Coming To Colorado for the Hunts

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
If you are getting packed up and getting ready to head to the high country of Colorado be prepared for wet and sloppy conditions.

The snows and rain last week did a good number above 7000-8,000 feet so be warned.
 
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JimP

Administrator
Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
This weather can be a hunters dream, but if you aren't ready for it it could also be a nightmare .
 

JimP

Administrator
Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
The Flat Tops got a good dump of snow last night and perhaps they are getting some more tonight. There is a good storm north of I-70 between Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs. I saw a picture going north of Rifle and the highway was a white line.

The area south of me in unit 444 got a good dump also the last couple of days.

I would say that the deer will be moving down.
 

RICMIC

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Feb 21, 2012
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Two Harbors, Minnesota
I just returned from 8 days in Routt County. There was 6" on the ground, but it warmed to 40+ during the day, and hiking in the slick gumbo was a real bitch. Just as it was starting to dry out, it snowed another 3", AND THE PROCESS STARTED ALL OVER. But, 13 years ago when I last hunted this area, on the same dates, it was too warm and all the locals said we need some snow and cold weather. It can seldom be perfect.
 

taskswap

Very Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
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Colorado
I just returned from 8 days in Routt County. There was 6" on the ground, but it warmed to 40+ during the day, and hiking in the slick gumbo was a real bitch. Just as it was starting to dry out, it snowed another 3", AND THE PROCESS STARTED ALL OVER. But, 13 years ago when I last hunted this area, on the same dates, it was too warm and all the locals said we need some snow and cold weather. It can seldom be perfect.
We had the same problem. We were in Rio Blanco Cty and were hoping to dodge the worst of it by being so far West but no joy. We ate tag soup this year. It was a great trip - even a "no luck" year is still a great experience. But yeah. We found lots of tracks, like railroads through the woods. All going down to private land.

It's easy to skip over this but Colorado's yearly season date shift definitely has an impact in my experience. This year Rifle 1 was Oct. 16-20, the latest in the "cycle." Next year it'll be 15-19, moving back another day each year for five years. Last year was the 10th-14th and the weather was totally different. It's amazing what a difference that one week makes.
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
One thing I noticed is that there are more non hunting days between seasons. Usually 4th season opens on a Wednesday after 3rd season closed on Sunday. This year there are 2 extra days, opens on Wednesday but 3rd season closes the Friday before. 4 days separation instead of 2 days. Should help hunting.
 
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RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
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Two Harbors, Minnesota
Did ya get anything?
We did not shoot anything. We had previously hunted the OTC 2nd rifle season and were very lucky to come back with one cow elk. CO hunters told us that the elk are pushed out of the area during the (limited) 1st rifle season, and were now mostly on private. Our long term plan was to hunt the MZL season after accruing enough points, but my hunt partners decided to go for the 1st rifle instead. I have used my CO points on other hunts, so had a cow tag while they had bull/either tags. 5 GMUs are grouped for the 1,000 limited tags, so there was still a mass of people that turned a 5 day hunt into a 1/2 day hunt. We had packed back 2 miles into a drainage, and on opener the elk were pushed over the hills between us and the road. We heard over 20 shots that morning, and none for the next 4 1/2 days. When we left, there were 100's or even 1,000's of elk on private on our drive out. There were outfitters on both sides to boot.
We did have our opportunities though. Both of my partners had passed on cows, one had missed at a legal bull, and I had a herd of 25+ in range and moving closer when 4 shots over the hill and nowhere near us sent the group running away from me, never to be seen again. We had .22 handguns also for grouse since we were required to have a small game license to apply for our tags. No grouse opportunities either.
But, this was the most enjoyable deer hunt that I have ever been on, even though I had no deer tag and the season wasn't open. Deer were everywhere, and I stalked within MZL range a number of times. Few bucks, but if there were that many does/fawns, then there must be a good number of bucks up higher somewhere. I would love to be back there right now with a deer tag in my hand.
I think that I wore out my last pair of hunting partners. They are 14 years younger than me, but told me that they are getting too old to do hunts like this. They were lucky though, because if we had tagged out it would have required 3 or 4 pack trips each to get the meat out. We would still be there.
 

RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
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Two Harbors, Minnesota
^^ Too bad you didn't get anything but at least you got out hunting … which is always fun.
I'm not bitch-in that's hunting. When I started my back country trips I seldom saw anyone else around, but that's not the case anymore. I'm part of the problem too and am sure that at some point that I have affected someone elses hunt.