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Joined: 11/13/2010
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A Warning To Elk Hunters Colorado

I would like to share an unfortunate experience with you all concerning my third season annual hunting trip in South Park, Colorado.  You see, my family has owned and hunted some of the most beautiful land in Colorado.   Like most ethical hunters, I take care to respect the land and animals in that habitat.  Unfortunately, there are those that abuse the land and animals that most of us consider majestic.  They are more concerned with making money off of hunters and destroying good hunting areas.  It is this that drove me to write to all of you.  My hunting trip started as it normally does; wake up at 0430 hours, put on the warmest clothes I own, load my .270 and spray some really bad smelling fluid on my pants and coat.  As I ascend Reinecker Ridge I notice that something was missing that I have seen for the past twenty years; elk tracks on three major game trails.  I figured that the weather had not come in to drive the elk lower, but this was not the case.  As it was the first day of the hunt I was not too concerned.  I found a nice area above one of the common game trails and dug in for the day.  After about half an hour I saw something else that was uncommon, another hunter heading down the trail towards me.  The hunter came right up to me and said “Hey, how’s it going?”  I thought “really?”  A short conversation ensued in which I learned that he, along with ten other hunters on the ridge, were from Tennessee.  He went on to tell me that they had all paid $1200. to an outfitter named Bob Port.  I was in complete shock, and as you could imagine, I was very angry.  I knew it was not this guy from Tennessee’s fault that he was there, he was just looking for a good place to hunt.   In my twenty years of hunting this ridge, I have come across no more than two other hunters in one season, now there were eleven others.  That day I saw several others throughout the ridge.  As I stated, my family hunts this land every year.  This year my father and my buddy were hunting the ridge. Scanning our radios, we heard several other hunters on the ridge.  There were three other guys up there from Pennsylvania.  One of them was actually walking up and down the game trails WITH A DOG that was barking his head off!!!!!  On the radio, the guy with the dog says “Call Bob, these elk are running, I could take a shot but I don’t know where Bob’s property is.”   I’m thinking ‘no wonder there are no elk on the ridge’, thanks a lot Bob Port!!!!!!!  It should also be noted that these Pennsylvania guys had actually drove their Nissan Titan pick up half way up the ridge, that’s BLM.  Reinecker Ridge is surrounded mostly by private property, therefore these guys trespassed through someones property.  After seven days of hard hunting, the only thing I came home with was frustration and the drive to write a warning to all of you looking at hunting in South Park, Colorado.  I came home and did some research, Bob Port operates Cowboy Camp Outfitters.  If you would like to hunt somewhere that has not been over hunted due to overbooking hunting areas, look elsewhere.  South Park Colorado WAS a great place to hunt, now this area has been over hunted and the elk have left.  Thanks Bob Port, thanks for NOTHING!

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5736
Man, sorry to hear about

Man, sorry to hear about that.  It seems to be happening more and more these days, problems with outfitters.  It seems that there are lots of "successful" hunters that think they can "sell" their knowledge, so they turn to either guiding or running a guide service.  They then utilize nothing but public land, or in some worse cases, private land, to try and please their clients by any means necessary.  Bummer.

CVC
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Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
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It points out the need to do

It points out the need to do lots of research before picking an outfitter.  I contacted quite a few before selecting my goat hunt outfitter and I was fortunate enough to meet someone on another forum who used him multiple times and even sent me homemade dvd's of his hunt so I felt pretty good about the selection.  I also communicated via email and telephone before signing the contract.  He was always polite and responsive and gave me the information I needed.

I think several phone calls to the outfitter are necessary to guage their attitude toward providing a good hunt and I don't think I'd hunt with one that didn't have references I could check.

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Joined: 08/02/2010
Posts: 135
pulic land means public

pulic land means public land...sorry to hear this but happens all the time.

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Joined: 01/05/2007
Posts: 169
That sucks for you, but me

That sucks for you, but me beeing from the midwest understand the need for outfitters out west. But I agree there are alot of bad ones out there. Would be hard for me to go to one that operated on public land though. He can't control the numbers that are going to be in one given area. I do think they should have to pay a fee to the state to guide in those areas. And reduce the number of outfitters alound on public land. But its called public land for a reason.

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Joined: 02/11/2011
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Reinecker Ridge Elk Hunting

It sounds like you had a frustrating hunt. I have hunted in unit 50 for years I have harvested some nice bulls and many cows. Cowboy Camp Outfitters has been hunting that unit for at least 18 years or more. I stopped hunting Reinecker Ridge because the public acces on the east side has been so crowded. The Ridge is not that big of an area so if us public hunters are accessing from the east and homeowners are accessing from the west the elk just leave. The go back across 285 in to unit 500 I have found out if your persistent and don't get frustrated your success rate will go up. When I'm out hunting I do get a little frustrated when I see other people but then I have to tell my self they have just as much right to be their as I do. It's public land. After I read the post about Cowboy Camp Outfitters I did some research and they are completely legal to do what they do. Are you positive someone was trying to hunt elk with a dog. That person is an idiot. I have heard stories of PETA people doing things like that. I was hunting near Nederland for deer and three tree huggers came walking over a ridge with two dogs and bear bells. Just talking and caring on. I approached them and they told me they were hunting. They didn't even have a gun. Any way if your getting that frustrated with people on public land maybe you should hike farther back where others are less likely to be.

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Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
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Yep, hunting public land can

Yep, hunting public land can be a pain in the butt because of what the other posts have mentioned!  I don't even start to get serious about hunting until I'm a couple miles from the nearest road and it took me awhile to find a great area with no people and great hunting.  Don't even ask what state it's in, LOL!!!

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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
I only hunt public land and

I only hunt public land and do see a lot of other hunters. The only complaint I have had is when some guy walks in a quarter mile and then sets up on the trail to hunt. I have had a couple of guys get furious because we continued to walk farther in to the area when they were watching the area we had to walk through. Public is public you just gotta shut up and share it.

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