22 replies [Last post]
exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Co gmu 53

There shouldn't be any 4 wheelers off the road in 53, but it's a common sight to see them up and down the main roads. That doesn't mean they won't push their luck and try anything they shouldn't. We got dumped on locally (Front Range), but I think the west slope was spared the worst of the storm, but I could be wrong. I was out there last week scouting my back up unit(elk and deer) and it was dry up to 8000 feet. The deer in that area sure don't need any violent winter storms.
Maps are available from the USGS map center in Lakewood
http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/maps.html

walkin's picture
Offline
Location: Camp David MD
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 173
Co gmu 53

I'm with you ,no big winter kill this year. Did most of those units take a bad hit 2yrs. ago. Thanks for the map info,if we get drawn I got all summer to studyup. It looks like some forest service roads back in a ways are they gated?
I'm probably worried too much about nothing with all that wilderness..What do you think of 63 for our back up unit. Thanks again

elkkill06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1951
Co gmu 53

Hey Ex, I was wandering if you have been scouting unit 53 yet ? My taxidemist and all of his familly usually hunt that unit every year and have taken quite a few bucks over the 170 mark all the way up to 192 gross. My taxidermist's brother owns Alan Pennington's LLC Land Owner Tags and Vouchers and also buys and sells tons of antlers. This year the shed hunting was so poor, in unit 53, that they switched units. The first time in about 15 years, I'm not trying to discourage you, I just thought I would give you a heads up when I read you put in for 53. Good luck and good hunting !

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Co gmu 53

Thanks man, I've been putting off that unit because I don't feel great about my drawing chances, but there's still a 25% chance. I've done spring scoutings in most of my other units, but not that one. That's a little discouraging, but I know it's a hell of a unit and I usually do a little better than the average guy. But you've got to wonder what happened if something produced reliably after 15 years. I'd like to see the 2008 post hunt population data.
Do you know of any burns or other activities that might have caused an odd deer movement in the area?

elkkill06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1951
Co gmu 53

They said, they were really not sure was has changed the deer in that area. It just seems in the past three years they have seen a serious decline in the deer herd, especially the mature bucks.

Its not just finding them during hunting season, it is also seeing them in there wintering grounds. also the amount of sheds the guys are finding, both quality and quantity. Everything just seems to be way down. Think

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Co gmu 53

Well, that's unfortunate, but like I said, if someone altered a previous management practice, it can seriously affect deer distribution. For instance someone changed from summer to winter grazing in what was once a popular area, timber or fire management can also redistribute deer. So can a change in farming practices, like discontinuing winter wheat or switching to a less palatable species. I know many people don't trust the DOW stats, but since that's all we've got besides anecdotal evidence, that's really all we can rely on.
The 2005 post hunt estimate in 53 was 7140, 2006 6860, 2007 6600. I'd like to see if the downward trend has continued through 2008, hopefully not. But even 500 deer out of 7000 isn't much of a decline. Success rates have been very consistent, but of course people will lower their standards and shoot a younger buck.
Well, it doesn't seem like I'll draw anyway, but that still isn't good. I think there's a meeting in Grand Junction this week. Are you going?

elkkill06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1951
Co gmu 53

The meeting I believe is Thursday morning, I was planning on going, but my crew here at work is so small from layoffs I will not make it. I am talking my dad into going to see what they have to say. The only bad thing about sending my dad is he gets quite vocal and dose not always watch what he says.

walkin's picture
Offline
Location: Camp David MD
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 173
Co gmu 53

I'm thinking we will probably get drawn, you let a little air out of my sails,we'll make the best of it. Real curious as to the reasons behind the decline in mature bucks. Sounds like serious horn hunters, so I'm sure it means something. I will just have to hunt a little harder. I turn 50 in a month, have been trying to get in shape for this hunt .I feel I definitely will need to be.I like to cover some ground. Picked up the forest service map, and will get some other maps when I find out exactly where the cabin is, might try to talk one of the other guys into a spike camp for a couple of days. You guys seem to have the abundant knowledge I am in need of for this hunt,I thank you for what you have given me so far.If we end up not drawing,63 is our backup, it looks like a whole different ball game,any help there? elkkill you dad sounds a lot like my dad(is he always right?)Hope he gets some good info at the meeting.exbiologist I hope you get drawn, if you still have the desire...Thanks again

elkkill06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1951
Co gmu 53

walkin DO NOT get discouraged yet, they still ended up taking two bucks last year over 170 (one was a 3x4 that was in the high 170"s). From what I understand they have the best luck in the elevation around the thick Gamble Oak Brush.

It sounds like you hunt like me, by covering ground. The trick with muledeer is to let your eyes do the walking. Use the best glass you can afford, find there feeding and bedding grounds and let the glass work for you.

As for my dad it's not so much that he thinks he knows everything, he just gets so discouraged with all the agencies (CDOW,USFS,BLM). Between the USFS and BLM closing all of our roads and then making into wilderness, swapping with fourwheeler groups and motorcycle groups so you can't drive your fourwheel drive in these areas and CDOW supporting all of this, he is getting pushed out of places he loves and has hunted for over forty years. His health and legs will not allow him to get to these places.

Good luck and good hunting !

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Co gmu 53

I'm still hoping to get drawn. By my stats, this unit is head and shoulders above the rest of the 1 point minimum units. But to realistically draw, you actually need two points. There's just a slim chance with only 1 point. However, if I don't draw, I have no idea where I'm going deer hunting yet, because I'm going to have count on the leftover draw. Actually that's not totally true, I'm going to Idaho's Middle Fork also, and I have apps in with New Mexico and Nevada and am contemplating a 3rd trip to Nebraska. But I still don't have "my" spot in Colorado that I would hunt year in year out for deer.