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Location: california
Joined: 05/19/2010
Posts: 86
now the work begins

My son and I got drawn first rifle either-sex in all those units around the flat-tops 12,24,33,34 etc think theres 10 units total. never been to colorado before. Time for research, maps, and google earth. Almost wish it was 1 unit make it easier to decide where to start. Like every hunt I can't wait for it to get here.

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 634
Re: now the work begins

Congrats...but I hear you...I have been looking at sat images and maps all afternoon, evening and night now!....I think I am now mad at Exbiologist!!! Evil! He's an evil man!!! HE DID THIS TO ME!

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Location: california
Joined: 05/19/2010
Posts: 86
Re: now the work begins

Ya it gets worse my 16 y/o son has been doing it too. I told him now that he is 16 I get the first shot. He has been hunting with me since he could walk. He has taken 5 deer and a bear since he turned 12. A 4 point buck and a bear last year last year that has a skull of 20 1/2 inches. Both while we were together. Truth be known he can always shoot first with me,the feeling I get when seeing him connect is better than when I do it myself. Its all for him for now, The kid can hike and pack forever it seems. This hunt with the terrain, hopefully he doesn't have to wait on the trail to long for me. We are gonna spike camp in somewhere and hunt fron there. we have planned 3 days of scouting prior to opening day, just can't get to colorado any earlier due to the drive. So much info to go through picking a spot at times seems daunting. gonna order maps today! Can't wait

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: now the work begins

I personally love the whole planning process; walking through plans A, B and C, trying to find a campsite, scouting, all that stuff. Since you're wanting to do a backcountry camp, that means you'll want to be in the Flat Tops Wilderness, although there are some options outside of the wilderness boundary for roadless areas. Do not expect to be the only one anywhere you go. Call the Forest Service to get an idea about where the outfitter camps are located, but do not camp on top of them. Considered rude, but no one can stop you. Get a few maps, take a look at where all the wilderness traill heads are. Somewhere off of these trails, usually near a meadow (which I think is just stupid), is where most people will camp. Like I said, you will not have it to yourselves without getting really creative. So if you want to try to identify areas where the fewest camps will be, look for where the fewest trails are. After day one, the elk will get tough to find, so if you don't kill one then, you'll need to be closer to an area with good, deep, timbered canyons. On the north side of the Flat Tops, the elk will head towards high elevation private lands, on the south side they will stay on the public land because there are few convenient refuges. Most people hunt the north side, as it is the most convenient, and least rugged. So if you want, you can try to cut off the elk escape routes and or set yourself up to remain in a pocket of less pressure (but realize there is over 10 hunters per square mile of public land in unit 12). If it were me, I'd be tempted to set up my camp in one of the Southern units that will receive less than half of the pressure. I'd want access to open saddles and meadows for day one, then the next two to three days, I'd be hunting the canyons. If you're still out there after that, the elk will start to relax and come back out in the open as the pressure dies off after Monday, so the meadows, saddles, and other classic elk country will be more productive again. On the other hand, all that pressure helps to keep the elk moving in units 23 and 12, and they tend to have the better success rates. Although it is likely inflated somewhat by private land hunting.

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Location: california
Joined: 05/19/2010
Posts: 86
Re: now the work begins

Thanks for the info, I was looking into the flat tops area and the southern units 33,34. seems to be less people but looks like a lot more roads in the southern areas. I'm sure theres pockets in 33-34 where the most won't venture gonna order maps and take a look Thanks again everything helps. Doesn't seem to be a lot of info around on 33-34 Plenty on 12and 24

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: now the work begins

good choice, in my opinion. Get the National Geographic Trails Illlustrated Maps

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Location: california
Joined: 05/19/2010
Posts: 86
Re: now the work begins

I will get those maps and thanks again

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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 10/14/2008
Posts: 37
Re: now the work begins

I pulled second rifle elk and deer tags in those units back in 2008. I tried scouting during the last weekend of first rifle. I saw so much blaze orange that it reminded me of this...

I know... I have a sick sense of humor. Wacko Help!

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