2021- Who got skunked?

Brandon270

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
399
Location
Central California
Skunked 3rd year in a row trying to get my first deer. My first tags season started in August and I didn't even see a deer until last week hunting with my second tag. I finally saw 3 does but no bucks. I got two tags from two totally different areas and hunted from August through October but still no luck. California public land is either bone dry or crawling with other hunters even when you put miles on away from roads/parking areas. Best chance for success other than leasing or going out of state is trying to hit areas with deer sign in the middle of the week.
 

Bob-WY

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Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Messages
544
Rough year on elk this year for wife and i, well so far. Last year we both filled cow tags, in 4 days, was great. This year we can't find elk. Well we watched a herd of about 200+ for 2 days from our house, they were on a ranch about a mile away with no realistic way to get near them.

We drew in different areas this year, it's sort of a bummer to decide who gets to hunt. We will do party tags next year. Wife actually drew option2, cow tag in limited draw area (same as we had last year), I ended up with General which sucks. I have til Friday.

Archery I had fun, but no luck, learned to ignore what other hunters say "you can't call them", "none around", seems I went to a different basin than they did! Twice I got into calling bulls, learned on both occasions:

1) First time, the bull started it, I entered the woods and he bugled at me, then took his cows and left. I heard cows. Lesson learned, when that happens, get in close before answering, in his face and challenge him!

2) Second time, simply put, be confident, don't assume it's a person. I called, he answered, between me and the trail head. I dropped down on him (was a guess of 300 yards below me, near a clearing.), I bugled, he answered, moved further off, so I chased again, repeat, except now it's clear he's heading for that trail, which is how you get out of this area. Figured it was a hunter, kept going since I was heading out anyway. Did the whole call/answer/follow routine. Every bugle to locate him, he would wait about 30 seconds and bugle back. FINALLY near the trail, I was actually between cows, heard 2 on opposite sides of me, probably within 50 yards. My brain just froze, I was so sure it was a hunter, that when two cows, in opposite directions called, I was clueless. I just kept going to the trail - no hunter. I am sure he was right there and if I ripped off a bugle near his cows, he may have come to me. Oh well, be confident -- It's still a bit strange for me to be comfortable making that much noise that close to animals

Other than that, covered lots of miles, haven't found em yet, found some sign, seen 1 cow. I have Friday, then I become a guide for my wife (actually just the packer)
 

SilverDollars

Active member
Joined
Sep 4, 2013
Messages
152
Location
Central Texas
Howdy. Yep, that bull tag turned into soup. I had my chance. But I chose not to shoot. I had a nice 5 pt bull run into an opening and stop broadside at 200 yds. But when he stopped(for 5 secs) he was behind a smaller Aspen tree between us, about 30 feet away, blocking a clean shot with all kinds of small limbs. I had my scope on him, I moved around a little, but I couldn't find a safe bullet flight path of any kind through those limbs. I'm just not going to take any shot where I don't know EXACTLY where my shot is going.

Oh well, whitetail rifle season opens here is a few days and I can shoot up to 5 deer depending on what counties I wish to hunt in. Not to worry though, I'm still going to put some meat in the freezer! :) There's always another elk hunt waiting for next year.
 

Stocker

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
867
Location
Nebraska
Learned that I should put in for tags that I can draw
What would we do without the bitter disappointment of not drawing? Actually go hunt? That sounds awful! I’ve got 5 tags that I allegedly have 100% odds to draw in 2022. I’ll be thrilled if I go 1/5.
 

R.K.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
496
Location
MT
Skunked archery, despite a few suicidal elk, nocking several arrows, and coming to full draw a couple times. Some grouse did not fare as well.

Skunked in rifle so far.

Also skunked- antelope and deer. Not sure that's going to change.

Have 5 days planned, but it's a snow-dependent hunt, and we're fresh out of snow in that unit. Gonna go pound the high country holes to see if I can scare up a bull.
 
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David658

Active member
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Messages
197
Location
Northern NM
Me too, didn't see a single fresh poop. Very dry, and I stubbornly stuck to the area we had success in last year. Compound it with a bruised rib that only got worse the more I walked up and down the mountains with my pack, we bagged it after two days. Going to sharpen my pencil in doing my research for next year's tags, both resident here in NM and NR in CO.
 

Wallydeuce

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
1,006
Location
NV
I had two six points and a five point under 25 yards. Two other sixes and a bizarre five by four under 40 yards. I even played footsie with a bull almost every night around 11 p.m. (just for giggles and practice) He hit me with a bugle 20 yards from my tent at 3:30 a.m. Woke me up and scared the hell out of me.

I had a spike only tag. Go figure. But I had a blast!
 

Dully

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
34
Add us to the list!! Wyoming cow hunt. Had pronghorn, muleys and white tail all in range on public but only cow elk tags in our pockets. Didn't lay eyes on and Elk for 5 days. Still wonder if there were any in our unit. That said, it was our first trip to WY and we're so glad we went. Beautiful country and friendly people. Had a blast spending time with my sons and can't wait to go back (but will be going to a different unit😉)!!!
 

tillicant

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
141
Location
SE WI
Unit 71, never gave up before. Leaving for home this morning. Wife and I. Was figuring on missing the Wisconsin opener this yaer.
Now I know Ill see more game on WI public.
 

44hunter45

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
3,002
Location
North Idaho
Yesterday was the end of MZ season here in North Idaho. That ended 2021 for me other than a maybe holiday turkey out of the yard.

A strange year indeed, but no regrets. I really changed the fall routine this year and put myself in a new learning curve. This is the first empty freezer year in a long time.

I had an amazing time in the Southeast Alaska high country chasing deer, then fell and got roughed up. Hoping to go back again next year.
That super glue they close contusions with is waterproof, and the fishing was hot.

IMG_2516.JPG

Idaho archery was hot and dry. I didn't get out that much.

EHD hit the Idaho deer herd and I more or less tore up my tag. I did go out some to try to ambush a buck, but it seemed to be the rut that wasn't this year.

I had a lot of fun for during the first week of the Idaho late MZ deer/elk season. I was in elk every day, but didn't close in to my 100 yard max range. Could have shot several different deer with the Hawken, but passed.

Calling this the year of being a Sitka gear tester. Tested rain gear in August, layers in December. I learned you can comfortably power nap in Sitka gear in any conditions.

Best of all- I made some new lifelong friends and made a bucket list trip that is probably now an annual trip. Started conceptually planning 2023 DIY AK Caribou last week.
 

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,984
I quit hunting elk a couple years ago. Have reached a point in my life where I wonder if I could get one out without taking the truck into it. Not so sure about a deer either in particular a large one. But going to go deer hunting this next year though. Know a number of places where I could get the truck into a down deer. Getting old ain't for sissy!s
 

SPDSpappy

Active member
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
383
Location
O'Fallon IL
A very frustrating year for me. Tried getting a NM elk tag for one of their mobilitiy impaired tags for the 2nd year in row and didn't get selected. Headed to NW CO for 1st rifle, where the 4 of us had 6 tags (4 cows, 1 bull, and a bear tag) and not a single shot fired nor tag filled. This makes 0 in 6 for me filling an elk tag w/ travelling from IL to do so the past 4 years and paying for NR tags (not to mention the travel costs and leave from work). Thank God for a supportive wife!!!

Paid an outfitter here in IL for a combo archery/1st shotgun whitetail hunt after not having anywhere to hunt 1st shotgun last year, and also hoping for better opportunities w/ my bow. I ended up spending 10 days in different tree stands/ground blinds. I never once had a shot at a "legal" buck or even saw one while I was hunting. The outfitter had a 135" minimum and I passed on the biggest buck I've ever seen hunting b/c I knew he wouldn't measure. My buddy ended up shooting him and paid the almost $500 "fine."

Hey, maybe duck hunting would be better? Me and a couple guys put in for the IL Recreational Access Program (IRAP) to hunt waterfowl on private property. We spent a day out there and never saw a duck... So much for ducks!

I did have a great pheasant hunt where my dog finally figured this upland hunting thing out and found the first 3 birds of the day against 2 other purebred hunting dogs (mine is a mutt). Unfortunately, the vet figured out she had fluid around her knee and she wasn't allowed to run for 2 weeks. Try telling a lab she can't run... She was NOT happy when she saw me leaving for duck hunting w/o her!

I'm not done for the year though. I'm praying my 13 y/o daughter is able to harvest another deer during her hunt while school is out. This would pretty much make up for the entire unfilled tag season I've had so far!!
 

CJnGA

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
63
Big bowl of tag soup for me this year. 8 days in MT and saw what we think was a silhouette of cow or calf at very dusky/dark on the first day - other than that, nada.

Had a lot of fun trying, though. Got to see some amazing country and spend 8 days in camp with my dad and uncle (plus 31hr drive home which wasn't quite as endearing as camp time).

My dad and I have been talking since then and I guess misery loves company, because we're glad to see so many others that struggled this year. ha!
 

blountsman

New member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
3
i had the Idaho sawtooth tag hunted 7 days and never could get away from people. hike into the back to have a dirt bike come by 30 mins before light could hear him from 5 miles away. but learned a lot only which i had gone opening day and had longer to hunt.
 

Dsnow9

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
1,652
Location
Colorado
Got skunked on elk this year. Colorado first season e/s tag. 5 day season. Went to high day before the season and was confirmed opening day. Got into elk every other day of the season but to far away or beat us to private. Biggest lesson learned was to download the highest resolution maps for offline use. We were assuming a fence was the public/private boundary. Watched the elk work their way towards the fence for an hour. Hiked down a gnarly cliffy area to shoot one and ended up they were on private. Got down to the valley floor and walked the fence line. The 100 plus elk were in this corner for the hour we watched them. Look closely and you can see the fence line that we could not see on the low resolution offline map.🤦‍♂️

ABC89458-AA6F-4119-B9EA-5CEDFC693B52.png
 

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