Outdoors: Free Fishing Day & Poaching Problem
CPW Celebrates Fishing, Hunting
On September 26, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife recognizes the contributions of the state’s sportspeople by celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day. National Hunting and Fishing Day is observed annually on the fourth Saturday of September, honoring hunters and anglers for their leadership in conserving America’s wildlife and wild places.
“For more than a century, sportspeople have recognized that unregulated use of wildlife threatens the future for many species,” said Dan Prenzlow, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “It’s hard to imagine now, but elk and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep were both nearing extinction in the early 1900s. Today, they are thriving thanks to the efforts of our hunters and anglers.”
As a result of the many contributions from hunters and anglers that resulted in the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, in 1972 Congress established a day to honor sportspeople for their work in conserving America’s natural resources.
“Hunters and anglers are one of the biggest reasons Colorado enjoys such abundant wildlife,” said Bryan Posthumus, statewide hunter outreach coordinator for CPW. “By helping to fund our agency’s work through hunting and fishing licenses, and spending billions of dollars on equipment each year, these conservationists from all walks of life are supporting sustainable populations of game and non-game fish and wildlife for generations to come.”
There have been big wins for Colorado sportspeople this year, including the enrollment of 210,000 acres into the Public Access Program (PAP) for the fall 2020 hunting season. The addition brings the program to a total of 777,000 acres. The PAP provides limited, seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities on Colorado trust land across the state. The vote was the next step in a multi-year effort to grow the PAP to 1 million acres.
During the pandemic, more people than ever have been recreating in Colorado’s outdoors and hunting and fishing license sales have increased this year in most categories. Examples include big game draw applications increasing from 609,366 in 2019 to 624,104 in 2020 and resident annual fishing licenses sold through June were nearly 90,000 more than last year. These increases will help the agency continue to fulfill its mission to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.
In Colorado, hunters and anglers fund more than 70 percent of CPW’s wildlife management programs through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses, habitat stamps, as well as taxes paid on hunting and fishing equipment, firearms and ammunition. This generates millions of dollars for conservation programs that benefit both game and non-game species statewide. Recent conservation efforts include reintroducing the greenback cutthroat trout, Colorado’s state fish, to its native waters, and the reintroduction and continued monitoring of black-footed ferrets on the state’s eastern plains.
National Hunting and Fishing Day is a great opportunity to acknowledge all that our sportspeople do for conservation, and in turn, recreation in Colorado. To learn more about how hunting and angling help conservation in Colorado, visit cpw.state.co.us.
Please note: National Hunting and Fishing day coincides with National Public Lands Day each year. On Sept. 26, entrance to all National Parks is free of charge, but Colorado State Parks admission will still require an annual or daily parks pass.
Pronghorn Poaching Case in South Park
PARK COUNTY, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers are asking for assistance from anyone who may have information about a pronghorn that was illegally killed in South Park in August. Park County is located adjacent to Lake County on the eastern border connected by the Mosquito Mountain Range and Weston Pass.
The buck (male) was shot with a crossbow and left to die. Officers found the pronghorn just north of Highway 24, a few miles west of Wilkerson Pass. It is believed the animal was shot on Aug. 23 or 24.
The pronghorn was immobilized by the crossbow bolt and officers believe the individual responsible was nervous to finish off the animal and take it into their possession because of its close proximity to the highway. It is likely the suspect shot the animal from the highway right of way.
The archery pronghorn season was underway during those dates, but crossbow equipment is not permitted during archery seasons.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact CPW’s Denver office at 303-291-7227, or report it to Operation Game Thief by phone at 1-877-265-6648 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monetary rewards are often paid for information that leads to an arrest or a citation being issued. Reporting individuals may remain anonymous through Operation Game Thief.
Buck pronghorn hunting licenses in South Park are highly coveted, in some circumstances taking over ten years to draw. In this specific case, individuals with information who are willing to testify may be eligible for a buck pronghorn hunting license in the area through the Turn In Poachers program.