Record Fish Caught in Dillon, Colorado Reservoir

I grew up fishing in Colorado. We lived in a small house just across the road from the San Juan River. I learned to hook trout, and maybe a suckerfish or two, on my little Snoopy fishing pole. Since then I’ve had the joy of fishing in a variety of waters, but there is plenty of excitement to be found fishing the fresh water of Colorado.

If you’ve been wanted to get started fishing, now is as good a time as any.

Virginia woman catches state record arctic char in Dillon Reservoir

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo.- One of the largest reservoirs in Colorado has produced a new state record arctic char, caught by a vacationing physician from Virginia, Nov. 6.Dr. Lindsay Regali of Charlottesville had been taking in the sights and enjoying a chilly day of fishing at altitude in Dillon Reservoir with her husband Luke Newcomb and local guide Randy Ford of Alpine Fishing Adventures when she landed the lunker. Colorado Parks and Wildlife certified the fish as the new state record, weighing in at 4.15 pounds and 23.5 inches in length, breaking the previous record of 3.75 pounds and 20.5 inches, caught in Dillon Reservoir in 1994 by Marshall Brenner.

Dr. Lindsay Regali of Virginia with her record breaking arctic char, recently caught in Dillon Reservoir
Dr. Lindsay Regali of Virginia with her record-breaking arctic char recently caught in Dillon Reservoir

“There was an ongoing joke throughout the day that I was jealous of how many fish my husband had been catching,” said Regali. “I was laughing and joking around because I realized I had finally caught one that I knew was bigger than his. I realized it was big but had no idea how big until we got it in the boat.”

Regali, a self-described casual angler, had initially been interested in the sights surrounding Dillon Reservoir more so than what lay beneath the surface.

“It was such a fun, unique experience to be fishing with snow coming down, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. It was almost surreal,” said Regali. “Mostly, it was just a lot of fun and it was something I’ll definitely want to go back and do again.”

CPW first began stocking arctic char in Dillon in the 1990s. After a 10-year break, agency biologists began stocking the slow-growing fish again between 2008-15.

With the reservoir now yielding bigger specimens of the fish, a cousin to salmon and lake trout, CPW considers the stocking program a significant success.

“This has taken a lot of patience because they are growing slowly, but we seem to be at an inflection point in the fishery where I expect to see increasingly large fish, and more of them,” said Area Aquatic Biologist Jon Ewert. “The one Linsday caught was a nice, large fish and it’s very satisfying to see the excitement that it brought her. I’m sure news of the catch will attract other anglers to Dillon to see if they can break her record.”

Ewert reminds anglers about a regulation for arctic char in Dillon Reservoir; “Anglers can keep one fish over 20 inches. All arctic char less than 20 inches must be returned to the water immediately,” he said

Regali, whose father taught her to fish as a child, says the experience of catching a state record fish will remain with her for a lifetime.

“I immediately texted my parents from the boat and sent them a picture. I knew my dad especially would think it was pretty cool,” she said. “I still can’t believe it. I just went out there to have fun. I certainly didn’t go out to set a state record. It’s a good story to tell.”

Dillon Reservoir is the only public body of water in the lower 48 states, outside of Maine, in which arctic char can be caught. Most populations are found in Canada and the arctic regions.

For more information about fishing in Colorado, visit CPW’s website.

See other state record fish caught in Colorado.


Connect with Mia – ►Twitter  ►Facebook  ►+GooglePinterestYouTubeInstagramHelp me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine. This article may include affiliate links.

http://tunein.com/embed/player/p963773/?autoplay=true

Change your clocks and your driving habits

As clocks change watch for wildlife on the highway

In a recent YouTube video, I shared a headlight cleaning hack, and a story about how I came to have one clean, shiny headlight and a dull one. You guessed it. I whacked a deer. While I pursue wildlife during hunting season, I don’t enjoy hitting them with my vehicle.

In our neck of the woods, we drive the “Gauntlet.” It’s called that because of the numbers of deer, elk, and other animals that we encounter on the route. You might also guess that when we change the clocks, and daylight visibility decreases, the numbers of animals on the road increase. We have to slow down and pay attention more closely.

Return to daylight standard time: Change your clocks and your driving habits

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER – November 5 marks the end of daylight saving time, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds motorists to be particularly cautious to avoid wildlife-related accidents on our roads as daylight hours get shorter.

“The fall time change happens to be right in line with peak mating season for some of our wildlife, especially deer. Bears are also still actively looking for food and the calories needed before hibernation,” said Crystal Chick, CPW area wildlife manager. “Animals are on the move this time of year, most actively between dawn and dusk. With shorter daylight hours, that makes wildlife harder to see right when people are making their daily commutes.”

CPW-Elk-crossing-traffic-10fa1941-892d-4c26-bb92-908425a571c5.jpg

The Colorado Department of Transportation sees an average of 3,300 reported wildlife collisions each year, and notes more car accidents involving wildlife occur in November than in any other month. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the average property damage costs from animal-vehicle collisions is over $3,400.

The following precautions are good advice all year long, but particularly at and around the change back to daylight standard time:

  • Slow down. Swerving at high speeds increases the danger of an accident. Moderate speeds maintain a driver’s reaction time and allow an appropriate response to animals on or near roads.
  • Stay alert, particularly while driving between dusk and dawn. This is when deer and other common wildlife are most active and more likely to be crossing roadways.
  • Scan ahead and watch for movement and shining eyes along roadsides. If you see one animal, you should expect it will be accompanied by others.
  • Obey traffic signs, particularly wildlife warning signs. Though incidents can happen anywhere, transportation authorities attempt to reduce the number of incidents by posting signage and lowering speeds in areas where wildlife are active.
  • When animals are seen on or near the road, slow down or stop, honk the horn and/or flash headlights. This warns the animal to avoid the road and alerts other drivers to the potential hazard.
  • Always wear seat belts. Unfortunately, not every collision is avoidable, and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration states that the risk of serious injury and death in a crash is reduced by half when seat belts are worn.

Drivers involved in a wildlife/vehicle collision should report the accident to the Colorado State Patrol by calling *CSP (star key and 277). For additional information on wildlife and traffic safety, visit cpw.state.co.us.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


Connect with Mia – Twitter  Facebook  +Google Pinterest YouTube Instagram

Help me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine. This article may include affiliate links.

Wildlife Officers Helping Those in Africa

Many of us know that conserving wildlife extends beyond our borders and spans across the world to wonderful places, including Africa. I’m pleased to read this news. Colorado Parks and wildlife’s southeast region implemented a great plan to help other wildlife officers in Africa.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting CPW’s Southeast Regional Director, Dan Prenzlow, at Colorado Sportsman’s Roundtable meetings. He’s a forward moving man, who is always striving to improve methods of conservation in his area. This year he authorized his crew to gather obsolete items, no longer used by the organization, to send to conservation officers in Africa.

It is great to see donations from the United States will be helping officers over there to conserve wildlife for future generations. Read below to learn more.

CPW ships boxes of donated conservation items to wildlife officers in Africa

CPW_SiteLogoCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In recent weeks, large boxes packed with work pants, boots, shirts, socks, belts, spotting scopes, binoculars, backpacks and much more left the loading dock of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southeast Region office bound for Africa.

They are part of a nine-state project to donate gear to conservation officers in six African nations, working in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. State Department and the Wild Tomorrow Fund, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting threatened and endangered species and the habitats they depend on for survival.

Frank McGee, CPW area wildlife manager, brought the idea back from a leadership program last fall at the National Conservation Training Center attended by conservation officers from 30 other state agencies as well as conservation agencies from 12 African nations.

“I learned a great deal about the struggles our African counterparts face on a daily basis,” McGee said. “As it is in the United States, conservation of natural resources can be complicated in Africa. In some countries there, things are pretty bleak.”

CPW-Sorting-through-boxes-of-goods-to-donate-officers-in-Africa-0798ccb8-09e3-47ba-a928-a40e1ac42175
Sorting through boxes of donated items on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southeast Region loading dock are Kimberly Sams, left, administrative assistant for Area 14, and Brianna Fett, right, the region’s education and volunteer intern. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife / Bill Vogrin

One classmate asked if they would accept donations and what, exactly, they needed. It turned out their needs were pretty basic, McGee said. So he got permission from Dan Prenzlow, manager of CPW’s Southeast Region, to gather obsolete law enforcement items to donate to conservation officers in Africa.

“Our agency is dedicated to preserving wildlife and if we can help further that cause in Africa by donating old or obsolete items, I’m all for it,” Prenzlow said.

McGee asked his CPW colleagues to search their storage lockers for gear they no longer use and consider donating it. Soon, the CPW loading dock was stacked high with gear. As shipments from CPW and other state wildlife agencies started landing in Africa, Wild Tomorrow Fund staff reported they were having an immediate impact improving morale.

CPW-donations-to-officers-in-Africa-59f1d274-e690-41c4-9bf7-9b896030afe8
Items donated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southeast Region are displayed by John Steward, executive director of the New York-based nonprofit Wild Tomorrow Fund, and Richard Penn-Sawyers, conservation manager for several of the Ezemvelo wildlife reserves. They posed at Ezemvelo’s Tembe Elephant Park wildlife preserve on the border of Mozambique. Photo courtesy Wild Tomorrow Fund.

The International Conservation Chiefs Academy (ICCA) hopes projects like this strengthen global law enforcement relationships to combat illegal wildlife trafficking. The ICCA works with 18 African nations and next year will add seven Southeast Asian countries.

CPW, alongside federal agencies, hosted 42 African conservation officials in Denver as they visited the U.S. in mid-September. Training programs included: adaptive leadership, peer group problem solving sessions, anti-corruption practices, relationship building, wildlife trafficking trends, forensics, evidence and inventory management, working across cultural differences and more.

CPW-African-conservation-officers-receive-donations-945eed53-5ce1-4647-9045-4c8ebeeaff6a
Unidentified African wildlife conservation officers at Ezemvelo’s Ndumo reserve try on the shorts and pants delivered from U.S. counterparts including the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southeast Region. Photo courtesy Wild Tomorrow Fund.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife is committed to conserving our wildlife resources here at home, and contributing to the global fight against wildlife trafficking,” Prenzlow said. “The criminals who illegally trade in wildlife and wildlife parts operate across borders. So it is imperative that agencies like Colorado Parks and Wildlife cooperate across borders to fight them and catch them.”


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

Connect with Mia – Twitter  Facebook  +Google Pinterest YouTube Instagram

Help me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine. This article may include affiliate links.

Affected By Hurricanes or Wildfires License Refunds Offered | Colorado Hunting

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is understanding of the affect recent natural disasters is having on out of state hunters. It’s great news to see that they are being supportive of out of state hunters who may need to change their hunting plans. Read on to see what a difference they’re making in a simple deed of granting requests for license refunds to hunters that need them.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife to provide hunting license refunds for those affected by hurricanes and western wildfires

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is issuing hunting license refunds and preference point restoration exceptions for hunters who had their Colorado hunts canceled due to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, or one of the many wildfires burning in our western states. The fire exception is only for those fires that are burning outside the state of Colorado.

CPW Director Bob Broscheid said, “We’re making an emergency exception to our policy of only providing refunds 30 days prior to the start of the hunting season. We hope this provides some relief to the hurricane and fire victims, the first responders, and family members with their homes flooded.”

Requests for refunds are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and no refunds will be made for licenses that have been in the field. All refund requests must be submitted by January 31, 2018. Those affected should call Limited License Refund Coordinator Sarah Lovik at 303-291-7208.

When you call, be prepared to provide proof that you have been affected by the hurricanes or wildfires.

Acceptable documents include:

  • insurance claim number
  • FEMA number
  • copy of canceled hotel or flight reservations
  • affidavit with signed narrative stating why you had to cancel your trip

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


Connect with Mia – Twitter  Facebook  +Google Pinterest YouTube Instagram

Help me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine.

Deadline Approaching Take Survey for Big-Game Management Plans | Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is developing new management plans for big game in the North Fork and Gunnison areas and invites hunters and the general public to take on-line surveys that will help wildlife managers writing the plans.

Continue reading

Celebrate the Solar Eclipse in Colorado

It seems everyone has joined the August, 2017 solar eclipse hype. What will you be doing on August 21st?

Although it’s archery antelope season, I’ll be up in the mountains scouting for elk. While we won’t be in the path of the total eclipse, I’m interested to see if the animals in Colorado will have a reaction. National Geographic shares, “Reports of unusual animal reactions to solar eclipses date back centuries. One of the earliest stories comes from Italian monk Ristoro d’Arezzo, who described what happened during a total eclipse on June 3, 1239. As the sun disappeared and the sky turned dark, ‘all the animals and birds were terrified; and the wild beasts could easily be caught,’ he wrote.”

I think the same could be said for people on eclipse day. It’s still a week away and already people are flocking to the black out areas. If you haven’t made a hotel reservation along the path of darkness, you’re not likely to find a vacancy. Not to worry. Today I found two events, in Colorado, in celebration of the eclipse.

The first of which I’ll tell you is a local event at the Sky Ute Casino where they’ll be sharing the experience. “Starting at 11AM, the first 250 people to arrive can pick up eclipse watch glasses from the Sky Ute Casino Events Center to safely observe the eclipse. Viewing time for the solar eclipse will be between 11:30-11:45AM in the Sky Ute Casino Events Center parking lot. Following the celestial event, they’ll celebrate with hot seat drawings for $50 in cash on the casino floor, every 15 minutes from NOON-2:30PM!”

Never look at the sun without appropriate eye protection.

If you’ve been following my posts for any length of time, you’re probably more of the outdoorsy type, and if not, you have to be looking for ways to get out there one of these days. In either case, you’ll like to know about Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s way of celbrating the celestial event throughout the state.

TELL ME – What will you be doing during the solar eclipse?

Colorado Parks and Wildlife celebrates August’s solar eclipse

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER – Colorado State Parks and our partners at the Colorado State Library are ready for the growing excitement over the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. Anticipation continues to build for this year’s eclipse, during which everyone in North America will have at least a partial eclipse view. Viewers in Colorado can expect to see stages of the eclipse from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with the peak at around 11:35 a.m.

While Colorado does not fall in the path of totality, residents interested in the phenomenon do not need to battle traffic and crowds in neighboring states to get an amazing perspective of the eclipse. Colorado will see anywhere from 80 percent to 98 percent obscuring of the sun, with the highest percentages found in the northeast corner of the state. NASA recommends finding a nice, clear spot with a good view of the skyto best experience the eclipse, making Colorado state parks the perfect viewing locations.

Solar-Eclipse-2017-CPW-6e6afce5-2432-4257-88d0-2415101fb97f
Colorado State Parks and the Colorado State Library offer several learning and viewing events during the August 21 solar eclipse.

Several state parks are celebrating with special eclipse programs, with some parks offering events such as guided hikes to prime viewing locations, discussions on different types of eclipse and learning how to make pinhole projectors. Just a few of the state parks with special events include:

Each park is offering different experiences, and some parks do require an RSVP for these special events, so be sure to check Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Solar Eclipse page before heading to the parks. Though all parks will have a limited supply of eclipse glasses, it is highly recommended visitors bring their own ISO 12312-2 compliant and CE certified glasses, or download and make a pinhole projector for safe viewing. Remember, regular sunglasses are not appropriate for viewing the eclipse!

For those unable to attend a park program, many public libraries in Colorado are offering learning programs before and during the eclipse, and many will also have free eclipse viewing glasses available to community members.

To prepare for your solar eclipse adventure, view NASA’s Total Solar Eclipse map and choose a park location at cpw.state.co.us or locate your nearest library at https://find.coloradolibraries.org/.

###

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

Buy Your Colorado OTC Hunting Licenses

I’m not sure about you, but I’m getting excited about hunting season. While the draw deadline for Colorado’s limited hunting licenses was way back in April, the results came out and some of us didn’t draw everything we’d applied for. If you’re a hunter, I’m sure you already know this is typical. It’s how it goes and is part of the process. 

Tags are limited based on the need to manage wildlife populations and the number of hunters in the woods at any given time. That being said, in our state, there are units which offer Over the Counter Tags (OTC) for some seasons and species. These tags go on sale August 25th this year. If you didn’t draw your first choice(s), you can buy an OTC tag and still have the opportunity to put some meat in the freezer. Learn more below.

Start of ‘over-the-counter’ and ‘leftover’ hunting license sales brings excitement

CPW_SiteLogoCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Staff at Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices statewide are bracing for two of the biggest days of the year: “OTC” day on July 25 and “leftover” day on Aug. 1.

CPW staff say OTC day – the first day hunting licenses can be bought on an “over-the-counter” basis – is just a warm-up for leftover day when lines form days in advance, resembling crowds awaiting the opening of a Hollywood blockbuster or to buy the newest smartphone gadget. People camp out at CPW offices to ensure they get first shot at prime hunting licenses leftover from the draw.

The excitement over the start of hunting season begins on OTC day. Many of the 500,000 or so who hunt in Colorado request licenses through a draw system. The draw is the only way to buy mule deer licenses. And it’s also a way to get bear, elk, whitetail deer and pronghorn licenses. Typically there is far more demand than available licenses.

Others, however, simply buy their elk, bear, whitetail deer and pronghorn licenses over-the-counter at CPW’s 18 offices or at other retail outlets. And it is usually a busy day.

Hunting-license-sales-colorado-cc241a51-f67c-4c89-9584-860fa2db7ea6Various CPW offices handle the welcome crush of business in different ways. The CPW office in Salida makes it a party, cooking breakfast burritos on site and providing coffee to the hunters.

“We have done this for the past 14 years and is always well-received by the hunters,” said Jim Aragon, area wildlife manager in Salida. “I think some people really don’t care if they get the license they were looking for as long as the burritos are there.”

Visitors to the CPW offices in Lamar and Pueblo will find doughnuts and coffee or water.

In the Southeast Region office in Colorado Springs, the staff is more focused on serving customers as quickly as possible, given the high volume of traffic expected that morning.

“Bear licenses are the biggest attraction on OTC day,” said Michelle Mulrony, lead customer service representative in the Southeast Region offices. “People are very excited about the start of the hunting season. They want their license right away.”

It’s fun, she said, and the fun is only just getting started. Wait until leftover day hits Aug. 1.

“Leftover day is huge,” Mulrony said. “We had people 50 deep last year waiting for leftover day.”

The line for leftover licenses will form at the glass classroom entrance doors on the east side of the building. In recent years, tents have circled the Southeast Region building at 4255 Sinton Road in Colorado Springs. Portable restrooms were brought in to accommodate the campers.

The crowds come because leftover day is a chance to buy tags that were previously offered during the draw and often represent prime hunting opportunities.

“During the draw process, you can only take one tag per species,” Mulrony said. “Leftover day is the only way to get another tag from the same species.”

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work to prepare for leftover day. Mulrony will convert the CPW’s Hunters Education classroom into a war room to handle the crush.

“It’s organized chaos,” she said, describing how 30 CPW staff members – or nearly everyone in the Southeast Region office – will pitch in to help.

She asks hunters to come prepared. At check-in, they will be asked to fill out a sheet indicating what they want to buy, what licenses they hold, whether they’ve completed a hunter’s education course and other questions. The hunters will be processed by CPW staff who will do computer searches to check for conflicts, such as whether their licenses are suspended.

“Last year, we sold 297 licenses on leftover day,” she said.

Follow this link to CPW’s OTC and Leftover license page for more details.

And here is a list of things to remember:

Be Prepared

Those who plan to purchase leftover licenses at license agents or CPW offices should be prepared before they arrive. This will help the process run as efficiently as possible.

If you are planning on purchasing a license, be sure to have the following:

  • Your driver’s license/state issued identification card,
  • Proof of hunter education: hunter education card or a Colorado hunting license with verified hunter education,
  • Your social security number (anyone 12 years of age and older are required to give their social security number, if not already on file),
  • Your customer identification number (CID), if you have previously purchased a license in Colorado,
  • Proof of residency, if you are planning to purchase a resident license,
  • A prioritized list of hunt codes for licenses you are interested in.

If purchasing a license for someone else (can only be done IN PERSON), the buyer must bring the following for the hunter:

  • A clear copy of both sides of their driver’s license/state issued identification card,
  • A clear copy of both sides of t heir hunter education card or a previous Colorado hunting license with verified hunter education,
  • Their social security number (anyone 12 years of age and older are required to give their social security number, if not already on file),
  • Their customer identification number (CID), if they have previously purchased a license in Colorado,
  • A prioritized list of hunt codes they are interested in.

IMPORTANT: One cannot buy a license for someone else over the phone. The option to buy for someone else only works in person.

###

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

HUGE Number of Bear Incidents in Colorado

We’ve been discussing bears so much that we feel we need to come to a new topic on the MAC Outdoors podcast, but you’d be amazed at the number of bear incidents in Colorado this year. This is why we continue to address the topic. We’ve mentioned a few scenes, and the number of bears that have been put down, but when we assisted CPW at a women’s shooting event last week we were amazed to hear of much more.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind everyone that education is key. We all have to be aware of the part we play in wildlife incidents. We live in bear country. Although some of us hunt bears, we don’t want to see them destroying people’s homes, killing livestock, attacking campers, and more. We need to learn to reduce these events.

CPW reminds public: Education is key to help prevent dangerous bear encounters

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER – After several recent bear conflicts in Colorado, including close encounters, home invasions and an attack on a sleeping camper in Boulder County, July 9, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is stressing education as one of the most effective ways to prevent wildlife conflicts.

CPW officials say although many bear conflicts may seem unprovoked or random, a typical precursor in most incidents is a general lack of knowledge about wildlife, or a willful disregard for a few basic rules.

“Bears are just doing what comes naturally to them,” said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will of Glenwood Springs. “They are driven by hunger and instinct; and when their natural food sources become scarce like we’ve seen with the recent dry spell in some areas, they look for other sources. That brings them into communities where they easily find all kinds of things to eat. Humans, on the other hand, have a choice in how they behave. In my opinion, there are too many people who should be making better decisions when it comes to wildlife, beginning with getting educated about preventing conflicts then taking action.”

bear-in-trap-cpw-93cfadc2-3ade-4127-8b95-6308c3afc1dbWith the current bear population in the state conservatively estimated between 17,000 – 20,000 and the human population at about 5.5 million, wildlife officials say human/bear conflicts remain a primary concern. Despite years of information and education outreach, trash storage ordinances in communities with significant bear activity and efforts to reduce bear populations in high conflict areas, interactions continue to occur and make headlines.

In addition to the high-profile incident in Boulder County, a recent viral video featured a bear wandering inside a Colorado Springs home for five hours, casually opening the refrigerator and pantry while the homeowner slept inside, unaware of the bear’s presence. A week earlier, a woman shot video of the same bear through her car window after the bear entered the shocked woman’s garage and pressed its nose up to the vehicle’s glass. Wildlife managers believe the bear had learned the sound of a garage door opening was a cue to dart inside.

Due to concerns for human safety, wildlife officials killed the 375-pound bear several days later after discovering it sitting on the deck of a nearby home.

Another video widely disseminated last month showed a bear seemingly playing the piano after it entered a Vail condominium through an open window while the occupant was away. The video may have elicited chuckles but wildlife officers did not see the humor in the situation, considering the dangers posed by a bear with a habit of breaking into homes.

So what can you do to prevent a dangerous bear conflict? There are a multitude of tips and suggestions for homeowners and outdoor enthusiast available from many sources, but the primary message wildlife managers offer to the public – it’s all about food.

“It’s actually fairly simple – keep your food away from bears,” said Will. “We can’t stress it enough – never, ever feed a bear, whether by leaving your trash out, your lunch in your car, your birdfeeders up or giving it a handout – it’s all the same. Bears are smart and have great memories. If the bear gets into your trash, your car, or crawls through a window you left open and finds a meal, you just put your entire neighborhood in danger; if you’re on a hike and give a bear a handout to get a closer look, you just put all hikers in the area at risk; if you keep a dirty campsite or leave food in your tent or otherwise accessible and you attract a bear, you just jeopardized the safety of all nearby campers.”

Will says in addition to fines for violating city ordinances where they exist, feeding a bear is illegal in Colorado and can result in a citation from CPW officers.

Another important tip wildlife officers offer is never let a bear feel comfortable around people.

“If a bear comes into your yard and you sit on the porch and watch if for an hour, the bear has now learned it is safe to be around people,” said Will. “Then it becomes a problem for other residents, and for wildlife managers.”

If you see a bear in an area where it is not supposed to be, or it appears comfortable with your presence, wildlife officers recommend immediately making it feel unwelcome. Raise your voice and talk to it firmly, bang pots and pans or throw rocks or sticks toward it and try to drive it away. It may seem cruel but conditioning them to avoid people is the most humane thing the public can do for a bear.

However, if a bear does not respond to hazing or it continues to approach, the first thing to remember is never turn and run. Stand your ground, prepare to take stronger measures and defend yourself with everything you have. That can include using bear spray, punching and kicking the bear as aggressively as possible, hitting it with a sturdy hiking stick, branches, rocks or other makeshift weapons.

In the Boulder County incident, the teen fought the bear by aiming blows at its eyes.

“He did exactly the right thing, something he learned from his grandfather,” said Northeast Region Public Information Officer Jennifer Churchill. “He was prepared and knew how to handle an attack. The knowledge probably saved his life.”

Acting Northwest Regional Manager Dean Riggs says some in the public may consider using firearms to protect themselves in case of a dangerous wildlife encounter; however, CPW recommends bear spray as an effective alternative to a gun as the first means of defense.

“We understand people have the right to legally carry and use a firearm to defend themselves from a bear attack, but it’s not as effective as people think, and if you shoot your gun in a residential area or a crowded campsite you could accidently kill someone,” said Riggs. “Bear spray is actually a much more effective deterrent, proven in several field studies. It’s a good idea to have bear spray at home if you live in bear country, or bring it along if you recreate in an area with bear activity.”

CPW officials say black bears in Colorado do not often attack people, but they are capable of mauling and killing humans as seen in recent incidents in Alaska, including a woman with Colorado ties killed by a black bear last month.

“A black bear’s natural diet in Colorado typically consists of acorns and berries, and they will make a meal of carrion or newborn fawns and elk calves. Generally, they don’t hunt humans but it does not mean it couldn’t happen and you need to be prepared,” said Riggs. “The major concern is when a person surprises a bear, or if a person makes a bear feel threatened or cornered, it will likely respond forcefully. Their strength, powerful jaws and sharp claws make them a significant threat.”

Because of that threat, Riggs says when it comes to choosing between human health and safety and a dangerous wild animal, there are few options for wildlife officers.

“To protect people, wildlife officers will kill any bear showing aggression toward humans,” he said. “When people feed bears, they essentially sentence them to death but it’s our officers who have to carry out the execution. It’s by far the worst part of the job.”

CPW says the public can safely watch bears from a distance, with binoculars, a scope or a camera with a telephoto lens. At no time should people approach a bear to get a closer look, or offer it food to get a better picture.

For more information about living with bears and avoiding conflicts, visit the ‘Bear Aware‘ page on the agency’s website – cpw.state.co.us.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


Connect with Mia – Twitter  Facebook  +Google Pinterest YouTube Instagram

Help me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine.

Elk and Deer Herd Planning San Juan Mountains – Colorado

Colorado hunters are constantly discussing the management of elk and deer herds in their areas. However, it seems this discussion usually happens at camp or in the local coffee shop. If you’re one of these people, who has something to say about Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s management in your area, you need to start attending the public meetings to have your voice heard by someone who can do something about it.

There is an upcoming meeting regarding the management in units 80 and 81, which include the South San Juan mountains of the San Luis Valley. You’ll find detailed information below. If this is an area you like to hunt, check the dates and maybe you’ll be able to attend one or both meetings. Don’t forget to share the information with your hunting buddies.

Public input needed by CPW for elk and deer herd planning in Game Management Units 80, 81 in South San Juan mountains of the San Luis Valley

CPW_SiteLogoMONTE VISTA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is evaluating big-game management in the South San Juan mountain area and the public is invited to upcoming meetings where issues and plans for Game Management Units 80 and 81 will be discussed.

The meetings will be at:
7 p.m., July 13, in La Jara at Centauri High School, 17889 U.S. Highway 285
7 p.m., July 14, at the Monte Vista Co-Op, U.S. Highway 160, about a mile east of Monte Vista.

“CPW is reaching out to the public, including landowners, sportsmen, outfitters, business owners, and anyone who is interested in deer and elk in the San Luis Valley to attend one of these meetings and offer input,” said Rick Basagoitia, Area Wildlife Manager. “These animals are an important public resource and CPW intends to manage them for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Every ten years Colorado Parks and Wildlife terrestrial biologists update big-game management plans which take into consideration a variety of factors, including: hunter perception, harvest history habitat availability, agricultural conflicts, forest management plans and social issues.  At the meeting CPW staff will talk about what is known currently about the deer and elk herds in the area, and the history of planning efforts.  Public input is needed to help CPW draft the management plan that will set goals for the most-desired population, sex-ratio objectives and the amount of hunting opportunity that will be available in the area for the next decade. All stakeholder input will be considered and combined with biological data to inform a revised management plan.

For those who can’t attend the meeting, comments can be made on line starting July 13 atcpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/HerdManagementPlans.aspx. The survey will be available for 30 days.

The planning process will take about a year. A draft of the plan will be presented to the public in the fall.

CPW-Elk-de05b07b-d53b-49f3-b53a-322982ddd9cf

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

Connect with Mia – Twitter  Facebook  +Google Pinterest YouTube Instagram

Help me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine.

Summer Camps to Area Children Trinidad, Colorado

Trinidad Lake State Park offers summer camps to area children

CPW_SiteLogoTRINIDAD, Colo. – Registration is underway for the 2nd Annual Trinidad Lake State Park Summer Camp program.

The park will offer two weeks of camps for children ages 7-11 in its Junior Explorer Program.

The first camp is scheduled June 26-30 and it will include hiking, archery, pond studies and fishing. Campers will learn about plants and wildlife as well as archaeology and paleontology. They will learn how to read a map and compass, too.

Sessions during each week will teach outdoor survival and water safety as well as how to protect our ecosystem and team-building exercises.

CLICK TO SHOP

The camps are a great opportunity for kids to learn about environmental stewardship and make new friends.

The camps run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day and cost $20 per child. A lunch is provided. Scholarships are available for low-income families.

The second week-long session is scheduled July 17-21.

Anyone interested in the first session should register no later than June 12 by calling the park at 719-846-6951. Hurry because space is limited.

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

Connect with Mia – Twitter  Facebook  +Google Pinterest YouTube Instagram

Help me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine.

CPW-Youth-summer-camp-3cec4fad-3d3d-4e38-a0c4-93c1b45b26a6