A little background first. From reading my posts. Some of you know i'm 68. I'll be 69 in Dec. So, next elk season i'll almost be 70. I've been hunting since I was 8 years old, and i'm still not bored with it. It keeps me young, and interested in life.
This year I switched from bulls to cows. I was lucky and got my cow this year. I was about 3 miles from my Jeep. I don't camp, because i'm only 35 minutes from my hunting areas. Some are closer. Hunting for the cow was as exciting as ever. Getting the meat out is becoming a huge chore now. I always hunt alone. It took me 4 trips to get the meat out. I didn't think i'd make it, and really don't want to go through that again. My mind is willing, but my body is failing me. I hunt the muzzleloder season with an old Hawken. So, I need to go to high altitudes to find the elk.
So, here's my question. Next year, and every year after that is going to get harder and harder. I need a new plan. I want to continue to hunt with my muzzleloader, but not in muzzleloader season. I want to hunt the late season when the elk are on the winter range. I know where it is, and it's only 15 minutes from where I live. It has timber and large open meadows. It's about 1 mile square.
Would it be ethical to hunt that? It open for hunting, and the only time the elk are there is in the winter, so the DOW knows it will be hunted. I feel a little funny about it, but I need some other opinions.