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Crunch time for Colorado decision!

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Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby CampCreek » 03 29, 2021 •  [Post 1]

Well it's time for my son and I to get our apps in for a Colorado archery hunt. We have 4 PP's, are non-residents, and have been grinding out research on which unit to apply for. At age 62 I'm done with the PP game in Colorado and want to make a good decision. We have done 2 OTC backpack hunts in southern Colorado within the last 5 years and hope to get into a better area with the draw. We've narrowed it down to about 3 units, I am at the point of feeling like maybe I'm over thinking it. I would like to bounce a few specific questions off of some knowledgeable Colorado guys. I'm hesitant to put in unit numbers, I know that can be taboo for some. We are looking at a couple of units around Gunnison and also up along the Wyoming border. If some are willing to PM that would be appreciated.
Also I retired last fall and will be putting some scouting trips in ahead of the season this summer.
Thanks! And good luck to all who are applying, hope you get the unit you're after!
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby Indian Summer » 03 29, 2021 •  [Post 2]

Saddlesore help a guy out!
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby Swede » 03 29, 2021 •  [Post 3]

WW (Bill Kuell) is also knowledgeable about Colorado and may help if he logs into this site soon. Hopefully you can use your point on a productive hunt. Best wishes.
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby saddlesore » 03 29, 2021 •  [Post 4]

I am pretty knowledgeable about the Gunnison area,but I am leaving 5 AM for AZ tomorrow morning . Iwon't be back until next week. Unit 54 can be had with two points,so there are better areas. That whole country is pretty rugged and sure lends itself to horses or mules. Not so much for foot traffic, although some do it. I already have one hunter I have pointed to 54,so I don't want to send some one else to that exact spot. For 54, look at going in at Mill Creek Trail head,north of Gunnison about18- 20 mile s.Take that Mill Creek Trail up over the ridge to the north towards Squirrel Creek. Then drop down and hunt up the South Castle Creek drainage.Warning, it is tough steep trail .You are little late looking for a hunt area though.

Looking at pref points it is either2-3 or then jumps to 7+. So you will probably draw for any units that took two last year.Probably W-W can help you more with NW Colorado.
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby CampCreek » 03 29, 2021 •  [Post 5]

Thank you Saddlesore for taking the time to respond. Thank you for the advice on 54, and that is one of the units on our radar. It does look rugged, a lot of Colorado is a struggle for these old flatlander lungs! I really appreciate the info.
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby >>>---WW----> » 03 30, 2021 •  [Post 6]

Sounds like saddlesore has you pretty much set up for the Gunnison area. I always did most of my elk hunting in unit 4 . Sawmill creek and Quakie Knob were usually good bets . Also the back side of Sawtooth and Black Mt if you can keep away from all the sheep. Don't expect to see anything of trophy size as they all get shot off before they get a chance to grow up. Hope this helps a little bit.

Unit 4 is a draw area for archery but OTC for most of the rifle seasons except first season rifle.
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby CampCreek » 03 30, 2021 •  [Post 7]

Thanks WW. As I said we had our choices down to about 3 units. You and Saddlesore have nailed 2 of them! I have been leaning towards the unit 4 and 5 area, it is just a part of the state I haven't been in, but it looks interesting. I had seen references to the amount of sheep grazing and how it hurts elk hunting. Are there a lot of sheep up there? And is access a problem? I know there is a fair amount of private in some parts of the unit, and some large ranches that do ranching for wildlife hunts.

Looking forward to getting into the mountains and learning the area we draw! Wish I had started this addictive elk hunting at a younger age, my goal this year is to at least get close enough to feel like I might have a chance. But just being in the mountains with my son is pretty special all by itself!

Thank you again for the great help WW. Highly appreciated!
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby >>>---WW----> » 03 31, 2021 •  [Post 8]

There are literally tons of sheep to deal with. You just have to know how to deal with them or work around them. When they bring the sheep down out of the hi country the elk simply move out of the way as they pass through. Then they fill back in after the sheep pass for the most part.

They usually move the sheep out sometime after the first week or so of September with the cattle being moved a little later. You can always check with the forest service for more exact times of the roundups.

The last time I checked the stats for units 4,5,and 441 several years ago, they only allowed 400 archery permits for the season. When you consider those permits are for both units 4 and 5 for the entire 30 day season, that knocks the hunting pressure down considerably.
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby CampCreek » 03 31, 2021 •  [Post 9]

Ahh, good info. I hadn't thought about contacting the forest service concerning sheep roundup times, haven't hunted around sheep before. And yes the number of tags are what kind of drew us to look more at these units. Definitely getting excited about checking out a new area!
Thanks!
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby Tigger » 04 01, 2021 •  [Post 10]

If you are hunting and see a herd of about 5,000 small, white, fluffy elk, don't shoot. Those are sheep. :o Also, don't try and pet the nice little puppies that hang out with the sheep if you want to bring home all of your digits. :shock:

I cannot wait to read the story of your hunt! Start keeping notes now, as your hunt is starting. Getting prepared (especially with your son) is part of the fun. Relish it.

(Swede, "relish it" doesn't mean to bring smashed up pickles, it means to enjoy it).

Sorry I couldn't provide any useful help in CO.
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby CampCreek » 04 01, 2021 •  [Post 11]

Thanks for the info Tigger:
Don't shoot the white fluffy elk--check
Don't pet the biting puppies--check
Pack the relish--check (hope it's dehydrated, don't need the extra weight)? Whoops better read that again!

Seriously you are very right, all of this is part of the fun! I have kept a journal during my three previous elk hunts, I want to be able to relive those days in the future. It's easy to forget little things (and some big ones) as time goes by.

Hope to keep this up for a few more years, as long as the knees hold out! Future plans are hopefully to get a tag in Idaho, where my other son is. And possibly a Wyoming hunt, some guy on here seems to think that's a good state for an elk hunt! :) Might have to check out one of his hunt plans!
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby >>>---WW----> » 04 02, 2021 •  [Post 12]

Here is a little western terminology for you.
The small white fluffy elk that Tigger refers to are better known as meadow maggets around these parts. :lol:
And those nice little puppies?? Well all I can say is beware of them and give them room. The big white ones may just take your leg off . They don't call them guard dogs for no reason! ;) ;)
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby 7mmfan » 04 02, 2021 •  [Post 13]

Any votes on whether Swede prefers sweet relish or garlic dill? My vote is sweet.... yuck.
I hunt therefore I am. I fish therefore I lie.
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby CampCreek » 04 02, 2021 •  [Post 14]

Yikes! You're right about a ton of sheep up there. Just looking on Google Earth in Unit 4, there's a pic of 5 livestock hauling semi-trucks on along a gravel road with a huge amount of meadow maggots in the grass along the road. By the date they must have been unloading for the season (June 2014).
And point taken on those dogs, I've read somewhere before they're nasty!
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby saddlesore » 04 09, 2021 •  [Post 15]

About any place in NW Colorado that has grass has sheep
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Re: Crunch time for Colorado decision!

Postby >>>---WW----> » 04 09, 2021 •  [Post 16]

saddlesore wrote:About any place in NW Colorado that has grass has sheep

That's a big 10-4 Vince :shock:
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