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HeavyC's picture
Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Colorado 2012 Desert Deer Hunt

So, third time wasn’t the charm, and I am eating some more blue lettuce again this year! So for those of you who only want the hero shot; move along, there will be nothing to see here!! LOL! The first time was actually a whitetail only tag, and I never really found the desert whitetails to even hunt. Last year and this year though, I put in some days, mostly chasing muleys, but I actually had my best chance this year at two very nice whitetails. Though once again, my time at deer camp was epic for me personally, all despite not punching that darn tag!

I started with the knowledge that my hunting area was more than two years into the worst drought in recorded history, and my one scouting trip I made back in August certainly solidified that fact. I did scout for a day or so, during that August pronghorn hunt, and found the normal waterholes I frequent (and the deer too!) were shut off to help the ground water. So knowing that, I did not have too high of hopes to begin with. I normally try to focus on travel corridors between any food and those waterholes, because these deer bed down ANYWHERE, especially in the middle of no f’n where! Still, even with the new job, I made it work where I could have a full seven day to hunt if I found decent opportunities.

Now unfortunately my little mule has been acting up lately, so not trusting it with the fact that I would be many miles from anything, anyone and hunting all alone, I sucked it up and got a new truck that will have me shackled to it for the next several years with those monster truck payments! …but just like my little Ranger, where on the day I bought it, I left on a 9 day fishing trip, I was taking this new truck on a nice long hunting trip the day after I brought it home! Might as well break them in right huh? With a nice 1700 miles round trip and about 17 billion new scratches too!

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB234853.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB234860.jpg[/img]

The first morning found me at a favorite glassing spot long before daybreak, and just hoping to find the normal amount of deer that I find in this area each year. It is an area with some adjacent crop fields that are the only ones around within 20 miles or so. First look through the binos at the crop fields yield no deer in sight, but with the high bright moon shining all night long, I was sure they would make their way out of the fields long before the sun would rise. Sure enough, as soon as I focused on the most common travel corridor I found a decent group of deer pushing off into the distant prairie. It was a few minutes before I could really make them out, but once I could, and right off the bat there was a very nice 4x4 leading a small pack of deer away for their afternoon siestas! He had 7-8 does to himself and another little forky trying his best to tag along, but sure not wanting to get too close. Watching them for a few more minutes, I find that the does are pretty darn hot and he is sticking his nose anywhere he can. Yes, they are in the rut! He and his little band of ladies wondered off into the vastness of the cacti and long out of site so I never did find out where they ended up bedding down.

Now I know I started this long and drawn out, but since the rest of the morning was just jumping around checking my normal glassing spots, it was a fairly uneventful until my first failed stalk later that afternoon.

Here are some random photos of the prairie and some two mile shots of deer through the spotting scope.

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB254894.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB254891.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB244890.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB254903.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB254896.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB284950.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB284949.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB264908.jpg[/img]

Some sunny photos!

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB284979.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB284975.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB264918.jpg[/img]

One hint as to my whereabouts, figure out where this place “was” and you’ll know how in the middle of nowhere I really am!

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB264931.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB264929.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB264927.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB264930.jpg[/img]

That place was pretty darn near here too…

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB264925.jpg[/img]

Some of the only trees in many a mile, and where I ended up having my best chances over the next week! I was within 30yds of a huge 170 class whitetail here and never ended up with an opportunity!! SUNOVA! And by the looks of the trees, he and his buddies had been beating the branches up for a good spell. Most all of them looked like these.

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB244888.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB244885.jpg[/img]

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB244880.jpg[/img]

I was roughing it on my meals at times too...

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB284963.jpg[/img]

Managed to jump a couple of mallards off a water hole one morning and they have now turned into some jerky treats for the pups.

I even found SEVERAL huge coveys of these little scallies, and managed to get after a couple to grill at camp one night! Yummy! ...and my first scaled quail to boot!

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB284959-Copy.jpg[/img]

If you can hear my babble, I talk about the area in this vid


Getting ready for an ambush that just missed in this one


Home sweet home for the week

[img width=800 height=600]http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq99/Pills69_2008/Hunting%202012/PB274937.jpg[/img]

All in all, it was another super hunt, which still has me eating some blue tag soup!

Had at least one failed stalk each day, and two most days. So the despite everything, the action was still happening. The normal amount of huge muleys I find here were nowhere to be found. After talking with the wildlife manager for a spell he informed me that this year a lot of deer hung down further south in Okla along the river due to the drought. I still found several nice muleys I went after, and two monster 170 class whitetails I just missed getting to the pull the string on.

The serious lack of the normal wind along with the driest tumble weeds and sage brush I could ever imagine helped to blow most of my stalks as the deer could literally hear me crunching weeds from hundreds of yards away. Last Tuesday the temp got up to 81 degrees, with NO WIND! That was a tough day for sure! I jumped two separate whitetails that day under 50 yards and never could close the deal!

Still, I’ll be back again next year, abusing myself in my never ending quest to notch my first longbow kill! So maybe the 4th time will be the charm instead!

HeavyC's picture
Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Oh dang it, pics did not work

Oh dang it, pics did not work again! I can't remember how I made them work before! Anyone?

I'll get some up soon!

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
If you are having a problem

If you are having a problem like I am you will need to refresh the screen until you get the larger reply box with the header on the top of it. Once you get this screen click on the tree type image in the header and insert the url for your picture from photobucket and click insert.

Below is a screen shot of the reply or post box that I am talking about.

Good luck

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opssup's picture
Location: Texas
Joined: 03/14/2012
Posts: 71
Well persistance will pay off

Well persistance will pay off when it comes to the bow and any hunting for that matter...i too hd tag soup this year so your not alone!

hawkeye270's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
Sorry to hear that you didn't

Sorry to hear that you didn't bring home a buck but I always enjoy reading your accounts none the less. Great pics and I like the new truck! 

HOGGETTER's picture
Location: CenCal
Joined: 11/05/2009
Posts: 767
Good story

Blue Lettuce, thats a good one!