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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.
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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the regulation is 150 yards from a dwelling.
50 yards from road centerline.

the only restriction on the colorado river in grand county is from shadow mtn dam to twin creek AFTER november 13th. the only other restriction on the colorado river is in mesa county.
 

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Cast and blast also refers to chukar, correct? I know that is the primary combo for my friends in Idaho. Are chukar in the Upper C. area (too lazy to spend time finding CO distribution maps) or are people solely talking about waterfowl?

Phillip
 

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fat guy in a little boat
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The Poudre's a Wild and Scenic, so it has some screwy regulations(camping, shooting, fires, etc.)

I'm just basing it off what I was told. Not sure if that was just for the Pumphouse section.

Like myself and a few others said, Easy enough to just call and check. Better safe than sorry!!
 

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Pay close attention to where you're floating. There are multiple private land parcels below State Bridge. This following is from the new Upper Colorado Recreation Guide (http://www.eaglecounty.us/OpenSpace/Documents/Upper_Colorado_River_Guide/).

"Pursuant to CFR 43 8365.1-6 and Upper Colorado River SRMA Supplemental Rules, discharging and or use of a firearm, or any other device such as a paintball or compressed air gun are prohibited within a developed recreation site. It is recommended no discharging and or use of a firearm within 0.25 miles of either side of the Colorado River between the headwaters and State Bridge, unless in the lawful pursuit of hunting game during a valid hunting season."


Call the Kremmling BLM office for details if floating above State Bridge or the Silt office if downstream of State Bridge. Eagle County owns a few land parcels below State Bridge (see map link above), no hunting is allowed on these properties. We do allow duck hunting at the Duck Pond parcel at the Eagle River.
 

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^^^^ so you can't shoot in the campground, (makes sense) and they don't "recommend" shooting unless you are hunting... sounds good to me, Lock and load!!!
 
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