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Joined: 08/03/2010
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Exbiologist GMU 70 Special Needs

Need some help. I am going to try something that may be impossible. I have a friend (33) who has cystic fibrosis (Terminal Lung Disorder) his lung capacity is about 40-50% of ours. We are going to Norwood in GMU 70 for second rifle hunt (Elk). I know this will be very tough as he coughs alot and naturally gets very winded also smells of salt. He has never seen elk and has never been hunting. I am from AZ and have hunted Elk in AZ but never in CO. I have contacted the Game Manager in that unit and are looking at getting him a disability permit. This is the Game Manager's first year in GMU 70 so he said he may not be able to help us much. I am looking for some areas (not honey holes) that I can get him in on quads or 4x4 and hike a mile or two and at least give him a shot to glass some up and if lucky enough get him a shot.

Maybe just some areas around Lone Cone or close by, Lizard Head will be tough as vehicle access is not good.

 

Thanks in advance

SOBLE's picture
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Joined: 07/12/2010
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Man, 40-50% lung capacity.

Man, 40-50% lung capacity. Have you considered trying to locate a private landowner or maybe an outfitter that can help you out? I support DIY but you might be better off using an outfitter that can get you out in a hurry if you need to or some private land that has good vehicle access. Your buddies lungs are going to be even worse at the elevations you'll be at to hike a mile or two. You have to remember also that if you get an animal you'll have a bigger problem on your hands.

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Soble, That is the permit we

Soble,

That is the permit we are looking at from the State. My understanding is that the state will assist him in any recovery of an animal. Plus there will be 2 other guys with me.

As far as the private land. The Game Manager said he was trying to contact some private land owners and see if they could help him out but no word yet. Which was actually pretty cool that he even suggested that.

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Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
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Special Needs

Soble might be right, a guide might be your best bet. Might be expensive but considering your friends condition it would probably be worth it.  Something else to look into; find out who to contact with the local Rocky Mountain Elko Foundation.  Those boys & girls are rabid elk fanatics and most are closet boy/girl scouts (if not the real thing & I mean that in the best possible way).  It wouldn't surprise me if they could round up a whole handful of volunteers.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
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you know you could always just PM me

I'd say there is absolutely no way in hell you should be taking that guy two miles from any kind of help.  You can road hunt with him, or hunt some areas near roads.  2 miles is difficult for many guys without a legitimate handicap.  The good things is you have some options in unit 70.  Another option would be for you guys to hunt up on Grand Mesa, which probably has the "best" ATV access in the whole state.

Another thing to consider, is that your friend will likely not be able to handle more than one day without some serious recovery time to heal his lungs.  So you're looking at an opening day proposition where you might be able to get a mile on flat ground, after that, he'll probably be done and relegated to hunting from camp or within a few hundred yards of a road.  Don't forget to make sure he drinks a lot.  The dry air in October at high altitude will won't help his lungs.

For your situation, I would not shy away from heavily pressured areas.  I would try to hunt an area where you can expect pressure to move the elk around heavily.  The Beaver and McCulloch Creek Country and Goat Creek areas will have a lot of pressure and may move elk to you.  Certainly around Lone Cone would be an option, but I'd be concerned with the lack of roads for your situation.  South of Lone Cone, which I think is actually unit 71 has a lot more roads, though many of them are gated.  The hiking along the gated portions of those roads should be easier for you too.  The area around Flat Top Peak also has a lot of roads and decent elk numbers.

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You are probablly right he

You are probablly right he will need a day to recoup. I think our plan is to hunt early morning till 11 am and then come back around 2:30. Try to limit his time at those elevations. This guy has been told since he was 6 months old that he would never live to see certain milestones in his life. He said if he would have ever listened to those Drs he would long be dead, but he wants to try and live as normal a life as possible. So yes there are some risks having him a couple of miles away from roads but he would be the first to tell you he's ok.

I appreciate you thoughts on catching the moving elk from pressure and those locations, I am going to look at my topos and software and start there.

 

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I agree with exo here. I'm in

I agree with exo here. I'm in the best shape of my life and hunting last year in the rockys really put a working on me. Hunting that far from any help is probably not a good idea.

Look into some private ranches, Your friend will have alot better time if he's not gasping for oxygen hiking his but off the whole hunt. If nothing works out there just do a little road hunting...

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 08/03/2009
Posts: 31
Oxygen

Your buddy may already have supplemental oxygen, with his lung capacity it would surprise me if he didn't. If not, have him work with his doctors now to get him a portable oxygen cylinder and nasal breathing tubes. The cylinders come in some small packages these days but will still add some weight. Perhaps using longer tubes and having someone else carry the cylinder would be better. At altitude, he will be in much better shape and recover more quickly if he has that available to him. Also, anyone with him is going to have to take a very conservative approach to the amount of time he is out and about. He may not like being told that's it for the day, but the decision to stop must be made before he gets in trouble.

I applaud his desire to live a normal life and achieve a successful hunt, but like everyone else I would be very concerned with his health and ability to recover.

 

Best of luck to you and your buddy.

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Well if you was goin to 71

Well if you was goin to 71 south of the Liz I could put you right on them. I am a 'lung-er' too and its  a strain but it can be  done.  Good luck.

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