Historically March has been sportsmen’s annual transition month between hunting and fishing seasons. March and April has been a time to set back and reflect on the last six months of hunting and eagerly look ahead to angling the lakes and rivers. …
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Historically March has been sportsmen’s annual transition month between hunting and fishing seasons. March and April has been a time to set back and reflect on the last six months of hunting and eagerly look ahead to angling the lakes and rivers. As more opportunities emerge that transition is almost transparent. The fishing season has yet to take flight, yet many of us are cleaning and casing the shotguns and searching for the trolling, casting and fly gear in storage. Let’s think again.
Consider the snow goose spring migration is bringing massive flights into Eastern Colorado drawing water fowlers to take a hard look at the Snow Goose Conservation Season currently under way. In addition the spring turkey season is less than a month away. In the midst of this transition we are reminded of fall hunting seasons, due dates for big game license applications and Division of Parks and Wildlife hosted hunting seminars. Let’s take a closer look at what is available at this point in time.
The light Goose (snow and blue) conservation season runs Feb. 17 to April 30. The spring turkey season opens April 12 and ends May 25. Big game hunting applications are dueApril 1. This all presents a full agenda for sportsmen and might suggest we delay taking fishing gear out of storage. Check out the Division Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website () to seek out your specific information for seasons, licenses and educational programs.
If you have never pursued snow geese, it may be time. Consider guides for reasons outlined below. A few suggestions would include Chris Schiller who guides in the Jumbo Reservoir area near Crook, Colorado (303-947-7424) or Stillwater Outfitters (303-659-8665), based In Brighton. If you are a local sportsman that frequently hunts eastern Nebraska check with HuntTheNorth outfitters at 866-936-HUNT.
A snow goose hunt is a challenge as well as a uniquely exciting adventure. And given the growing population, a hunt is strongly encouraged by US Fish & Wildlife Service and CPW. Snow goose numbers have reached the level where the huge numbers are damaging their natural nesting grounds in northern Canada and Alaska and the snows are expanding their summer range into other waterfowl and bird species summer habitat. The service estimates the snow goose population to be in access of 5 million birds, with an increase of more than 300-percent since the mid-1970s and that number is increasing more than 5-percent annually. Snow goose hunting requires large numbers of decoys; allows use of electronically amplified mechanical electronic calls; eliminates the normal 3-shell plug in shotguns; no federal migratory stamp, but hunter must have a Colorado waterfowl stamp and there is no daily bag or possession limit. Given the suggested unique gear and large decoy spreads, guides and outfitters are normally engaged when snow goose hunting. Canada goose hunting is often times a cold, shivering experience, while the snow goose season falls in the spring; a comfort factor for those who do not like colder temperatures.
For the Colorado outdoor enthusiast who may not hunt or fish and prefers to hike, bike or ride, take a look at the CPW Division trail maps that provide current and safe travels in all of the state parks. There are 466 trails in the 42 state parks. The new maps include information about trail length, width, surface type, slope and degree of difficulty, all helpful to the novice as well as the seasoned hiker and biker. Go online to find the map systems, which can be downloaded as a PDF to print or mobile phone app.
Colorado’s outdoors offers a variety of opportunities, take a look and make the most of the winter-spring transition.
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