I haven't been on here as much since the end of August, but I think I have a good excuse. I have been learning the joys of parenthood, which has decreased my time for things like this, as well as my hunting time. However, since my wife is amazing, I still got some hunting in this fall, and I still wanted to share.
First, I did get out for opening day of archery deer season here in CO. Unfortunately, that was Labor Day Weekend, which made for a less enjoyable experience, but I did still see some deer. I got within 50 yards of a nice 4-pt buck, but I am still limiting myself to within 40 yards, so I wasn't able to make anything happen there. It was kind of funny though, because while trying to get close to that buck, I almost walked myself and the deer right through someone's campsite at first light. I did see some more does later in the day, but that was it. The next day, my wife started experiencing early labor, and between the early labor and actually having the baby, that one day of hunting was it for my archery deer season.
A few weeks later, I was able to make it out for opening day of rifle antelope. I knew I was only going to get one day to hunt, so I was ready to take the first buck I got an opportunity on. Unfortunately, due to the drought that area had experience all summer, there just weren't as many antelope in the area as usual. Fortunately, I was able to surprise this guy at ~100 yards. He is a little guy, but I think he has some character. I am very happy with him, and thankful that I was able to put some meat in the freezer.
My dad and I went elk hunting during 1st rifle season. I started a new job in March, and my new boss doesn't prioritize elk hunting as highly as I do. Consequently, I was only able to take 1.5 days off work, which meant that we really only had 2 days to hunt. We still tried to make the most of it. We had heard that our area had been getting snow, but since we hadn't seen that area get much snow in the past even by second season, we didn't think it would accumulate much. When we got there, we found about a foot of snow already at ~9,000 feet, and 18+ inches on up higher. We had spent the entire year planning on hiking to one spot that is a bit of a refuge area for the elk that we thought gave us the best opportunity to get an elk. Despite the snow, we decided to stick to our plan. We found out that elk are only as crazy as they need to be, and since the other hunters weren't getting in an pushing the elk as hard as usual, the elk hadn't been forced back to that area. We spent that entire day trudging through the snow without an elk track in site. The next day, we went to a lower elevation option, and we did spot this spike at ~300 yards. We watched him for the afternoon in case there were other elk in the area. While watching him sitting in heavy cover, a cow elk did walk up within 5 yards of us, but that was all our elk excitement for the year.
We did see some nice mule deer on the drive home along I-70 at Evergreen. There was a monster in the bunch, but he disappeared before we could circle back to take pictures.
That's about all I have for now. I might make it out pheasant hunting next weekend. In December, I might get to try to help my brother fill his late season rifle plains deer tag. Possibly some coyote hunting this winter, and otherwise I am waiting on application season and spring turkey next year.