unsuccessful 1st rifle season in unit 15, mostly because my hunting partner/meat hauler wasn't in good shape. after a 12 mile day of hiking above 9-10,000, he was wiped out. he bought me beers and breakfast to offset the tag price, and we went fishing instead. for anyone interested, cat to burns is fishing great! however, i wasn't wiped out, and i really want to get back out this season.
so right now im debating between 2nd or 3rd rifle. my 1st rifle tag was a cow, so it was class B, so i can get either season no problem. i am looking at the mt zirkel wilderness in unit 14 right now, and to hike in from the west side about 3-4 miles. theres a big meadow just inside the western border of the wilderness, with trails leading to it from all directions, and above that is where i plan to camp the first night. i want to explore the mad creek drainages and maybe ill go as far as the lakes to the east. i am also looking at unit 361, and maybe even SW flattops. like jensen SWA off yellowjacket pass. i havent put as much research in on these places, but 361 has a pretty nice chunk of wilderness as well. anyone have any suggestions?
this is my first year on big game, normally a wingshooter but i've got a deadly rifle barrel/scope for my 12 gauge, so i'd like to get 150yd shots or closer. is the snow deep north of steamboat? it wasnt so bad in 15 NW of gore pass last week but this is a lot more north. does this area hold a lot of elk? the DOW site recommends it as a good first hunt, and i like the butchers at steamboat meat and seafood, but should i be looking elswhere? any other advice? 2nd season better than 3rd?
final question: are you allowed to hunt on the resort property at steamboat? how about vail/beaver creek/breck/aspen/snowmass?