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Hooked on Colorado: An Outdoor Sporting Playground

DENVER (July 30, 2019) — From hunting big game to casting a line, there’s no shortage of hunting and fishing opportunities in Colorado. With more than 580,000 acres of approved state trust lands, the four-cornered state is teeming with healthy fish and wildlife populations to provide a playground for outdoor sporting enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.Colorado.com.

Know Before You Go:

At the heart of all hunting and fishing regulations is conservation and wildlife management. Before you head out into Colorado’s pristine waters and lands, be sure to snag the proper license and read through Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) latest brochures, to stay up to date on regulations.

Hunting and Fishing Adventures:

Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch, Red Feather Lakes: Centrally located in the middle of Big Game Country, Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch is a year-round destination that borders the 300,000-acre Roosevelt National Forest. Considered a hunter’s paradise, the area boasts a selection of deer, elk, moose and bears. Arrangements can be made for easy private property access to the neighboring national forest.

Basalt: Basalt and the Roaring Fork Valley are home to two Gold Medal rivers, the Fryingpan River and Roaring Fork River, comprising over 35 miles of angling paradise year-round. Local guides offer fishing camps, guided excursions, river updates and gear to make sure anglers of all ages are ready for a river adventure. The valley’s ecosystem hosts brown, brook, cutthroat and rainbow trout with picturesque alpine views.

Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins: Truly a hidden treasure, Cache La Poudre River extends from Fort Collins to the town of Walden with majestic cliffs, intriguing rock formations and a sea of mountain mahogany along the way. The Poudre is Colorado’s only designated ‘Wild & Scenic River’ and is a fisherman’s paradise with a wealth of native species that fill the river, and a bounty of trout that can be found on any given day.

Glenwood Springs: Surrounded by the White River National Forest, Glenwood is home to thriving herds of elk and deer and is a big game hunter’s paradise. The city has easy to purchase over-the-counter licenses and access to several gear, ammunition and lodging options around town. Taxidermy and meat processing businesses offer a selection of post-hunt options after the day’s harvest.

Lake City: Although hunting in Hinsdale County is limited licensing only, hunters have access to quality animals and are likely to have high harvest rates. Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, the area is mostly comprised of public lands and offers a quaint, spiritual experience for those who are seeking it. The selection of wildlife big game hunts ranges from bear to elk and pronghorn to moose. Depending on the season, bows, muzzleloaders or rifles are permitted.

Lathrop State Park, Walsenburg: Nestled in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks, Lathrop State Park offers over 1,500 acres of pure enjoyment and boasts a seemingly endless roster of fish and small game. Best known for its angler activities, its lakes are stocked with largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, bluegill and northern pike. The park also allows for small game hunting around its Horseshoe Lake.

Mesa Verde Country: From big game to small game, Mesa Verde Country hunting is legendary. From mule deer in Montezuma County to boone and crocketts in Dolores, the area is home to a robust population of wildlife. Not to mention it has one of the largest elk herds in the state. Drop camps, horse and tack rental are available with many licensed outfitters and guides in the area.

North Sterling State Park, Sterling: North Sterling State Park offers an assortment of prairie wildlife for hunters. It’s a land where hawks and turkey vultures grace the skies above and waterfowl, pronghorn and jackrabbits embellish the ground. The park also has  an excellent warm-water fishery that features wiper, walleye, channel catfish, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, northern pike, tiger muskie and trout.

Rio Blanco County: Home to the largest elk herd in North America, Rio Blanco County offers big game hunts for those looking to experience the best of Colorado’s backcountry. With over 30 outfitters and a unique population of hunting lodges, there’s no shortage of hunting opportunities. The White River, which offers crystal clear waters and crowd-free solitude, is one of the top fly fishing rivers in Colorado.

Royal Gorge Region, Canon City/Florence: With over 40 miles of public fishing access that stretches from Salida to Cañon City, the Royal Gorge Region is a fisherman’s paradise. This is in part due to the Arkansas River, which cuts through the region and is full of wild trout. The Skaguay Reservoir in Victor offers 114 acres of scenic angling in a remote setting and near some historic gold mines.

St. Vrain State Park, Longmont: St. Vrain offers 604 acres of land and 152 acres of water split amongst several ponds. The park offers bluegill, largemouth bass, red ear sunfish, yellow perch, northern pike, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Trout fishing is especially excellent in the spring and fall with ice fishing availability in the winter.

Vision Quest Guided Hunts, Trinidad: Vision Quest Guided Hunts provides a unique combination of trophy class animals, private land hunting, personalized service and affordability in the Canyons and Plains travel region of Colorado. This experienced outfitter leads participants on hunts on exclusive, private lands and local ranches making for light hunting pressure that allows animals to reach their maximum trophy age class. Participants can sign up to hunt antelope, elk and deer. 

Wahatoya Lake and Daigre Reservoir, La Veta: Whether fisherfolk spin, baitcast or fly fish, chances of getting a bite at Wahatoya Lake and Dairgre Reservoir are good—even for kids. Both are cold bodies of water and located just a stone’s throw away from one another. Anglers can find anything from cutthroat trout to catfish. 

Special Hunting & Fishing Events: 

Mishawaka Lunch Beginners Anglers Class, July-September, Bellvue: All summer long local outfitter, Liarflies, hosts a beginners fly fishing class near the historic Mishawaka Amphitheatre. With an exclusive permit, Liarflies accesses trout-rich waters throughout the Poudre Canyon. These beginner classes are specifically designed to trim five years off of the learning curve. The cost of the course includes fly fishing essentials and lunch. 

Whiskey & Fishing, September 4-8, 2019, Clark: Lovers of both fishing and whiskey are in for a treat at the Orvis-endorsed Home Ranch. With early September being the best time for dry fly fishing, this special program provides an Orvis-certified guided fly fishing experience through the Elk and Yampa rivers. While fishing for brooke, brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout is the featured activity, casting clinics, mixology and cooking classes, grilling demonstrations and a cocktail party will also be offered.

The Broadmoor’s Fly Fishing Camp, June 5-7, 2020, Colorado Springs: Led by professional guides, this Orvis-endorsed fly fishing camp is situated on more than five miles of private river frontage. For both experienced anglers and those who are looking to catch their first fish, it offers some of the best angling in the state and a unique opportunity for “stream-to-table” dining. The camp also includes fly tying instruction, horseback riding, hiking, wildlife viewing and time for some R&R.

Timber to Table Guide Service, Contact outfitter for dates and pricing, Hotchkiss: Timber to Table offers a series of guided elk and deer hunt packages. They work especially hard to get youth and women hunting for the first time, can accommodate any type of hunter and work hard to provide a memorable and empowering experience while teaching respect for the animals and public lands.

Hunter Outreach Program, Year Round, Statewide: The Hunter Outreach Program is the easiest way for beginners and those without a family background in hunting to hone their skills and learn from experienced outdoor aficionados. Youth programs, mentored hunts, skills clinics and seminars are offered on a regular basis and focus on hunting heritage and tradition. 

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About Colorado: Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine and 28 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 12 national parks and monuments, 26 scenic and historic byways and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. For more information or a copy of the 2019 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800 COLORADO.

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