Other hunters at your top spot, what do you do?

dmarsh2

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I drew a 2nd rifle deer tag this year that I'll be heading out for in less than 7 days - I'm so excited my dreams are filled with mule deer hunts... Scouting trips have gone great - I've seen more deer and deer sign than I expected, so my number one fear (getting skunked) is pretty low on the list of concerns right now. My greatest concern is how to manage other hunters.. overlapping with an OTC elk hunt, I'm anticipating that many pull-offs will have vehicles in them, so my question is what do most of you do in this instance? Do you move on to your next spot? Do you head in anyway, and just hope to not end up in the same location as them? Does it depend on the size of that area you're heading in to? I know it's public land hunting and running into others is inevitable, but I tend to lean towards the considerate move, which I think is to keep moving until you find a spot where no one's parked and there's low probability of you bumping into other hunters.

I already have a list of places that I plan to hunt - three contenders for "plan A" and another six spots that could all tie for "plan B", but I don't want to spend my time driving to and from different locations just to find hunters at every one. It's also worth noting these spots were selected to be away from forest roads & trails as well. What do those of you with more experience think?
 
I had this happen to me. I got into a better mood when I stopped caring what other people did, and improvised based on what they did. That’s why you find other places to hunt the opener. Almost killed a bull opening minute based on that strategy.
 
Thanks all for some great responses - I appreciate the additional minds sharing ideas.
 
2nd season the bucks will be tougher to find. I'd try to keep clear of most the elk hunters, you want to be on big buck country anyway.
Thanks for the helpful input - did notice a surprising amount of sign much closer to the roads than I expected. But the quote above has me a bit perplexed. Are you implying I won’t find bucks where the elk are? Or is it moreso the pressure brought on by the elk hunters? I’ve seen bucks in several instances and on camera sharing the same location with elk.
 
if you want the spot be up early enough to be the first one there, and not just sitting in the truck drinking coffee, pack ready, rifle ready, if it makes sense to start at her truck, or be hiked in if that makes sense... if I'm the first up the trail I have no problem aggressively going wherever I want, if for some reason I end up behind people I'm deferring to them and trying to not get into whatever zone they are going to, better to be out front even if you have to get up at 2 AM.
 
and all it takes is hunting a little differently than everyone else to be successful in a pressured spot. especially deer hunting.

i glassed long and hard all day once keeping tab on a group of bedded does while dudes just walked up and down the ridge tops directly above them, never stopping long enough look hard and find anything. evening started rolling in and a buck showed up to hang with the does and i picked my way over there and shot it. dudes were all around us all day. patience and sitting in the wind all day is likely to pay dividends, 2 hours of traipsing about at the golden hour, less so.
 
and all it takes is hunting a little differently than everyone else to be successful in a pressured spot. especially deer hunting.

i glassed long and hard all day once keeping tab on a group of bedded does while dudes just walked up and down the ridge tops directly above them, never stopping long enough look hard and find anything. evening started rolling in and a buck showed up to hang with the does and i picked my way over there and shot it. dudes were all around us all day. patience and sitting in the wind all day is likely to pay dividends, 2 hours of traipsing about at the golden hour, less so.

I had a similar situation on public land in Nebraska, but we never did kill the buck. He came out of a canyon and peeked around just long enough to see what every idiot was doing making all the noise and then he turned around and went back in. I could see all sides of that little crevasse all day and he never came out of it. If my father-in-law wasn't such a weakling, we would have made a move on the deer, but he "couldn't handle the terrain". That was frustrating letting that buck get away after sitting all day on him. There was a ton of hunting pressure that morning. I had 9 hunters come in on me by 8:00 am. It was the last time I hunted the state with a rifle. Most (not all) of the public land "hunters" there are some of the most disrespectful knuckleheads I have ever seen and that's saying a lot because I dealt with crap like that for 30 years in PA.
 
I had a similar situation on public land in Nebraska, but we never did kill the buck. He came out of a canyon and peeked around just long enough to see what every idiot was doing making all the noise and then he turned around and went back in. I could see all sides of that little crevasse all day and he never came out of it. If my father-in-law wasn't such a weakling, we would have made a move on the deer, but he "couldn't handle the terrain". That was frustrating letting that buck get away after sitting all day on him. There was a ton of hunting pressure that morning. I had 9 hunters come in on me by 8:00 am. It was the last time I hunted the state with a rifle. Most (not all) of the public land "hunters" there are some of the most disrespectful knuckleheads I have ever seen and that's saying a lot because I dealt with crap like that for 30 years in PA.

i'm lucky to have not encountered much disrespect in colorado yet. i've heard a few stories though.

listened to two locals get into a yelling argument after they ran into each other at the hot springs in wyoming a few days ago after they already had a minor verbal piss-off at a trailhead that morning. it'll happen to me eventually i'm sure... better to bow out and move on though then get into a yelling match.
 
In CO it seems that people either go in really deep or they road hunt. I've found that that 3-4 mile zone can be really good. Also, a couple years ago I shot a buck like half mile from a camp that had like 5 trailers, 7 trucks and a stack of ATV's in it. Where I shot the buck was a few hundred feet downhill from their camp, so none of them went there. They took the ATV's higher up the road. I also saw a good bull close to their camp as well. It just takes getting creative sometimes, sounds like you've got a head start. I just wouldn't overlook terrain that you think is too close to a road. If there is some terrain feature there that will keep people out, it could be a good spot.
 
I go somewhere else. I generally look for out of the way spots that don't look good at first glance and have several options. Odds of success go up if there is no sign of humans.
 
In CO it seems that people either go in really deep or they road hunt. I've found that that 3-4 mile zone can be really good. Also, a couple years ago I shot a buck like half mile from a camp that had like 5 trailers, 7 trucks and a stack of ATV's in it. Where I shot the buck was a few hundred feet downhill from their camp, so none of them went there. They took the ATV's higher up the road. I also saw a good bull close to their camp as well. It just takes getting creative sometimes, sounds like you've got a head start. I just wouldn't overlook terrain that you think is too close to a road. If there is some terrain feature there that will keep people out, it could be a good spot.

I killed a deer a few years back and looked over and some ouncecutters backpack camp was 25 yards away from me. lol
 
Thanks again for all the input everyone! I'm feelin much better about hunting this high-pressured zone. Several of the recommendations are already woven into my plan, and it's quite reassuring to hear others recommend these strategies I've implemented. I'll update with the results and will send some jerky (if it's acquired) to one lucky winner on this post.
 
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