know very little about waterfowl in general and even less about your side of the mountain. but I bet Goosehunter will be able to point you somewhere for information if he sees your post. All my duck or goose hunting if I go is just a tag along with a friend every few years and not my real passion like deer hunting is.
Good luck on finding an area to hunt I'm sure there's some over there.
Waterfowl hunting in Colorado on public land is very tough. We do not have alot of places to go especially on the the front range. If you head east you will find more properties and alot less hunters, but most of the properties that Colorado has are river so they are better for ducks than geese...that is until the lakes freeze up and the geese really hit the rivers then. I would hate to send you to any of the public land spots and then see you have a horrible tiome with it. But if you want you can go to the DOW's webpage and they have a list of all the public land that is avaliable. Personally I think I would just head out east it may be a longer drive but you will get away from of the BS that goes on on public land and I would venture to say you will probably see more birds. I primarly hunt geese so I do not know of alot of the spots that would be good for ducks, but I have alot of buddies that are big into ducks and they always head east. I belong to a waterfowl club and we have a lot of properties all over. I used to have alot of private fileds but they started to get developed, land was sold, so I decided the club was the best chance to have some good spots to hunt. I still have sopme private fields but not as many. If you are truly passioate about waterfowl hunting I would consder a club as land it being l;eased up rapidly and landowners have figured out that they can get big money so for the average hunter it makes it real tough to find a good spot to hunt. i would rather pay $1000 for a club than pay $2500+ for one filed. PM if you would like any info.
What legal stamps, license will I need to hunt waterfowl legally in CO? Fed duck stamp(signed across front), state stamp(signed across front). HIP Stamp? small game license??
And of course a 3 shot max on shotguns, plug installed.
SmallGame or combo license.
Federal watefowl stamp (signed across face of stamp)
State Waterfowl stamp (becomes printed on license, must be signed)
HIP Number for the season (Must call or go online to get, write it down on license)
Habitat Stamp $10 required on license and required for anyone to enter all SWA areas.
Shotgun plugged to hold no more than three rounds, 2 in the magazine and one in chamber, for everything here (except for late Snow Goose Conservation order Season where your gun can be unplugged to hold it's full capacity and many other regulations are relaxed)
I don't mean to come off sounding so grim or discouraging in anyway, but what I'm about to say has just been my own experience. I've been persuing waterfowl here in Colorado along the Front Range for much longer than I should have. I agree that hunting waterfowl on the little public land available is very tough here in CO. I've tried nearly all the SWA properties all over eastern Colorado at one time or another for waterfowl and I personally think nearly every one of those SWAs are terrible for waterfowl hunting. The more productive areas are mediocre at best. Some are better than others, but overall I have yet to be impressed, and thats after hunting waterfowl here for a better part of 25 years.
Most of the properties are also very small with limited space for safe hunting if a crowd shows up. Also coupled with the fact that many of those SWA properties allow other small game hunting during waterfowl season doesn't help any. Ducks and Geese have excellent eye sight and can see blaze orange and movement for miles, those small game hunters wearing orange and moving around really destroy a waterfowlers chances of birds wanting to fly into a water hole. I just think that most public areas on the front range are not well managed for quality waterfowl. I prefere to go to other states and regularly do so for much better waterfowl hunting. Along the front range I do hear plenty of shooting going on in private wetland areas and waterfowl hunting club properties or private leases and goose are plentiful here during the season. I'd like to see a lot more wetlands enrolled under the Walk-In Access program and set aside specifically for waterfowl hunting. They now allow waterfowl hunting in the current upland walk-in access program, but none of the current properties are really all that good for waterfowl. To me the best hunting here is going to be for biggame, and for that go west.
I must admit that I have missed a big game animal with a rifle. And not only was it a bull elk, it was the largest bull that I have had in my sights with a tag in my hand. But, as with most "missed shot" stories, I have an excuse. Moisture doesn't really ever bode well for hunting equipment. When moisture (either rain or snow) gets into a firearms barrel, nothing good takes place. A couple rain drops down there can change the point of impact drastically and a barrel jammed with snow after a...