Its bear time in the Rockies. That time when the bears find out that running around town is the best way to find food. This can be anything from trash cans to dog food left out to hummingbird feeders to bird feeders.  

As the summer population of tourist climbs in the summer, they begin to put out food for the birds and deer and other wildlife so that they can enjoy watching them out the back window. The problem with this is the bears and coyotes and other wild creatures, catch on quickly to the routine and come into the towns or around cabins in remote areas and look for free food.  

While I love seeing a bear in the wild, they can be quite dangerous if cornered especially with cubs or in the darkness as you return home from Bingo or some other activity. Also, they get so used to people being around that they begin to break into cabins to get more food. Many people leave screen doors open and this just is an open invitation to a bear to come in.  

The biggest problem with allowing bears to feed around a house is that it eventually ends up in their death. If a bear is found to be a violator 3 times, the Department of Wildlife has to kill that bear to prevent further damage. Once they learn to break into houses, there is no stopping them. So the very people who love to see a bear, end up causing their death.  

Living next to wild creatures, we have a responsibility to keep out of their way and also to prevent them becoming too accustom to man. Every week there is a story in the news about a coyote attacking a child in a city and this is due to animals being able to adapt to more and more population.  

There is no easier pickings for a good meal than a small dog or cat in a back yard. In fact, two of my friends lost small dogs to owls that swooped down and carried them off.  

This is the time of year when bears are trying to get as many calories as possible for the winter ahead. So they go to the easiest source. The recent fires here may have pushed more bears out of those areas and therefore there will be more depredation ahead.  

This week in Creede, Colorado, a small mining town nearby, a bear was spotted in a tree in town and had to be removed by the wildlife officers. They tranquilized the bear and yet still had to pull it down by hand and face a dangerous situation as the bear fought them aggressively. It was funny to hear people comment as they watched this activity. The sheriff provided backup with a shotgun and all the tourist and people who have no idea about the dangers of a wild bear were so worried he might shoot the bear. I do believe they would rather a officer get mauled or killed than have the bear shot.  

This is from years and years of watching pretty wildlife films that depict animals as having human traits and characteristics to the point that people think they are cute fluffy balls of fur. The animals found in the wild are not only wild and cunning but dangerous too. Proper care in how we live in and among them is essential to their survival also in a growing population of humans.  

Remember, keep you distance and know that they are only trying to protect themselves or their young but if provoked, can cause extreme damage to a person


We can enjoy nature close around us with proper care and a clear understanding of the dangers involved. This is a good time to see wildlife and an evening drive around neighborhoods often leads to that experience. Just stay in the car and be safe out there.

Moving problem bear from Creede Colorado to the forest.

Water Conditions Rio Grande Basin

Today we took a drive up the Rio Grande to Antlers Lodge near Creede.  Paula had some work there and I got to see the lodge with the Rio Grande passing by the deck of the restaurant. It was a beautiful day and The sun felt good on my face.

I had discussed previously about the ash problems in the water. There are many problems this can cause including, warmer water, loss of insect life, change in the pH of the water and large amounts of sediment in the stream and others.  

The water in the main river was better than I recall last week and I think this is due to the number of clear streams which flow into the Rio, diluting the ash flows.  

After Paula's meeting, we drove on up the valley to Road Canyon Reservoir to inspect the conditions there. The water, while green with algae and maybe turning over some with the summer heat, looked normal to me. A man fishing on the dock with a rapala said he had been having good luck there after work and both he and the kids had caught plenty of fish over the weekend.  

The fires near there really stayed away from the lake and the shorelines remain clear and clean of any fire damage. There was one fold a boat on the lake fishing at the time but I didn't see them catch anything in the time we were there. We didn't have our poles due to being on a working trip and the water was full of too much algae for me to fish anyway. In all the years I have been fishing here, I can honestly say that Road Canyon didn't look any different that in other years. Having said that, the ash flows may still be coming down and will eventually reach the lake but for now, fishing is still very active there.

The Rio Grande is murky with the runoff from the streams to the south of the river. But the other feeder creeks such as Deep Creek and others feed in clean water to the river from the west and north and this helps dilute the dirty water from the affected areas. So while it is dirty, its not to the point where the fish are going to start suffering or dying.

I look for fishing to get better than its been in a long time as soon as the monsoon rains stop. The fish will not have been fished for in the river for a month or more by then and it should be fantastic as the water clears somewhat.  

I was also at Big Meadows but only for about 30 minutes. People were catching fish and the boaters who were trolling seemed to be catching fish on a regular basis. My dad and I had gone into Million Reservoir and found it so full of algae that it was just no fun. We had no bites there and so went on up the road to Beaver Lake. Its getting lower now and in a week or so will be down where it was last October.  

The access there is too hard for my dad and I so we just had a good look around, enjoyed the sunshine and the lake view and came on home. Its not always about catching fish but about the journey.  

We are all on that journey in life and if you miss out on the sights along the way, you end up without memories to tide you over in later years. Go out and enjoy the mountains while you can as they are all here for our enjoyment.  

ATV Riding Colorado

After yesterdays posting I decided that I needed to include some additional information on ATV riding in Colorado for those of you who might be interested in scheduling a trip here.

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Mountain Lions in the Rockies

The Department of Wildlife, DOW, has a long history of successful game management in the State of Colorado. One of the species long protected from total extinction is the cougar or mountain lion. Many different sub-species of these occur across the United States but the largest numbers live in the West.

I have personally seen about two cougars a year just fishing and riding in the truck to lakes and events and being in that the animals are highly secretive and sensitive to humans, that's pretty remarkable.  

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