Colorado Hunter Numbers Dwindle Due to Increasing License Fees

colorado-elkColorado Parks and Wildlife officials are grappling with how to find new revenue streams amid budget cuts and millions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance stacking up at its dams and fisheries just in time for thousands of orange- and camouflage-clad hunters prepare to head to the woods next weekend for the start of big-game rifle season.

During a series of 18 “Funding the Future” meetings across the state this summer, wildlife managers explained the dire situation of a Colorado Wildlife budget that’s been slashed by $40 million since 2009 and yet still faces a budget shortfall of $15 million to $20 million by 2023.

Without a fee increase for in-state hunting and fishing licenses, CPW would lose access to thousands of acres it leases for hunting and fishing and wildlife conservation efforts would be compromised, wildlife managers say. How much of a fee increase Colorado hunters and anglers could see will be up to lawmakers next year, and though Fort Collins sportsmen have been supportive of an increase, they worry a steep hike could price out some hunters and turn off an already tuned-out younger generation that’s not interested in hunting.

“I understand the budgetary needs, but certainly hunter recruitment and retention should be an extremely high priority,” said Steve Hilde of Loveland, who is worried the sporting traditions passed down from generations may be in danger as fewer younger people take up hunting and fishing.

The number of licensed hunters in Colorado (281,201) last year was 23 percent fewer than the 1998 high of 362,927.

MORE READING: Colorado License Fees Could Increase 100%

Compounding the issue, Colorado’s hunting base is aging — average age of 55, according to CPW — with fewer younger hunters waiting in the wings. The National Shooting Sports Foundation says for every 100 Colorado hunters today, only 70 are expected to take their place in the next generation.

“We need to do a better job in general of getting kids outside and keep them away from the Xbox and sitting on their iPads all day,” said Hilde, who is a member of the three-person CPW sportsmen’s round table representing Northeast Colorado.

Joining him on the round table is 26-year-old Ryan Urie of Windsor who said hunting’s biggest obstacle to attracting a younger audience is overcoming a culture that views hunting as an archaic, violent form of recreation.

“It’s got to come with some kind of societal acceptance,” said Urie, a Colorado State University graduate. “It’s socially acceptable to sit on the couch all night drinking Mountain Dew and shooting each other up playing ‘Call of Duty,’ but it isn’t socially acceptable to get up at 4 in the morning to hike in the woods to match wits with an animal and put food on the table. I’m not 100 percent sure how to change that.”

Raising license prices just adds another barrier to attracting youngsters to hunting and fishing, said Urie, who supports an incremental fee increase, but not immediately tying license fees to the consumer price index, which would raise the elk tag price to $88 — nearly doubling today’s $49 price for Colorado residents.

Sixty-six percent of the wildlife agency’s revenue is fueled by those license sales, with out-of-state hunters doing the heavy lifting. The agency sold 67,800 elk permits to out-of-state hunters in the 2015 fiscal year, collecting $37.3 million. Colorado residents purchased 156,000 elk licenses, generating $6.4 million in revenue.

Colorado Hunting License Fees
ELK, COW $49 $469
Elk, Bull $49 $629
Deer $34 $379
Moose $254 $2,084
Pronghorn $34 $379
Bear $44 $354
SOURCE: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

Hunters’ licenses and fees — including a required $10 Habitat Stamp — help the agency manage the state’s elks and deer populations. The animals, without an abundance of natural predators such as wolves or bears, become too abundant and susceptible to ailments such as chronic wasting disease, said CPW Wildlife Manager Ty Petersburg.

What frustrates many sportsmen about a potential hike in license fees is the fear they’ll have to shoulder an even greater load in funding Colorado’s wildlife management efforts, while other recreators, such as bird watchers and wildlife photographers, enjoy the animals without pitching in a nickel for a Habitat Stamp.

“That just rubs me wrong,” said Bill Tourte, who moved to Wellington from California five years ago.

Petersburg, at the “Funding the Future” meeting in Fort Collins in August, said enforcing new fees and passes for other recreators such as hikers and mountain bikers could prove too tough of a logistical task for CPW and Forest Service staff, however, the agency is taking any and all ideas. He and other wildlife officials will present a summary of the public feedback to CPW’s agency board in November.

Hilde urged sportsmen to keep the comments coming and continue the discussion before Colorado’s hunting and fishing access is taken away.

“We need to, as a community, get off our butts and figure out how we can participate,” he said.

Hunting’s decline in popularity 

Licensed hunters in Colorado 

2005: 309,801

2006: 318,971

2007: 312,151

2008: 306,179

2009: 306,179

2010: 294,186

2011: 294,186

2012: 288,086

2013: 286,363

2014: 280,302

2015: 281,201

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Ex-Colorado Fishing Guide, Encourages You To Visit Alaska

big-silver-with-jasons-guide-serviceEx-Colorado Fishing Guide, Jason Lesmeister, encourages folk to head north and try their luck at Alaska fishing. 

We were able to find this recent press release about Jason’s company:

COOPER LANDING, AK / Many consider the Kenai River in Alaska the “Gold Standard” for fly-fishing for rainbow trout and for sockeye and silver salmon. The 2016 salmon season opens in July, and Jason’s Guide Service is now taking early reservations. Owner and Guide, Jason Lesmeister, has over twenty years’ experience guiding Alaskan fishing trips and has spent more than ten years as a Kenai River fishing guide. Jason’s Guide Service can provide all the gear needed to catch some of the hardest-fighting and most delicious fish in Alaska. While many fish make the run up the river to spawn, it requires the skill of a knowledgeable guide to find the perfect spot to catch them and to teach the correct techniques for success.

The Kenai River flows through 82 miles of South Central Alaska, starting at Kenai Lake and running through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Skilak Lake into Cook Inlet and the Pacific Ocean near the towns of Sodoltna and Kenai. The Kenai River has a well-established reputation among world-class fishermen for rainbow trout, sockeye salmon, silver salmon, Dolly Varden char and more.

Fishermen love to fish for Kenai River rainbow trout because they bite readily and put up an aggressive fight. They are known for their massive size and plentiful numbers. Red (sockeye) salmon, silver (coho) salmon and other species of salmon migrate up the Kenai River at certain periods during the season. Check current information with sources such as Jason’s Guide Service. Ice fishing on the frozen lakes of the Kenai Peninsula for rainbow trout, lake trout, and Dolly Varden is growing more popular each year, and there are not many serious fishing guides who work ice fishing. Jason’s Guide Service will provide everything needed for “hard water” fishing.

To Book your Guided Kenai River Fishing Trip, call Jason Lesmeister at (907) 351-3036.

For information about Jason’s Guide Service, go to


Jason’s Guide Service
Mile Marker 48
Cooper Landing, AK, 99572

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Easy fishing techniques

Easy fishing techniques

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How To Make Best Carp Bait – Honey(98)DIY – Fishing Tips – Siêu Mồi Cá Chép Dễ làm

How To Make Best Carp Bait – Honey(98)DIY – Fishing Tips – Siêu Mồi Cá Chép Dễ làm

Super Carp Bait – Honey – Siêu Mồi Cá Chép Dễ Làm

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Kevin VanDam Spring Fishing Tips: The Jerk Bait

Kevin VanDam Spring Fishing Tips: The Jerk Bait

Kevin VanDam shares his jerk bait tips at the 2013 Chicagoland Fishing Travel and Outdoor Expo. One of KVD’s favorite lures to use all season in the midwest and across the nation is the jerk bait, and he shows you how to fish it. Part 1 of a 3 part series.

How would you like to be part of the fastest growing online community of Sportsman from across the world? Like Sportsman Channel on Facebook for a chance to win fan exclusive prizes and follow us on Twitter for the latest conversations related to outdoors topics!/SPORTSMANchnl We are also active on Google+ ( and Pinterest (

Sportsman Channel is the only network catering exclusively to the 82 million Americans who make hunting, shooting and fishing a part of their lifestyle. Sportsman Channel delivers the best in destination, how-to, and entertainment programming to the American Sportsman.

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8 Fishing Life Hacks

8 Fishing Life Hacks



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Casting Techniques – 5 Styles and Methods of Casting with your Fishing Rod

Casting Techniques – 5 Styles and Methods of Casting with your Fishing Rod

Hello folks, this week I’d like to share with you 5 different casting techniques to help improve your casting range and accuracy.

We talk about the following casting techniques: flipping, pitching, over hand cast, side cast, and a bonus low cast.

As always good luck and good fishing’!

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Fishing experience
Fishing tackle – Giải cứu Lưỡi câu

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Travel Hacks – DIY – Fishing Tips – Fishing Hacks

Travel Hacks – DIY – Fishing Tips – Fishing Hacks

Fishing experience
Traveler Fishing Hacks – DIY – Fishing Tips
Dành cho người ưa đi du lịch , đi xa nhiều ngày

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Top 10 – Fishing Tips, Tricks, Hacks, and Techniques for Beginners

Top 10 – Fishing Tips, Tricks, Hacks, and Techniques for Beginners

Top 10 best fishing tips, tricks, hacks, secrets, and techniques for beginners. Hopefully these tips, tricks, and hacks help!

Good luck fishing!

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Top 5 Pond Fishing Lures! Bass Fishing Tips & Tricks

Top 5 Pond Fishing Lures! Bass Fishing Tips & Tricks

If you have every struggled choosing baits for bass fishing in your local ponds, look no further than this video! I explain my favorite baits for pond fishing all around the country! If you liked this video, or have any questions, shoot em down in the comments section below! Thanks and SUBSCRIBE!

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TRICK to Catch MORE Bass on Plastic Worms – Bass Fishing Tips

TRICK to Catch MORE Bass on Plastic Worms – Bass Fishing Tips


►Sign up for the Googan Squad T-Shirt Subscription to be entered to win free Favorite rods/covers, FREE fishing trip with the whole Googan Squad and a NEW Bass Boat!!! –

I bet you haven’t seen this bass fishing trick before! Fishing a plastic worm “wacky rigged” is an extremely effective way to catch bass but often times anglers miss fish because they don’t rig it properly. In this video I show a trick I learned a while back from a fellow fisherman on how to properly rig a wacky rig to save money and increase your hook up ratio tremendously. Next time you are out on the water fishing for bass, try fishing a plastic worm wacky rigged. You won’t be disappointed!

If you enjoyed this tips and tricks video make sure to hit the LIKE button, leave a COMMENT, and SUBSCRIBE for more awesome fishing content! Thanks for watching!!!


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