2019 NW Colorado Archery Muzzleloader Report

Slugz

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Oct 12, 2014
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Woodland Park, Colorado
Down the trail this am for hunting day #2.
Like yesterday, its hot, so im keeping my expectations low. After a 1.5 mile hike from camp, lazy morning bugle to the north of us.
Quickly assess the wind and guess at his direction of travel we beat feet about 1/4 mile down the trail further and circle in and back to get the wind right. We identify where im gonna call from to see where he is at and low and behold, hes looking at me from 40 yards away. Ugh. He slowly trots out of my life. I cow call and bugle once as he goes away to try and settle the woods. I stand there and cuss for 5 minutes and rethink the set up and all i can figure is he was moving quicker through the woods than i thought. We back out and get roughly 80 yards when i look back and see some brown elk butt. Dumb dumb spike and a small 5x5 pop out right from where i bugled from. We hurriedly set up with bad wind and get them to hang out a little but not come to the call. Lesson learned again. We should have done a blind set up based upon that bugle /cow call i made to settle woods and waiting for at least 30 minutes. I hate relearning a lesson that i learned before aboit pre rut bulls coming in quiet. Oh well. Nothing the rest of the day and it stays hot. 12.5 miles the past two days, 1600 ft of loss in day one then back up and 700 foot of loss and back up today.
Gonna go soak the feet in the sping.
 

Slugz

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Oct 12, 2014
2,826
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Woodland Park, Colorado
6th Day in camp and today is make some wood day. I couldnt this summer due to the snow and i didnt during camp set up cause i wanted to scout.
Supposed to be the hottest today then in 48 hours cool down significantly.
Went and checked all my known wallows the past 48 hours and they are all torn up and used, just not recently. I think that feeds into what im seeing above 10,500. Seems like due to the weather they are just hanging out high and waiting this heat wave out. The big cow herds are holding 6-8 bulls around them and the rest of the bulls seem to be cruising in small bachelor herds. Gonna go to a different spot tonight to glass/hunt. Happy Labor Day all. Be safe.
 

Slugz

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Oct 12, 2014
2,826
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Woodland Park, Colorado
Elk day #3.
Down the trail we go with big ears open.
Get to where we should be hearing something and nothing so we sit for a little. Faint bugle over the ridge? Cant tell. Let out a few cow calls and nothing. Sit a little more let out a bugle and nothing. I dont wanna go diving in unless we hear something. Finaly a definite bugle north of us. Wind is kinda iffy so we need to circle in on them. We start to beat feet for about 15 minutes then let out a cow call. Instant response. Huh, so hes a lover. Sounds big and throaty. We get to a good set up and deploy a caller and a decoy. Before we split i do a quick check. Cow call, instant response again but he is moving down the valley. Cows and a satellite come into the set up with the throaty lead bull continuing to move. Problem is now we are in the middle of the conga line and everyone is coming to check us out except for the lead bull. Its apparent now he is big enough and doesnt care. Hes gonna bugle to announce his presence and continue with the lead cows. We mess with the cows and take some video and the train leaves and goes north. Thats been going on from 0700 to 0930 so i figure they are gonna bed soon. We stop for a snack, bugle once. Lead bull bugles back way north of us now and a satellite grunts at us from roughly 300 yards away. We let the woods settle for an hour then circle again for better wind and go into the dark stuff quietly after the satellite. Well 300 ended up being 100 and we bump em. 1st one cow with a bark then estimate 8-10 jump up and scatter. Cant tell what or who. I figure that wasnt all of them so we continue with a small mew and press in. Sure enough we had a good sneak on with good wind and we walk right into the bedroom of 5 more cows and a calf. Staredown for 1 minute and up they go. All in all another good morning hunt and we start the hike back to camp to arrive at 1500. 3rd day of elk hunting and 3rd day of bugles at 0700. Really surprised with how hot it is. Bonus today was a small half eaten dead head.
 

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Slugz

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Oct 12, 2014
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Woodland Park, Colorado
Elk day #4
Down the trail we go before daylight. Ran into the sheep and watched the dogs work the flock. Really interesting how one was the boss dog and the others were like sentrys posted on the perimeter. Although its messing up the elk hunting a little, still pretty neat to watch.
So farther in we went. Arriving at one of the drainage to drainage transit corridors on a point I see a single cow feeding left to right. Soon behind her pops out 10-12 more cows and calves in a conga line. I laze one of them and get 52 yards and dial it in hoping a legal bull is bringing up the tail end. Nada and they all pass. We sit to come up with the next plan when we get a big nose of elk. I check the wind again and the smell is coming from generally the same direction as the others came from. We decide to split up and put a caller in a little further. Just as we get up, busted. Big fat momma cow looking at me. She wheels and goes back the direction she came taking im guessing from the hoof sounds, 5 more animals with her. We let the woods settle and listen for anything. Well thats how the morning ended. A wonderful walk in the woods with my bow looking and listening. 😀
Looks like this was the hottest day today and we are on the decline in temps which should be good.
Be safe all and have fun.
Its a great day for elk camp!
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Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
2,826
484
50
Woodland Park, Colorado
Elk Day #5
Up at 0430 for a cheesy ham/eggs coffee breakfast then down the trail. Past the sheep and into where I think some elk are. Nothing making noise at first light so we sit and blind call for 15 minutes. About 10 minutes later a cow and calf pass by at 47 yards. Sit there for another 25 minutes and nothing more heard or seen.
We press north onto a ridge with marginal wind. Still some downslope and gust from the south. I dont like where we are but also stuck in no mans land with the wind. We decide to hunker down for a couple hours and just listen as we can cover two bowls/drainages from there.
After about and hour and a half i hear a half bugle moan like sound to the north of us. I decide to remain silent and try and figure out if he is bedded or moving. After 10 minutes of nothing I let out a small mew. Immediately back with a bugle he came. Now though he appears he was moving and is east of us. I think great as he just might circle to the to a little south east and come in. Nope. Back to the North he goes so he can circle for the wind from the south. Hes gotta be about 80 yards now and the ground cover is letting us see about 40 yards. He bugles, we assembly mew and he continues to come. I range the opening where i think he will show. Farthest side tree is 36 yards so i dial it in. Just as i do that he bugles again and i feel a gust on my neck that was just a little more SSW than south. Thats all it took. Gone.
Good set up but i just couldnt deploy quick enough to get proper alignment with the wind, his assumed direction of travel and the caller. Rest of the am and early afternoon nothing going on as the pm storms start to roll in. Back to camp for some food and off to another drainage for the pm.