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Old 10-08-2015   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Upper C blast & cast

I've heard several people mention hunting the upper C from their rafts and doing well. Anyone on the buzz care to share their experience? Best stretches, potential issues, etc?

I know folks can be leary of divulging hunting beta...any help is much appreciated.

Chris Morrison
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Old 10-08-2015   #2
dafewillis's Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 143
I am not a hunter, though would enjoy getting into it some day. That said, my only tidbit is this: much of that immediate river corridor looks to be dominated by BLM land. But in some stretches, when you head upslope any considerable distance, it can get private pretty quickly. Do plenty of map research, which I'm sure you will, before heading out. Best of luck...

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Old 10-09-2015   #3
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 165
I assume you mean waterfowl? Just know where the public/private is and go on any stretch. At worst you're floating and fishing.
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Old 10-10-2015   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1
I was camped at Several Trees site about 3 weeks ago with my kids when, to my surprise, guns shots rang out early one morning. Partly out of curiosity and partly wanting to make sure our presence was known, we went close to bank from our site to see a raft with a big American flag and a dog that couldn't retrieve the bird floating by. After sending the dog after the bird a couple times without success this guy blasted the bird to pieces while it was on the water about 25 feet from their raft. Not being hunters and not knowing the protocol I don't know if this was a typical scenario or not, but needless to say, we were not too impressed. There was another group camped on the island just downstream and in the direction they were shooting, which I thought was concerning.

While I don't want to turn this into a gun debate, I would ask anyone hunting in this heavily used corridor to be aware of where others are and to be considerate of shooting anywhere near there. The impact on our experience was certainly a negative one.
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Old 10-10-2015   #5
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 426
The behavior you witnessed doesn't sound like very good hunting practice. If you shoot game, it should always be retrieved and put to use. Don't shoot birds over the water if you aren't confident your retriever is up to it. In Idaho you can't shoot from the boat. I was told that it was a lead in the water issue, but from purely a safety standpoint I didn't really like the idea of guests shooting from my boat.

I have been told by CPW that bird hunting from the (unmotorized) boat is legal so long as we were >50' from the centerline of HWY 50 in Bighorn Sheep Canyon.
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Old 10-10-2015   #6
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 244
just because someone shoots near you does NOT mean that you are in danger! please do not run around and make a big fuss because someone shot a duck in the same county you were in.

shotguns have a lethal range on BIRDS of about 80 yards or less, sometimes significantly less. the shot loses energy and the pattern disperses rapidly. a shotgun blast may seem big, but at 100 yards there is very little energy. also, shot at birds on the fly, the shot may travel a couple hundred yards, but will be going so slow when it comes down that it is insignificant.
there is no lead in waterfowl shot, at least not since the early 1970's or before. it is all steel shot, or some non-toxic non lead shot. steel shot slows down faster and has less energy per pellet than lead does.

you saw someone blast the bird into pieces? are you sure the bird was dead? most times a second shot is to kill a wounded bird so that the dog or human trying to retrieve it can actually do so. a wounded bird in the water can be hard to catch even for a dog.

i have floated the colorado in other areas, once those birds have been shot at they get pretty boat shy. last year near dotsero the birds were getting off the water at a couple hundred yards out and flying by at well over 100 yards off the water.

shooting from the water is legal. as long as the bird and the shot do not land on private property, it is legal.

last year i was duck hunting and shot a duck. there were houses nearby, but we were floating through blm and were the required 200 yards from the dwellings. a woman in her night gown came out on her porch as we floated by and cussed up a storm threatening to call the DOW, and pitching a royal fit, all right in front of her kids. we were doing NOTHING illegal, NOTHING unethical.

hunting waterfowl has some different requirements than hunting terrestrial animals.
1. it is 50 YARDS from the edge of the roadway, not the 50 feet from the center like mammals.
2. you have to be 200 yards away from occupied dwellings to shoot

there may be other differences, but those are the two that i remember.
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Old 10-10-2015   #7
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
Lead anchors are worse than lead shot. Just saying. I did harvest an elk by Radium on foot, but the elk seem to come down to drink at night so if you timed it right you may be able to blast. After that I don't think you would need to cast. Next year I'm bringing my shotty on the MFS for chukar hunting and extra motivation to not flip in Cramer.
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Old 10-10-2015   #8
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
The potential issues are obvious, private land, high number of river users, railroad, car traffic road. There is a lot of game right across from Rancho and its really fun to use suckers as skeet as long you're shooting at a passing freight train.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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Old 10-10-2015   #9
fat guy in a little boat
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 378
There's certainly no shooting from your boat up here. Way too much traffic on the water, even this time of year.
I thought I heard a BLM ranger say the legal distance is 100yds a few years ago.
I know for sure that on the Cache la Poudre you can't shoot within a quarter mile from the river.
Pretty easy to just ask about it whenever/wherever you get your tags.

All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
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Old 10-11-2015   #10
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 244
Originally Posted by bigben View Post
There's certainly no shooting from your boat up here. Way too much traffic on the water, even this time of year.
I thought I heard a BLM ranger say the legal distance is 100yds a few years ago.
I know for sure that on the Cache la Poudre you can't shoot within a quarter mile from the river.
Pretty easy to just ask about it whenever/wherever you get your tags.
there are no restrictions on shooting on the colorado river specifically. there are general regulations that state distance from roads and occupied dwellings. but, to my knowledge there are no restrictions for any distance to other boaters, safe shooting always applies, but just because there is a boat 50 yards behind me does not mean that i cannot shoot the ducks in front of me.
blm rangers most likely do not know the regulations very well, neither do most sheriff's deputies.

i do not know the poudre, but if that restriction is true, it has nothing to do with river traffic.

as for "no shooting from your boat up here"? is that your desire, or can you point out a published regulation?

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