I just got back from hunting 2nd season in unit 55. It was a great time but unfortunately I am elkless. I saw a great deal of muleys each day but had no deer tag.
I started the week hunting the gold creek area - mill lake, boulder lake, and boulder creek areas. I saw nothing hunting 10,000 feet to 12,000 feet. I tried to hike into the crystal creek area but it was just too far from camp and too many hard climbs. I left that area tuesday to hunt my secondary area around cement creek. I saw two very nice bulls at about 9500 feet across a valley but I just couldn't close the gap on them. Hunting the opposite side of the mountain we find a couple more elk but they are too far away for a shot. I tried the beaver creek area as well but saw nothing.
So Sunday afternoon is when it really gets interesting. Coming off of the mountain I am going to leave at about 1:30pm due to a 4 hour drive back home. Before I get 1/4 mile from where I was hunting I see two elk herds on private property - about 100 animals total. The problem - so did 8 other hunting groups and they surround this farmer's field sitting in their cars/trucks. I sat on a ridge that was above this farmer's field. 14 of those elk bravely jumped the fence and headed through more private property up to where I had been hunting earlier in the week. So I tried to ambush them but ended up only catching a glimpse of one cow and then they disappeared safely. So I go back and set up on my ridge to watch the remaining 80+ in the herd to see if another ambush situation presented itself.
Those elk stayed in that farmer's field until about 6:15pm. Then all hell broke loose. At least 3 or 4 groups of those "hunters" sitting in their trucks on the road proceeded to get out of their vehicles, jump the fence, and commense to shootng into this herd. 8 shots and 4 elk down. I watch in horror as these ignorant people shoot into this herd with no regard for shooting through one animal and hitting another. The herd is now in a frenzy running down the fence line. I hear 4 more rapid shots and the herd proceeds to jump the fence and head towards another private property - now at lesat two more animals are lagging behind the herd obviously wounded.
My scanner was on and I hear them say that Colorado Parks & Wildlife(DOW)are on the scene so all be ready with their tags. Obvioulsy some nearby landowners had witnessed the same and called them. Unfortunately CPW officers did not witness all the issues. I called CPW myself and gave them an account of what I witnessed - half of the hunters not wearing orange, shooting right off of the road just inside the fence line, and shooting into a herd with wounded animals in addition to the 4 dead in the field. An officer called me back later Sunday evening to say all he found while checking tags with the hunters was legal. I asked if he found the wounded animals as well. He was going the following morning to look for any signs of them. I have not heard back from CPW. It was a terrible ending to a great 9 days of hunting elk.