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  1. #1
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    5 year structure season dates

    After poking around on colorado's website today I noticed they have posted the next 5 years season dates. Great for planning purposes, but I guess I'm not to happy with the early season high country rifle deer hunt dates.......

    My hunting partner and I have been wanting to do this hunt for a while now and have been stocking up on points. First we wanted points to get a decent unit. Then we got points sufficient to draw a unit we would like and then for one reason or another we haven't done the hunt and now are sitting on 10 points.

    Now I see the season coincides with mule deer and elk muzzleloader season until 2019 instead of over lapping just one weekend.

    I guess I'm bumming on this as part of the desire for this hunt was the idea of so few people hunting at that time. I know most of these high country areas are only going to have another 200-300 total tags added by coinciding with the muzzleloader seasons but it will also be roughly a week later.

    Does anyone who has hunted these high country areas think the added hunting pressure and later hunt dates will be an issue?

  2. #2
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    In general, the earlier in September the better for finding deer in the high country. They are still in a summer routine and easily patterned. The further into September you get, the more they start to change patterns.

    It does depend on the pressure the area receives as well. Bucks will flat disappear with pressure. After the velvet is gone (by the second week of september, few bucks still have velvet), patterns start to change. They will still remain typically unless pushed out by hunters.

    The later dates do make those hunts less attractive.

    I've taken deer in the high country in mid september in high pressure areas, Sept 11 and sept 16. If you choose one of those hunts, I recommend time devoted to scouting and choosing an area with relatively few hunters. The more you can hunt during the week, the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiMtnHnter View Post
    In general, the earlier in September the better for finding deer in the high country. They are still in a summer routine and easily patterned. The further into September you get, the more they start to change patterns.

    It does depend on the pressure the area receives as well. Bucks will flat disappear with pressure. After the velvet is gone (by the second week of september, few bucks still have velvet), patterns start to change. They will still remain typically unless pushed out by hunters.

    The later dates do make those hunts less attractive.

    I've taken deer in the high country in mid september in high pressure areas, Sept 11 and sept 16. If you choose one of those hunts, I recommend time devoted to scouting and choosing an area with relatively few hunters. The more you can hunt during the week, the better.
    I definitely plan to put some time in when we do draw. The week of hunting, at least 4 or 5 days before to scout, and hopefully a few days in early August scouting. Now I guess I need to decide to draw or wait or do something else with my points.

  4. #4
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    I muzzle loader hunt every year at 10,000 ft + and do not have a problem finding deer all the way through the season. It is not to late of a season for the high country. If you draw one of the best early high country rifle tags and scout the are you will do fine.
    A bad day in the woods is better than a good day at work.
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    I don't understand why the cpw put the early rifle a week later? From what I understand its so in the upcoming years the opening weekend doesn't coincide with labor day weekend for why I don't see a legitimate reason? Turning a premier tag like that into an overcrowded mess turns me off to that hunt too. I was gonna put in for the same tag until I was notified of this change. Time to rethink the gameplan.

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    I'm in the same boat and was really wanting to do a high country rifle hunt. If the points needed to draw these tags doesn't change, then I don't think it'd be worth it for a bunch of extra points to be able to carry a rifle instead of a muzzleloader. Some of the rifle tags needed 10 points while you maybe needed just a couple for muzzy. I'll probably burn my points on a late season tag and then try and draw a high country muzzy tag.

  7. #7
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    I disagree. You have to use open sights and can not use rifled sabots in Colorado. That limits your max range for a muzzle loader. If I carried a rifle every year during the muzzle loader season I would have killed a buck over 180 for the last five years. You are talking about shooting out to 500+ yards with a good rifle. I hunt and camp at or above timberline which means elk hunters are not bothering me. I also pack in 4 miles or more so I see lots of bucks and maybe 3 other hunters chasing deer in 9 days of hunting. If you go high and far in it greatly increases your chances. I understand it varies region to region but from my 13 years of experience hunting mulies at timberline I think those are still awesome tags.
    A bad day in the woods is better than a good day at work.
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  9. #8
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    My plan is to get 4, 5, or whatever mileage is needed to get in and away from others.

    In God We Trust,
    Do you typically see elk or other mule deer muzzleloader hunters above tree line when you have been out with your muzzy?

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    Last year I ran into 1 group of 2 guys and one solo hunter. I actually didn't run into them but glassed them on separate ridges and they were hunting different basins then me. It seems like the 4 mile mark is the magical range to get away from the majority of back pack hunters. Also if you do one of these hunts seat your camp at the mouth of or on the opposite side of the ridge from the basins you plan on hunting. I observed a group of guys that had a camp set up in the belly of a basin that typically holds 5 or more bucks every year. They ruined their chance at those bucks right off the bat.
    Last edited by In God We Trust; 01-09-2015 at 11:13 PM.
    A bad day in the woods is better than a good day at work.
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  12. #10
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    A great change that was needed. Well done CPW!

    The CPW folks I talk with are getting lots o feedback that there was conflict with the past earlier rifle dates in the "primitive seasons" and while I know a lot of you want the easiest possible way to a high country muley (and I respect that) - well you will just have to wait a week. If the season is too late for ya. Take the time learn to stalk in closer and shoot a bow. If that is not your cup of tea there will still be plenty o opportunity a week later...

    Plain and simple the early seasons are set aside here in colorado for primitive style of hunting and with technology advancing as it has it was not fair to only give archers one week before the shells start flying at 600, 700, or 900yds. As another poster said and I agree that archers need another week before it turns into a crowded mess. Technology is helping us hunters out a lot and has played a hand in this change.. Just somethin to think about...

    If you cant get a big buck with a rifle a week later it is not the season dates or your rifle that is the problem. This change will do the most good for the most hunters and the tags will still be highly sought after even a week later. I agree with in god we trust the deer are there if you are willing to work for them.

    On the flip side of your coin is that some units just got a whole lot better for archers.. One more week will make a lot of units that were so so worth hunting. In the end it is better to make a hunt better for say a est 200 archers in any given unit than 25 rifle hunters... The 2 weeks is something that is the "vegas line" for me. One week is not enough time for a archer - as in reality the rifle hunters start showing up scouting right after the first weekend of archery.. So it was 2 days advance on the rifle hunters in units with a rifle hunt and that made many units with these rifle hunts much less desirable or ones to flat avoid as a archer.. Now with 2 weeks yea many units just became that much more desirable for archery.

    Another thing to think about is that these "high country" hunts are exploding in popularity.. The books, shows, and entire light weight hunting niche is pushing and benefiting from guys wanting to do these hunts. I understand why guys like to do it as I am a junky as well!

    Not to sound like a "good old day guy" but 10 - 15 years ago with a bow you never saw a hunter and hunted a true 200" each year. Over the past 8 with muzzys that shoot to 250, rifles that shoot to 800, and bows that shoot to 80 along the increase in trophy hunting, technology, hunter numbers, and hunter IQ overall the change both in deer quality and hunter numbers is astonishing. Now I hunt these same basins hold a 190" deer every now and then. I cant even imagine what some places in unit g must have been like back then...

    Anyway good change IMO.
    Last edited by ColoradoV; 01-10-2015 at 08:49 AM.

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