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ThreeTikkas
11-12-2013, 04:09 AM
Hey folks. I need some opinions please. I have been building p-points in Colorado now for 7 years. In the beginning it was all directed at unit 66 for a late rifle trophy hunt. Well,point creep has put the rut season just about off the radar. So,that leaves the first rifle season. We got snowed out of elk camp a day early this year,and holed up at the Gunnison KOA for a couple days to clean up and get ready to head home. I seized the moment and did a little scouting over in 66. One evening and one daybreak trip. We saw a few bucks. Nothing worth 7 or 8 years of planning and p-points. 2 friends of ours were hitting town as we were leaving. They hunted 66 the following week with a well known guide from the area. They both scored OK bucks. Not what the unit is known for that's for sure. My question is this. With 7 or 8 preference points,should I bag the whole unit 66 thing,and look at another unit? Maybe something that I can get drawn in for a rifle rut hunt with that few points? Sit on the points I have and hold out for the second season in 66 as a retirement gift to myself ? While hunting deer in other states that I can draw every couple years ? I'm 51 and want to hunt Muleys! Right now I don't care where. I'm happy with hunting other localities every other year until I can get a good season in Colorado. Holy crap. My life is slipping away and I haven't raised a rifle at a single Muley. It's very frustrating. Anyone else ever find themselves in a similar quandary?

Colorado Cowboy
11-12-2013, 06:27 AM
I was going to make a suggestion, but revisited the PPs required on the unit for 4th season I was going to offer up and it takes 14 point for NR. I assume you are a non resident, but couldn't see on your profile. Residents takes 5 points. PM me if your are interested in more info.

SansSouci
11-12-2013, 02:19 PM
Hi ThreeTikkas,

My suggestion is to keep an eye on the area that will give you a decent shot at a buck of a lifetime. Once you have that area dialed in, apply for it when conditions are optimal. Hunt other areas & states until you you're ready to apply for your best opportunity.

I'm in the same boat. I have accumulated Utah bonus points, but not enough to get me in the Henry Mountains. If I find myself in optimal conditions, then I'll apply. If I were to apply & for some reason the huge buck population is trending downward, I could find myself wasting a chance of a lifetime.

Many years ago, huge bucks were found within a hundred mile radius of the Four Corners. However, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado have huge bucks, but they are hard to find during general rifle seasons. About 10 years ago my brother saw a two huge bucks running together on a high ridge in Southern Utah. It was nearing dusk when he saw then and, according to him, when he first saw them he thought they were elk. There is a huge elk herd in the area we hunt and he was a novice hunter, so it was plausible. I guess I took a long route to the idea that it's possible to find a trophy in a general season area.

The last few bucks I've shot in Southern Utah were nothing of note. In fact, two years ago I saw nothing but forks, and that's in an excellent general season area. It's ironic that when many hunters were in the area, I was concerned about hunter pressure. Fewer hunters seem to allow bucks to remain bedded down. The two huge bucks that my brother saw had been stirred by hunters about a half-mile from where he saw them.

I wish you the absolute best of luck in getting drawn into your buck of a lifetime area.

ThreeTikkas
11-12-2013, 04:03 PM
I was going to make a suggestion, but revisited the PPs required on the unit for 4th season I was going to offer up and it takes 14 point for NR. I assume you are a non resident, but couldn't see on your profile. Residents takes 5 points. PM me if your are interested in more info.

Yep, I'm a non-resident. Such is my plight. A rut hunt in any decent unit with public access is just about off the radar. At 51 I don't have another 7 or 8 years to invest in one hunt. My goal at this point is to get out Muley hunting every couple years. Maybe hold out for a good hunt to burn my points on,and hunt deer some other way while I wait. But the main objective is to get out and hunt. I'm wasting WAY too much of my life watching point creep keep my off the mountain. There has to be a way for a deer hunting nut to get out and enjoy the sport without selling off his first born. There aren't funds for guides and outfitters,so private land access is pretty much a dream. D.I.Y. on a budget is where I'm at. When I started a rut hunt in the Gunny was 7 to 9 points. Now 9 is the basement and 14 or 15 is common.

Colorado Cowboy
11-12-2013, 04:21 PM
Yep, I know what you mean. Any 4th season hunt here in Colorado is getting real hard to draw, even for residents. The unit I want to hunt is less that 50 miles away and I might get to do 4th season next year with 7 pts.

When I started saving points foe antelope it took about 5 for the unit I want. I now have 12 and it takes 15.

One good thing is that any unit that takes 5 or more points are eligable for "Hybrid " draws. They will take 20% of the tags for a general draw for those with 5 or more points who apply. Small chance, but better than none at all. One of my neighbors put in for an elk unit that was a 20+ pt draw. He had 9 and got drawn on the hybrid draw. Go ahead and apply (with 5 points or more) and you might get lucky. You will still get a point anyway if you don't draw. I apply every year for at least one of these type of hunts.

ThreeTikkas
11-12-2013, 05:20 PM
Hmm,a Hybrid draw. Now that's pretty cool. I could play with that a little. Thanks!

LaHunter
11-12-2013, 05:41 PM
ThreeTikkas,

In Mike Eastman's book he addresses this exact topic. I highly recommend getting it and studying it closely. After reading it, I came away with the plan of finding an area / unit that I can hunt every year, or at worst case every other year. Then learn that area as well as I can and keep my expectations within reason. Each time I hunt this same area, I will be better prepared for my next year's hunt. I would rather hunt in a fair unit and really enjoy my hunts each year rather than wait on that "hunt of a lifetime" which may not exist. Point creep has put most of the high demand units out of reach for most hunters.

Good Luck

Colorado Cowboy
11-12-2013, 06:13 PM
Hmm,a Hybrid draw. Now that's pretty cool. I could play with that a little. Thanks!
Its on page 5 of the current regs.

Conrad8899
11-12-2013, 07:32 PM
I am sitting on 5 points. Non resident. I will burn them soon. On a third season hunt. Then find a two point unit to hunt.. That's my plan. Point creep just gets worse. Started hunting Co in 09. Gunnison basin to. Watched the points go up.

Musket Man
11-12-2013, 07:52 PM
I have 3 points and I am really considering using them on a muzzle loader hunt next year or the year after. I want a good hunt but I want to hunt too and I dont want to sit on over 5 points.

Alabama
11-16-2013, 12:13 AM
Are you set on hunting Colorado? There aren't many other rut hunts available. Arizona offers some but odds are bad. Idaho has a few early Nov hunts but again low odds of drawing. Nevada has some early Dec hunts and they are tough but possible to draw. Montana offers general season that run until Dec 1st. They are almost like over the counter as there have been leftovers the last 2 years after the outfitter sponsored tags were eliminated. The only states that I know you can do an over the counter late season mule deer hunt is Texas and Nebraska. They are both mostly private land but there are some big pieces of public in western Nebraska. Hope this helps.

ThreeTikkas
11-16-2013, 04:06 AM
I'd like to get my foot in the door up in Montana. Are those tags state wide? I would have to think there is decent public access up there. I've gotten involved in Colorado because of their reputation as a trophy mule deer producer. Now I'd gladly broaden my horizons to get out in the brush on a regular basis.

Big Sky
11-16-2013, 10:29 AM
I'd like to get my foot in the door up in Montana. Are those tags state wide? I would have to think there is decent public access up there. I've gotten involved in Colorado because of their reputation as a trophy mule deer producer. Now I'd gladly broaden my horizons to get out in the brush on a regular basis.

They are not state wide. About half of the state can be hunted on your general tag. The other half is limited entry, and have to be drawn.

Bitterroot Bulls
11-16-2013, 10:55 AM
There is good access in MT to a lot of general districts. I think MT would be a good option while you build points elsewhere.

Idaho would be another good option.

ThreeTikkas
11-16-2013, 03:57 PM
Thanks,I'll check it out. I can see why some folks hire Cabelas to do all this sorting and figuring for them. it sure can get confusing.

Alabama
11-17-2013, 11:58 PM
Don't get discouraged. The regs are different in each state but once you figure them out you are one step ahead of the "average" hunter ;) seriously though, they don't change much from year to year. I think Montana is a great place to get out and hunt. The only drawback is the cost. But you can get an Elk/deer combo for just a little more. Also if the regs get confusing just ask these guys on here. This a great forum.

ThreeTikkas
11-18-2013, 04:13 AM
I agree,these guys rock. Great folks and helpful as all get out. Not all forums are created equal that's for sure. I appreciate all the help offered here. Thanks everyone!

I need to get to researching Montana. Sounds like a good option to get out and hunt. I was born on the wrong side of the Big Muddy. When I'm in the mountains I swear I have been there before. Maybe in a past life or something. Nuttin' finer.

Bitterroot Bulls
11-18-2013, 08:34 AM
I was born on the wrong side of the Big Muddy. When I'm in the mountains I swear I have been there before. Maybe in a past life or something. Nuttin' finer.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCYfdMwPBi0

ThreeTikkas
11-18-2013, 03:01 PM
May be Hollywood,but no truer words were ever spoken.

Musket Man
11-18-2013, 06:05 PM
Thanks,I'll check it out. I can see why some folks hire Cabelas to do all this sorting and figuring for them. it sure can get confusing.

Researching and sorting it out is 1/2 the fun of it! MT has some good hunting. I have had a couple great hunts in eastern MT a few years back but I have herd deer numbers are down alot from when I last hunted there and personally I cant stomach the price these days. MT is 1 of the few places you can hunt during the rut with basically an OTC tag. Are you dead set on hunting during the rut? You might want to look into some of the general areas in WY that can be drawn easily. 1 nice thing about WY and CO is if you can find an area you can draw 2nd choice you can hunt and build points at the same time.

ThreeTikkas
11-19-2013, 04:07 AM
Oh heck no. I'm not set on a rut hunt over all. I would like to hunt the rut in Colorado to burn my points on. Other than that I just want to hunt Muleys. As long as they are all 180" or better. ;)

LaHunter
11-19-2013, 07:50 AM
Hey BB, that is one of my all time favorite movies! Thanks!

WY has some general hunt regions that you can draw every year or every other year. Check out Eastman's MRS either online or in the mule deer issue of the magazine. Just pay close attention to public land access. There are several posts on here about guys getting tags for areas rated "poor access", and disappointed that there is no public land to hunt. Also, when the area is rated "rough / extreme" in the MRS, that's for real!
I just did my first DIY mule deer hunt in WY this year and that how I went about it in general. I started planning about 12 to 14 months prior and we had a good time and I am already planning next year's hunt. The better your planning and research, the more enjoyable your trip / hunt will be.

Good Luck

Engideer
11-19-2013, 08:35 AM
You could always take up another weapon to increase your odds during the off years too. I know that for CO I draw a mulie bow tag every other year, and there are second choice units that I can put in for nearby that will put me hunting mulies two out of three years. I don't have any experience hunting mulies later in the year, but they are pretty patternable in September.

ThreeTikkas
11-19-2013, 03:03 PM
Thanks guys. LaHunter,sounds like you have it dialed in. If you don't mind,I may be in touch in the near future. I'll be checking out the MRS here to see what's what.

Musket Man
11-19-2013, 05:52 PM
Oh heck no. I'm not set on a rut hunt over all. I would like to hunt the rut in Colorado to burn my points on. Other than that I just want to hunt Muleys. As long as they are all 180" or better. ;)

You can make any buck 180 if you multiply it by the right # ;) lol The easier to draw WY areas can have access issues. Not always but generally the easier the tag is to draw the poorer the access is. You can still have a good hunt in many of them you just have to do plenty of research and find areas in them you can get to and get a good GPS with a huntinggps map chip so you can tell what is public land when you get there.

ThreeTikkas
11-19-2013, 06:39 PM
I do have the chip for Colorado in my GPS MAP 62S. I love it. It's a real asset.

LaHunter
11-19-2013, 06:43 PM
I'm a long way from having it dialed in. I am still very new at western hunting and still learning. I have just paid close attention to sound advise over the past year on this forum. If you are planning on a DIY hunt, the more effort you put in on the front end (research / planning / conditioning) the greater your odds of enjoying your hunt. Also, when you live a loooong way from your hunting destination, it makes planning that more important. I'll be glad to help any way I can.

Good Luck

Musket Man
11-19-2013, 07:05 PM
This year in WY was the first time I used the chip and after using it I dont know how or why I hunted so long without it!