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View Full Version : Has any one ever killed a second rifle season bull?



dying to kill
07-19-2013, 10:51 PM
My hunt this year is in southern Colorado second rifle season, iv been doin some research and haven't been hearing good things about second rifle season, Have any of you had good or bad experiences during this season? Is it possible to punch your tag? Some uplifting advice would be appreciated...

Musket Man
07-19-2013, 11:02 PM
You should talk to CC on this one. I have never hunted it but someone must of got 1 at some point. lol Just go have a good hunt and hope for the best. You will never get 1 if you dont go. You will be in Colorado with a tag in your pocket, what could be better!!! Are you going OTC? Why are you limited to southern CO? Good Luck!

packmule
07-19-2013, 11:07 PM
You'll still hear them buglin and finishing up 2nd cycle cows during 2nd in some units. The guys we've sent have gone 9/10 the last 3yrs.

ivorytip
07-20-2013, 07:33 AM
when does the 2nd season start?

de_ballew
07-20-2013, 08:29 AM
Dyingtokill second season typically is not as good the first season but all depends how much pressure has already been on those animals. They will quickly head to private or go nocturnal. I have seen hunters take some nice elk in second season OTC. I think if you can get out and scout first season you may find some game that isn't being pressured and you might just be able to come back 2nd season and harvest one. Can't kill one sitting around watching tv. Good luck!

Colorado Cowboy
07-20-2013, 08:32 AM
when does the 2nd season start?
October 19 - 27. Second season can be good, depending on a number of things....weather being first. It is usually pretty mild then and can be down right hot too!

Remember one thing, these animals have been hunted for almost 2 months by this time. Archery & muzzleloading and first rifle season. The other thing is that there will be lots more hunters in the field as this is the first season that OTC bull tags are available and are unlimited in most units. In most of the public land areas, the elk will be in the dark timber and deep canyons because of the hunting pressure. Most hunters won't go there because it really lots of work (I know I'm preaching to the choir!). Wilderness areas don't necessarily follow this pattern except around the edges, again most hunters won't go deep so the animals get much less pressure.

My take is that the best rifle tag is first season. Second & third are unlimited OTC bull tags. The real sleeper is 4th season IMHO. Again it is really weather dependant. Usually a storm will get them moving and it can be great. This yearI plan on getting a 4th season leftover cow tag (if available) and should have no problem filling my freezer. I have lots of friends who only hunt 4th season and they usually do well, if the weather cooperates.

The way Colorado sets up its season structure is why I have started hunting muzzle loading season. The one main reason is less hunters in the field and of course being able to rifle (ML) hunt during the rut. Just my take after hunting here the last 15 years. When it comes to tags issued, it's all $$$and the state knows it. Thats why they issue unlimited bull taks in those 2 seasons, non resident are welcomed with open arms....please come and spend you money:cool:

CoHiCntry
07-20-2013, 09:30 AM
There's a reason why they have unlimited 2nd season OTC bull tags. :) If your hunting in a limited unit second season can be decent but if your hunting OTC, expect lots of company! IMO, it's probably the worst season to hunt. Elk have already been pressured and weather isn't usually moving them around much yet. The season is long and the first unlimited hunt so lots of guy's hunt it. Of course there are exceptions to everything... My advise, if you aren't to picky is to shoot the first legal bull you see, you may not see another...

bigmoose
07-20-2013, 11:16 AM
We usually do better on the second season for elk. I'm a deer hunter and when we don't get a deer tag, we will go the second season for elk. Guess it depends on where you hunt.

Moose

Colorado Cowboy
07-20-2013, 12:49 PM
Guess it depends on where you hunt.

Moose

That my friend is an understatement!

dying to kill
07-20-2013, 03:28 PM
Good stuff guys this is really help full, and im not really limited to south Colorado but with so many options on were to hunt I just decided to pick a part of the state and get to know it for a few years and move on if it don't work for me, instead of jumping around each year(just my own thoughts) Also I got a buddy that's gonna take some horses up there and get us back in there away from the foot traffic. I hope this pays off, I was wanting to put in for first rifle but he convinced me to save my points and go with second he said its just as good as first. So that's what I did. I know nothins guaranteed I would just atleast spot a elk if I cant get him killed that will be my fault.And yes I will be punchin a tag on the first legal bull I see I am not picky what so ever!! But thanks guys that was the exact info I was wanting..

Old Hunter
07-20-2013, 04:29 PM
2nd season is not as good as 1st season. For one, it can still catch the rut, and for two, it won't be anywhere near as crowded.

Colorado Cowboy
07-20-2013, 04:34 PM
Now that I know you have some stock, I have a couple of suggestions that might be options for you guys. Unit 71 specifically the Lizard Head Wilderness Area might be something you want to consider. There are some trailheads and some good areas that most casual hunters don't get to. If you are interested PM me and I can give you some better details.

In God We Trust
07-20-2013, 06:27 PM
I have killed bulls during the second season as well as my dad and brother. Like others have said weather plays a big part in the quality of hunt. If it is warm with no snow the hunt can be tough. One year I went with my brother on his hunt and we didn't see much for the first 4 days because of the pressure and warm weather. On the 5th day we headed to timberline and shot a bull in the morning. They had moved back up to the higher country because of the weather. One thing I will say is finding a mature bull during this season can be tough. I see big bulls coming through the mountains every year during second season so it happens frequently. Good luck, how bad can it be? You get to hunt elk in Colorado.

packmule
07-20-2013, 10:30 PM
An idea if your gmu preference isn't set in stone is to get into a unit that's LE but you have a shot at drawing w/ 0-1pts instead of fighting the constant pressure of OTC units.

Brady
07-20-2013, 10:40 PM
I'm going to give the second season a shot this year in an OTC unit, we'll see how it turns out, I started training last week. Great views and trout fishing are a sure thing, elk.... Those will be a huge bonus!

xtreme
07-21-2013, 07:04 AM
I plan to be at Monte Vista Aug 6 for a chance at the left over tags. Like CC I will be looking for 4th season cow. My take is to hunt cow unless I draw a good bull tag. I think I have five elk points which I plan to use next year. Again, like CC, I love hunting the Lizard Head. The area in 81, I think we talked about, is a sure bull and easy except getting the meat out. I just don't see a chance at getting a bull with a trophy rack, still could be a 6x6. One place CC might have overlooked is Cold Creek canyon between Dunton and Delores Peak. Its too easy and unbelievable, the bulls stay in there close to the road as the hunters go deep. The best time to scout is night and I use gen3 mono while I sit and listen to the elk. That's how I found them. I walked past them for years. This is a rough spot and no easy task for a horse on retrieving game. I quit hunting there because of some really slob non resident hunters, I don't think they went into the canyon and they are probably gone now.
If you decide to hunt in 71 I can give you a spot that elk like to use, its not in the wilderness, but close.

NDHunter
07-21-2013, 09:44 AM
In most of the public land areas, the elk will be in the dark timber and deep canyons because of the hunting pressure. Most hunters won't go there because it really lots of work (I know I'm preaching to the choir!).

So let's say that a guy was willing to go into the dark timber and deep canyons 5 miles in, how does a guy find the elk once you are in there? Elk that are in heavy timber must be traveling a mile or two or more to get to good feed?

packmule
07-21-2013, 10:04 AM
They can probably find good feed in the small openings in the dark timber where sunlight can reach the ground. I've noticed they'll feed a lot on those kind of spots throughout the day and move to more open areas as light fades. Perfect scenario is to be able to look across canyons where you can look through the timber at those spots.

Old Hunter
07-21-2013, 12:02 PM
I hunt nothing but dark timber. You get them moving from bedding areas to feeding areas, and they also get up and move a bit during the day when bedding. Some guys think they lay down all day in the same bed. Not true.

You have to still hunt. Be very quiet. Move very slow. Play the wind. It helps if you've scouted the area, and know some bedding areas, but make sure you don't stink up the area while scouting.

It's a very different way to hunt compared to glassing, and long shots. You may not need a scope at all. I never did.

Good luck.

btw Only lately i've used a muzzleloader. All my hunting has been still hunting during rifle seasons.

xtreme
07-21-2013, 08:29 PM
Okay Pete, the scope is off my ML. I too like the dark timber and it fits my hunting speed. but I an't going five miles in. the bulls in Cold Creek are not more than 1/2 mile from the main road. I look for places they hide in plain site. Elk don't have to feed if pressure is great enough. I also like to hunt mule deer at the edge of town or just above private irrigated farms. Too lame to go five miles in.

Colorado Cowboy
07-21-2013, 10:14 PM
Cold Creek is now on my list. Only one problem, it does not show on my FS map. guess I'll have to get my topos out.

packmule
07-21-2013, 10:58 PM
Would also be suprised at how many can hide in a little 1-5acre patch of timber down in the sage country. It never fails that we run into a few good bulls down in the lower elevation that would be easy picking bc they have no place to go once they leave their little hiding spot.

Orion/CO
07-21-2013, 11:21 PM
I have been hunting the Colorado State Forest (unit 6) for the past several years and I will either hunt archery for either sex (OTC) and then get a 1st season cow tag (Lots of leftovers), or go 1st season for a cow and if I get my cow then I will go back for 2nd season with a bull tag (OTC). The problem with 2nd season is that the weather plays a huge part. Twice I have hunted 2nd season and never saw a thing after an early snow. As soon as there is a decent snow then all the elk will move out into North Park (on private property). 2 years ago the snows came right during second season (it snowed about 6" overnight and I was the only one who went out hunting while everyone else was packing up and heading out), and I had a herd come right by me. Unfortunately I only had a cow tag, and after I dropped my cow I watched a huge 6x6 bull trot right by me within 50 yards. The bottom line is that if the weather is key where I hunt for 2nd season, and it can be hit or miss depending on what mother nature decides to do.

diyhntr
07-22-2013, 05:37 PM
I haven't killed one but I've seen good bulls during this season. The first year I was covering country to fast and bumped two different bulls in separate areas of the canyon right out of their bed. I hunted the same area last year with a first season tag and saw a dandy 6pt moving over the top with his cows on opening morning. Later on in the week I met up with some guys who killed a different bull that was a 6x7. So the area I'm hunting has elk in it. In '09 my buddy killed a cow during 2nd season and we saw a small 5pt come out if this same area. I'm heading back there this year with a 2nd season rifle tag. Hope this helps.

trkytrack2
07-23-2013, 01:24 AM
Second season rifle elk (Oct. 12-16) is nine days long but can really be crowded with hunters as it's the 1st season that offers OTC tags. It's hit or miss on how good it can be depending on the weather (snow). If it snows good in the high country the elk bail down lower and the hunting can be fantastic. But if it's hot and dry the elk can be anywhere; usually up high in the dark timber. I love to just hunt so I, personally, choose the longest seasons I can find. What the heck, your elk hunting in Colorado; who cares what season it is. Come, enjoy, have a ball.

packmule
07-23-2013, 08:15 AM
2nd is 19-27.

Colorado Cowboy
07-23-2013, 08:18 AM
Cold Creek is now on my list. Only one problem, it does not show on my FS map. guess I'll have to get my topos out.

After checking my trusty topo, I know exactly where you are talking about. I have hunted it and seen elk there, but shot none as they were all cows and I had a bull tag. I am going up near there Thursday to shoot some long distance practice (300 to 600 yds), might do a little looking around there again.

Doe Nob
07-23-2013, 08:53 AM
My rule is if you read about it on the internet, its going to be crowded. I've only hunted OTC 2nd season once, and by the 6th day we were finally starting to figure it out, the bulls were where the hunters weren't. Sounds obvious, but we had to travel nearly 100 miles before we found places without people. And mostly it was confusing/difficult access that you had to physically go figure out. I think a good strategy to start once you pick a unit, is google search it and eliminate every spot you read about on page one, then look at the map and see what's left, that will start to get you away from the orange army.

dying to kill
07-23-2013, 10:07 PM
My rule is if you read about it on the internet, its going to be crowded. I've only hunted OTC 2nd season once, and by the 6th day we were finally starting to figure it out, the bulls were where the hunters weren't. Sounds obvious, but we had to travel nearly 100 miles before we found places without people. And mostly it was confusing/difficult access that you had to physically go figure out. I think a good strategy to start once you pick a unit, is google search it and eliminate every spot you read about on page one, then look at the map and see what's left, that will start to get you away from the orange army.

Doe nob that's some good advice I appreciate it, but then again I have thought that about all the post on this thread. Do You think every one that reads this reply could meet meet at Amarillo at the big Texan 3 days before my hunt so everyone can fill me up with all of your years of knowledge?? Ill buy the steaks!

Brady
07-23-2013, 10:55 PM
2nd is 19-27.


That is correct

packmule
07-24-2013, 08:39 AM
Doe nob that's some good advice I appreciate it, but then again I have thought that about all the post on this thread. Do You think every one that reads this reply could meet meet at Amarillo at the big Texan 3 days before my hunt so everyone can fill me up with all of your years of knowledge?? Ill buy the steaks!

Might could meet you the day after to tell you what you should've done :D

Alabama
07-24-2013, 09:16 AM
Everybody says the 2nd is better if the weather is cool, but the 2nd season has higher hunter success over 3rd season as far as bulls anyway. What's the reason for that? Pressure? In your opinion what is the better season 2nd or 3rd? Obviously muzzleloader and 1st rifle are better but of the 2 OTC seasons which is better?

Colorado Cowboy
07-24-2013, 09:48 AM
Everybody says the 2nd is better if the weather is cool, but the 2nd season has higher hunter success over 3rd

Don't know where you got this info, but I'm guessing it came from Colo Parks & Wildlife website. As I said in another post, these numbers from them are only a guess. There is no mandatory reporting from hunters, they only do a survey that is a sampling. (I believe it is still done by an outside contractor). In the 17 or so years I have hunted Colorado, I have been contacted 5 or 6 times over the phone. Other states have a mandatory turn in of all big game tags after the season, that way they can tell who got what.

Just sayin..............

packmule
07-24-2013, 10:51 AM
Everybody says the 2nd is better if the weather is cool, but the 2nd season has higher hunter success over 3rd season as far as bulls anyway. What's the reason for that? Pressure? In your opinion what is the better season 2nd or 3rd? Obviously muzzleloader and 1st rifle are better but of the 2 OTC seasons which is better?


Could just be a numbers game from legal bulls getting shot pre-3rd. Plus the remaining ones have gotten pressure & may have headed to private land, or weather related issues. Saw a lot of folks packing up and leaving with a cpl days left during 3rd last year when that big snow storm blew in.

packmule
07-24-2013, 10:57 AM
Then in units with horrible sex ratios you can get into that 2nd cycle on the cows that cycled late the first go-around.