I drew my elk tag for muzzleloader in 2018, this was the first time using a muzzleloader for elk. Got this guy on the second day of the season, after not hearing or seeing an elk on the first day. The day started out great. When we got to our hunting area there were elk bugling all around us. I harvested my elk around 12 noon, after stalking him into the timber and finding him feeding with some cows. An 85 yd shot. First time hunting unit 14.
Hopefully, eight orphaned bear cubs are now sleeping peacefully on Pikes Peak, snug inside artificial dens built by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, staff and volunteers during a recent snowstorm.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff members, Jason Duetsch and Mary McCormac, were live on Facebook answering questions about black bears. Watch the recorded event to learn important information about living, vacationing and spending time outdoors in bear country.
CPW Researcher Heather Johnson. Photo by Nora Logue/CPW.
On a sunny March day, a group of eight crouch silently outside a bear den dug into a ridge near Durango as Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Heather Johnson literally pokes the sleeping mama bear inside.
This expedition is part of the conclusion of a first-of-its-kind study conducted over six years in southwest Colorado. It is one of the most comprehensive studies to date on human-bear interactions and the impact of urbanization on bear populations.
“This study was motivated by the increase that’s happened in human-bear conflicts in Colorado. As the state wildlife agency that manages those conflicts, we wanted to better understand what was causing those conflicts to increase, and ultimately what we should do about it,” said Johnson, a wildlife researcher.Read more
Every so often we receive a trail-cam photo that’s truly one of a kind. Check out this spectacular shot of a black bear sow and her cub. It looks like this little guy is enjoying his first swimming lesson. Who needs a Jet Ski when you can hitch a ride like this? Thanks to John Griffith of Parker for sending us this amazing shot taken west of Pueblo. Do you have interesting or unique trail-cam photos? Share them here on Colorado Outdoors Online.
A black bear in southwest Colorado. Photo by David Lien.
I’ve hunted public lands in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado since I first started chasing elk, and there’s no bigger, better, higher, wilder place to spend a week-plus during October pursuing the king of America’s big-game animals. I’m also fortunate to know one of our nation’s top traditional-bow elk hunters and hunter-conservationists: Durango-based David Petersen, author of “A Man Made of Elk” and many other hunting-conservation books.
Prior to my annual San Juans elk hunt in the mountains north of Durango — during second rifle season (Oct. 18–26, 2014) — I exchanged a few emails and met up with David, who’s also the founder of the Backcountry Hunters & Angler’s Colorado chapter. David provides me (and others) with updates on what he’s hearing and seeing regarding local elk activity. On Sept. 15, David reported on one of his elk hunt encounters:
“I really blew it tonight. It’s been a slow season, which is becoming a pattern in recent years … There was some bugling last week but it mysteriously shut down last weekend … coincidentally with the opening of black powder season … I did my usual ambush sit … and was walking out … [and] saw something I thought was a bear (tons of bears this year) … and here comes a lone 6×6 bull just clomping along …”
“He crossed in front of me at 20 yards, broadside, walking slowly; a near-perfect setup. I took the shot and heard a loud ‘Crack!’ and saw the arrow take a sharp left 45-degrees and pass under and in front of the bull. A clean miss … That’s why we call it ‘hunting.’”Read more
When John Robinson hunted elk last season in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, he was fortunate to have harvested a bull on opening morning of the first rifle season. But, despite the quick kill, Robinson knew that the real work was just beginning. Based on his remote location, he knew it would likely take two days to field dress the bull and pack out all of the edible meat.
Robinson, who has hunted the San Juans for several years, says there have been “many visitors” to his camp and kill-sites in past seasons. In anticipation of uninvited guests, he set up his trail camera near the elk carcass to capture any suspicious activity while he packed out meat on the first day. Sure enough, a hungry black bear showed up around 9:30 p.m. to grab a late dinner. Thankfully, the bear fed only on the elk carcass but did not disturb the deboned meat that Robinson had hung in a nearby tree.
Unfortunately, the bear was not as well mannered when it came to Robinson’s trail camera. Irritated by the infrared flash, the bear clawed at the camera and broke the mounting brackets, sending the trail-cam crashing to the ground.
Robinson says it all worked out in the end with some great photos and no lost meat.
Colorado Outdoors Online thanks John Robinson for sharing his hunting story and photos.
Colorado Outdoors reminds deer and elk hunters that over-the-counter bear licenses are still available for the big-game rifle seasons. Hunters who have already purchased an elk or deer license may buy a bear license for the same game management unit (GMU). To purchase a bear license or for further information on hunting bears, visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s main website.