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David Petersen
David Petersen is a veteran outdoorsman and founder of the Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. A former Marine Corps helicopter pilot,and 35- year resident of rural southwest Colorado, Petersen is a traditional bowhunter, a "campfire philosopher," fly fisher and a sportsman-conservationist. He is also the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Heartsblood: Hunting, Spirituality, and Wildness in America (Raven's Eye Press). Petersen has been honored for his conservation work by the Colorado Wildlife Federation and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. He is currently involved in a documentary film on living a simple life close to nature and centered around ethical hunting (

Entries by David Petersen

A Love Letter to Angels

(3) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 12:43 PM

This has been a damn tough one to wrap the right words around. I've written overly long essays involving extensive research in far less time. Problem is, this is about the recent death of my wife of 36 years, Carolyn Jane (Sturges) Petersen. Carolyn was my fount of strength, sanity,...

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A Brief History of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers... and an Invite

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 12:21 PM

Back in 2003 (as best old Gramps can recall), I was invited to speak about hunting and politics at a national meeting of Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP), held that year in Albuquerque. That evening, after my talk and panel discussion were done, I relaxed in the lounge sipping Crown...

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Feral Kat Krazies Eat Audubon Star Reporter Ted Williams

(102) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 1:11 PM

By way of professional disclosure, I have long considered Ted Williams a friend, as well as a mentor, an exemplar, and an ally in the Good Fight for wild nature in America. That said ...

For anyone who has followed the literate outdoor media across the past three decades or...

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The North American Model for Wildlife Conservation Is an Endangered Species in Colorado

(2) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 2:31 PM

A minimal level of sportsman ethics afield is mandated by written law. Beyond that, say, when an action is legal but ethically questionable, or when (as Aldo Leopold long ago pointed out) no one is watching, hunter ethics is an individual responsibility. As the existentialists would have it, we determine...

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The Mule Deer Wars

(7) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 12:54 PM

"The Mule Deer Wars." That's what I've come to call a tenacious western wildlife controversy.

It began in the 1990s, when state wildlife managers started reporting lower mule deer populations and decreased fawn-to-doe ratios throughout the West. In Colorado, Utah, Idaho and elsewhere, an outspoken coalition of hunters, outfitters and...

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Keeping the "Hunt" in Hunting

(6) Comments | Posted May 11, 2012 | 5:13 PM

As expected and frankly hoped for, not everyone was delighted with my "accusatory, inflammatory and inaccurate" rant against the canned (enclosure) killing of captive-raised "wild" game animals, specifically elk, on commercial game farms. So I'll have at it again, summarizing and responding to a couple of the most...

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Canned Killing: Don't Call It Hunting!

(12) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 3:44 PM

Among ethical hunters, the term "fair chase" implies a universal bottom-line of self-imposed fairness and morality. Fair chase hunting specifies the pursuit of wild, free-ranging game animals, and, together with limits on technology, assures wildlife a better-than-even chance of escape. Thus, the term hunting.

Meanwhile, another and wholly...

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Stop Illegal OHV Riders by Getting Their Number

(3) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 5:05 PM

In the past I have written about the manyfold problems caused by the explosion of off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in Colorado and other western states rich in public lands. OHV abuse and over-use on public lands contribute significantly to lasting negative impacts on cold-water angling opportunities...

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Colorado's Least Funny Video: Snowmobile Chasing Moose

(1) Comments | Posted March 25, 2011 | 2:58 PM

Once again, the Internet has shown its ability to prompt arrogantly stupid people to broadcast their idiocy for the entire world to see. This time, thoughtless snowmobilers here in Colorado videotaped themselves chasing a moose at high speed along a trail. The encounter ends in a...

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Don't Let Reckless Off-roaders Ruin the Summer

(2) Comments | Posted June 2, 2010 | 4:17 PM

It's Memorial Day weekend - the first fling for outdoor summer recreation. If you're like me, you and your family will probably enjoy some form of outdoor activity this weekend, from a backyard BBQ to a backpack venture. Unfortunately, there's a growing chance, especially on western public lands, that irresponsible...

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A Sickly Smell From the Colorado ORV Program

(10) Comments | Posted February 1, 2010 | 6:32 PM

Colorado's public lands have experienced an explosion in off-road vehicle (ORV) use in the past few years. Most riders are responsible, but a significant number of reckless riders continue to venture off marked trails to cause extensive and lasting damage to watersheds and fish and wildlife habitat, while deeply eroding...

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