Colorado Hunting and Fishing News

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SCI’s 50th Anniversary

Forty-nine years ago, this year, the then almost five-year-old Southern California Safari Club was headed for two relatively quick changes that would result in the formation of Safari Club International.

Court Sides with Safari Club International

A U.S. federal district court in Washington, D.C. has dismissed a case challenging the removal of the Louisiana black bear from the federal threatened and endangered species list. Plaintiffs sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) over the 2016 delisting, and Safari Club International (SCI) successfully intervened to defend the USFWS’s science-based decision. The court relied on SCI’s arguments in dismissing the suit.

Shed Antler Restrictions

CPW has information on Shed Antler Restrictions posted on their website. In 2018, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to prohibit shed antler and horn collection on all public lands west of I-25 from Jan.​​ 1 through April 30, annually.

Hiking tips to keep you in shape and outside this winter: 

Don’t let the winter weather keep you from taking a hike. FOX21’s Lauren McDonald went to Mueller State Park with Hiking Bob for tips and tools to make sure your winter activities are terrific.

After near tragedy, railroad trestle is immediately and permanently off limits to public access in John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area

Railroad trestle permanently off-limits to public at John Martin Reservoir SWA

HASTY, Colo. – Restrictions on public access to the railroad trestle bridge in the John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area will be strictly enforced after a recent near-tragedy involving a passenger train and two anglers.

Effective immediately, the public is barred from any access to the railroad trestle bridge by the BNSF Railway Police. Fencing is being rebuilt and new signs are being erected on the boundary of the railway’s private right-of-way, a narrow strip of land surrounding the tracks, which run along the south side of the reservoir.

The BNSF decision comes after an incident June 8 when two men were walking on the railroad track over the trestle bridge as an Amtrak train approached, traveling at about 80 mph.

Search underway for aggressive bear, bit woman as she hiked near Aspen Monday morning

ASPEN, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are looking for an aggressive bear that bit a woman on the thigh as she and her husband hiked on the Hunter Creek Trail near Lone Pine Road in Aspen at approximately 9:15 this morning.

The woman reported that she and her husband were walking back to Aspen when they saw a bear walking toward them on the trail. The woman says they tried to give the bear space and stepped off the trail.  As the bear walked by, she says it suddenly turned, charged and bit her before it ran off and disappeared from view.

CPW seeks information in deer poaching case out of Park County; $1,000 reward offered for information leading to charges

LAKE GEORGE, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking the public to report any information regarding three mule deer that were illegally killed in Park County.

Through Operation Game Thief, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to charges in this case.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife observes National Safe Boating Week May 18-24

DENVER – May 18-24 is National Safe Boating Week and Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds boaters to think “safety first” when out on the water this season.This designated week kicks off this year’s Safe Boating Campaign, reminding people to always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly. With a great boating season ahead in Colorado, it’s important to remember that safety on the water starts with you.

As a kickoff to National Safe Boating Week, CPW and the Safe Boating Campaign encourages everyone to participate in “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” on Friday, May 17. This day aims to heighten awareness of the different types of life jackets available, demonstrating their comfort and versatility by wearing them to work. Members of the boating public, as well as those interested in showing the wearability of life jackets, are encouraged to participate.

SCI and the NRA filed a Notice of Appeal in the case that will determine the validity of the delisting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) grizzly bear population.

SCI and the NRA joined the State of Wyoming, that had already noticed its appeal.  Other hunting groups, including U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, also noticed their appeal.  Whether the author of the rule — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — will also file an appeal is as yet unknown.

The appeal will be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court.

SCI and NRA’s appeal seeks to reverse the September 24 ruling by a Montana federal district court that vacated the FWS’s delisting of the GYE grizzly bears.  The court’s ruling meant that the GYE grizzly bear population returned to threatened status and that Wyoming and Idaho could not hold their planned bear harvests this year.

Give the gift of outdoor cheer this holiday season

DENVER, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites you to celebrate the holidays by giving the gift of outdoor cheer with a CPW gift certificate. With 41 state parks, an amazing variety of wildlife, and a wide selection of outdoor recreation opportunities across the state, giving the gift of the outdoors in Colorado is the perfect way to celebrate the season – and all year long.

A CPW Gift Certificate is the perfect present for the outdoor enthusiast in your life. Gift Certificates are valid for purchases of state park passes, camping reservations, licenses, Colorado Outdoors magazine and more. Give your loved ones a gift that keeps on giving with the chance to get outside multiple times throughout the year. Gift Certificates are available for purchase online at, as well as at CPW officesstate parks and sales agents.

Woman in fabricated bear attack pleads guilty to false reporting to authorities

BLACK HAWK, Colo. – A Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation into an alleged bear attack at Golden Gate Canyon State Park on Sept. 19 resulted in a citation of a Gilpin County woman for false reporting to authorities.

Julie Bosworth, 38, plead guilty Tuesday to the class III misdemeanor and was sentenced by Gilpin County Judge David Taylor to 20 hours of community service.

“As an agency we investigate these to the fullest and we cannot and will not tolerate false reporting,” said CPW Northeast Region Manager Mark Leslie. “If you do this, we are going to charge you.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife: Regional Hunt Guides

Regional hunt guides are produced annually and contain valuable information for planning a big game hunt. Updated guides typically arrive around July 1. These booklets provide harvest statistics, herd estimates, directories and some great hunting tips. Hunters will also find useful information on terrain and weather for the units.

2018-2019 G​​uides by Region​​

Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Granby Reservoir will remain open to boating through Dec. 2

GRANBY, Colo. – Aquatic invasive species watercraft inspection and decontamination stations at Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Granby Reservoir will remain open longer than expected due to an influx of funds from Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

The high-mountain lakes are popular with anglers, waterfowl hunters and boaters for the outstanding outdoor recreation they provide.

“This is excellent news for everyone,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Invasive Species Coordinator Elizabeth Brown. “Fall access to these waters have been uncertain this year due to the significant threat of a zebra or quagga mussels being introduced by watercraft. With the investment from Northern Water, the inspection and decontamination stations will remain open through the rest of this season, people can continue to enjoy the lakes a little longer.”

Emergency Fish Salvage

Emergency fish salvage at Groundhog Reservoir

DURANGO, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is implementing an emergency fish salvage starting immediately at Groundhog Reservoir because the lake is being drained to accommodate repairs to the outlet structure of the dam. The reservoir is located in Dolores County .

The salvage removes all bag and possession limits for the reservoir. Anglers can catch and keep all of the fish they catch. They must have a valid 2018 Colorado fishing license, and fishing can be done only by traditional means using standard fishing equipment. Catchable size rainbow trout have been stocked in the reservoir this year.

The salvage order does not apply to any part of Groundhog Creek or Nash Creek above or below the reservoir.

The reservoir is only about one-quarter full, so anglers will experience muddy conditions getting to the water. The boat ramp is also out of the water and cannot be used.

The emergency salvage continues through April 1, 2019. When the reservoir has adequate water Colorado Parks and Wildlife will stock the reservoir again with trout.

CPW will host two public meetings to discuss future of Basalt SWA shooting range

BASALT, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife will host the public at two meetings in Basalt to provide information, answer questions, listen to suggested solutions and find common ground with Roaring Fork Valley residents concerned about the future of the Basalt State Wildlife Area Shooting Range.

The first meeting will begin at 7-9 p.m., Aug. 21. The second meeting will begin at 6-8 p.m., Aug. 27. Both meetings will take place at the Basalt High School, 600 Southside Drive.

The CPW-owned range has been at the center of discussions within the community since two individuals allegedly using prohibited tracer ammunition in an unsafe manner apparently ignited brush above the range, leading to the approximately 13,000-acre Lake Christine wildfire. The suspects are currently awaiting trial, facing several charges including felony fourth-degree arson.  Read more here.

CPW Limited License Leftover List – Click to view. 

Parks and Wildlife to reopen shooting ranges

After working with local fire and emergency officials, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will reopen four of the agency’s six public shooting ranges in the Northwest Region by Aug. 17.

The Plateau Creek Shooting range on Grand Mesa near Collbran has reopened. The Byers Canyon Shooting Range in Hot Sulphur Springs and Hayden Shooting Range also reopened on Friday.

The West Rifle Creek State Wildlife Area Shooting Range will reopen on Aug. 17.

Prompted by the Lake Christine Fire near Basalt, which was started at a CPW shooting range, state officials decided to close shooting ranges until fire danger decreased.

Two individuals face felony arson charges after allegedly using prohibited tracer ammunition at the Basalt State Wildlife Area Shooting Range.

The Basalt range remains closed.  Read more here.

Colorado Hunting and Fishing News

Hunters can check for closures, fire information through U.S. Forest Service and BLM web sites

DURANGO, Colo. – Fires have burned in several mountain areas in Colorado this summer. So if you’re planning to hunt on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management, check with those agencies for the latest backcountry travel, fire and closure information.To check on national forest lands in Colorado, start by going to the web site of the U.S. Forest Service.

To check on Bureau of Land Management, go to the BLM web site.

A link to some closure information can also be found on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife web site, but the information might not be the latest available. Check CPW’s  “Know before you go” link.

While fires on national forest lands have ranged in size from 5,000 to 50,000 acres, the burned areas are small compared to the size of each national forest and Game Management Unit. For example, the 416 Fire near Durango comprised about 50,000 acres but the entire San Juan National Forest encompasses 1.8 million acres. The vast majority of federal public lands are unaffected by the fires.

“While fires have gotten a lot of attention they should not hamper big-game hunting in an entire Game Management Unit,” said Renzo DelPiccolo, area wildlife manager in Montrose for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Hunters can get the best information about federal lands by contacting the appropriate land management agency.”

Bow hunters and muzzleloader hunters concerned about closures should check on conditions as soon as possible. The bow season starts Aug. 25; muzzleloader season starts Sept. 8.

The first regular rifle season does not start until Oct. 13 so conditions in specific areas could change substantially between now and then.  Learn more on CPW’s website.