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View Full Version : Unit 43, early season deer hunt, Maroon Bells



Work2hunt
03-02-2013, 08:18 AM
Hi everyone. This is my first post after having reviewed this forum for a while.

My hunting buddy and I are finally thinking of applying for unit 43 high country deer hunt. We have 9 pts each and really want to give this a try.

We have hunted elk several times in a different unit and have been very successful with that. So we are not new to colorado hunting but new to high country deer hunting and I'm a little overwhelmed with the idea of a true back country hunt now that it finally might be happening. Our elk hunts allowed for us to drive to our camping spot and then hike out each morning to hunt. However, from what I have been understanding from this forum (awesome forum by the way) and other research I have done we are probably looking at a several mile hike into maroon bells before we would set camp and then hunt from there.

Am I on the right track of what to expect? Any other input will greatly be appreciated on where to hunt, opinion of Maroon Bell hunting, equipment for this first time mule deer hunter.

Bitterroot Bulls
03-02-2013, 09:06 AM
Should be a lifetime experience hunt!

I wouldn't expect anything other than a bivy hunt with that tag.

Your number one priority should be getting in shape. Coming from OH, elevation is going to be a big deal, so give yourself several days to acclimate.

That is some first mule deer hunt!

rfurman24
03-02-2013, 10:02 AM
We hunted this area last fall in muzzle loader season. We did not see anything other than small forked horn bucks. I am sure the big boys are in there we just did not see them. It was my first backcountry hunt. BB summed it up with his comment about getting in shape. I consider myself to be in decent shape but was not prepared for this unit. I strongly recommend doing some research on the gear you will need. Do not take the "what if" stuff. Find water and stay close.

Work2hunt
03-02-2013, 10:19 AM
Don't get me wrong I'm a flat lander compared to the boys out west but I've hunted elk in the 8000 to 10000 ft range 5 times now. Is there a huge difference between 10000 and 12000 or 13000 ft. I felt like i was in pretty good shape for the elk hunts. At least I'm not like one of my hunting buddies coming from Alabama....elevation of 8 ft!

Work2hunt
03-02-2013, 10:21 AM
We hunted this area last fall in muzzle loader season. We did not see anything other than small forked horn bucks. I am sure the big boys are in there we just did not see them. It was my first backcountry hunt. BB summed it up with his comment about getting in shape. I consider myself to be in decent shape but was not prepared for this unit. I strongly recommend doing some research on the gear you will need. Do not take the "what if" stuff. Find water and stay close.

What kind of gear would you recommend to take or not take? Any input on areas to check or or stay away from while hunting?

Bitterroot Bulls
03-02-2013, 10:22 AM
The difference between 10000 feet and 13000 feet is huge!

Coming from low elevations 10000 is where the problems start.

Work2hunt
03-02-2013, 10:24 AM
Gotcha....thoughts on what I can do to prepare.....besides live at that elevation.

rfurman24
03-02-2013, 10:26 AM
I personally felt like their was a huge difference between 10000 and 12500 feet. I can not say how others will deal with the difference. For me the hardest part was I felt like I was breathing through a straw. I live in Kansas and can not go out West on a whim just to scout and acclimate. Like you I have not had any issues in 8-9000 foot. I know next time I go I will be in better shape. BB will have a lot more and better info for your hunt. I was just trying to give a rookie perspective.

Bitterroot Bulls
03-02-2013, 10:28 AM
You can get Diamox from your doctor.

But the best way is to acclimate. Give yourself prep days before the hunt: One night at 8000 feet, one at 9000 feet, one at 10000 feet. If you feel sick go down. It is a little different for everyone.

Hunt high, sleep lower. Try to keep your campsites under 11000, unless you are well-acclimated. Drink plenty of water.

Work2hunt
03-02-2013, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the tips guys. This should for sure be a trip of a lifetime.

BKC
03-02-2013, 12:44 PM
Work2hunt, I also have a ton of deer points and am looking at another unit to high country buck hunt. I did consider maroon bells and always liked that area. One place I never got to, but hope to some day, is conundrum creek and conundrum hot springs. The hot springs sits at about 11,000 feet. You should be able to google this and find out all the info you need about this area. I always thought it would be pretty awesome to go soak in the springs every couple of days if you were hunting in the area. I think the bigger bucks are found in different areas of maroon bells wilderness area but there has got to be a few in that area that are shooters. Good Luck!

Work2hunt
03-02-2013, 02:30 PM
Sounds interesting I'll have to check that out. After a few days in that country I might be able to use a nice hot spring soak. Thanks for the tip.

Fink
03-02-2013, 09:39 PM
Gotcha....thoughts on what I can do to prepare.....besides live at that elevation.

From one flatlander to another.. If you can, spend a little bit of time at a lower elevation, in the 6-8000 range, then move up. Drink a ton of water.. Then, drink some more. take it easy on the hike in, and on the first day or two.. This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you get into too big of a hurry, you're no longer hunting, just power-hiking through the mountains.

Drhorsepower
03-02-2013, 11:33 PM
Like bb said. Hunt high and camp low. You can work your camp up higher once acclimated.

Eric Bailey
03-05-2013, 08:34 AM
Sounds interesting I'll have to check that out. After a few days in that country I might be able to use a nice hot spring soak. Thanks for the tip.

I've backpacked in to Conundrum hot springs three times (but all before labor day). It is a gorgeous hike and the hot springs are definitely nice. You should know there will be a lot of non hunters in there too.

BKC
03-05-2013, 08:18 PM
I've backpacked in to Conundrum hot springs three times (but all before labor day). It is a gorgeous hike and the hot springs are definitely nice. You should know there will be a lot of non hunters in there too. Is the water warm enough for a dip when the temperatures are cold. This is probably a loaded question but how receptive would the non hunters be to see a guy in camo, with a gun, strip and jump in the pool? I would imagine all the locals are mostly of the liberal sort.