Hundreds of bird species migrate through eastern Colorado each year, but the migration of tens of thousands of snow geese makes for a dramatic sight. Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Lamar Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to celebrate the migration with the 11th annual High Plains Snow Goose Festival.
Data released in a new report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) attempts to underscore the significance of hunters and anglers to the Colorado and national economies. Information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation was used in the CSF report, called “America’s Sporting Heritage: Fueling the American Economy.” According to the report, the outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen of Colorado spent $1.3 billion and supported nearly 19,000 jobs in the state.
Parks and Wildlife hosting ice fishing outing in Pine
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting a learn to ice fish outing in Jefferson County. The event, open to families and novice anglers, takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at Pine Valley Ranch Park located on Jefferson County Road 126 in Pine, according to a news release from the agency. The event is free but limited to the 20 participants. Ice fishing equipment will be provided. To register, email email@example.com or call 303-291-7804.
(AP) — Colorado officials and the Ute Mountain Ute tribe have signed a memorandum of understanding updating an agreement on how wildlife will be managed in part of southwest Colorado. The 1874 Brunot Agreement ceded Ute lands to the U.S. government but preserved the right of Indians to hunt there.
(AP) — A court document alleges that a Boulder police officer charged with poaching an elk and tampering with evidence told other officers a week beforehand that he planned to kill the animal. The Boulder Daily Camera reported Sunday (http://tinyurl.com/b9spk2k ) that an arrest warrant affidavit accused officer Sam Carter of mentioning a plan to kill the elk during a routine shift briefing on Dec. 26. The elk was shot on Jan. 1.
Chris Jurney recognized as 2012 Colorado Outfitter of the Year
Some say it takes a lifetime to perfect a craft. And although Craig resident Chris Jurney, owner of Chris Jurney Outfitting, has no intention of slowing down anytime soon, the Colorado Outfitters Association cited a lifetime of achievements when the organization last weekend in Grand Junction named Jurney its 2012 Outfitter of the Year. The annual award is bestowed upon a COA member who demonstrates a commitment to the outfitting industry, wildlife and wildlife management, and the ideals of the organization
Private landowners gave the property to the U.S. Forest Service at the end of 2012. Forest Service officials say they'll now be able to more effectively manage wildlife species such as native cutthrout trout that live in some of the streams in California Park.
Youth elk hunting program, mountain lion season modified for New Year
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission last week met in Denver to finalize big game hunting regulations for 2013. Among the more significant changes is a modification to the late season youth elk hunting program. Originally developed to address overpopulations of elk on agricultural, private lands in western Colorado, the program is transitioning to allow young hunters with an unfilled 2013 cow or either sex tag to hunt late seasons in the general area of their original license, according to a Parks and Wildlife news release.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is accepting applications from individuals, organizations and local governments for grants that benefit outdoor recreation activities in Colorado. The agency announced this week it would distribute up to $1.7 million in matching grants in 2013 for Colorado projects that benefit fishing, shooting ranges or boating.
Measure helps restore populations of four species in the Colorado River
Last week Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, of the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado, lauded the U.S. Senate’s recent passage of the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act of 2012. Tipton was an original co-sponsor of the bill, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. It passed the Senate un-amended and with unanimous consent, according to a Tipton news release.
Parks and Wildlife seeks artwork for 2013 waterfowl stamp competition
Last week Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced it is accepting original artwork entries for its 2013 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp art contest. This year’s species of focus is the Greater Scaup, a cousin of the Lesser Scaup, which also are more commonly known as bluebills.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will meet in Westminster Thursday and Friday to finalize big-game hunting regulations for 2013. The meeting, held at the Doubletree Hotel, 8773 Yates Dr., will begin at 8:30 a.m. The commission will review more than 40 proposed changes to the big-game regulations. Among the biggest proposed changes is a proposal to further reduce the areas allowed for youth late-season elk hunting, as a result of elk populations being reduced to desired long-term levels.
The cross-country trail is groomed and the pond has been cleared in anticipation for the annual Ski and Skate at Yampa River State Park.
Two fawns saved from Elkhead Reservoir over holiday
It’s not uncommon to hear stories about multiple agencies collaborating together on a case to serve the public good. But too often those tales are told in reference to crimes, fires or some kind of natural disaster. Last week rangers from two local agencies came together to pull off a daring rescue to save a pair of mule deer fawns trapped in the ice at Elkhead Reservoir.
Late season youth hunts are underway, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind young elk hunters, their parents or mentors about eligibility information. New youth hunt rules include limits according to color-coded Game Management Units as defined on page four of the 2012 Colorado Big Game brochure. However on rule remains unchanged, according to a Parks and Wildlife news release. Youth hunters with an unfilled bull tag do not qualify for a late season hunt. A list of late season hunting opportunities also can be found online.
Congressional Republicans float idea to avoid fiscal cliff
In an effort to avoid a fiscal cliff Congressional Republicans earlier this month floated an idea to raise revenues by selling public lands. Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Stevan Pearce, R-N.M., first presented the idea in November through a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. Because the western United States is home to the country’s largest expanses of public lands Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., rejected the idea, saying a sell off of public lands would be imprudent and detrimental to western economies.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists are employing the use of aircraft in two separate operations to help monitor the deer population in eastern Colorado. Agency biologists started utilizing low-flying helicopters this past Saturday, Dec. 15, to assist in surveying deer herds in southeastern Colorado, the agency announced in a news release. "We will primarily be flying in the Arkansas River Valley in Prowers, Bent, Otero and Crowley Counties," terrestrial biologist Jonathan Reitz said in the release. "But we will also be flying low over portions of Kiowa and Baca Counties as well." Depending on weather, the operation in southeastern Colorado is expected to continue until the end of the year.
A free clinic for duck hunters will be offered at 6 p.m. on Dec. 18 in the Hunter Education classroom at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office at 4255 Sinton Rd. in Colorado Springs, the agency reported a news release. The clinic is designed to teach waterfowl hunters about hunting regulations, duck identification and hunting tactics with the hopes of increasing duck hunting success, according to the release.
Family of hunting accident victim seeking closure
Accidents happen. But they can also have devastating affects on people’s lives. In the case of visiting hunter Tyler Rast, 38, of Bountiful, Utah, a bullet that missed its intended target and struck him in the arm last month has not only resulted in unique physical challenges, but also has weighed heavily on the emotions of his family. “Accidents can change lives and in this case it has,” said Kent Rast, Tyler’s uncle. “It’s really affected the family.” On Thursday Kent and Dan Rast, Tyler’s father, both also of Bountiful, returned to the scene of what Moffat County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating as an accidental shooting.
During the holiday shopping rush there is one gift that often gets overlooked by Christmas shoppers, Colorado’s outdoors. But Colorado Parks and Wildlife is making it easier to find that perfect gift for the outdoorsman in the family through its online e-store and Shop Outdoors. Many of the Parks and Wildlife gift ideas start at just $5, according to an agency news release.
Updated plans for Cheyenne Mountain State Park tops the agenda for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission’s meeting Thursday and Friday in Colorado Springs, the agency announced in a news release. A full agenda for the meeting — set to start at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Doubletree Hotel, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd — is available online at http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/Commission/2012/Dec/Agenda.pdf. The Commissioners on Thursday morning will tour Cheyenne Mountain State Park, which opened in 2006 in cooperation with Great Outdoors Colorado and the City of Colorado Springs, according to the release.
A Moffat County High School student got a once-in-a-lifetime hunting opportunity and made the most of it. Molly Nations, 17, drew a bull moose tag in just her fifth year putting in for tag. The 1-in-14,000 chance fell in Nations’ favor, though, and she got the most difficult tag to get a hold of in Colorado. “For most people it takes about 20 to 25 years,” Nations said of getting a bull tag. “So I got really lucky. Everyone that I talked to said they’ve put in more years than I’ve been alive.”
Late season GMU 22 hunters may be affected by capture, collar operations
Hunters planning a late season hunt in northwest Colorado are advised that state officials will be in the area to conduct an ongoing mule deer population study. Beginning in December Colorado Parks and Wildlife will begin helicopter capture and collaring operations in the Piceance Basin — specifically in Game Management Unit 22, according to a Parks and Wildlife news release states. Hunters heading into the field next month may be affected by the study.
Once nearly extinct throughout the state, there are more wild turkeys in Colorado now than ever before, according to a news release issued by biologists at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "The increase of wild turkeys in Colorado is due to their adaptability, high reproductive capability and careful management of hunting," said Brian Dreher, a senior terrestrial biologist for CPW, in the release. Dreher said state wildlife managers have been developing strategies to increase the wild turkey population since the early 1980s. Since that time the agency has successfully transplanted wild turkeys into most of the available habitat in the state, according to the release. Turkeys were plentiful in the North America when the Pilgrims landed, but as colonists spread west turkey populations plummeted to approximately 30,000 by 1900. In the release Dreher said wild turkeys faced a double whammy in the early years of our country.