View Full Version : No tag. Now what?

06-23-2011, 11:37 AM
I did not draw an archery tag this year in CO as a second choice. I now have enough points for next year that I should be able to go anywhere. But here is my dilema. I have never hunted mule deer so I dont want to waste my points next year on a good unit without some form of education. I am from the east coast and can only do one trip out west a year. So what will help me the most in terms of years to come? I was out elk hunting last year in a different unit so I have that under my belt. But, my thought is I have 3 main choices

1. Go to unit this year right before season in August that I want(hope) to draw in the future and scout. This way I can find the deer, feel comfortable with the land, see other hunters, etc.

2. Wait until October, grab a OTC elk tag and scout the unit I hope to draw for deer while maybe running into an elk. Bonus.

3. Go mule deer hunting anywhere to learn how to hunt mule deer!

Since I want to do this with a bow and backcountry solo(unless I find someone who will go with me, but thats another story) I keep going back and forth as to whats more important. Season, location, or practice?

06-23-2011, 12:02 PM
#2... hard to beat getting a feel for the unit with the possibility of putting meat in the freezer.

Rob P
06-23-2011, 02:36 PM
is this unit not OTC archery elk? If it is, I would do that if you have to justify your expense with the chance to put meat in the freezer.

If you just want to scout the unit out a year in advance then I would take and "hunt" with a video camera the same dates you plan to go next year. What better way to document the unit and the animals you may be chasing than with a camera. Practice stalking and shooting with that. The footage you take will help you next year.

Scott S
06-23-2011, 03:25 PM
Excellent ideas and I especially like Rob's suggestion!

06-23-2011, 03:44 PM
After some thought, with enough points to hunt anywhere, you're considering a unit(s) with OTC tags?

Scouting second season won't be too bad an idea bc if you can look around the winter concentration areas and find where the resident bucks hold up you're good to go on putting together a game plan.

06-23-2011, 04:05 PM
I would hunt with a camera like Rob suggested this year or get the otc elk tag and chase them around while getting a feel for the terrain.

06-26-2011, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the input guys! I am concentrating on the Gunnison area and based on the OTC Elk archery tag maps its looks like I am out of luck with that option. I do love carry my camera with me on hunts so I am glad most think this is the best option. Thanks again.

06-27-2011, 08:48 AM
If you haven't done so already, I would buy all the Eastmans Books on Mule deer hunting and Elk hunting.
Books, by Guy Eastman, Cameron Hanes, and David Long. They are very informative and your getting years of experience from experts.

06-27-2011, 10:56 PM
definitly having boots on the ground is the best bet, either with a gun or camera, its hard to get a feel for any area by just looking at maps, they help but its not the same as being there and seeing the animals in their hideyholes

Doe Nob
06-28-2011, 09:22 AM
I am going to the unit July 1-6 to scout for 2nd season elk, which we plan to rifle hunt in late October. PM me your areas you are thinking about checking out and if they are where I am going, I will be happy to send you photos and a scouting report from my 4 treks I plan to take.