lorado Parks and Wildlife officers are investigating a case of suspected poaching involving a large buck deer found near mile marker 85 on Colorado Highway 96 east of Pueblo, the agency announce in a news release. According to the release, the head and antlers were removed. "It looks like the deer might have been shot somewhere else and dumped along Highway 96," Quentin Springer of Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in the release.
CARBON COUNTY, Wyo. (AP) — The 20-gauge shotgun rode easily in my hands as I walked down a trail on the north slope of a tangled ravine that cradled a trickling stream. The light was crisp with the fleeting, brief perfection of fall. The aspen leaves shimmered their best yellow and orange against the pale blue Wyoming sky. The breeze carried the tang of spruce warming in the sun. The dog zigzagged tightly up and down the slope ahead of me. He had cut a pad badly earlier in the day but continued hunting hard without complaint. He was methodical, intent and good at his work. Suddenly, two blue grouse broke cover close in front of me. The sound of their beating wings throbbed in the air as they pumped hard to make it across the ravine and into the safety of the dark forest. The gun came up fast as I worked the slide to chamber a round. The barrel settled on the bird on the left.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is planning to stock several thousand large, whirling disease resistant Hofer rainbow trout into a section of the Colorado River where a large, natural fish kill occurred earlier this year, the agency reported in a news release. Wildlife managers will begin stocking operations on Tuesday between Dotsero and the Cottonwood boat ramp. After a heavy, monsoonal downpour last July, a large amount of silt and debris was washed into the Colorado River below Dotsero and through the Glenwood Canyon, eventually killing several thousand fish in this section, according to the news release.
(AP) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are investigating two cases in which hunters illegally killed an elk and abandoned the carcass. Officials say that in one case near Telluride last month, someone shot a bull elk with a rifle, removed its head and partially field dressed it. They say the elk was dragged by an all-terrain vehicle and was left in within a gated community, where it was found Sept. 28.
CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — The public is getting time to comment on a proposal to expand the Garden Park Fossil Area north of Cañon City and designate it a national natural landmark. The National Park Service says the existing boundaries of the 40-acre area don't include five significant dinosaur quarries, including ones where some of the most complete Stegosaurus skeletons have ever been found. Some of the first known remains of dinosaurs like Camarasaurus, Ceratosaurus and Diplodocus also have been found there.
(AP) — Environmental groups hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection of an appeal challenging a federal rule that bars development on 50 million acres of roadless areas in national forests, ending one of the main legal battles that had left the rule in doubt for more than a decade. "The Supreme Court action validates arguably one of most important public land conservation polices in a generation," said Jane Danowitz, a director of the Pew Environment Group, which has worked on the rulemaking since 1998. "Without the roadless rule and its national standard of protection these millions of acres of pristine forest land could be opened to a variety of development, including logging, mining and drilling." The justices said Monday they will leave in place a federal appeals court decision in a case brought by the state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association that upheld the so-called roadless rule that took effect late in the presidency of Bill Clinton. Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association said closing so much forest land to development has had serious consequences for residents of Western states and the logging, mining and drilling industries.
(AP) — Drought conditions have affected waterfowl habitat on the Eastern Plains so much that hunters may have to work harder to find ducks and geese this fall and winter. Jim Gammonley is an avian research program leader for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He says the lack of moisture in Colorado this year may force many birds from the north to migrate elsewhere in search of better conditions.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advising hunters heading to Game Management Unit (GMU) 23 in the White River National Forest that the southeast portion of the unit will be temporarily closed by the U.S. Forest Service during the upcoming big-game seasons due to concerns about an active wildfire in the area, CPW reported in a news release. Although recent rainfall has dampened the fire, USFS officials are concerned about the number of weakened trees and snags caused by the heat and flames, as well as concerns that the fire could re-ignite as temperatures rise and rainfall moves out of the area. The closure extends through Dec. 31, but could end sooner if conditions warrant, according to the release. USFS officials say the Middle Elk fire was caused by an unattended campfire. Since it was discovered, it has grown to 257 acres, burning in a mix of spruce and fir trees, open areas and high elevation aspen groves west of Forest Road 245, also known as the Buford - New Castle Road. The road is not currently included in the closure and remains open to hunters, the release stated. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding hunters and other outdoor recreationists to observe closure notices and to follow campfire rules and regulations as they head to their camps.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will receive an update on research involving black bears and cutthroat trout when the Commission meets in Durango Thursday and Friday, the agency reported in a news release. The meeting will be held at The Strater Hotel, 699 Main Ave. in Durango. The Commission agenda begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, when agenda includes general updates on agency strategic priorities and a financial update, according to the release. Thursday briefings from Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff will include an overview of ungulate population management plans. Commissioners will also receive a briefing on black bear research taking place in the Durango area, the release stated.
Last week Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., hailed U.S. Senate action that will bring S.3525 to the floor for final passage during the lame duck session following the November general election. S. 3525, also known as the Sportsmen’s Act, includes Udall’s Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support provision. If passed during lame duck the bill would provide states with greater flexibility to use funds collected from sporting equipment and ammunition sales to create more accessible gun ranges for safe target practice and recreational shooting.
A Meeker outfitter was convicted last month in federal court in Denver of six felony violations of the Lacey Act. Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh, 72, of Meeker, faces a stipulated maximum sentence of five years in prison for each felony conviction and up to a $250,000 fine, according to a Colorado Department of Justice news release. According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2007 Rodebaugh, operator of D&S Guide and Outfitter, allegedly guided numerous out of state clients on multi-day big game hunts in the White River National Forest where deer and elk were allegedly shot from tree stands. The stands were located in close proximity to where Rodebaugh annually placed each spring and summer hundreds of pounds of salt as bait.
(AP) — The National Park Service acted properly when it ruled out using wolves to control the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park, government lawyers argued Thursday before a federal appeals court. The government also defended the use of trained volunteers to help Park Service employees shoot and kill excess elk, saying it didn't violate a hunting ban in national parks. In a hearing before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a law student representing the wildlife advocacy group WildEarth Guardians argued the Park Service did not give enough consideration to the wolf option and rejected it without giving the public a chance to comment. The group also said letting volunteers shoot elk instead of limiting the shooting to Park Service employees was tantamount to hunting.
Program aimed at reducing trespassing, limiting access to critical mine operating zones
The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office recently entered into a contract with Colowyo Mine to conduct patrols during the 2012 to 2014 hunting seasons. Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said deputies have been patrolling the boundaries of Colowyo Mine for about the past five seasons in an effort to minimize the number of trespassing violations by hunters. Colowyo Mine is private property.
(AP) — Fifteen years ago, the U.S. Forest Service boldly announced a goal of eradicating hazardously overgrown forests nationwide by 2015. That goal is long gone. The threat to Colorado homes in 2013, it now appears, will likely be as high as ever. Forest restoration and bush clearance have lagged even as new housing is built in threatened areas. And, for a variety of reasons, little progress was made this year in reducing the fire danger. Instead, 2012 saw a drastic change in Forest Service policy. Officials say the shift was done for just one year because of the unusual emergency but that, nonetheless, the overall picture remains one of stretched resources, dry woodlands and endangered homes.
Want a parking place in downtown Durango overnight? You might have to pay for that. The city council is considering a proposal to sell a "hunting license" to drivers who want to look for an overnight parking space at a city lot.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Miller Creek Ranch in Meeker are offering big-game hunters an opportunity to apply for a limited number of private property, high-quality elk and mule deer hunts beginning Nov. 3, the agency announced in a news release. Interested hunters must submit a written application by 5 p.m. Oct. 10, 2012, to: Colorado Parks and Wildlife - Meeker Office Attn: Bailey Franklin/Special Miller Creek Ranch Hunts PO Box 1181, Meeker CO 81641
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved mountain lion harvest quotas for the upcoming lion season in the state last week at the commission's September meeting in Glenwood Springs, the agency announced in a news release. During Friday's morning session, the Parks and Wildlife Commission also denied a citizen petition requesting that crossbows be approved for use during archery seasons. Commissioners also approved changes to falconry regulations to make it easier for non-resident falconers to participate in falconry events in Colorado, the release stated. The meeting was held at The Hotel Denver in Glenwood Springs.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are advising hunters in Game Management Units 28 and 18 that beginning Tuesday, hunting access to these areas may be restricted by the U.S. Forest Service during the upcoming seasons as they continue a project to cut hazard trees along the area's roads and trails, the agency reported in a news release. The closures coincide with several big-game hunting seasons, including moose, mule deer, elk, bear and mountain goat during archery, muzzleloading and the first through third rifle seasons, according to the release.
Cooler mornings and shorter days are reminders for people that fall will soon arrive. Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises everyone that black bears notice the subtle change in seasons too, and will soon begin their annual food binge as they prepare for hibernation, the agency reported in a news release. "Obey local ordinances, secure your trash, remove any accessible food source and never intentionally feed a bear," said Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde in the release. "If more people follow just these few simple recommendations, it can reduce the possibility of conflicts." Colorado Parks and Wildlife provides extensive information through their website, volunteer teams and publications. Bear information can be quickly found online at http://wildlife.state.co.us/bears, according to the web site.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will establish harvest limits for the 2012-2013 mountain lion season when the Commission meets Thursday and Friday in Glenwood Springs, the agency announced in a news release. The meeting will be held at the Hotel Denver, 402 Seventh Street in Glenwood Springs. The commission agenda begins at 1 p.m. Thursday, with an agenda including general updates on agency strategic priorities and a financial update. The commission will reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, when regulation items will be considered, according to the release. The Parks and Wildlife Commission will consider changes to raptor importation guidelines for competitive national falconry events held in the state. Commissioners also will receive information about the annual update to fishing regulations as well as draft regulations regarding prohibited species and fish stocking procedures, the release stated.
EUREKA (AP) — Crumbling foundations are all that remain of this once-vibrant San Juan County mining town, which lived and died on the production and milling of ore. Today, the former town eight miles north of Silverton is best known as a popular camp site, but this year, for the first time, the privilege comes with a cost. County officials said the conversion of Eureka to a paid 50-space campground and day-use area was necessary. Pete McKay, a county commissioner, said it eliminates willy-nilly campsites and fire pits, and, above all, controls an "extreme" problem of sewage and human waste.
(AP) — Conservation groups are welcoming a federal report spelling out how sage grouse should be managed in 11 Western states to avoid new federal protections. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's draft report issued Thursday advises states and federal land management agencies to act immediately to "stop the bleeding of continuing habitat and population losses." The report is certain to command attention in Western states where listing sage grouse as endangered could result in federal restrictions on energy development and other activities. Sage grouse are found in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. They also inhabit Canada.
With hunting draws completed, leftover hunting licenses are now on sale, but not many are available around Craig. In many game management units around Colorado, leftover licenses were still available in plentiful supply for bears, deer and elk as of Aug. 22, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife reports. Hunting tags for elk in GMUs around Craig, however, have been scarcer. Local licensing agents have been selling tags, but not at the rate they are accustomed to, some said. Leftover tags went on sale Aug. 14 and several area licensers made sales the first couple days, but have been mostly dormant since.
Long Draw Road, located on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District 53 miles up the Poudre Canyon, is closed starting this week to allow for hazardous tree removal along the road, the U.S. Forest Service announced in a news release. The trees marked for removal have been hit by the mountain pine beetle and are a safety hazard if not taken down. Because of that, the Forest Service has announced that no foot or vehicle traffic will be allowed on the road starting today unless specifically authorized by the U.S. Forest Service, according to the release. “We understand this is a popular area, especially for hunters, but it’s crucial for us to cut and remove these trees for the public’s safety,” Canyon Lakes District Ranger Kevin Atchley said in the release. “I know this is an inconvenience, but this effort should make it safer in future years for the public to enjoy the Long Draw area.”