co deer 82 3rd rifle

slim23

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Jun 21, 2011
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We are going to unit 82 for 3rd rifle deer. We traditionally backpack hunt but we are planning on more of a moving base camp and spiking out. From what i have seen on other threads most are elk hunting in the southern half of the unit but i could be wrong. Like everyone we are hoping for snow and cold!
I have a lot of experience with elk and alaska and understand the work that is required for those, but late season mule deer are something i don't have experience with. The country looks very steep with all of the trails in the bottoms of the canyons. Getting high before light and glassing looks to be the name of the game? Has anyone hunted in the san luis valley? Quality of deer there?
 

GameChaser

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Dec 14, 2018
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Yes, I hunted in that area a few years ago. I think your idea of glassing is sound (especially the first and last hour of each day). There are some good quality deer in the area, just like almost anywhere in CO. Like you said, a little snow and cold will help to get them moving and be a little easier to find. Good luck!
 

slim23

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Jun 21, 2011
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well i have 6 points and my friend has 2 and it has traditionally been drawn 50% with 1 point. I really wanted to hunt 80/81 but he couldn't be certain to draw a tag. We will go regardless with him buying a elk tag. The sheer size of the unit and the way it rises out of flat nothing to 5k' is a little intimidating.
 

wllm1313

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well i have 6 points and my friend has 2 and it has traditionally been drawn 50% with 1 point. I really wanted to hunt 80/81 but he couldn't be certain to draw a tag. We will go regardless with him buying a elk tag. The sheer size of the unit and the way it rises out of flat nothing to 5k' is a little intimidating.
Seriously... 8400’ to over 13,500’ in under 5 miles as the crow flys is a little nuts.

I bet it’s cold as shit 3rd season, the continental divide gets below freezing at night in September sometimes.
 

slim23

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Yeah having no foothills or any sort of gradual climb is very intimidating. Historical november temps are 40-15 average in the valley. Not sure how brisk that will be at 10-11k It looks like there are trails to get around on BLM to access different drainages with most of them having a hiking trail in the bottom. Not certain if i should bring the ranger along to save some beating on the truck on the BLM roads or not?
 

Bigjav

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There's steep and then there's the Sangre de Christo mountains.. it's cold and windy and those canyons are no joke. The roads in the valley are easily traversable in a pickup but the few roads that head up in the mountains are very sketchy at best especially in November
 

wllm1313

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Historical november temps are 40-15 average in the valley. Not sure how brisk that will be at 10-11k
I would bet it's going to be around 20 degrees with 15-20mph wind, possibly much colder, but that would be my ball park daytime temps.
 
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