CO Chapter Newsletter Fall 2023

“A world in which a sacramental portion of food can be taken in an old way—hunting, fishing, farming and gathering—has as much to do with societal sanity as a day's work for a day's pay.” – Tom McGuane, “The Heart of the Game,” Outside, September 1977

Welcome to autumn! We’re keeping this newsletter short because, well, September.

September is also Public Lands Month, with national Public Lands Day just around the corner on September 23. There are still some great opportunities to give back to our public lands, including a major fence removal project near Maybell. You can find other events in your neck of the woods on our Colorado BHA page.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is only as strong as its members. Join the BHA family today and unlock a world of adventure! As a new member, you'll receive a FREE custom BHA Gerber Exo-Mod Drop Point Knife – designed to elevate your outdoor experiences. But hurry, this exclusive offer is limited in quantity. Don't miss out on the chance to gear up and take action to protect the pastime you love!  Follow the link below to join

Already a member? Celebrate Public Lands Month and dive into 30 days of pure excitement! BHA’s 30 Days of Giveaways is rolling out from 9/18 to 10/17! Every day for 30 days, a lucky winner will snag an epic prize from the best outdoor brands. But wait, there's more – the Grand Prize is a jaw-dropping G&H Special Edition Hog Island Skiff! #BHA30Days

Chapter news

Bryan Jones named new chapter coordinator for Colorado and Wyoming

The Colorado chapter is thrilled to have Bryan Jones as our new coordinator. Bryan was born and raised in Colorado, growing up in Littleton on the south end of the Denver metro area. He spent roughly a decade in the US Marine Corps, then completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Fish & Wildlife Management. He subsequently served as a ranch manager in South Texas and the Texas Hill Country. From that point he moved to a wildlife conservation non-profit, Texas Wildlife Association, to serve as the operations coordinator for their mentored youth and adult hunting programs for 7 years.

He returned to Colorado to take a role as the Natural Resource & Agriculture Specialist/Open Spaces Operations Supervisor for Arapahoe County. He’s currently working on a Master of Natural Resource Stewardship degree with Colorado State University with a focus on Ecological Restoration. Bryan currently lives in Castle Rock with his new wife (congrats, Bryan!) and their two dogs.

Although he hunts big game and upland birds across the western U.S. and Texas, Bryan especially enjoys looking for quail with his Brittany, Norman. “Any time I travel I bring a fly rod with me, so I am fortunate to have tried my hand at fly-fishing all across the US and internationally,” he added. “But my preference is the native cutthroat of my home state and the West.”

Colorado policy updates

Federal court halts railway project opposed by Colorado BHA

In August a federal appeals court halted a proposed railway that would carry crude oil from Utah through Colorado, finding the government’s environmental assessment did not adequately consider impacts to “downline” communities and natural resources in Colorado. Colorado BHA had previously expressed concerns about the unwanted impacts this railway could have in our home state of Colorado. If approved, the route along the Colorado River and the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon could see an estimated three to ten more trips a day for crude oil transport. Crude oil train cars tend to be longer, heavier, and more difficult to control, increasing the potential of track failure in this mountainous region which is prone to severe weather. This project would pose an unacceptable threat to our cherished waterways, landscapes, and wildlife which contribute millions of dollars to our state economy.

You can learn more about Colorado BHA’s position on the Uinta Basin Railway project here.

Big game license structure under discussion

Many of us have experienced crowding and limited opportunity when hunting on public land. As pressure on wildlife grows from multiple sources, how Colorado allocates big game licenses is more important than ever. Tag structure was a focus of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission’s August meetings in Steamboat Springs. Data presented there showed alarming trends in the balance between resident and non-resident tags, overall trends in non-resident tags, and the amount of pressure on wildlife relative to other Western states. Colorado has the greatest elk hunting pressure based on the number of tags per acre of public land, and also allocates limited elk tags to non-residents at double the rate of any Western state.

Colorado BHA is actively engaged in these discussions, working to ensure a balance of opportunities for all hunters and tag allocations and season structures that put the best interests of wildlife first. We encourage members to get involved as well. You can find additional reference materials from the CPW Commission here, and Colorado BHA’s recent observations on tag allocations here.

Upcoming events

We still have stewardship events, pint nights, and other activities in the works through the fall. For an up-to-date list of all upcoming events see: Be sure to check back often as new events are being added.

Around the campfire

Wild game meatloaf recipe, courtesy of Steve Choromanski

Steve says, “This recipe has been in the family for three generations that I know of. Works well with ground elk, deer, bear, and pronghorn. It will be the best meatloaf you've ever tasted. Even those who 'don't like wild game' will leave satisfied.”

  • Break up 2 lbs of ground wild game in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the following ingredients individually, mixing each thoroughly before adding next:
    • 2 tbsp seasoned salt
    • 2 tbsp ground pepper
    • 2 tbsp oregano
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • ½ cup italian breadcrumbs
    • ½ jar of chunky pasta sauce
    • 1½ cups of chopped fresh mushrooms.
  • After mixing thoroughly, place in an appropriate-sized meatloaf or oven-safe pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375° for 70 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes uncover and cook for the remaining 10 minutes. (Optional: add 2 slices of pepperjack cheese for final bake)

In case you missed it

2024 BHA Rendezvous announced!

BHA's North American Rendezvous is making its first appearance east of the Mississippi! Established in 2004, we'll be celebrating 20 years of work on behalf of our public lands, waters, and wildlife at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. We've got more stories to share than lakes in Minnesota and 20 years of our members putting boots on the ground for conservation to celebrate. RSVP TODAY!

Thank you for the continued support of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and our Colorado Chapter. We hope to see you at an upcoming event soon. You can always reach our volunteer board at [email protected]

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