Tag Archives: Hunting

Dove Season: Keeping the Tradition Alive

The moon sits behind a dove decoy on Colorado's Eastern Plains. Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.

The moon sits behind a dove decoy on Colorado’s Eastern Plains. Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.

For as long as I can remember, Sept. 1 has been a time-honored tradition in my family. The tradition of waking before dawn to watch the sunrise on the Eastern Plains. The tradition of scanning the skies for doves and hoping that my shotgun skills are sharp enough to bring a few birds home for the table. The tradition of watching my favorite bird dog work the fields. And, most importantly, the tradition of spending time with family and friends in the outdoors. My stepbrother and I enjoyed a great dove hunt near Byers this morning. I’m glad I had the opportunity to hunt opening day of dove season again this year. What a great way to spend a Colorado morning. Here’s to a traditional dove dinner later tonight.

Did you make it out for opening day? Share your hunting photos with us!
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7 Reasons Hunting Benefits Colorado

An adult and youth sharing time afield. Video capture by © Jerry Neal/CPW.

An adult and youth share time afield. Video capture by © Jerry Neal/CPW.

For centuries, hunting has been an integral part of Colorado’s outdoor heritage. However, despite its rich and long-standing tradition, hunting remains a polarizing topic in today’s ever-changing social and political climates.

For a variety of reasons, there will always be those who choose to hunt and those who choose not to hunt. And that’s OK. However, whether you are a vegetarian, or simply someone who can’t imagine getting your meat from anywhere other than your local supermarket, it’s important to understand the critical role hunting plays in conservation, wildlife management and the many ways it benefits our state.

If you’re a hunter, you’re probably already aware of most of these facts. Nevertheless, please share this blog post with others. As hunters, it’s critical that we educate nonhunters to help preserve Colorado’s hunting heritage and to ensure that abundant wildlife populations remain for future generations. Read more

Chukar Partridge Introduced to Colorado’s Poudre Canyon

A chukar partridge at CPW's research facility in Fort Collins. Photo by Manda Walters/CPW.

A chukar partridge at CPW’s research facility in Fort Collins. Photo by Manda Walters/CPW.

Upland game hunters may have additional opportunities to pursue chukar partridge thanks to an effort by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to introduce the birds in Larimer County.

In August, CPW biologists released 168 chukar on public land in the Lower Poudre Canyon. The release site, located 30 minutes west of Fort Collins, supports ideal habitat for the birds and has the potential to provide a close-to-home hunting location for northern Colorado residents.

“Our primary goal with this transplant project is to establish a self-sustaining, huntable population of chukar along the Northern Front Range for upland bird hunters,” said Mark Vieira, CPW wildlife biologist. “We are always striving to improve hunting opportunities and are excited about the prospect of offering chukar hunts in the near future.” Read more

Gore Canyon Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction May Lead to Additional Opportunities for Hunters

A bighorn ram. Photo by  © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW

A bighorn ram. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW

Hunters may have additional opportunities to hunt bighorn sheep in northwest Colorado thanks to an ongoing reintroduction effort by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society.

In January, CPW wildlife managers trapped 13 bighorn sheep from Basalt and successfully relocated them to their new home in Gore Canyon near Kremmling. The 5 lambs, 1 ram and 7 ewes were captured using a dropnet and were safely released in Gore Canyon later the same day. The sheep were ear-tagged and fitted with either telemetry collars or ear transmitters to monitor seasonal movement and habitat use.

The relocation effort is part of a broader management plan, which was established back in 2004, to reintroduce bighorns to Gore Canyon. Although Gore Canyon’s steep and rugged walls provide ideal bighorn habitat, sheep had been extirpated from the area since the late 1960s, presumably as a result of domestic livestock interaction, market hunting, poaching and habitat loss. CPW’s reintroduction plan estimates that the area could support a minimum of 150 sheep. Read more

Big-Game Hunters Hungry for ‘Leftovers’

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Hunters seeking tags for either bucks or bulls, or simply a cow elk for the freezer, can look forward to an ample number of leftover big-game licenses for the 2014 seasons.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has approximately 6,000 deer, 30,000 elk, 5,000 pronghorn and 1,800 bear licenses available for the fall hunting seasons. Leftover licenses are surplus licenses that went unsold during the limited drawing.

For the first time ever, both leftover and over-the-counter (OTC) licenses go on sale the same day. In addition, hunters may purchase licenses online without having to wait an additional day as in years past.

All leftover and OTC licenses go on sale Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Licenses may be purchased at statewide license agents, Colorado Parks and Wildlife service centers, online or by calling 1-800-244-5613.

Lists of available leftover licenses and over-the-counter (with caps) licenses may be viewed HERE. The lists update every 15 minutes once the sales process begins Aug. 5.

Don’t miss your chance to hunt Colorado this fall! For more information about big-game hunting in Colorado and license availability, click HERE.

Keeping the ‘Hunt’ in Hunting

Story written by David Lien, chairman of Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

At the recent Backcountry Hunters & Anglers North American Rendezvous in Denver, we were joined by many dedicated and accomplished hunters and anglers from across the U.S. and Canada. But few are as well known and respected as Jim Posewitz, founder and director of Orion-the Hunters’ Institute. In fact, Jim received BHA’s “Mike Beagle Chairman’s Award” for his decades of work promoting wildlands conservation, free-flowing rivers and fair chase ethics in his home state of Montana and nationwide.

However, even a boatful of awards wouldn’t do justice to Jim’s lifetime of work on behalf of wildlands and wildlife. Posewitz is an army veteran with a Master of Science in Fish and Wildlife Management. He founded Orion-The Hunters’ Institute in 1993, after 32 years with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and gave it a vital mission: “To protect the future of hunting, Orion provides leadership on ethical and philosophical issues to promote fair chase and responsible hunting.” In his writings about hunting ethics Jim emphasizes the following points: Read more

Turkey Report: Luck is there, but sporadic on South Republican SWA

Amy Bulger harvested a mature tom on May 9, 2014, at the South Republican State Wildlife Area in Yuma County.

Amy Bulger harvested a mature tom on May 9, 2014, at the South Republican State Wildlife Area in Yuma County.

 

The “Gooble Obble Obble Obble!”  rolled in through the front window of our Double Bull and The Shakes started on queue. We had watched two toms and two jakes follow six hens across the field for two hours. It was our third day of hunting the former Bonny Lake State Park. The birds were getting closer, strutting 75 yards in front of the blind.

“Gooble Obble Obble Obble!”  They took their time, grazing on an abundance of tiny new grasshoppers all the way in. They were eyeing the decoys, inching closer but slowly. We were set up on a funnel that led to the next sunny field where they wanted to strut, and not calling. The Shakes were growing — my limbs twitched in the spastic tribal dance of the amped-up turkey hunter. I was comically helpless to stop it. If you know the magic of a turkey hunt, maybe you know this dance?

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To Catch a Cougar: A Bowhunter’s Search for a Colorado Mountain Lion

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Bowhunter Mindy Paulek poses with a large, tom lion that she harvested near Durango, Colorado on Feb. 4, 2014. In addition to this mature lion, Paulek has taken record-sized bears and mule deer with her bow.

Calling mountain lions “elusive” is a radical understatement. It’s as if the ultra-secretive cats are equipped with cloaking devices that allow them to remain nearly invisible in their surroundings, while leaving behind only vague clues of their presence. In fact, relatively few people will ever catch a glimpse of a mountain lion in the wild, and most are perfectly happy to keep it that way. But, for bowhunter Mindy Paulek, seeing mountain lions became an almost routine experience. Finding and harvesting the “right” mountain lion, however, turned into a monumental challenge for the archer—one spanning three years and hundreds of miles in Colorado’s backcountry.

Fortunately, challenges are nothing new for Paulek. The 30-year-old Durango resident has amassed an impressive hunting resume, harvesting bears, deer, elk, wild hogs and bobcats — all with her Mathews compound bow. She’s also bagged kudu, bushbuck, springbok, wildebeest and jackals in Africa. But three years ago, Paulek set her sights closer to home on the one animal that had eluded her: a tom cougar.

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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.

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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

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