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Joined: 09/15/2008
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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

Just came back from a solid week of archery hunting the the back country in Colorado. I am wondering just how bad last winter was on the elk herd in this area. I have always found elk here and this year with all the miles of looking, glassing, setting at water holes I saw ZERO. I did find an area where there were three sets of skeletons from elk I would assume from this past winter. It was one thing to see a few mule deer and moose. I did see one 6x6 but that was a far cry from what I am used to seeing. Did the winter take its toll?

Thanks,

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Location: Fort Collins,CO
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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

What part of 7 did you hunt in? high in elevation, low, middle? I was scouting up there in the beginning of september and we saw a ton of fresh tracks near the wyoming border but did not see any.

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Elk Unit 7 Colorado
BGOOD wrote:
What part of 7 did you hunt in? high in elevation, low, middle? I was scouting up there in the beginning of september and we saw a ton of fresh tracks near the wyoming border but did not see any.

I was south west of Deadman Mountain on 319 west of Nunn Creek Basin. Elevation was high - 10,200' and higher. Went to the west cluster of sections just before the sharp breaks. I would be approximately 15 to 20 miles south of the Wyoming boarder...without looking at a map...maybe a little more.

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Location: Fort Collins,CO
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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

Well thats not good for us! I talked to a guy today who said they were bugglin hard yesterday and today. He was hunting near old roach road which is west of holnholz lake. He saw some elk but he was lookin for deer. Did you see any nice mulies?

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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

I saw a total of four Muley's...two doe and two bucks. One buck was what I would call a "Keeper". I am from NE and we have Sandhills Muley's that can get real big but I don't know as I have ever seen any as "Tall" as the one was. He was a 6x6 and I would estimate the top 5" of his rack was mostly tinted the whitish color and the velvet was almost off, he was a mess with the stuff hanging down but was he a dandy. If you are familiar with road 319, headed south towards the first gate on the west side of the road in the Nunn Creek basin west of creek about 1.3 miles north of gate to be precise. I saw him every morning I went by (5 days consecutive).

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Location: Fort Collins,CO
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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

Well thats good to know. We have one guy going for deer and my brother and I have bull tags. They don't seem to get real big up there but I think part of the reason is because the DOW did a big kill in that area about 8 years ago so that did some real damage to the area. It's really good to hear that though, that means there makin a come back! Did you happen to hunt any lower that 10,200? I talked to a guy yesterday who said he had been seein them at 9 and lower which seems very low for this time of year.

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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

I shot a big bull there last year, and even saw a few large herds, all on public land. It is unlikely the nasty winter we had last year took any toll on them as they all winter in the Laramie River drainage which is in great shape. But the numbers are literally half what they were 10 years ago due to aggressive cow harvests. Thankfully the DOW has let up on the cows to allow the population to grow again.

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Location: Fort Collins,CO
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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

Yea thats what I've been told. It's to bad that they hit that unit so hard. Where did you kill your bull last year? what do you know about the area in and around roach road?

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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

I know the area around roach road and there are definitely elk in there. Most of the pressure on the northern end of the national forest is between there and Grace Creek. Few people hunt west of the roads, towards the continental divide, and there are some logging trails and old cuts that can help your hunting. Further north, near the wyoming border the hunting can get pretty good if you have snow. I don't generally see elk there without snow. I shot my bull somewhere between the border and the Old Roach site (sorry, but I have a friend hunting in my spot this year so I can't be more specific.) But I'll include a link to the picture of my bull.
East of the Old Roach site, the country opens up and is very huntable on those open ridges, some of which have been logged, others are south faces-which are brushier and have more food. I've seen elk, moose and deer in there.
The biggest bull I've ever seen in my life I saw while scouting unit 7 last september. I was in the Rawah Wilderness, below the McIntyre Burn trying to get out before it got dark. It was in the middle of a thunderstorm and I was making a lot of noise coming down the soaked trail when I heard a bull bugle below me. I gave a soft little whistle (didn't have a cow call on me), and out stepped an enormous bull at spear throwing distance. He gave off a bugle, then proceeded to destroy a small tree in front of me. Eventually he came around and got my wind, but his main beams seemed to go all the way back to his rump and his G4s had to have been close to 30 inches long. It was AWESOME!

Anyway, here's the link because I can't attach the picture for some reason.

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Location: Fort Collins,CO
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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

Well were hunting the third season and were hoping there is snow. We were planning on hunting north on roach because thats where we were seeing the elk at but were not sure want kind of pressure were going to see up there. The further south you go, the more elk?

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Elk Unit 7 Colorado

There wasn't much snow other than on the second day of first season last year. That all melted in a few days. You're on the right track, like I said, I can't give you too much detail because my friend will be in my spot. Most people hunt just above the Rawahs because human nature has you looking for the first and most likely spot you come to. We always seem to be in a hurry and just want to get to a campsite. It takes a while to get to Old Roach and beyond and I saw very little pressure in my spot last year. In fact I scraped the side road that I camped on and no one crossed it in 3 days. But that was first season when there are fewer tags.
So the further south, the more people, not necessarily more elk, especially by third season. The southern end is higher elevation, they will want to move north and east towards the lower drainages and sagebrush/bitterbrush hillsides later in the season.

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