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Nature & Wildlife
2014 March
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
Learn To Hunt Bears Workshop
If you¡¯ve ever wanted to hunt bears or if you
want to improve your chances of harvesting
one, plan to attend a workshop sponsored by
Colorado Parks and Wildlife on March 8.
sage-grouse when they are
especially vulnerable to dis-
For thousands of years, sage-
grouse have returned to their
traditional breeding grounds,
called leks, to perform a dra-
matic and complex dance as
they compete for mates.
Watching male sage-grouse
spread their spiked tail
feathers and pop their large
air sacs is a visual treat for
birdwatchers or any wildlife
enthusiast. Hundreds from
across the world visit Colo-
rado every year to observe the
mating display in person.
¡°Everyone is welcome, how-
ever we encourage those that
may not be avid bird watch-
ers to take advantage of this
opportunity,¡± said Romero.
¡°It¡¯s a unique experience and
is one that you will remember
Mating Ritual: A Close-Up Look
Guided Greater Sage-Grouse Viewing
Tours Offered In Craig
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Conservation
Colorado, along with partners Rocky Mountain
Wild, The Wilderness Society and Friends of
Northwest Colorado is offering the public an op-
portunity to get a unique, close-up look at mat-
ing Greater sage-grouse during several guided
viewing tours in northwest Colorado, March 28
through April 13.
Anyone interested in a front-row seat to watch one
of the most interesting and visual mating rituals in
the animal kingdom are encouraged to sign-up as
soon as possible for the guided tour.
Space is limited and reservations are required. For
dates, times, information and to reserve your spot,
visit: and click on ¡®Sage Grouse
¡°These tours provide a once in a lifetime opportu-
nity to view Greater sage-grouse performing their
mating dance in northwest Colorado,¡± said Watch-
able Wildlife Coordinator Trina Romero of Colo-
rado Parks and Wildlife. ¡°If you are interested
in observing the ritual up-close in a comfortable
environment and without disturbing the birds, I
strongly encourage you to sign up for the tour.¡±
Romero adds that it is often difficult to ethically
observe lekking birds without guidance. She rec-
ommends the tour as a responsible way to view
Bear populations are healthy in western
Colorado, providing hunters a unique hunt-
ing opportunity.
Tony Bonacquista, a district wildlife man-
ager, will lead the presentation on hunting
Colorado¡¯s black bears. He¡¯ll discuss bear
biology, hunting tactics, field dressing, rules
and regulations, and human-bear conflict
¡°Bears are very challenging to hunt, but
hunters who know where to look and how
to hunt them can improve their success
rates,¡± Bonacquista said.
The majority of the bear harvest takes place
in September when the animals are foraging
heavily for acorns and berries in prepara-
tion for their winter hibernation. Areas
around Montrose offer ideal habitat for
bears so a hunter¡¯s chances of having a suc-
cessful hunt are high, if they know where to
The class will be held at the Colorado Parks
and Wildlife office in Montrose, 10a-1p.
Cost for the workshop is $10 which includes
lunch. To register, call the Montrose Parks
and Wildlife office at 970.252.6000. The class
will be limited to 25 people.
Big Game License Application Workshop
If you are new to hunting in Colorado or
need help understanding the big game
Hunting Workshops In Montrose
New Fishing Opportunities
for a lifetime.¡±
Colorado Parks & Wildlife provides a viewing
trailer for the guided tour so that people can sit
inside and not disturb the grouse on the lek.
The public is reminded that the locations are
remote and primitive. Parents with young chil-
dren or anyone with special needs are asked to
inquire about accommodations by contacting
Sasha Nelson at
Visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife at: for a video and more informa-
tion about Greater sage-grouse.
licensing process, you should plan to attend a
license application workshop, March 12, 6-8p, in
Montrose at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office.
The workshop will cover the application process,
and Parks and Wildlife staff will assist participants
in applying for a big game license. Wildlife officers
will be on hand to explain the applications, how to
apply on line, how to read preference-point charts
and to answer questions.
¡°These types of workshops are conducted through-
out the state and hunters find them very helpful,¡±
said Kelly Crane, district wildlife manager in the
Ridgway area. ¡°The seminar is especially good for
those who are new to Colorado or who are applying
for a license for the first time.¡±
Completion of an approved hunter education
course is required prior to submitting an application
for a license.
The workshop is free but limited to 25 people. To
register for the workshop, call the Parks and Wild-
life office in Montrose at 970.252.6000 or send an
e-mail to:
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife office in Montrose
is located at 2300 South Townsend Ave.
For more news about Colorado Parks and Wildlife
go to:
City Announces Construction of
Aquatic Habitat Improvements Completed
The City of Montrose is pleased to announce that
it has completed construction of aquatic habitat
improvements on the Uncompahgre River at the
upstream end of River Bottom Park.
The goal of the project is to increase fish popula-
tions in this reach of the river and provide addition-
al fishing opportunities for residents and visitors.
The aquatic habitat improvements include re-grad-
ing of approximately 1,500 linear ft. of river chan-
nel, constructing four riffle-pool-glide sequences,
and addition of numerous habitat-boulder clusters.
The project is also serving as compensatory habitat
to allow for the water sports park to be constructed
this coming winter.
City Engineer Scott Murphy explained that, ¡°Get-
ting this aspect of the project completed this winter
sets us up well to get the water parks park con-
structed at the end of 2014, once flows go down on
the Uncompahgre River.¡±
The City invites citizens to come enjoy the new
fishing opportunities. Habitat improvements extend
from the southern fence boundary at River Bottom
Park through the existing fishing pier located near
the River Bottom parking lot.
The City thanks all of those who helped make this
project possible: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the
US Army Corps of Engineers, Ecological Resource
Consultants, Tezak Heavy Equipment, Trout Unlim-
ited, and the Montrose Recreation District.
The Black Canyon Golf Course is now owned by the
City of Montrose. Black Canyon GC offers a par 34
front 9 ¡®park style¡¯, tree-lined course with a pond
water feature, while the back 9 ¡®links style¡¯ par 36
course features smaller brush, deeper bunkers, and
longer fairways. Pro Shop services, public tee times,
and other daily golf opportunities will be available
Mar 15. Rates & info visit:
Early Bird Discounts Until March 13