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Joined: 10/25/2011
Posts: 102
2nd Season Frustrations

I returned from a week hunting above the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness in unit 161 on Saturday. My group of 4 had both cow and bull tags. We hunted high and hunted low, pushed timber and sat parks/meadows all to no avail. We saw a grand total of 3 deer, 4 porcupines, and 0 elk. I'm not sure what the point of me posting is except to vent my frustrations! This was my 4th straight year hunting the North Park units and have yet to see an elk, let alone fire a shot. Every year we've found fresh sign- tracks and poop from that morning or the evening before. More than anything I'm upset I have to wait another year to get out there and go after them again! I hope everyone else is having more sucess than we did. I'm taking my girlfriend out this weekend in 181/27 for deer, hopefully I can get a little redemption then. 

Joined: 10/03/2014
Posts: 16
That's exactly how my 2nd

That's exactly how my 2nd season deer went. My buddy and I tried a couple different arears in our unit and literally all we found was a ton of couple week old elk scat. Not a single sign of deer anywhere. Our unit wasn't the greatest and has a lot of terrain that's pretty tough to hike coupled with a ton of private property. 

My 1st rifle elk didn't go so well either. On our third day there I missed the only shot on the one bull we saw not on private property all week. We started high, then low, then in the middle and were never able to find them other than the one morning. I can only hope my 4th season cow tag will pay off or my freezer will be empty by the end of winter.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4423
Without knowing where you are

Without knowing where you are located at I would suggest for you to get out to the unit and see what the elk are doing before and after the hunting seasons.  I know of areas that it is useless to hunt during the rifle hunt but if you are a archery or muzzzle loader hunter the deer and elk are all over the place.  It seams that when October rolls around and the animals start seeing more humans they either drop into the most inaccessable canyons or compleatly out of the area. 

Congradulations on seeing the 4 porcupines.  It has been over 10 years since I saw my last one. 

SGM's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 1147
I feel your pain. Saw one

I feel your pain. Saw one calf and about 2 seconds of a bull all week in our area too. We did see a bunch of deer and some real nice bucks but no deer tags. Hunted the same areas we hunted during ML season and saw plenty of animals. First season saw little activity due to a snow storm hitting the area but lots of mud but never heard of mud chasing elk out of an area. Never saw the area like this before in 29 years of hunting it. Talked to the warden of the area about half way thru the hunt and he only saw a cow and calf taken from our area. He said other areas were doing OK but not as good as usual. I think the elk went to Florida on vacation during 2nd season from our unit.

B.A.M.F's picture
Joined: 10/12/2008
Posts: 66

We were in the n park just a few miles from wy border, my buddy got a cow opiending day and there was a sm herd 6-8 w one bull.  I didn't see till they were 3 ridges over after the cow was down. In our area saw two cows and heard of two nice Bulls being harvested, we left on wed. Packing out my buddies cow took 5.5 hrs for 6 of us hardest recovery I have ever had.  And I'd do it again!  Good luck to all those luckys ones w late season tags and finally some weather to push them around.~Cheers

Joined: 05/31/2013
Posts: 118
I too feel your pain, it was

I too feel your pain, it was not my year either!  It sure wasn't for a lack of trying though, so I guess that's why it's hunting.  I did enjoy getting out there so much this year (archery, 1st rifle, and 2nd rifle deer).  And my wife went hunting for the first time ever and seemed to really enjoy it, which was great.  But it just wasn't in the cards this year.  We had some really close opportunities in our deer hunt, but could just never get it to work out that last little bit to get close enough, get a clear shot, etc etc.  Already thinking about next year's plans and looking forward to it!!

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3748
2nd season was very warm, we

2nd season was very warm, we were down in SW corner of the state and temps were very warm, if you did not spot them very early in the AM it became almost impossible to see them until almost dark when it started to cool off again.  I am betting your area was the same.  There are good numbers up there, not great.  I am no expert but I think the weather played a huge part in alot of people not seeing much during 2nd season.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
If you don't see them high or

If you don't see them high or low you have two options.

1..They've gone nocternal, and will be found deep in dark timber during the day.

2..They've started to move down, and can be found somewhere along migration routes.

Since I see elk close to winter ranges around here now. I lean to #2.

BleuBijou's picture
Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
Posts: 498
2nd Deer

How was your hunt Stillhunter? I had a guy go by my camp and there were 2 Cow elk standing where my tent usually is standing. He had a bull tag, but was laughing that we didn't make it up this year. Off to see if There are any deer left and see some friends. Maybe get a gift from the Deer god's.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
Thanks for asking, but this

Thanks for asking, but this isn't my year. One day before the hunt i'm getting grocery's at City Market. As i'm walking along headed for the cash register this guy I never saw trips me. I went flying though the air, and crashed on the floor. I ended up cracking a rib, pulling a tendon in my hip, and twisting my knee so bad I can hardly walk. So, that killed my hunt.

Turns out he was a vender in the store who works for Keebler. He was setting up a display, and wasn't paying attention when he tripped me. It was all caught on the camera. Plus, two witnesses said it was all his fault. I missed the hunt, but I should get a little cash out of the deal.

Striker's picture
Location: Kuna, ID
Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 223
Tough luck

Sorry to hear about your bad luck woodduckman. I know we have all been in your shoes and it feels good to vent. At least you still love hunting and will go again next year. I have seen hunters get depressed and just give it all up. If you have went 4 years with little success and sighting of elk I would suggest hunting a different season in that area or switching units. Elk habits do change from year to year many times or even week to week. They can travel a long way in a day. They most likely moved on to private lands or held up in some hell hole somewhere away from the pressure. It's frustrating as hell when you don't know where they went and you know there were a ton of them a week or so before. On my archery hunt this year, a week before the season opened we saw close to 400 head of elk. By opening weekend they had disappeared. By the second weekend we started to find them again. They had splintered into smaller groups, probably because the rut started up, but that first week almost drove us nuts knowing there was a ton of elk in the area but not knowing where they went. Good luck next year.