wildlife video

24May

Columbian Sharp-Tailed Grouse

The way Columbian Sharp-Tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) breed, is more like a song and dance performance than it is a breeding. Early in the morning both males and females visit the strutting grounds which are referred to as the lek. While sounds of hums, rattles, clicks and chirps ring through the crisp morning air their impressive dance routine ensues. The colorful males spread their wings and rapidly beat their feet chirping, and running in circles. The females or hens observe, and wait until a male proves he is worthy. The proving involves more than just a dance.

Violent sparring occurs as the grouse viciously peck and spur each other in between their dance offs. The quarrels and dancing are supplemented by long-lasting face offs. The birds crouch down face to face chirping at one another waiting for the other to make his move. The entire spectacle is quite the theatrical display, which is why the CDOW’s video production crew decided it was a must for Columbian Sharp-tailed grouse to star in the next episode of a.m. Colorado:



It is said that the birds visit the same exact location year after year. This is interesting because a lot of mining, drilling, and expansion has dispersed them from their historic range. The lek in this video is a restored lek, the process in which a mine is reclaimed back into its native forage and into a lek seems to work based on this energy company’s study in Montana (It says they used electronic calls to lure the grouse back to the lek)

More info:
Columbian Sharp-Tailed Grouse’s Current and Historic range
Avian Web Species Profile
Interesting Article by Summit Daily News (Blue Valley Ranch is where the grouse in the above video were released)


10Jan

Turkey Hunting Colorado

Colorado boasts a healthy turkey population that continues to thrive years after the the Colorado Division of Wildlife started the turkey re-introduction program in the early 1980’s. Whether its Merriam’s Meleagris gallopavo merriami (found in the Mountains) or Rio Grande Meleagris gallopavo intermedia (found along river bottoms on the eastern plains), turkey hunting provides an exciting challenge for beginner and experienced hunters alike. This video provides a wealth of information valuable in becoming a successful turkey hunter.

The chapters include:
-The Mating Season
-Gearing Up
-Calling all Toms
-The Scouting Game
-Playing the Game.

If you’d like your own copy of the DVD Call 303-297-1192 or email: wildlife.dowinfo@state.co.us




Music by Little Kenny and Neargrass Junction

The deadline to apply for Spring Turkey is February 10, 2011

More Helpful links:
Turkey Hunting 101
2011 Turkey Brochure
Apply Online
National Wild Turkey Federation


28Dec

Colorado River Cutthroat Trout

With winter in full effect and ski season well underway the cold has settled into the Rocky Mountain high country. When you’re out there making turns remember that somewhere below all that high alpine snow there are flowing waters that hold endemic fish that have lived there for a million years. In Colorado we have three subspecies of native cutthroat trout: Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis, Greenback Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii stomias and the Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus. Highlighting pleuriticus, here is the 9th episode of am Colorado:



To see more episodes of am Colorado visit the CDOW VIDEO PAGE


30Oct

Rocky Mountain Elk

Colorado is home to the biggest herd of Rocky Mountain Elk Cervus elaphus in North America, numbering more than 280,000. These majestic creatures graze lands from high mountain tundra, meadows, and forests in the summer to low lying valleys and prairies in the winter. Elk, or as native americans refer to them: wapiti, are one of the largest and most vocal members of the deer family.

Most of the year elk hang out in single sex groups.
Herd of Cow Elk
Every year male elk (bulls) grow a new set of antlers. Typically, males drop their antlers in late winter while new antler growth occurs throughout the summer. Their antlers grow a furry like substance called velvet Elk in Velvet Velvet is a sensitive skin filled with blood vessels that provide antlers with vitamins and minerals essential to their growth.

Come fall bull’s antlers reach full size. Bulls scrape or rub off their velvet by violently rubbing their antlers on trees. As fall moves forward bigger older bulls herd up their harem or group of female elk (cows) to prepare for breeding. This period is referred to as the rut.
Bull with CowsA bull elk starts to gather his harem in early fall

Throughout late September and October bulls challenge each other to establish dominance. Older more powerful bulls typically end up with harems of 20 or more cows while the younger bulls still hanging around the herd are called satellite bulls. The rut lasts for about a month, during this time the bulls are the most vocal, bugling to establish dominance and attract cows.

Recently we were fortunate enough to find a large elk herd with a monster 7X7 herd bull. This thing was HUGE! It was obvious this large herd of 70 plus elk was in the height of the rut. The herd bull was bugling loud and working hard at herding up his harem. It was quite the site watching nature’s beauty at its best…. best of all… we are bringing it to you in high definition.

So turn the lights off, grab some popcorn, and check out our latest a.m. Colorado episode:
(for full screen click on the icon with 4 arrows at bottom right hand corner of the frame)

For those of you who hunt elk I took the liberty of creating an MP3 audio file from this video. Feel free to listen to it here (click the play button): or better yet, DOWNLOAD THE ELK HERD MP3 FILE HERE throw it on your iPod and use it to practice your bugling and cow calling. There’s nothing better than calling in a big bull elk, but at the same time there’s nothing worse than sending one off to the races with a poor call… its never to early to start practicing

If you’ve never been lucky enough to hunt elk in Colorado but want to… Here is some information to get you started:

first of all you’ll need your Hunter’s Education Card

second, you’ll need to decide on a method of take: archery, muzzleloader (black powder), or rifle

third, you’ll need to decide on a time and place… this is where it becomes tricky… especially if you’re from out of state… but don’t worry. There are many resources out there to help you decide. The first and foremost is the latest Colorado Big Game brochure This brochure is your “go to” for all regulations regarding big game. It lists all big game species, seasons, and GMU’s (game management units). Colorado is separated into GMU’s so before you apply for a license you must decide which GMU you want to hunt first.

Colorado is the only state in the nation where unlimited “over the counter” (OTC) elk licenses are available. This means, anyone (except convicted felons) can walk up to any license agent and purchase an elk license that is good for unlimited GMU’s all over the state with out having to go through a draw. OTC licenses are available for archery season and 2nd and 3rd rifle season.

If you want to hunt in Colorado this should get you started… CDOW’s PlAN YOUR HUNT PAGE is a good resource as well. for more information visit the CDOW website or call the CDOW call center at (303)297-1192 (M-F 8am-5pm MST) GOOD LUCK!