Today we launch a new monthly feature from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. It is a column – Field Notes of a Rookie Sportsman – written by Travis Duncan, a CPW statewide public information officer based in Denver.
It’s also an invitation for you and your reporters to do stories that will show your readers/viewers how to become hunters, anglers and outdoors enthusiasts.
Last month, Duncan and his 14-year-old daughter, Natalie, began attending the year-long Rookie Sportsman Program (RSP) offered by CPW’s Southeast Region in Colorado Springs.
RSP was started in 2015 as a year-long mentorship program designed for people with little or no outdoor experience. It teaches them outdoor skills and, hopefully, inspires them to get outside and sample all the adventures available in Colorado’s great outdoors.
RSP participants are paired with CPW wildlife officers who guide them through a wide range of outdoor activities, starting with hunter-education training, firearms handling, small and big game hunting, fly fishing, camping, backpacking, field dressing, meat processing and other outdoor adventures.
New to hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities, Duncan and his daughter are a perfect fit for RSP. Together, they will learn to hunt and fish and more.
Duncan will write about his experiences each month during the year, taking readers along on his adventures and those of other members of the class. He’ll describe the skills he and Natalie are learning in the RSP and he’ll profile other families in the program.
In addition to inspiring your readers and viewers to get outdoors, each column will include calendar listings of upcoming CPW family-friendly outdoor programs and events around Colorado for readers to enjoy. Photos and brief videos will accompany each column.
For your planning purposes, we have a general list of the topics Duncan will be covering:
April 1: Hunter Education
May 1: Applying for a hunting license/Turkey Hunting 101
June 1: Learning to shoot .22-caliber firearms on CPW shooting ranges
July 1: Learning to shoot large-bore rifles
Aug. 1: Fishing at Lake Pueblo State Park
Sept. 1: Archery/waterfowl hunting/Deer hunting
Oct. 1: Rifle qualifications/Processing 101
Nov. 1: Elk hunting
Dec. 1: Upland game and pheasant hunting
Jan. 1, 2020: Cooking 101
Feb. 1, 2020: Ice Fishing and Final RSP Banquet
We hope you and your readers will join Duncan on this adventure. We’ll provide photos and videos to accompany the columns and we’d welcome media participation in any of our RSP program events.