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View Full Version : Colorado muzzy, high or low?



elkmo41
05-21-2013, 04:56 PM
I am taking my 17 yr old son to CO unit 67 for the muzzy deer hunt. This unit has limited amounts of alpine/timberline country with lots of 9000-9500 aspen country. My first thought is to hit the alpine bowls/timberline but with the the archery season opening 3 weeks prior to the muzzy opener on 9/14 and assuming the bulk of the muzzy elk hunters will be hitting the high country as well, will the deer be knocked off the tops? Also with the 9/14 opener, most will have shed by then and probably be hitting the timber. Would you guys write off the tops and concentrate on the aspens, or spend the time checking out the tops first and see first hand whats going on? The good thing with 67 is tags are fairly limited for all seasons but so is the amount of high country, so it could get beat up fast. Hopefully you guys with more first hand knowledge of the CO muzzy season can provide some insight. The bio has suggested this unit holds deer in the 9-9500 range but I enjoy hunting the high country.

Thanks
Elkmo

packmule
05-21-2013, 06:37 PM
I wouldn't set a plan in stone until you figure out where all the cattle are. If conditions have stayed similar they didn't have a lot of water either

Colorado Cowboy
05-21-2013, 07:00 PM
There will be lots of bow hunters, but usually they thin out that far into their season. A lot depends on the weather too. The important thing is be flexible. Spend a day or 2 high and see what shakes out. Good luck.

Old Hunter
05-21-2013, 07:16 PM
Mature bucks will be high. They don't hide in the timber like elk do. They'll bed down in the open where they can see everything.

I only hunt the ML season, and weather is a non issue, except it can be too hot.

Colorado Cowboy
05-21-2013, 07:53 PM
Except it can rain for 5 solid days like it did last year during M/L season!

Old Hunter
05-21-2013, 07:56 PM
It only rained one day last year for me. Why, do you shrink in the rain? :D


My point was, the weather won't affect where the bucks are. They'll be up high that time of year.

HiMtnHnter
05-21-2013, 08:04 PM
It only rained one day last year for me. Why, do you shrink in the rain? :D


My point was, the weather won't affect where the bucks are. They'll be up high that time of year.

Yep! Go as high as you can! When you start seeing sheep you know you're in the right country! Big timberline bucks prefer the remoteness and feed of the lush high mountains, and they should still be in their summer haunts in mid September.

elkmo41
05-21-2013, 08:54 PM
Great, sheep and cattle! That's a new one, first I heard they were in 67 too. Found sheep in the flat top years ago and cattle in the pecos wilderness in NM as well. Looks like I will need to check it out and see what's on top b4 writing it off. Hope to get out this summer and at least learn the access and hopefully find some bucks for a starting point.

Thanks guys

packmule
05-21-2013, 11:17 PM
Go to the Mason Family State Wildlife Area if you want to find some sheep, they'll lay up in the rocks and watch traffic.....and can usually find them right off the rd in Cathedral. Hope that will help pinpoint how high them big bucks can be :D

HiMtnHnter
05-22-2013, 06:44 AM
I was referring to bighorn sheep in an attempt to explain how high you should be looking. A better reference would have been at or above timberline (far above).

Colorado Cowboy
05-22-2013, 07:43 AM
It only rained one day last year for me. Why, do you shrink in the rain? :D


My point was, the weather won't affect where the bucks are. They'll be up high that time of year.

While your point is very valid about where the deer are, MY POINT was that rain like I experienced made access to a couple of areas I wanted to hunt almost impossible because of the road conditions. A couple of the 4 wheel drive roads were almost totally blocked because of mud, rock slides and some downed timber that were not there a week before when i was scouting.

The bucks may be still there, but you may not be able to get there without a 20 mile hike just to start your hunt.

Old Hunter
05-22-2013, 09:23 AM
I sure didn't get any rain like that in my unit. I do have some spots I can go to that rain wouldn't be an issue, but my Jeep wouldn't require me to go there much. It takes a bunch of bad weather to stop my Jeep.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v76/Jamnut/Picture_001.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Jamnut/media/Picture_001.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v76/Jamnut/Picture_002.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Jamnut/media/Picture_002.jpg.html)

packmule
05-22-2013, 09:39 AM
That's a clean looking jeep. That and a chainsaw can get you a lot of places. We usually take a 6w Ranger to keep the abuse off the trucks.

Cattle might not be too big of an issue, there'll be a heavy concentration of them up on Huntsman bc of all the pools, but past that they've usually been scattered. They'll thicken up again from Spencer Rd on North to Big Mess bc of the creeks and guzzlers, but they shouldn't be bothering much of anything being there.

Old Hunter
05-22-2013, 10:07 AM
That's when I first built the Jeep. It's been through hell since then, and I wouldn't call it clean anymore, but it still gets the job done.

Alabama
05-22-2013, 12:29 PM
NICE Jeep Old Hunter! Maybe I need to start driving a truck. :)

elkmo41
05-22-2013, 05:35 PM
I just assumed ranch sheep after seeing them in the flat tops...thanks for the monsoon season reminder. Solid rain for 2 days on a solo hunt wilderness hunt had me sewing all the holes in my clothes and reading every letter of a magazine I took in. It was one year after 9/11 and they read every name of those who died that day on the radio...may they RIP.

HiMtnHnter
05-22-2013, 09:12 PM
I just assumed ranch sheep after seeing them in the flat tops...thanks for the monsoon season reminder. Solid rain for 2 days on a solo hunt wilderness hunt had me sewing all the holes in my clothes and reading every letter of a magazine I took in. It was one year after 9/11 and they read every name of those who died that day on the radio...may they RIP.

Monsoon season is really mainly late june through mid july or so. Yes, it can ran lots during September, but usually late august/early september are the flattest months in the high country. Go high!

Oh, nice jeep . . . But the rig will generally only get you a fraction of the way to a giant high country muley!

Old Hunter
05-22-2013, 09:20 PM
Depends on where the hunt is. I have one unit I hunt, and the Jeep gets me above timberline.

I also have good boots. ;)

HiMtnHnter
05-22-2013, 10:06 PM
That's why I said "generally"! More power to ya if the road gets ya there . . . I wish I would have had a closer vehicle to get either of these two muleys out . . . 55645565

packmule
05-22-2013, 11:08 PM
Rd system in 67 are pretty dang good. But if you go into town and see that some above avg bucks for the area never leave it'll make you question where exactly you need to be looking for one.

Old Hunter
05-23-2013, 09:39 AM
That's why I said "generally"! More power to ya if the road gets ya there . . . I wish I would have had a closer vehicle to get either of these two muleys out . . . 55645565

Don't get me wrong. My Jeep can't get me to my hunting areas. It may get me up in altitude, but I still have quite a hike left. I'm much more of a solo elk hunter than deer. Getting the meat out alone has always been my biggest problem. I hunt the timber, so I might have a few miles of dark timber to hike through. At 70 years old it's getting a little too hard lately.

elkmo41
05-23-2013, 08:50 PM
HiMtn

Great pics, I see the 1st one is a muzzy, very nice. Getting stoked to see a new area hit the high country. My boy has never hunted the high country before. He thinks it will be tough and he won't be able to cover the ground...if he only knew he's the one going to be waiting for me. He's 17 and is in great shape, he'll have one on his old man now.

packmule
05-23-2013, 09:20 PM
Looks like you've got yourself a 2-legged pack mule if that's the case :D

sheephunter
05-25-2013, 06:53 PM
I hunted sheep in this unit back in '03. I spent a boatload of time over the summer at and above timberline in the northern LaGaritas and never saw a deer. Not that they weren't there, and lots could have changed since then, but I didn't see any. I drew one of the unit 67 ML elk tags this year so I'll be over there scouting some over the summer (I was gonna go this weekend but came down with a bad head cold so bagged the weekend trip for now).

HiMtnHnter
05-26-2013, 07:33 PM
I hunted sheep in this unit back in '03. I spent a boatload of time over the summer at and above timberline in the northern LaGaritas and never saw a deer. Not that they weren't there, and lots could have changed since then, but I didn't see any. I drew one of the unit 67 ML elk tags this year so I'll be over there scouting some over the summer (I was gonna go this weekend but came down with a bad head cold so bagged the weekend trip for now).

High country Muleys are elusive no matter where you go. You might find a bachelor herd of 10 in one drainage one year and nothing the next. . . Both those Muleys were taken with a muzz. The one up in the tundra was an all day stalk, six mile pack out. Slept right there on the side of the mountain, pack out in the am. Fond memories. Does my heart good knowing more youngsters are being exposed to the high country!

Old Hunter
05-26-2013, 07:42 PM
I keep telling guys that muley's are much harder to get than elk. Mature muley's that is. Youngsters are easy.

packmule
05-26-2013, 09:29 PM
Could always find the 1 & only actual crop field with size to it in the unit......

elkmo41
05-29-2013, 09:22 PM
I guess I need to get out there in the next few months, got some vacation time so may put it to good use. I hunted the Books muzzy deer in 06 and a cold snap and some snow the week before we got there. It was the third week in Sept and the bucks had scattered form their summer haunts. Just had to hunt harder but it was fun, tons of deer in there.

Graylight
05-30-2013, 08:42 PM
Above timber... No doubt about it... They will still be there.

m.mcolorado
05-30-2013, 09:31 PM
Hmm, I find this convo interesting. I agree on the point of keeping your options open. Not all Mule deer stay or even live high, my largest mule deer (during Bow season) came at a measly 6,800 ft in the sagebrush. this buck had the opportunity to be high as well. Deer like humans ;) can be unpredictable. I would try and scout all elevations and be prepared to hunt where you are seeing the animals! Just my two cents! Best of luck to you!

HiMtnHnter
05-31-2013, 07:20 AM
Hmm, I find this convo interesting. I agree on the point of keeping your options open. Not all Mule deer stay or even live high, my largest mule deer (during Bow season) came at a measly 6,800 ft in the sagebrush. this buck had the opportunity to be high as well. Deer like humans ;) can be unpredictable. I would try and scout all elevations and be prepared to hunt where you are seeing the animals! Just my two cents! Best of luck to you!

You are correct, deer can be at any elevation in the early season, from down low around town to the mid elevation quakes. My experience is that a higher proportion of the biggest bucks live in the high country. Search the low elevations in that country in September, then do it again in December. . .

elkmo41
05-31-2013, 05:09 PM
Mcolorado?

Curious, did your 6,800' buck have something to keep him there like a ag field or something, or was it all native type country? I can see the exception to deer going high if they are using a alfalfa field or something to hold them.

I have read some bucks are hard wired and will return to the same area of high country each year and have found a study in WY's Lincoln county where the radio collard deer would return to the came summer grounds, not all of them but a large percentage. Shows how far they migrated as well.

This is the kind of research I can dig my teeth into...check it out.

http://www.west-inc.com/reports/big_game/AR_report_final.pdf

elkmo41

elkmo41
05-31-2013, 05:10 PM
opps Carbon county not Lincoln. Found it while researching for a unit 84 tag several years ago.

m.mcolorado
06-02-2013, 09:01 PM
elkmo41, yes there were hay fields around. Even North though i see them low all yesr. I don't disagree with you though for sure. i see great deer high also. I read the article you posted. It was interesting as I am very familiar with that area. I am probably in the bagg's area 3 days a week. I wonder how that migration route is now since they built a high fence on both sides of the highway. the locals call it the "fence to no where" I now see hundreds of deer late in the year stacked up againnst that fence confused on which way to go. It has really thrown a hampeer in thier migration route. they have tunnels under the highway for them but it seems like the majority just havnt figured it out.

packmule
06-03-2013, 11:22 AM
You could also go to the high country & find the deepest, thickest canyons possible...or go to the low country and find the highest elevation around with cover on it and water close by.

elkmo41
06-03-2013, 08:57 PM
We met the CO for the area 84 when we were hunting and he said over 500 deer we killed along that stretch of highway that winter. Maybe it was built for that reason. They winter close to that hwy.