Colorado 4th rifle mule deer unit 22.

coueshunter

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
25
Howdy fellow hunters!

I burned up my 17 bonus points before I get too old to hunt heh heh. Anyway, I have secured this tag. Planning a scouting trip soon and would love if anybody has some info on this unit.

Thanks, and happy hunting!
 

ridn9high

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Messages
82
Location
Oklahoma
Not to be a downer, but very tough hunt these days for a mature buck. The unit has taken a nose dive and only getting worse. Lots of guys that know the unit well, are all saying the same thing(couple recent threads on MM). If you have an account over there, I’d PM a few of those guys that are posting and ask lots of questions. Then CPW decided that adding 480 doe tags last year between 2nd and 3rd season was a great idea, when there was on 20 total tags for 2nd and 3rd the year before that. Since my hunt in 17’ during 3rd season, I’ve help a number of guys with the tag through PM on numerous sites. They went into the hunt in hopes of finding “the one” and all seemed very disappointed after the hunt. Theres a reason the 4th season tags are taking less points to draw now than previous years.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Divide, Colorado
Howdy fellow hunters!

I burned up my 17 bonus points before I get too old to hunt heh heh. Anyway, I have secured this tag. Planning a scouting trip soon and would love if anybody has some info on this unit.

Thanks, and happy hunting!
We took a good friend and her son to unit 22 just two years ago. She burned 16 points. She and her husband had both applied 16 years previously before finding out she was pregnant with their son. Unfortunately her husband passed away before ever getting enough points to hunt unit 22. So, we took her & her son to celebrate his life and to help them make new memories. There were a total of eight of us just looking for her buck of a lifetime. We did see a lot of deer during 4th season. But nothing even close to being worth waiting 16 years to take. I was fortunate to get help from another Hunttalk member and the local DOW office. We also had the chance to meet many locals during archery and then 4th season. Everyone had told us that the deer quality had dropped dramatically. We saw this with our own eyes. Lots of average bucks and plenty of does.

If there is heavy snow before 4th season you have a much better chance that more and possibly larger bucks will migrate into this area. During archery, for which I had pulled a tag, we were scouting the entire unit for deer & elk. We didn't see one deer over an entire week during archery season. Lots of turkey, elk, and wild horses. The DOW biologist assured us we would see deer in 4th season. We did. Just nothing to write home about and we looked at well over 100+ bucks in 5 days. She was happy to have gone to remember. I personally would get my points back and try another unit. What people have been saying about the unit is true. Quality is way down. The unit where I live requires 5 points to draw a 4th season tag and the bucks here are much larger than anything we saw in unit 22. Just an opinion based on what we experienced.

We are going back this year during 4th season for elk. We found several very nice bulls while searching for a mature buck.
 

hunter94

New member
Joined
Jun 17, 2022
Messages
10
Not to be a downer, but very tough hunt these days for a mature buck. The unit has taken a nose dive and only getting worse. Lots of guys that know the unit well, are all saying the same thing(couple recent threads on MM). If you have an account over there, I’d PM a few of those guys that are posting and ask lots of questions. Then CPW decided that adding 480 doe tags last year between 2nd and 3rd season was a great idea, when there was on 20 total tags for 2nd and 3rd the year before that. Since my hunt in 17’ during 3rd season, I’ve help a number of guys with the tag through PM on numerous sites. They went into the hunt in hopes of finding “the one” and all seemed very disappointed after the hunt. There is a reason the 4th season tags are taking less points to draw now than previous years.
 

Western Traveler1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
906
Location
The Front Montana
Hunted it 3rd season a number of years ago by myself. It is a migration hunt. An easy unit to navigate and hunt as an older guy. Can’t speak to the quality of deer now. I will offer that the roads get damn slick with the right conditions.
 
Last edited:

jace

New member
Joined
Jun 7, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Montana
Congrats on the tag, I drew 4th season for unit 3 this year. I have never hunted CO before but from my little bit of research so far it sounds like if the snow shows up prior to 4th season up there it should bring in some more deer. I hope you enjoy it and have fun out there, good luck!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Divide, Colorado
Hunted it 3rd season a number of years ago by myself. It was a migration hunt. An easy unit to navigate and hunt as an older guy. Can’t speak to the quality of deer now. I will offer that the roads get damn slick with the right conditions.
Great point! I almost forgot. Bring snow chains!!! As much for the possible mud as for any snow that might appear! So glad we got that hint before arriving 4th season. It was bone dry in September. There is virtually no open water anywhere except near the private ranches. Miles of BLM land and roads due to the gas well platforms.
 

coueshunter

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
25
Great point! I almost forgot. Bring snow chains!!! As much for the possible mud as for any snow that might appear! So glad we got that hint before arriving 4th season. It was bone dry in September. There is virtually no open water anywhere except near the private ranches. Miles of BLM land and roads due to the gas well platforms.
Thanks, I'm pretty old and fat. Just had 3 ankle surgeries so my expectations aren't too high. Used to shooting these little Coues deer, so anything over 120 points will look huge lol. Yes, I ALWAYS bring snow chains to Colorado!
 

coueshunter

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
25
Congrats on the tag, I drew 4th season for unit 3 this year. I have never hunted CO before but from my little bit of research so far it sounds like if the snow shows up prior to 4th season up there it should bring in some more deer. I hope you enjoy it and have fun out there, good luck!
Thanks, congrats and good luck to you.
 

coueshunter

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
25
Not to be a downer, but very tough hunt these days for a mature buck. The unit has taken a nose dive and only getting worse. Lots of guys that know the unit well, are all saying the same thing(couple recent threads on MM). If you have an account over there, I’d PM a few of those guys that are posting and ask lots of questions. Then CPW decided that adding 480 doe tags last year between 2nd and 3rd season was a great idea, when there was on 20 total tags for 2nd and 3rd the year before that. Since my hunt in 17’ during 3rd season, I’ve help a number of guys with the tag through PM on numerous sites. They went into the hunt in hopes of finding “the one” and all seemed very disappointed after the hunt. There is a reason the 4th season tags are taking less points to draw now than previous years.
Thanks, no problem. Just getting out of town and into the woods is plenty good enough. Some mud and snow would even be better! Thanks for the input.
 

coueshunter

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
25
We took a good friend and her son to unit 22 just two years ago. She burned 16 points. She and her husband had both applied 16 years previously before finding out she was pregnant with their son. Unfortunately her husband passed away before ever getting enough points to hunt unit 22. So, we took her & her son to celebrate his life and to help them make new memories. There were a total of eight of us just looking for her buck of a lifetime. We did see a lot of deer during 4th season. But nothing even close to being worth waiting 16 years to take. I was fortunate to get help from another Hunttalk member and the local DOW office. We also had the chance to meet many locals during archery and then 4th season. Everyone had told us that the deer quality had dropped dramatically. We saw this with our own eyes. Lots of average bucks and plenty of does.

If there is heavy snow before 4th season you have a much better chance that more and possibly larger bucks will migrate into this area. During archery, for which I had pulled a tag, we were scouting the entire unit for deer & elk. We didn't see one deer over an entire week during archery season. Lots of turkey, elk, and wild horses. The DOW biologist assured us we would see deer in 4th season. We did. Just nothing to write home about and we looked at well over 100+ bucks in 5 days. She was happy to have gone to remember. I personally would get my points back and try another unit. What people have been saying about the unit is true. Quality is way down. The unit where I live requires 5 points to draw a 4th season tag and the bucks here are much larger than anything we saw in unit 22. Just an opinion based on what we experienced.

We are going back this year during 4th season for elk. We found several very nice bulls while searching for a mature buck.
Thanks for the info, going to hope for snow! Well, hopefully a couple 3 pointers made it through last year.
 

ridn9high

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Messages
82
Location
Oklahoma
Thanks, no problem. Just getting out of town and into the woods is plenty good enough. Some mud and snow would even be better! Thanks for the input.
send me a PM if you like! You got a lot of points tied up and I can let you know what I learned during the hunt!
 

old270hunter

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2022
Messages
58
Location
California
I'll be camped in 22 for all 2nd season and staying until Nov 8. Will be hunting 11, but fishing the river daily in several spots butted up against 22. I have hunted 22 several times in 2nd and 3rd over the years, and I've seen quite a few bucks late in the 3rd on multiple occasions. I'd suspect you'll have a decent hunt in the 4th and won't be having tag soup. I don't know that I'd burn any time scouting until maybe a few days before the hunt in that area, because it probably won't tell you much. More bucks move into the area as the rifle seasons move forward. If I was holding your tag in the 4th, I know exactly where I'd be starting though considering it will be full on rut. I'd be very focused on the hill sides and funnels leading down to the river, where there are plenty of doe groups. Unless I saw large groups of does elsewhere, I'd probably focus on the areas of 22 within a mile or 2 of the river inside 22. Congrats on the tag for 4th there, and I'd be happy with it.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Divide, Colorado
Thanks for the info, going to hope for snow! Well, hopefully a couple 3 pointers made it through last year.
There was no shortage of 4x4 bucks seen during the 4th season. Our group easily saw over 100 bucks. During a previous decade 180-200 inch bucks were "relatively" common during 3rd & 4th seasons. This is what began the massive point creep. Now, with few exceptions in Colorado, the number of points needed to draw into a declining unit has gone just crazy. You find out that your "lifetime" hunt was actually for the tag since the "lifetime" bulls or bucks have now gone. If you use OnX send me a PM and I can share way points with you.

The picture of the buck I use for my account was taken in my back yard during 4th season about 10 years ago. We were at first expecting similar bucks since 16 points were needed to draw this 4th season hunt in unit 22. Never did see anything close on the available public lands.

old270Hunter gave you great advice too. We ran into a lot of elk hunters in those areas during 4th season because so many second draw & leftover tags had been made available. Hunters were driving everywhere trying to get ahead of the next group of hunters anywhere near water. All trying to find the magical herd of elk which are stupid enough to stand out in the open while watching hunters drive towards them from a mile or more away. lol However, most of these elk hunters will be glad to tell you where they have been seeing deer if you ask.
 

coueshunter

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
25
I'll be camped in 22 for all 2nd season and staying until Nov 8. Will be hunting 11, but fishing the river daily in several spots butted up against 22. I have hunted 22 several times in 2nd and 3rd over the years, and I've seen quite a few bucks late in the 3rd on multiple occasions. I'd suspect you'll have a decent hunt in the 4th and won't be having tag soup. I don't know that I'd burn any time scouting until maybe a few days before the hunt in that area, because it probably won't tell you much. More bucks move into the area as the rifle seasons move forward. If I was holding your tag in the 4th, I know exactly where I'd be starting though considering it will be full on rut. I'd be very focused on the hill sides and funnels leading down to the river, where there are plenty of doe groups. Unless I saw large groups of does elsewhere, I'd probably focus on the areas of 22 within a mile or 2 of the river inside 22. Congrats on the tag for 4th there, and I'd be happy with it.
Thank you very much!
 

old270hunter

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2022
Messages
58
Location
California
There was no shortage of 4x4 bucks seen during the 4th season. Our group easily saw over 100 bucks. During a previous decade 180-200 inch bucks were "relatively" common during 3rd & 4th seasons. This is what began the massive point creep. Now, with few exceptions in Colorado, the number of points needed to draw into a declining unit has gone just crazy. You find out that your "lifetime" hunt was actually for the tag since the "lifetime" bulls or bucks have now gone. If you use OnX send me a PM and I can share way points with you.

The picture of the buck I use for my account was taken in my back yard during 4th season about 10 years ago. We were at first expecting similar bucks since 16 points were needed to draw this 4th season hunt in unit 22. Never did see anything close on the available public lands.

old270Hunter gave you great advice too. We ran into a lot of elk hunters in those areas during 4th season because so many second draw & leftover tags had been made available. Hunters were driving everywhere trying to get ahead of the next group of hunters anywhere near water. All trying to find the magical herd of elk which are stupid enough to stand out in the open while watching hunters drive towards them from a mile or more away. lol However, most of these elk hunters will be glad to tell you where they have been seeing deer if you ask.
Years ago, probably 15 and more or so, 22 was lumped in with 11 and 211. There was no 4th season back then if I recall right (it was before they added a 4th). I do know I had no trouble at all drawing a buck tag for several years consecutively in the rifle seasons 2 and 3, with 0 points. Nowadays, I can't even touch a tag there in ANY season with my 2 preference points, and have been relegated to doe tags in 11 if I want to hunt in the area. I will say, I'd not be interested in a 2nd season buck tag in 22, but the 3rd or 4th, now that's a different story. I'd gladly have that 4th season tag in 22, even if I know I'd be freezing my ass off. The rut completely changes the game in that zone.
 

WYelker

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
178
Life long hunter in 22. Not many guys have spent more time and killed more animals
In 22 than I have. The unit is an absolute disaster. What the state has done to the NW corner is criminal and if I had not fled the liberal crap he 3 years ago, I would be spending my every waking moment highlighting the horrible management of the area. I have hunted in 22 every year on some level since 1992. There has never been a time since then they the quality and over all deer numbers have been lower.

To top it all off they killed nearly 500 doe last year and they are planning to kill several hundred more this year.

Once pain a time I would never look twice at a buck
Under 160 in the unit. I would have have said any 3rd or 4th season tag had a good Chen with at breaking 180 if they hunted hard and knew the unit.

Just a few years back we could find 40 bucks a day and see over 150 deer total. Last year opening day in same units on the later 3rd season date we saw, under 30 deer total and killed one of only 2 bucks we saw. When we went to the packing plant they had a pile of doe lined up… Absolutely sickening.

The unit is no where near worth 5 points let alone 17. roads everywhere, elk hunters everywhere, doe hunters everywhere, big bucks all but nonexistent.

I will continue to hunt with my on the December cow hunt and help him with his tag when he draws. But from what I saw last year it is done for a decade.

Oh and don’t forget, deer migrate into 22. They come
From
The units where the CPW has increased tag allocations to literally kill all the mature bucks in the name of CWD.

We had the 4th tags 3 years ago and ate tag soup. Never saw a buck over 160. Biggest buck last year barely broke 160.
 

coueshunter

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
25
Hi, thank you for your input. I really appreciate it.

That's really too bad about the unit. I hope it gets better over time.
 
Yeti

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