View Full Version : What kind of crowds to expect for high country archery hunts?

03-11-2013, 05:46 PM
Wanted to get everyone's opinion on this. I have a couple units in mind that I'll try to draw this year with 1 point as a NR to do a solo backpack high country archery hunt.

With the season opening over labor day weekend can you give me an idea of the crowd conditions. Do most bowhunters aim to be out there opening day? I imagine its a popular weekend for hikers as well. I'm sure this varies with the popularity of the unit for either hiking or hunting. I'm trying to draw a unit that gave out less than 75 permits last year.

I'm just unsure that should I draw if I should aim to be out there opening day vs fly out the 2nd saturday of the season.

03-11-2013, 08:46 PM
I think it would depend on how far away from metropolitan areas you are. The closer you are to cities, the more traffic you're going to experience.

03-12-2013, 12:08 PM
I'm not sure what area you are planning on going into but I can tell you what I see where I hunt:

On or within 2miles of the main trail on the valley floor I see 2-5 people over a weekend. In the high country I generally see 1-2 people a year. If I go into places where I chase mountain goats or sheep I expect to see no one.

In more popular areas with lots of road access and flatter terrain I used to see a dozen people a day or more. I stopped hunting there.

04-14-2013, 02:06 PM
Lots of hikers all over the backcountry all along the divide and CT... Won't be much of an issue though... Most hunters have a deep ambition to hunt high and from what I have seen, many try it once or twice and quit because of the heart and drive it takes to make it happen up there.

Most hunters will be within 1 mile from the trails or roads... With that said, when you get yourself packed in further than 3-5 miles, you're usually by yourself. Especially if its not a unit that you can draw every year... Makes it easier with less tags like the 75 you refer to.

04-14-2013, 06:55 PM
Here in Colorado, if you start out at a trailhead that accesses either a 14er or a high country lake you will most likely run into at least a fair number of hikers, if you're doing it on a weekend. If you get on a trail that goes where you can leave the trail after a ways and access some basins without trails into them you most likely have the area to yourself, unless someone else is hunting just like you are. The average hiker is looking for one of the afore mentioned destinations. There is usually someone at the nearest USFS office that can offer some insights on your destination and what to seen on your way there.

04-14-2013, 10:42 PM
I hunt an area that ranges from 9,000 ft to 11,500 ft elevation and I have hunted it both archery and rifle The specific spot I hunt I vary rarely see anyone during the rifle season (always a chance for bad weather), although I do run across some. However, during archery there are loads of people getting out (much warmer). On opening weekend last year there were 15 people wandering through my area, not good hunting. I waited until the last weekend to go up and there were only three of us, still too crowded, however, I did have animals that I passed on. Good weather equals big crowds. Opening weekend equals big crowds. Close to trails equals big crowds. Areas with horse access have equaled bad hunting for me. I have guys ride their horses right through the elk corridor. Usually I will get some action as animals get pushed from these guys but after they leave it is time for me to leave as well.

04-28-2013, 02:50 PM
In more popular areas with lots of road access and flatter terrain I used to see a dozen people a day or more. I stopped hunting there.

Old Hunter
04-29-2013, 08:24 AM
What state and unit??????????

05-03-2013, 12:57 PM
I see the same thing here in WA, with Labor Day tourists getting the last gasp out of the weekend before the kiddies have to be in school. Trails close to the trailheads are crowded, but the further you get into the high country, the more it tapers off. If I'm up on a nasty half climb/half hike, I won't see a soul.

05-11-2013, 07:13 AM
The closer you are to cities, the more traffic you're going to experience.

05-11-2013, 09:42 AM
depends on the unit and which trail head.

05-11-2013, 10:41 AM
What state and unit??????????

Yes...where are you talking about?