As I rub my crystal ball, I see me killing a 9 year old 380 inch bull in my wilderness area....
It will help to see how the permit numbers changed and updates to the population numbers, which should be out any day now. We are having a very wet spring, which should help bodies revover and grow antlers and help the little ones survive when they finally hit the ground.
Although planning MY first Colorado Elk hunt, and knowing the challenges I face hunting in an area with NO preference points.....
..... I too, see a future for myself where despite all odds, I am humping it through the back country - five miles from the nearest road - getting myself a nice elk..... and then kicking myself for having to haul it out so far.....
Truth is..... no matter what, I am looking forward to the experience.
My family has some property in Michigan where I hunt deer. My mom always manages to get more deer than I do throughout the year..... although she uses her car................
I would personally take 1st rifle season over archery or muzzleloader any time when it comes to taking a bull elk. I have always found the elk still bugling and somewhat easy to find during 1st season.
This should be an excellent first season with it starting the 10th of October. I put my wife in for a bull tag and I put in for a cow tag (this is the first time since I killed my big bull in 2006 that I put in for an elk tag for myself ).
Ex, good luck on that 380 bull ! I hope it truly happens for you. Hunt hard and hunt well.
Jeter, elk hunting is truly all about the experience. Taking a bull or even a cow is just icing on the cake. Hunting in my opinion should always be a learning experience, when you think you have learned it all that is when you are truly wrong. Try to keep it simple and keep it fun !
I heard talk that applications were way down, which encouraged me to apply to some tough draws.
The only way to figure that out with the available data is to look at the sheep draw.
I doubt the resident apps would be down much, as Colorado isn't as hard hit as other states, but I think the nonres apps from the usual Midwest states and California will be way down. But Texas is doing better than most states and they are other big presence here and I doubt those apps will decline.
Ok, I've got it now.
Total sheep applications are up, surprisingly.
2009 had 12,076 applicants and 3198 were nonresidents.
2008 had 11,823 applicants but 3235 nonres apps
2007 had 11,132 apps with 2974 non res
So that's interesting, that at least the sheep hunters are bucking the trend. Maybe the most obvious difference will be in the number of nonres OTC bull tags? But we won't know that till after the season
1st rifle season bull only is a good as the bulls are still bugling and in some areas are really getting hot at that time. I've muzzleloaded the last two years and gotten my bull each season, but they weren't really hot into the rut. Just starting each time.
I'm applying muzzle again and am hoping to luck out and draw a bull tag with no points as I did last year and have a cow tag for second choice which I will get if I don't draw bull. Either way I'm thinking I have a good chance of filling this tag as there's not a ton of elk in there, but I know the country well and aren't many willing to bust their butt and get into this area.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...