Wild Nature: Hunting, Fishing & Wildlife Viewing in Glenwood Springs

Not only is the fall foliage around Glenwood Springs a sight to behold, the native wildlife also comes into sharper focus for sportsmen, anglers and photographers.

Loving (Wild) Life

Fall is gorgeous in Glenwood Springs, and creatures large and small make the most of the short season. Animals, for their part, are enjoying the bountiful harvest on the mountainsides and storing up calories for the winter days ahead. Top of the food chain humans—hunters, anglers and shutterbugs—are locked in a primeval battle of skill and luck stalking them. Whether the outcome is meat in the freezer, the joy of catching a fish or an Instagram-worthy image, wildlife deserve our respect.

The Thrill of the Hunt?

Glenwood Springs welcomes hunters. The town is close to prime public lands, including the White River National Forest, which boasts large, thriving herds of both deer and elk. Of course, there’s an excitement that comes with having a big game animal in your sites, but ethical hunters aren’t out simply for the thrills. As a group, Colorado hunters have tremendous respect for wildlife and view hunting as a way of life. They don’t take more animals than they need, are appreciative of nature’s bounty and understand the role that hunting plays in keeping elk and deer populations healthy. They also follow state rules and regulations and honor private-property boundaries. Whether hunting with a bow, a muzzleloader or a rifle, ethical hunters always aim for a clean kill. Many would rather miss a shot than fire one that wounds an animal and causes unnecessary suffering. For those new to the sport or the area, backcountry outfitters are an invaluable resource for a successful hunt.

 Here Fishy Fishy

Like hunting, fishing is an integral part of the western lifestyle. With multiple rivers nearby and miles of designated Gold Medal waters, Glenwood Springs is an angler’s dream come true. Trout are the prized catch, and depending on location, you may reel in a native cutthroat, rainbow or brook trout. To get started, purchase a Colorado fishing license either for a single day or the entire year. Most anglers fish catch-and-release, even in areas where it is not mandated. If taking fish home to eat be sure to know harvest limits and size restrictions. Like hunting, it’s up to the fisher to know the location of public and private land; an app like onX, which pinpoints property boundaries, can be invaluable for those who want to get off the beaten paths and shorelines. Stop by fly shops to find out what the trout are munching on, as well as book guided fishing trips.

fox chipmunk and big horn sheep in the wildClick Bait

Shooting animals with a camera seems like the least invasive mode of interacting with wildlife, but it can cause some of the most hazardous human and wildlife interactions. Spotting an elk, deer, bear or bighorn sheep—all common Colorado animals—is a treat. Taking a photo to remember and share the moment with others is almost instinctive, but getting too close can have repercussions for both parties. A quick scan of the news reveals people getting gored, stomped and mauled because they got too close for an animal’s comfort. Animals can get hurt too. After interactions with humans many, especially bears, need to be euthanized. When taking pictures of wildlife, remember some basic rules: keep your distance, don’t feed them and leash pets. No picture is worth endangering humans or animals.

Whether you’re hunting, fishing or photographing wildlife, respect nature’s magnificent creatures by treading lightly and ethically. Learn more about these and other favorite fall activities; plan your Glenwood Springs vacation today!

Download the official Glenwood Springs Travel Guide

Find Glenwood Springs Lodging