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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Given the choice, what's first???

Just curious, what do you guys do, or would you do?  I plan on hunting next fall in CO, if I can get drawn for a deer tag, and then buy OTC elk.  If succesful, second season (Most hunters, yes?) hunt, have both tags in my pocket. 

Now the question is, I wouldn't want to go meatless, since that's that main reason I hunt, along with the experience (No doubt that will be great regardless).  And, I have never shot a mule deer buck, or any elk.  Many of you probably have hunted where you've held both tags, so I propose this scenario.

You are hunting public land, lots of hunters.  Let's say Unit 62. Which would you "settle" for first, just to get yourself on the board.  Which would you target first? In other words, go looking for elk, and just "settle" for a decent buck if you wandered across one?  Or, would you target deer, and if you stubled on a herd or elk, with a couple raghorns in the group, take one of those to get one under your belt?

I know it's personal preference, but just curious if it is "easier" to target one, and if you can stumble into the other.  Is there a species, based on your experience with their habits, tendancies, etc., that is harder/easier to target, when the hunters start hitting the woods hard? Obviously you want to focus on one, or else you could just be wandering around aimlessly. I'd be happy with either one, or both, even if they are barely legal. 

So, would it be better to make this and "Elk hunt", and have a deer tag just in case, or make it a "deer hunt", with the elk tag there also?

Thanks. 

Critter's picture
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In the years that I have

In the years that I have lived in Colorado every year I have had both a deer and elk tag in my pocket and up to a few years ago you had to hunt both at the same time due to the regulations that were in place.

Usually when I head out it is to harvest both animals in mind. I know that it is hard for some to comprehend but once you shoot a elk your day is usually done as far as hunting. It will take the rest of the day and possibly some of the next day to get it out. A deer you can shoot drag or pack it out in the morning and still hunt in the afternoon.

What you really need to do is ask yourself a question, what do you want to shoot as far as a deer is concerned. Will you settle for a forkhorn buck or do you want something to hang on the wall? I know a few hunters that have that forkhorn hanging on the wall but it all depends on what you want. I myself have turned into a semi trophy hunter and want a exceptional deer but ever few years I want some deer meat and will settle for a smaller animal.

Elk wise I usually have a archery either sex tag in hand and a 4th season cow tag and it all depends on where I am when I find the animals on weather or not I take a shot at them. I usually hunt along and am getting older so packing that much meat out of the hills isn't on my list of priorities.

So if I was in your shoes I would not pass up a nice buck or a nice bull depending on which one I saw first. If either one showed up and met my standards I would pull the trigger and not even think twice about it.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Oh, and I forgot to say, I

Oh, and I forgot to say, I actually hang forkhorns on the wall now........

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Well, like I said, I am not

Well, like I said, I am not picky.  I wouldn't have a problem coming home with a forky, or raghorn, or both.  However, what I am wondering, if hunting the units like 62, maybe 41, or somehwere with OTC bull tags and a possible 1-point deer draw, are you more likely to target one, and hopefully stumble across the other? 

Each one, muley buck, and elk, would be a first, so no level of "trophy" expectation for me.  Fun hunt, meat, and antlers, all I care about, in that order......

But, Quinton has promised me a 30" muley, and 320"+ bull, so I figure I gotta set the sights sorta high..... Wink

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promise

Ca_Vermonster wrote:

 

But, Quinton has promised me a 30" muley, and 320"+ bull, so I figure I gotta set the sights sorta high..... Wink

I'd get that promise in writting if you know what I mean..

I have never hunted 62 but I would guess that the deer and elk will be hanging in the same type of country.  I know that in a lot of the country that I hunt in Utah you will find both deer and elk running around in the same area.  But as I said you should just decide if that first animal weather it is a deer or a elk fits what you want to shoot and then decide if you want to pull the trigger.  Also remember that one nice thing about a deer is that you can get it out in a hurry and then get back to hunting.

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I shoot the 1st one

Ca_Vermonster wrote:

Each one, muley buck, and elk, would be a first, so no level of "trophy" expectation for me.  Fun hunt, meat, and antlers, all I care about, in that order......

My Dad taught me that if my expectation included meat then you shoot the 1st legal animal that God provides to you.  You just never know if another opportunity will present itself... and that's why it is called hunting.  Personally I would focus on the elk hunt but be ready to shoot any mule deer buck should you have the opportunity.  If you have Quinton's help then based on his pics of past successes, you will at least have a shot at one of them.  Thumbs up

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+1 on what R2h stated!!!

+1 on what R2h stated!!!

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Hey, funny thing, the site I

Hey, funny thing, the site I happened to be browsing today is one you are on a few different times..... Wink

 

Edit: Just found a post by Quinton on there too, from 2011.... lol

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Like the others have said, a

Like the others have said, a lot is up to you and your standards. If it wasn't for the help you have I would surely say take whatever presents itself. Especially for you first hunting of them. But your situation changes things a little. So still up to you there.

That said I personally always go out with the expectation for deer. But I'm first and foremost a deer hunter. That's what I love, elk are secondary.

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Personally, i'd never have

Personally, i'd never have both tags for the same season. Why hunt 9 days when you can hunt 18 days. I don't hunt deer and elk the same way, so to hunt them together would be compromising both of them.

If I got the tags in the draw. I would get different seasons. If the elk tag had to be an OTC tag. I'd get whatever season the deer tag wasn't.

I live here though, so i'd hunt 365 days a year if they let me.

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Target the deer

I'd target the deer first.  They are better distributed and success is usually twice as high as an elk's for a good reason.

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