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Colorado Muzzleloading Season for Cow Elk

 

Ok, so this may be taboo to some, but I've been pouring over stats, on-line resources, books, Colorado hunting atlas, etc... looking for a good place to go muzzle-loading this year for cow elk.  Right now i have 7 pp that I'll be using next year muzzy for a bull, i'm just not quite comfortable calling one in yet and i'm leaning towards a cow muzzy season as my second choice.  I've narrowed it down to 14, 214, 73, 74, 741, 75. 751, or 54.  I just feel a little overwhelmed.  I'm just looking for advice.  So far i have downloaded ALL the hunting stats for elk into a spread sheet and separated each season out.  I've calculated the average for each season and the running average for the last ten years.  I realize the sample size isnt that good for most units so its hard to actually rank the success.  I've looked at maps, overlayed public property and elk summer range/summer concentration and migration paths.  All these places look like they should produce.  I'd just like to hear some other opinions.  I realize thats quite a few places but i am wondering if i am missing something or if others feel another unit may be better that i'm not considering.  I'm more than willing to look at maps, google earth, and boots on the ground to find my success.  Any info would be appreciated.  I little more info, i've hunted elk with my dad and his friends growing up, but it was always first rifle season in GMU 66 and once in 58 where i have shot cows in both.  

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And you didn't include units

And you didn't include units 66 and 58 in your sample?  Shame on you. 

Hunting cows can be just as hard or harder than hunting bulls.  They are usually in a herd with at least a dozen other sets of eyes and noses to tell them what is going on around them.  I would say to go with the unit that you know best and get out and scout it during the summer to find them and see what their patterns are.  Then come the ML season you may have some luck in getting into them. 

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Well Critter, i certainly

Well Critter, i certainly would have but i have 0 chance of drawing either of those tags as my second choice. The tags i listed each give me a chance to draw if it were my second choice.  My first choice this year is for a hybrid hunt.  Percent of draw is low, but i am going to do that instead of a prefernce point.  Who knows?  I'll still get a preference point, but i may draw an early season rifle either sex in 201...  Unfortunately, i dont know any of the areas i have listed, so i'm goint to apply to one of them then scout it over the summer with my boys.

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If that is the case then I

If that is the case then I would pick the one with the most public land to hunt so that you don't have to deal with any private. 

This last year I had a muzzle loader tag for unit 61 and while scoutting saw quite a few cows, but come hunt time all we saw the first day was 7 or 8 cows.  I did shoot my bull on opening day but I figured that we should of saw more cows while we were glassing in the morning. 

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Congrats on the bull in 61.

Congrats on the bull in 61.  I'm also toying with making 4th season rifle for cown in 61 my second choice instead as it has a 45% success rate.  I'm hoping the success is on public land.  I suspect it is given the new late season cow hunt this year in 61 after 4th season the CPW is offering this year.  Did you get your tag through the hybrid draw or did you have the mega amount of preference points?  

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I cashed in 17 points and I

I cashed in 17 points and I know of a couple of hunters that had 15 and didn't make it to the tag, but some with 15 did. 

There was a couple of members on here that had cow tags for 3 season I believe and they got into them on the public ground last year.  61 is a tough hunt in that there is a road on the top of the hill and nothing down in the bottom where the elk hang out at.  My bull was chasing a cow when I shot him and I had close to a mile pack out to where I could get a vehicle. 

SGM
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Have not hunted 12, 214, 73,

Have not hunted 12, 214, 73, 74 or 741 so cannot comment on those. However I have hunted 75/751 and 54 in the past. All three can be good with plenty of public land and fairly good numbers of elk. Depending on the weather of course but the elk in 54 tend to be up pretty high in early to mid September which will mean some hiking to get to the critters. Same goes for 75/751 but access roads are a little more user friendly in those areas. Has been several years since I hunted those areas but I am sure the elk are still in the spots we hunted. Also depending on where you live one unit might be better so you can get out and scout more. Send me a PM if you have more questions.

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I really appreciate the

I really appreciate the comment SGM.  So over the weekend i decided that i was going to use my 7 preference points this year.  I realized that i am sitting in a spot were i can either use my points and get a really nice tag this year or i have to wait another 4+ years before i can get into the next "step" with my points.  I just dont want to wait any longer and i want to start using my first choice.  I have been in contact with a CPW hunt planner and i am leaning towards 1st rifle bull hunting in area 49 or muzzy bull in area 76.  Its killing me to use my points, i feel like they are part of the family...  At this point my qustion is no longer valid, but i'm keeping notes for the next years to come.  If anyone wants to chime in, feel free.   I have taken 1st rifle bull in 76 out of the picture because you have archery, muzzy, then an early rifle season before 1st rifle starts.  The hunt planer and I both agree, the elk are pretty pressured at that point.  

SGM
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Glad you made up your mind

Glad you made up your mind and good luck with the hunt. Funny about the preferance points. I have an extended family of points for moose but if I draw somehow I do not think I will miss them.

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moose would be cool.  Last

moose would be cool.  Last year i saw a huge bull moose in area 45.  I was about 70 yards away, he was perfectly broad side but i had a cow elk tag...

SGM
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Seems like that is how it

Seems like that is how it goes. Have a cow tag see bulls, have a goat tag see a huge ram. Oh well that is hunting. Guess we will all find out what we draw in about 3 months or so.

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