6th Annual Colorado BHA Rendezvous, June 6-8, 2014

Colorado BHA Friends,

rende-campThe sixth annual Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Rendezvous is scheduled for June 6–8, 2014. We’ll be setting up camp in the San Juan National Forest south of Pagosa Springs at the Blanco River Campground (this is a new rendezvous location for us: see maps and links below for detailed directions and additional information):

[Directions from Pagosa Springs: Travel south on Hwy 84 13.0 miles and turn east on Forest Development Road #656 for 1.75 miles]

We’ve reserved the Blanco River group site for Friday through Sunday. See the links below for additional information:

-San Juan National Forest.

-Rocky Mountain Recreation.

The event will begin as folks drift in Friday afternoon and evening, with an extended social hour and, weather permitting, a group campfire. We will begin breaking camp Sunday afternoon. If anyone is willing/able to haul in a load of community firewood, the contribution will be greatly appreciated.

rendezvous map2Overall, this will be another relaxed, mostly unstructured “get acquainted” weekend, with a Saturday afternoon get-together and general membership meeting (starting at 4:00 p.m.) where we can exchange ideas, congrats, frustrations, etc. Our meeting will be followed by a group wild game cookout, with BHA supplying the sides, chips/dip, etc. Let CO BHA vice-chair Matt Kenna know if you can bring/contribute some wild game. We’ll also pick up some plates/utensils, but feel free to bring/supply your own too.

There’s also a possibility that CO BHA Habitat Watchman (& Tenkara USA Guide), Paul Vertrees, will be joining us and doing a Tenkara fly fishing demo (TBD).

rendezvous map3The Blanco River Campground has easy access to fishing and hiking, and is within a stone’s throw of some of Colorado’s wildest terrain, the 158,000-acre South San Juan Wilderness (see additional information below), home to the last known grizzly bear to roam our state. Water and privies are available. This will be a family- and dog-friendly weekend, and feel free to bring along any other friends who may be interested in joining BHA.

Please e-mail or call if you think you will probably come so we know how many to plan for, or if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you in camp!

Matt Kenna

Vice-Chair, Colorado

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

970- 385-6941

[email protected]

-“Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers North American Rendezvous Report.” AmmoLand.com: 3/38/14. http://www.ammoland.com/2014/03/colorado-backcountry-hunters-anglers-rendezvous-report/#axzz2xAWbj9Px

-“Eventually I discovered the San Juans, which are the finest mountains south of Alaska. My favorite spot was the thousand square miles at the headwaters of the Rio Grande, a place where the last grizzlies roamed through the middle of the century.” –John A. Murray[1]

-“Many call the South San Juans Wilderness Colorado’s wildest corner. True, the landscape here, one of broken volcanic peaks and cliffs, pose a formidable barrier to travel, but the overriding reason for this reputation resides in the probably presence of once critter—the ‘griz.’ Of all the places in Colorado likely to still harbor North America’s more fearsome creature, the rugged and remote southern San Juan Mountains seem best suited. This, coupled with the fact that Colorado’s last confirmed sighting of a grizzly bear occurred in [here] in 1979, indicate that a remnant grizzly population may still survive here.” –John Fielder[2]

-“Because of the impenetrable forests and rugged terrain, state wildlife biologist rate the south San Juans the best suited habitat in Colorado for wilderness-dependent species, such as grizzlies and wolverines, that thrive only in unmodified natural habitats rarely visited by humans … In 1979, some 25 years after the last grizzly sighting in Colorado, a bow hunter killed a startled sow in the south San Juans … The 1980 wilderness designation of the south San Juans was one of Colorado’s most hard-fought. It’s safe to say that the grizzly sow … did not die in vain; her death clinched wilderness designation for an additional 60,000 acres.” –John Fielder[3]

-For additional information on the history (and/or current likelihood) of grizzlies in Colorado, see: Ghost Grizzlies: Does the Great Bear Still Haunt Colorado? by David Petersen (www.davidpetersenbooks.com)


[1] David Petersen (ed.). A Hunter’s Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996, p. 66.

[2] John Fielder and Mark Pearson. Colorado’s Wilderness Areas. Englewood, Colorado: Westcliffe Publishers, 1994, p. 297.

[3] John Fielder and Mark Pearson. Colorado’s Wilderness Areas. Englewood, Colorado: Westcliffe Publishers, 1994, p. 298.

About Caitlin Thompson