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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Joined: 09/13/2007
Posts: 26
Few Colorado beginner questions...

These should be simple for you guys to answer.

What season is best? Deer? Elk?

I will be walkin in the areas, so is a blind a good idea or just conceal as best you can? I'm used to hunting SD and it's all open there.

What calls are recommended? Different for other seasons? Heard it's useless to bugle after 1st season. Is this true?

Thanks guys, I'm hoping to get used to hunting here so I can give out the advice in the future!

Mav

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Few Colorado beginner questions...

It's probably useless to bugle even in first season. Carrying a blind will just slow you down, and you can almost always build one from available vegetation if you choose. There is very little wide open public ground where you will be hunting elk or deer. Most open land is ranch land or is not in elk country. There will be enough oakbrush, aspen, sagebrush or conifers around to conceal you if you choose. 1 st season is the best elk season, 4th season is the best deer season. 1st season usually has the highest success rate and the animals are still at higher elevations which is usually where the public ground is. 3rd season would be my pick for doing a combo elk and deer hunt. It is very difficult to get a 4th season tag (mule deer rut), but 3rd season bull elk is OTC and and 3rd season deer is draw only but most units require no points. There is no 1st season deer hunting.
Don't worry about calling, worry about planning where exactly you want to go, and have many alternate plans depending on how things develop. Learn to love your maps and Google Earth..
It's a little nerve wracking walking into an area in the dark for the first time on opening morning. So come on out a couple days early if you can and take a day to learn your area. A week in the summertime would be even better.
There's a lot you can do to put yourself in a position to succeed, but you must also realize the odds of success are generally not in your favor. It seems reasonable to assume that nonresident first timers are the least likely to succeed, so keep your head up, work your butt off and have fun. Do not go back to camp for lunch, stay in the field all day long.
That about covers the basics, but also don't be afraid to hunt the timber. That's where the elk will be during the day, and you have to go in there and get 'em.

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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Joined: 09/13/2007
Posts: 26
Few Colorado beginner questions...

Thank you for the great advice sir. I agree about concealing myself out there. I can handle that. I will have plenty of time to spend in my areas.That is nice! I am still trying to figure this out, but I will digest your info right after dinner.

Looking through the preference point deal from last year, I still cant under stand this "float" term. Anyone?

Also, how do you know to apply for a combo deer/elk hunt? Is that what "combined" means on the elk seasons?

THanks for the help!

Mav

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Few Colorado beginner questions...

There is no combined deer/elk tag like Montana. You must apply for each individually. And yes that is what combined means for the seasons. 2nd and 3rd seasons have both deer and elk in season nearly everwhere. Most units have also have 1st and 4th elk seasons. No unit has a 1st deer season and a few have a 4th deer season(usually very few tags). The float is for units that have a tag quota to fill, but the quota is for a total of more than one season, to be used in whichever season they are applied for.
I'm not sure that was a good explanation. But lets say there are 900 bull elk tags for unit 19 (just an example) floated between 2nd and 3rd season. That means there will only be 900 total, not 900 per season. So if 500 get applied for during 2nd season, and 400 during 3rd season, that is how they will be filled. This is different from setting a quota at 450 for each season.
The tag quota could also be floated over 3 seasons in some places.

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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Joined: 09/13/2007
Posts: 26
Few Colorado beginner questions...

Thank you for the help yet again. I am in Colorado, and couldn't figure out how to apply for a combined elk/deer. So here is what I did.

Me and the wife applied for Deer preference point, then GMU 49(49,57,58,581)for 3rd season followed by second season with a forth choice of GMU 50(500, 501) third season.

Then we just applied for elk PP. Hoping to figure out what the hell I am doing before the leftover licenses and OTC tags need to be picked.

When is the draw and when will I find out what we got?

Seems to make sense, but at least we will be out there trying.

Thanks for the help again,

Mav

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Few Colorado beginner questions...

You'll know in late June, with leftovers on sale in August.
Sounds like a good plan to me. It's best to stay local your first year, it gives you a fighting chance and forces you to learn the area(really lots of fun for me, I love scouting).
Pack up the kids, wife and the dogs every weekend you can. Go camping and have some fun with it. Realize of course that the easiest to access areas will be deserted in the summer time, but will look like a camo-clad refugee camp come hunting season. You must find areas that you want to hunt that are at least a 45 minute hike from the nearest road, preferably further. Your goal should be to get to know the areas and find places where you consistently see deer or elk sign. Don't worry about trying to find the live animals so much, and don't worry about finding a trophy animal. But get to know the areas, envision where everyone else will be, what the animals will do when pressured and where you need to be to either take advantage of pressure or find unpressured animals. It's all part of the fun for me.

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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Joined: 09/13/2007
Posts: 26
Few Colorado beginner questions...

Thanks for all the help, and I'm glad it seems like we have some sort of plan. I will be spending a lot of time in the hunting areas this summer and fall. I want to do it right from the start and improve my chances of getting a good kill the first year. I have had a good kill my first whitetail and antelope hunt, and continued with some good meat every year after. Thanks in part to friends, and good folks like you. Time to do some more research and learning. Expect me to be on here alot more to see what the vets have to say.

Thanks,
Maverick

Centennial's picture
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Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
Posts: 55
Few Colorado beginner questions...

Mav, ExBio is a great source. I would do a search on his posts to see what other advice he has shared…it’s all good. I grew up in Colo Spgs and have never read anything he said that I disagreed with when it comes to hunting in CO. Another source that I think is valuable is Do It Yourself Elk Hunting. You can Google it and get a free newsletter. I have read some of them and they confirm what I learned over the years. Get lots of information then pick out the common patterns. If you do that, you should be in good shape. The better you know the ground, the better your chances. If you feel comfortable enough to walk to a spot in the dark and be there before the sun comes up then you have scouted well.

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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Joined: 09/13/2007
Posts: 26
Few Colorado beginner questions...

Thanks Centennial, I will check out the Do it Yourself Elk Hunting newsletter!

Mav

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Location: Bend, Oregon
Joined: 08/27/2007
Posts: 80
Few Colorado beginner questions...

I would have to agree. Every post i have read of Ex-Biologists is very knowledgeable and informative. Not just someone who thinks they know.

I would love to sit down over a cup of Coffe as I believe i would learn a lot about Elk behavior in general.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Few Colorado beginner questions...

Thanks for the compliments guys. I just try to help, and there aren't many places where people will be honest with you about hunting areas.

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