the gap between available hunting and
fishing funds and wildlife needs. The Foundation focuses its
efforts on habitat preservation, wildlife research, species recovery,
responding to wildlife emergencies and educating people about
wildlife. For more information on the Colorado Wildlife Heritage
Foundation, go to: http://www.cwhf.info/.
Plenty of Pheasants Await Colorado Hunters
Colorado hunters should enjoy some of the best pheasant hunting
in the state's recent history when they take to the fields Nov.
13 for opening day of the 2010-11 pheasant season.
Pheasant populations throughout Colorado's Eastern Plains have
soared to near-record levels during the last two years, resulting
in back-to-back banner seasons for hunters. Wildlife managers
say the recent population surge of the popular, ring-necked,
game bird is due to ideal weather conditions that have improved
nesting habitat and ground cover across most of the state's core
"Pheasant production has just been phenomenal," said
Ed Gorman, Division of Wildlife small game manager. "Because
of the improved habitat, pheasants appear to have continued on
an upward trend from the excellent numbers that hunters found
in 2009. Landowner reports and our own observations indicate
a highly successful nesting effort again this year."
Crowing-count surveys conducted on the Eastern Plains--the primary
method used by DOW biologists to estimate pheasant populations--rose
27 percent over last
| year and posted the fifth-highest
numbers since surveys began in 1956. In the pheasant-rich fields
of Yuma County, pheasant counts increased 15 percent over 2009,
exceeding a long-standing record dating back to 1960. The Wray-Vernon
areas also posted the second-highest crowing counts ever reported.
"Simply put, hunters can expect good carryover of mature
birds from last year as well as excellent numbers of young birds
that hatched this spring," Gorman said.
Although populations are improved in most areas, hunters will
find the greatest concentration of pheasants in Yuma, Kit Carson,
Phillips, Sedgwick and eastern-Logan counties. Hunters in Morgan
and Washington counties will likely see improved hunting over
2009; however, pheasants are still recovering from drought conditions
earlier this Febade and birds are more localized in these areas.
Similarly, pheasant-producing areas within southeast Colorado
counties of Cheyenne and Baca are improved over the last couple
More good news for pheasant hunters this year is an expedited
corn harvest, making birds much more accessible to early-season
"Standing corn fields posed a significant obstacle to early-season
hunters last year," said Gorman. "This year, the corn
harvest is nearly complete, and if the weather remains dry leading
up to opening day, the vast majority of corn fields will be harvested
making early-season hunting much more productive."
The Colorado Division of Wildlife reminds small-game hunters
to have a safe 2010-11 hunting sea
| son and to be mindful of
the following regulations and advisories before heading into
Free Walk-In Access Program:
Beginning this year, small-game hunters are no longer required
to purchase permits to hunt Walk-In Access properties. Walk-In
Access properties are now open to all hunters who possess a valid
small-game license. The popular program provides access to more
than 220,000 acres of private land to small-game and waterfowl
Hunters will find more details in the 2010 Small Game Brochure
and in the Walk-In-Access Atlas, now available at statewide license
agents and DOW offices. An electronic version may be downloaded
at the DOW website at:
The printed atlases have been written to be as accurate as possible.
However, hunters should not hunt fields unless they are clearly
marked with "Walk-In Access" signs. Hunters are reminded
to keep Walk-In Access properties clean and to never clean birds
or litter on these private lands.
New Pheasant Hunting Instructional DVD:
Hunters who would like to get the most out of the banner 2010
season are encouraged to pick up a copy of the DOW's latest instructional
DVD, "Pheasant Hunting Colorado." The DVD is included
free in every 2010 small game brochure and provides a wealth
of information to help hunters become more successful. The half-hour
DVD is a comprehensive guide that leads both new and ex