New to the Front Range looking for Waterfowl options

wllm

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I just recently moved from Montana down to the front range and I am trying to scout out a few places to hunt waterfowl this fall on the front range. I'm hoping that i can find a few places within 90 min east of Denver and I'm a bit lost as Colorado has very different rules regarding state land and stream access. Can anyone clarify for me, are you allowed to put in with a boat from bridges and hunt the high-water mark and can you hunt all state lands, no state lands or is it a case by case basis?

I grew up on the western slope and I have a few spots I got when I visit family on BLM and NF... am I just better off heading west?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom anyone can provide.
 

jlmatthew

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You moved from Montana to Colorado? You screwed up is all I can say! Within 90 minute of Denver you better get ready to pay or share very little public with a whole LOT of other hunters
 

wllm

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You moved from Montana to Colorado? You screwed up is all I can say! Within 90 minute of Denver you better get ready to pay or share very little public with a whole LOT of other hunters

Yeah they don't tell you in the brochure that there are no jobs in Montana.
 

Mason326

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Been here a bit over a year, lost my private spot due to my buddy losing his job there. Public is definitely WWIII but you can get birds if you learn how other people act just like the big game. PM me if you want to hit the public lands out east, got a doga nd I'm in Brighton.

~Mason
 

LuketheDog

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We used to have some luck hunting out on the public land areas along the South Platte between Denver and Nebraska. They are certainly no secret, but if you're willing to do some footwork you can get away from other hunters. Some days were busts, but we had some good ones too. You will also see thousands of geese flying way out of range as they bounce back and forth between private land...
 

wllm

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We used to have some luck hunting out on the public land areas along the South Platte between Denver and Nebraska. They are certainly no secret, but if you're willing to do some footwork you can get away from other hunters. Some days were busts, but we had some good ones too. You will also see thousands of geese flying way out of range as they bounce back and forth between private land...

I'm more of a spot and stalk duck guy anyway, that is I prefer to walk creeks and pot holes and and jump shoot birds... probably would make the world's worst eastern whitetail hunter. I called the Colorado FWP about spots you could walk for birds and they were worthless. I also called 4 different offices and no one could explain to me the river situation in Colorado??? Can you access public land by water through private and if so can you fish when you are floating through private? Can you hunt? Seems like the main field office should be able to give you a simple yes/no not a well.... "this is what the law says".... They would not give me an answer to what they enforce... seems like its a gray area like corner crossing.
 
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cedahm

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I also called 4 different offices and no one could explain to me the river situation in Colorado??? Can you access public land by water through private and if so can you fish when you are floating through private? Can you hunt? Seems like the main field office should be able to give you a simple yes/no not a well.... "this is what the law says".... They would not give me an answer to what they enforce... seems like its a gray area like corner crossing.

It's really not very gray here - I'm surprised they weren't a little more helpful on the water thing.

In CO - the landowner owns the land to the middle of the river, including the stream bottom. Thus, if you touch the bottom on a private stretch, you're trespassing.

Unlike MT - you can not access navigable water at public right of ways (bridges, etc) if the surrounding land is private.

You can float and fish through private (assuming you put in and take out at public access points), but can't get out of the boat to touch the bottom.

Sadly - our water access rights are pretty far down the list in terms of being public-user friendly. MT leads said list.
 

wllm

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It's really not very gray here - I'm surprised they weren't a little more helpful on the water thing.

In CO - the landowner owns the land to the middle of the river, including the stream bottom. Thus, if you touch the bottom on a private stretch, you're trespassing.

Unlike MT - you can not access navigable water at public right of ways (bridges, etc) if the surrounding land is private.

You can float and fish through private (assuming you put in and take out at public access points), but can't get out of the boat to touch the bottom.

Sadly - our water access rights are pretty far down the list in terms of being public-user friendly. MT leads said list.

Wow that was a better explanation than the 2 game wardens and 3 desk clerks gave. Thank you! Here is a specific question, totally understand if you don't know the answer. There is a section of the Colorado that I want to hunt that is checkered public and private. I can put in at a public ramp and take out a public ramp. The river is decently deep so I'm not going to touch bottom. When floating through the private land can you shoot birds you spook up off the water and retrieve with your boat and or dog. If you are not touching the bottom at any point? Most of what I want to hunt is public but there are a few private sections and I want to know if I need to have my eyes glued to my GPS or not.
 

cedahm

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Wow that was a better explanation than the 2 game wardens and 3 desk clerks gave. Thank you! Here is a specific question, totally understand if you don't know the answer. There is a section of the Colorado that I want to hunt that is checkered public and private. I can put in at a public ramp and take out a public ramp. The river is decently deep so I'm not going to touch bottom. When floating through the private land can you shoot birds you spook up off the water and retrieve with your boat and or dog. If you are not touching the bottom at any point? Most of what I want to hunt is public but there are a few private sections and I want to know if I need to have my eyes glued to my GPS or not.

I don't know the answer specifically - but as long as you don't ever touch the bottom or the bank (which includes anchoring or dragging, and includes the dog) - I would think it's fine. I personally wouldn't risk it since there would be a decent chance the bird could be lost or float into a private bank or otherwise need to be retrieved by touching private, but then again, my Brittany's arent much for water retrieving, so I really don't have the confidence :)

I would call and ask the local warden that direct question for your specific stretch of river.
 

wllm

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I don't know the answer specifically - but as long as you don't ever touch the bottom or the bank (which includes anchoring or dragging, and includes the dog) - I would think it's fine. I personally wouldn't risk it since there would be a decent chance the bird could be lost or float into a private bank or otherwise need to be retrieved by touching private, but then again, my Brittany's arent much for water retrieving, so I really don't have the confidence :)

I would call and ask the local warden that direct question for your specific stretch of river.

I will definitely call the warden before I do anything. This is our canoe hunting dog... the short legs mean he's very unlikely to touch bottom ever and he's quite portable and easy to haul back in the boat.

Capture.jpg
 

LuketheDog

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I don't believe you are allowed to float through checkerboard unless you are on a navigable river. I'd call the local sheriff and game wardens (or better yet get something something in writing) as they are the ones the landowners will call when they think you're trespassing :)
 

Mason326

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Shooting across a property line is considered trespassing here, keep that in mind... Already looked into the idea and nixed it myself.

~Mason
 
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