolling state lands or conducting fish and wildlife research, most CPW employees are avid sportsmen and women who spend their leisure time hunting and angling throughout the state.  Here, CPW staff share their personal stories and experiences, provide on-the-ground field updates and offer a unique, “inside” perspective on all things hunting and fishing in Colorado.

In this segment of CPW Field Journal, Southwest Regional Manager Patt Dorsey explains how the solitude of hunting helps her to de-stress and escape everyday life.

Read more

CPW Field Journal ‘Adult-Onset Hunting’ (Part 2)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

CPW Field Journal

When it comes to outdoors expertise, no one understands Colorado’s fishery and wildlife resources better than Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s diverse staff of wildlife managers, park rangers and biologists.  For these dedicated individuals, working for CPW is not just an occupation but a way of life.  When they’re not enforcing fish and game laws, patrolling state lands or conducting fish and wildlife research, most CPW employees are avid sportsmen and women who spend their leisure time hunting and angling throughout the state.  Here, CPW staff share their personal stories and experiences, provide on-the-ground field updates and offer a unique, “inside” perspective on all things hunting and fishing in Colorado.

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

In this special, multipart series of CPW field Journal, Chris Johnson, GIS analyst for CPW, shares his experiences and thoughts as a first-time hunter.  Johnson is part of a growing trend of adults, known as “Adult-Onset Hunters,” who are taking up hunting as a midlife pursuit.

Read more

CPW Field Journal ‘Adult-Onset Hunting’ (Part 1)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

Photo by © Wayne D Lewis(CPW)

CPW Field Journal

When it comes to outdoors expertise, no one understands Colorado’s fishery and wildlife resources better than Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s diverse staff of wildlife managers, park rangers and biologists.  For these dedicated individuals, working for CPW is not just an occupation but a way of life.  When they’re not enforcing fish and game laws, patrolling state lands or conducting fish and wildlife research, most CPW employees are avid sportsmen and women who spend their leisure time hunting and angling throughout the state.  Here, CPW staff share their personal stories and experiences, provide on-the-ground field updates and offer a unique, “inside” perspective on all things hunting and fishing in Colorado.

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

GIS Analyst Chris Johnson

In this special, multipart series of CPW field Journal, Chris Johnson, GIS analyst for CPW, shares his experiences and thoughts as a first-time hunter.  Johnson is part of a growing trend of adults, known as “Adult-Onset Hunters,” who are taking up hunting as a midlife pursuit.

Read more