Big Game Hunting Seasons around Pagosa Springs
Photo from our friends at Bruce Spruce Ranch.
Pagosa.com will be posting hunting information up to and including the rifle seasons. Check here often for the latest from the early seasons.
The Big Game Rifle Seasons in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado will be starting in October. All of Pagosa Country and Pagosa.com / KWUF Radio will be welcoming hunters with our Big Game Hunter’s Hospitality Event. This year the hospitality event will be offering our usual series of exciting and fun offerings. All hunters are invited to take part in the “extras” Pagosa has for its hunters.
Big Game Hunter’s Radio Show
Tune in Thursday and Friday at noon for the “Pre Season Big Game Hunter’s Radio Show” and every night for the first five days of each season for “The Big Game Hunter’s Radio Show.” One hour of “real time” hunter news including interviews with hunters, hunting talk with Dick Ray and Larry Fisher, current weather and “going home” weather, sport and racing news, hunter’s contest news, all pertinent hunter’s information and our own music created just for our big game hunters.
Listen on KWUF.com.
The Big Game Hunter’s Show… 7:00PM the first five days of each season.
Pagosa.com will be putting photos on the internet site of successful hunters so friends and family can see their happy hunter. Norm will be taking photos as he travels the San Juan visiting hunter’s camps. Photos will be put on the site the next day.
Hunter’s Welcome Wagon
Once again Norm Vance will be traveling the highways and byways of the San Juan area visiting hunter’s camps with extra trash bags and all of our events and information. Watch for Norm on his big blue Suzuki off-road motorcycle.
Hunter’s Contest For Each Season
Dirtiest Hunter in the San Juan Contest
Free passes to The Springs Resort Hot Springs Baths for hunters found beyond dirty. Disclaimer; Please find a lake, pond or stream and take the top layer off before coming to town for the bath!
Best Camp Contest
Norm is looking for the best camp for each season. These can range from camps with big RVs to “canvas castles.” Norm is looking for friendly, clean and well designed camps with a close eye on hunters doing a good job with trash.
Best Camp Cook Contest
Yum Yum! Hunters like to eat well and so does Norm!!! Offer Norm a sample of your best dish or a left over tid bit from last night’s meal and your camp cook will be entered in the “Best Camp Cook Contest.”
Help Keep Our Forest Clean and Green Contest
Hunters “caught” by Norm doing a good job with trash in camp, at hunter’s dump sites or along the roads will be presented with a prize.
Big Game Hunting in Pagosa Springs
By Norm Vance
In autumn a very special mood saturates the atmosphere in the great San Juan Mountains. The heat of summer gives way to cooling north winds and nights become cool and crisp. Great stands of Aspen turn pale green and then erupt into electric orange, yellow and red. The color punctuates and gives new definition to the forest. Rivers once full and raging now trickle and bubble over and around riverbed boulders. Above the forest formations of birds fly south. Under the canopy of the trees wildlife prepares for a long winter.
Autumn causes a rushing, high spirited, excitement in the hearts of many men, a spirit surely born of ancient hereditary responsibility. Like the wildlife, it is time to put in food stores for winter. It is time to hunt.
During early October hunters begin arriving in Pagosa Country. Jeeps, trucks, and a wide assortment of motorized campers and renovated school busses trudge down the highways burdened by loads of camping, survival, and hunting gear.
High in the mountains, along all forest access roads, camps of every description spring to life. Huge tents with tarpaulin sheds dot the landscape. Makeshift kitchens come together, lanterns are hung in trees and men slowly become boys once again. In town restaurants and bars vibrate with excitement and tales of past hunts are told. Along the streets signs announce specials from beer to bullets. Grocery store workers are challenged to keep food on the shelves.
By the last few days before the season begins the air is thick with anticipation. The number of hunters has grown until they seem to be everywhere. Clumps of them fill sidewalks, parking lots, and all free space. The conversation topic is always the same, where is the big buck and the great bull elk. Ears are highly attuned to accounts of recent weather patterns and local citizens are questioned about where the herds are.
At night campfires blaze along access roads, trails, and across valleys. The good sound of laughter and high spirits can be heard in the distance. Beyond orange hats and vest which are mandatory for hunters the hunters are dressed in military camo or in outfits with a strong cowboy influence. It’s interesting to observe the hunter. He stands there with a scruffy week old beard; his boots are dirt covered, and he likely smells of horse and Mother Nature. Chances are that a week ago he was in a three piece suit, clean, well groomed, and smelling like roses.
Hunting is a time to let go for most hunters. It’s a time of great friendship with buddies acting out macho dreams of boyhood. It’s a time to go into the wilderness and face life on the raw edge. It is also time to face one, to weigh life’s values and to search for moments of truth. For two months each fall the mountains become what they were in years past. Gone is tourist picking flowers along trails, not yet come are skiers who placidly slide on snow. For these two months the mountains echo with high powered rifle shots reminiscent of mountain men of the deep past. In town trucks parade about with disembodied heads and antlers mounted proudly on top. Some summer tourists or winter skiers would faint at the sight.
To the person who understands, a hunt is beautiful. A hunt is rare and special moments in life to be remembered forever.