Janet George volunteered as a Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Habitat Watch Volunteer for the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. She was born and raised in southwestern Michigan. More specifically, the area between Grand Rapids and Holland, only 15 miles from Lake Michigan’s shoreline.
“My Dad started taking me fishing when I was 4 years old on pan fish and I started small game hunting at 12 years old near my parent’s home in Michigan,” Janet said. “We continued to enjoy time together fishing for many years on Lake Michigan for salmon and lake trout. I learned hunting primarily on my own starting in my teens taking small game with archery and pellet gun, and then I started bowhunting big game in the late 1970s.”
Janet started big game hunting elk with a bow in Colorado when she was a student at Colorado State University. “A husband-and-wife team who owned the local archery shop in Fort Collins helped me out when I began bowhunting big game and so they were my mentors for a few years,” Janet explained. “I harvested my first big game animal, an elk with a bow, in 1980 at a time when there were few, if any, formal mentor programs for hunting. It’s great that there are mentor programs today for new hunters and that there are more women hunters who can serve as mentors.”
Janet has a B.S. degree in Zoology and a M.S. in Wildlife Biology, both from Colorado State University, and worked as a ranger for the City of Boulder Open Space for four years followed by a 25+ year career as a wildlife biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She retired from CPW as the Northeast Region Senior Wildlife Biologist in 2019.
Since then, Janet has been freelance writing, including a 2020 article about mountain goats in the Backcountry Journal. She also volunteers for the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society on specific issues in northeastern Colorado, including as their representative to Outside 285, one of Colorado’s regional outdoor partnerships. More recently, Tim Brass asked her to represent BHA on NoCo Places 2050, another regional outdoor partnership.
“My husband, Scott, introduced me to fly fishing shortly after we were married which is now my preferred method of angling,” Janet said. “I primarily fly fish for trout because that’s what we have the most of in Colorado, but I’m impressed by the tug of a smallmouth bass on a fly rod. So, when I visit my brother in Michigan, we go after smallies.”
“I fly fish close to home year-round and travel to Wyoming and Montana. My favorite fly-fishing excursions involve hiking or backpacking to wilderness lakes,” she added. “I set a goal to fly fish all the lakes that support trout in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Areas which I completed in 2019. Since then, I’ve fished all the lakes in the Never Summers and James Peak Wilderness Areas and I’m foraying into the Rawahs with my fly rod this summer.”
Janet hunts big game with a recurve bow or rifle. She also hunts pheasants, grouse, and snowshoe hares “with a .22 rifle or revolver so I don’t lose arrows in deep snow.” “I hunt big game in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska,” she added. “I also hunt pheasants and grouse in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska with my husband and our Labrador retriever, Allie.” Janet joined BHA in 2013.
“I’m not sure if I heard about BHA from a single source or, more likely, multiple sources and people,” she explained. “I was acquainted with Larry Fischer through traditional archery circles, and he talked about BHA. Also, when I was a biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, I saw firsthand the effectiveness of BHA on public land access and conservation issues. Access to public lands with healthy populations of fish and wildlife are important to me and my family.”
Janet also volunteers for Boulder County Parks and Open Space on a variety of projects related to wildlife and agriculture and serves on the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee. She lives in Longmont with her husband, and they have one adult son who hunts, fly fishes and enjoys many activities on our public lands.
“Janet George is a big hitter in the conservation world and a tremendous advocate for wildlife in Colorado,” Colorado BHA Board member Dan Parkinson said. “She recently wrote an outstanding comment letter on Jackson Mountain.” “I’ve known and worked with Janet and her husband for well over 20 years and yes she will be an outstanding addition to our cadre,” chapter Vice Chair Ivan James added. “I’ve corresponded with Janet about regional Partnerships and her efforts to map pirate trails in her area,” Board member Craig Grother said. “With her CPW experience and enthusiasm for wildlife habitat, she will be a great addition to our chapter.”
-Are you interested in serving on the Colorado BHA Chapter Leadership Team? Learn more about our volunteer opportunities here.
-Colorado BHA Habitat Watch Volunteer (HWV) program information.
Founded by Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, and formed around an Oregon campfire, in 2004, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories—including chapters in 48 states, two Canadian provinces and one territory, and Washington, D.C.—BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands. The Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) in 2005 (the first official BHA chapter)