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Retired2hunt's picture
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO & Fort Myers, FL
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No Elk This Year!

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.

SGM
SGM's picture
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
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That sucks about those folks

That sucks about those folks with guns and tags acting like that. I will not call them hunters as they have no ethics. No wonder land owners do not give or are hesitant to give permission. Sounds like the rest of the hunt was good even if you did not get and elk. My family did not get an elk either but we all had a great hunt. I will be heading out with a left over tag 14-18 Nov to try for a cow. Hope we get some snow before then but the weather does not look good for that

Retired2hunt's picture
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I hope you get that weather

I hope you get that weather too as that is exactly what we needed. Good luck on your leftover hunt. I get to hunt a whitetail rut in another week so hopefully that makes up for the lack of elk!

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Not good at all !

Sorry to hear about the ignorant idiots ! I am just glad that most of your hunt was good and congrats on doing it right.

Quinton

Retired2hunt's picture
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Thanks Quinton - it means a

Thanks Quinton - it means a lot coming from you. What really makes the week worth while is I watched a muley buck for about 5 minutes that was the same same size as your profile picture. He was grand... and lucky I didn't have a buck tag!

elkkill06's picture
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That always sucks ! :)

Thats usually when you get to see the better bucks ! WHEN WE DON"T HAVE A TAG IN OUR POCKETS ! What??

Quinton

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Sounds like you had a good

Sounds like you had a good hunt, even if you had to make tag soup when you got home.  

With the shooting, it would be interesting to find out what charges get brought.  Even if they checked out for licenses, it sounds to me like there still could be trespassing charges or other hunting violations, assuming that no one actually had permission to hunt that field.  I guess our resident ex-exbiologist could fill us in on potential charges regarding shooting big game on property without permission to hunt.  

Retired2hunt's picture
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CPW officer called me back

CPW officer called me back and said he asked the "hunters" if they had permission to hunt on private property and those he asked said yes. He was satisfied he told me. Then I asked him why did they wait from 2pm until 6:15pm until they opened fired on the herd. He had no answer. Disgusting. I could have easily been on that fence line as well - but didn't. It is a shame this situation will not be with justice. I will most likely never hunt unit 55 again.

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Sorry

Retired2Hunt,

Sorry such a great week was marred by such unfortunate events.

All you can do is be the hunter you want to be and remain ethical to yourself. Besides, who else matters? I'm not saying not to report what one considers a game violation, just realize that we cannot control other's behaviors. Perhaps you should hunt the area again and if you have a chance "model" the behavior you consider acceptable.

I'm not trying to be offensive, or a smartybum as my wife would say. I'm just saying that if you model the behavior you wish others had perhaps a few might emulate it when they learn of it or witness it.

Biker

Retired2hunt's picture
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Thanks Biker - no offense or

Thanks Biker - no offense or smartybum taken here! That's the first time I have heard smartybum. I have two sons and a daughter that I have taught to be ethical hunters and that is good for me. Don't you have an elk or deer hunting coming up? If so - Good Luck on it! And thanks for your words.

BikerRN's picture
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Fair Dink'um

Retired2hunt wrote:
Thanks Biker - no offense or smartybum taken here! That's the first time I have heard smartybum. I have two sons and a daughter that I have taught to be ethical hunters and that is good for me. Don't you have an elk or deer hunting coming up? If so - Good Luck on it! And thanks for your words.

Retired2Hunt,

Mate, that's a word my sheila uses and she's from down under but livin' up over with me and that's fair dink'um.

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