I have been dreaming of this hunt for a very long time. I'm at 10 points and am trying to decide if and where I should apply for a Colorado mule deer early season rifle hunt. My hunting partener in this endeavor and I are looking to complete this hunt this year or next or maybe we should wait a little longer.
I would virtually be guaranteed to hunt any of the early season high country hunts except for 74 and 82 (82, 86, 861). It appears we are caught in the point chase for these hunts. Due to our number of points we have been looking at 12 (12, 24, 25, 26, 231), 36, 43, 48 (48, 46, 481, 561), 74, and 82 (82, 86, 861). However, unit 12 we can't seem to get any good info on and Colorado's website hasn't had any updated harvest info since 2009. Not sure what that is about.
I'm relatively new to mule deer hunting so judging mule deer is still hard for me. They all look big next to a whitetail, but I'm thinikning my goal is a 160+ buck whichever unit I hunt (should be doable????). My hunting partener and I are perfectly fine with the high altitude and extreme terrain some of these hunts offer (which is why we are investigating these hunts) plus we like early season not effecting other commitments we have in October and November. We will be doing the hunt DIY and probably not scouting much before the week before the opener. We plan to show up 4 or 5 days early to scout and get acclimated.
I have a couple follow-up calls into the local biologists and game wardens to discuss some of there latest information (winter conditions, herd conditions, etc), but I'm sure they are busy with this being application time. I've previously had conversations with most of them, except for unit 12 (can't get anyone to call back).
I thought I would throw it out there to see where you guys would recommend I apply for and if I should apply this year or next or wait a few more years. I know areas like 43 and 36 are still recovering from the 07-08 winter. Any feedback on realistic buck expectations (is a 160 class buck to small to big???), what the terrain looks like (pics would be great), or unit conditions would be appreciated.