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  1. #1
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    Colorado Early Season High Country Mule Deer

    Hi Guys,
    I have been dreaming of this hunt for a very long time. I'm at 10 points and am trying to decide if and where I should apply for a Colorado mule deer early season rifle hunt. My hunting partener in this endeavor and I are looking to complete this hunt this year or next or maybe we should wait a little longer.

    I would virtually be guaranteed to hunt any of the early season high country hunts except for 74 and 82 (82, 86, 861). It appears we are caught in the point chase for these hunts. Due to our number of points we have been looking at 12 (12, 24, 25, 26, 231), 36, 43, 48 (48, 46, 481, 561), 74, and 82 (82, 86, 861). However, unit 12 we can't seem to get any good info on and Colorado's website hasn't had any updated harvest info since 2009. Not sure what that is about.

    I'm relatively new to mule deer hunting so judging mule deer is still hard for me. They all look big next to a whitetail, but I'm thinikning my goal is a 160+ buck whichever unit I hunt (should be doable????). My hunting partener and I are perfectly fine with the high altitude and extreme terrain some of these hunts offer (which is why we are investigating these hunts) plus we like early season not effecting other commitments we have in October and November. We will be doing the hunt DIY and probably not scouting much before the week before the opener. We plan to show up 4 or 5 days early to scout and get acclimated.

    I have a couple follow-up calls into the local biologists and game wardens to discuss some of there latest information (winter conditions, herd conditions, etc), but I'm sure they are busy with this being application time. I've previously had conversations with most of them, except for unit 12 (can't get anyone to call back).

    I thought I would throw it out there to see where you guys would recommend I apply for and if I should apply this year or next or wait a few more years. I know areas like 43 and 36 are still recovering from the 07-08 winter. Any feedback on realistic buck expectations (is a 160 class buck to small to big???), what the terrain looks like (pics would be great), or unit conditions would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Work2hunt; 03-04-2014 at 09:03 AM.

  2. #2
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    Are you rifle or bowhunting? You say you're comfortable with the terrain and altitude....how comfortable? Have you done high country hunts before? Do you plan to backpack in or truck camp?

  3. #3
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    We plan to rifle hunt and pack in 4, 5, 6+ miles. Whatever it takes for us to find animals.

  4. #4
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    I'm at 10 points also and have really contemplated the 74 hunt several times, I just like the looks of that country!! I don't have much for help it's been ten years since I hunted Colorado.
    Boone and Crockett Entrys from 2008-2013, I'd be willing to be a majority of these deer are killed on the late hunts but It'll give ya an idea of quality.

    1. Colorado Eagle County, CO typical mule deer 7

    2. Colorado La Plata County, CO typical mule deer 6

    3. Colorado Delta County, CO typical mule deer 5

    4. Colorado Douglas County, CO typical mule deer 5

    5. Colorado Garfield County, CO typical mule deer 5

    6. Colorado Montezuma County, CO typical mule deer 5

    7. Colorado Montrose County, CO typical mule deer 5

    8. Colorado Archuleta County, CO typical mule deer 4

    9. Colorado Grand County, CO typical mule deer 4

    10. Colorado Jefferson County, CO typical mule deer 4

    11. Colorado Las Animas County, CO typical mule deer 4

    12. Colorado Mesa County, CO typical mule deer 4

    13. Colorado Moffat County, CO typical mule deer 4

    14. Colorado Rio Blanco County, CO typical mule deer 4

    15. Colorado Conejos County, CO typical mule deer 3

    16. Colorado El Paso County, CO typical mule deer 2

    17. Colorado Pueblo County, CO typical mule deer 2

    18. Colorado Rio Grande County, CO typical mule deer 2
    TICK
    TALL, WIDE and HANDSOME


    "The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."
    Confucius

  5. #5
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    I would take 43 off your list. IMO its over rated and not worth the points. I ML hunted it once and wasnt very impressed. Its beautiful country and I had a great hunt but I would have been very disappointed if I had burned the points the rifle tag takes. Lots of hikers and not alot of deer. Definitely look into how many hikers and recreational use any of the early rifle hunts get as it can really be a problem in some areas. I dont know anything about any of the other units.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodtick View Post
    I'm at 10 points also and have really contemplated the 74 hunt several times, I just like the looks of that country!! I don't have much for help it's been ten years since I hunted Colorado.
    Boone and Crockett Entrys from 2008-2013, I'd be willing to be a majority of these deer are killed on the late hunts but It'll give ya an idea of quality.

    1. Colorado Eagle County, CO typical mule deer 7

    2. Colorado La Plata County, CO typical mule deer 6

    3. Colorado Delta County, CO typical mule deer 5

    4. Colorado Douglas County, CO typical mule deer 5

    5. Colorado Garfield County, CO typical mule deer 5

    6. Colorado Montezuma County, CO typical mule deer 5

    7. Colorado Montrose County, CO typical mule deer 5

    8. Colorado Archuleta County, CO typical mule deer 4

    9. Colorado Grand County, CO typical mule deer 4

    10. Colorado Jefferson County, CO typical mule deer 4

    11. Colorado Las Animas County, CO typical mule deer 4

    12. Colorado Mesa County, CO typical mule deer 4

    13. Colorado Moffat County, CO typical mule deer 4

    14. Colorado Rio Blanco County, CO typical mule deer 4

    15. Colorado Conejos County, CO typical mule deer 3

    16. Colorado El Paso County, CO typical mule deer 2

    17. Colorado Pueblo County, CO typical mule deer 2

    18. Colorado Rio Grande County, CO typical mule deer 2
    Thanks Tick,
    I don't have readily available access to Boone and Crocket or Pope and Young records and should probably get it. What are the numbers on the far right of each row? Right now 10 sort of seems like no mans land. 74 and 82 both jumped like 3 points this year. I'm afraid if I keep waiting I might never get to hunt it if points keep jumping like that each year.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Work2hunt View Post
    Thanks Tick,
    I don't have readily available access to Boone and Crocket or Pope and Young records and should probably get it. What are the numbers on the far right of each row? Right now 10 sort of seems like no mans land. 74 and 82 both jumped like 3 points this year. I'm afraid if I keep waiting I might never get to hunt it if points keep jumping like that each year.
    Each number signifies the amount of deer that made the record books. I'd look into the flat tops wilderness hunt too.
    TICK
    TALL, WIDE and HANDSOME


    "The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."
    Confucius

  8. #8
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    160 should be doable in any if those units, I'm a couple points behind you but doing the same research, I personally think 74 will come back down this year in points required. 43 seems to get mixed reviews, 74 and 82 are known great hunts but things are pretty quiet regarding the other units for sure.
    Last edited by Ridgerunner; 03-04-2014 at 11:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    One thing to keep in mind is this winters snow fall. I plan on doing the early season rifle hunt this year too. I'm waiting till the last moment to put my app in. There has been a lot of snow in the mountains and I've heard some winter range has been affected.

  10. #10
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    It'll be interesting to see what this winter brings for sure.

 

 

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