Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.
For most waterfowl hunters, finding a place to hunt is often more challenging than the hunt itself. These days, unless you have deep pockets for a private hunting lease or duck-club membership, the cost of entry can leave the average duck hunter out in the cold.
Thankfully, Colorado offers a variety of opportunities to hunt waterfowl on public land.
Whether you’re a beginner who is planning your first hunt or a more experienced waterfowler who has been away from the duck blind for a while, these tips and strategies will help you have a more enjoyable and successful season. Read more
Excitement, adventure, beautiful scenery—that’s what hunting in Colorado is truly about. And there’s no better way to experience all three than waterfowl hunting.
Whether you’re a beginner who’s looking to experience your first hunt or a seasoned veteran who has been away from the duck blind for a while, there has never been a better time to hunt ducks and geese in Colorado. The following 12 resources and tips will help you get the most out of your hunting experience this season:
1. Abundant Duck Populations Await Hunters in 2017
A black Lab and mallard ducks. Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.
For Colorado waterfowl hunters, 2017 could be an excellent year. Thanks to several years of wet weather and good nesting conditions across the Continental United States and Canada, nationwide duck populations remain above average. With excellent numbers of ducks likely to pass through the state this winter, there has never been a better time to dust off the decoys, grab the Labrador and high-tail-it to your favorite warm-water slough, river, lake or reservoir.
Record duck populations could mean an excellent year for Colorado waterfowl hunters. Video capture by Jerry Neal/CPW.
The 2015-16 Colorado waterfowl season is underway and, by most accounts, hunters have plenty to be excited about this year. Thanks to unusually wet weather and ideal nesting conditions across the Continental United States and Canada, duck populations have soared to the highest numbers in 60 years.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the total breeding duck population estimate in the traditional survey areas in the Prairie Pothole Region was 49.2 million birds — up 8 percent from last year, which is the largest population estimate since waterfowl surveys began in 1955. Mallards, the most popular duck among Colorado waterfowl hunters, posted a breeding population of 11.6 million birds, surpassing the all-time record of 11.2 million birds set in 1958. The USFWS also estimated gadwalls, redheads, teal and northern shovelers at or near record numbers. Read more
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s video production crew has produced a new film called “Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands.” Filmed in high-definition video and recorded in digital audio, the film explores Colorado’s hunting opportunities on public land for big game, small game, waterfowl and turkey. The 17-minute film also offers insights into the various land-management agencies and showcases the different “life zones,” that support wildlife.
Wood ducks provide exciting jump-shooting opportunities for waterfowl hunters.
Wood ducks comprise a good percentage of a hunter’s bag limit during the early duck season along the South Platte and Arkansas rivers. You may have a tough time decoying these agile and wary fowl, but if you religiously hunt the river bottoms and surrounding ponds, it is likely you will get some pass-shooting opportunities based on good numbers of wood ducks inhabiting these areas. Read more
Colorado Outdoors “Quick Tips” Videos
Experienced waterfowl hunters understand the importance of using a natural-looking decoy spread to bring ducks within shooting range of the blind. In this video, you will learn about some of the different types of decoys that are available and how to setup decoys to pull in even the most wary, hunter-savvy ducks.