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Buschy's 2023 Season Review

Buschy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2001
Messages
1,717
Location
Colorado
2023 was a busy and blessed year for us. We were on the home stretch of building a new home in Chromo, Colorado. To keep our sanity, we got out over the summer to relax and catch a few fish. Sitting in a boat seems to fix most of life’s issues.

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The summer went by quickly and in early August we headed back to Alaska for a week of fishing. Unfortunately, the wind blew more than normal that week and limited fishing a bit, but it was the best fishing we have ever had. If it were any easier, the fish would jump in the boat and fillet themselves. The ratio of Kings and Silvers to Pinks and Chums we caught was amazing. The wind allowed us to explore the island a little more than usual and nothing about Alaska disappoints.

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Most of September was sacrificed to packing and moving, as the house was finally finished. Moving always stinks, but moving during September is just plain stupid. “Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump… I felt I was the very definition of that quote! I did manage to get out for a little elk hunting the middle of September in CO and had a pretty incredible experience.

I accessed some landlocked public ground and the evening I was setting up my tent I heard a bull bugling. Always a good sign. In the dark the next morning I hiked north of camp and heard a bull bugling again. I positioned myself at the edge of an opening in the Pinion-Junipers that he was headed toward. A very small bull stepped into the clearing and it became obvious he was not making the bugles I heard. As the smaller bull was walking through the clearing he kept looking back so I decided to wait. A nice 6x6 stepped out, bugled, and gave me an easy broadside shot. I spent the morning breaking him down and packing him back to camp.

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I had a second tag (in this area of CO a person can have multiple bull tags), so that evening I hunted further to the NE where there were some canyons and I could get up higher to glass. As I sat there listening and glassing, I had three bulls feed out below me in the bottom of the canyon. They did not make a peep and one of the bulls was a beautiful, heavy 6x6. He gave me a standing, broadside shot and I had another bull to take care of. I spent most of the night boning and packing. I was as exhausted and sore as I have been in a very long time, but very thankful for two beautiful animals.

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I was lucky to both get a muzzleloader mule deer tag off of the Leftover List in a good unit and a tip on an incredible buck. I hunted for a day and a half for this buck before I found out someone had gotten to him first. I am very happy for the hunter and he got an amazing deer (pic below)! I found another mature buck on the second evening of the hunt. I made a great stalk putting myself into a position where he would feed past me at about 90 yards…then I flat out missed. On the walk out, I remembered why I don’t hunt with a muzzleloader much. Kudos to those that take animals consistently with one.

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I finally cashed in my WY elk points for a good hunt in November. I went up scouting earlier in the Fall and was feeling good about the hunt. The one thing I could not control was the weather and it sure would have been nice to have some cold and snow. Instead, I had a week of sun, wind, and 50-degree temps to work with (in WY, in the middle of November…REALLY). A friend had driven down from MT to help and we managed to turn up about 20 bulls the first few days. Some nice bulls, but nothing that got us too excited. A few more days into the hunt I was spending the morning sneaking into the wind and glassing on top of a big ridge. I saw five bulls that morning, but nothing I was interested in. As I peeked my head over another rockpile, I saw antlers everywhere. There were nine bulls bedded in the wide open, below a sharp rock face and out of the wind. It was a beautiful day, I had a good friend with, and the pack was all downhill. I might have found a better bull but was content with the 5x6 bedded in the sun below me at 320 yards. One shot later, we were enjoying the beautiful weather and packing elk. Sometimes it’s about good friends and the experience, not the inches of horn. This was one of those hunts and I left WY more than pleased.

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My daughter had drawn a 4th season mule deer tag in CO and was coming up from Arizona for the hunt and Thanksgiving. The hunt was in the unit we had just moved to in SW CO and I was able to do plenty of scouting. I had located a few areas that were holding deer and some really good bucks were there chasing does. When my daughter and her boyfriend arrived, she informed me she was going to shoot the first buck she saw, no matter how big, as she wanted to get one when her boyfriend was there. He had never hunted before and was very interested in learning more. She was as good as her word and an hour into the hunt she made a great shot on a buck. Not quite how I saw the hunt going, but it was her tag and she was very pleased. I taught them both how to bone an animal and then how to cut it up at home for packaging and processing.

Scouting buck
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Daughter's Buck! She said it was "cute".
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The last hunt of the year was a helping two non-resident friends that had drawn very good CO mule deer tags in a unit I know well. Over four days we saw some very nice bucks and they passed on all of them waiting for something special. After I left, they continued hunting and both got their bucks. They were happy, so I was happy.

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2023 blessed my family in many different ways. 2024 is looking great with two more grandkids arriving and a hunting season that is already full of planned hunts with family and friends! I hope you are surprised by a great tag in the draws and blessed with good health.


This bull was below the house almost every morning in late Sept/early Oct.
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Making elk sausage with my son and his girlfriend
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View from the deck every morning. Very blessed and thankful!!!
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Congratulations on a very full and successful year. It was jamb packed to say the least. How is the new house working out?
 
Awesome, the Buschy review is always solid. Congratulations on a great year, hopefully 24 is just as good!
 
I really like the combination of nonchalant success and recognition of the opportunity. Great summary, congrats on a full year
 
That’s awesome! What an amazing season. If I could shoot as many nice bulls in a decade as you did in a fall, I’d be a very happy man.
Congrats
 
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