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Pulled Up Stakes Buck

crock239

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
497
Location
Iowa
My group missed on all draws this year, and in September I decided to buy a 3rd season Colorado buck deer tag off reissue list. This would be my first solo trip, so I was interested to see how I'd like being on my own.

When I spoke with the game warden he used the phrase "I'm not gonna sugarcoat it" more than once and uttered "deer kill" as well. 😬 Undeterred, I continued to to e-scout and plan, figuring this would be a chance to test some of my gear and abilities.

I arrived in my unit on opening morning, and quickly found a spot to set up camp.

Used the same camp setup from last years NM hunt. Works pretty well. 20211113_121231.jpg
20211113_121719.jpg

After setting camp in spot somewhat protected from the 40mph winds that would continue through the week, I climbed to a glassing knob behind camp.


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crock239

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
497
Location
Iowa
No deer were spotted from glassing spot #1 the first afternoon, so the next morning I hiked into a small piece of BLM that looked like it might hold a few deer.
20211114_071717.jpg

Lesson #1, glassing into 40-50mph wind gusts sucks. But, I did turn up a small bull moose that fed on the sage just below me for a half hour or so....
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Day two finished with lots of wind and no deer sightings, but still having a good time.
 

crock239

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
497
Location
Iowa
Having seen no deer in two days (and no fresh sign either) the morning of day 3 I took a little road trip to the other side of the unit, where I met some OTC elk hunters who claimed to have actually seen A buck and some deer sign. So, I pulled up stakes and moved camp to that side of the unit.
20211113_184016.jpg

More ponderosa pine on that side and timber cuts, less picturesque and I didn't do a good job taking pics so here's a filler from Day 1 or 2...
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...and one of me generally trying to not get hypothermia in 20F with the 30 knot winds--this was a theme for the week. Still smiling and having a good time.

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I spent most of days 3 and 4 scouring that side of the unit, glassing, hiking where the road hunters can't or won't go with no luck whatsoever, no deer sightings and no fresh sign ....either there's no deer here or I really suck at mule deer hunting (maybe both). I spoke with a few more of the OTC elk hunters and none of them had seen any deer either.

Either way, I decided I've had my fun and my fill of this area too and pulled up stakes to move camp again, bc I'm solo and I only have to answer to me...
 
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crock239

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
497
Location
Iowa
....this time I realize I've already accomplished most of my goals for the trip. Navigated, camped, and hunted comfortably in cold, windy (did I mention the wind??) Conditions without breaking anything, tearing up my truck too bad, or losing anything too important. Learned some more things about the mountains, glassing, what not to do, etc.

I also realize that while I COULD stick it out 3 more days and I MIGHT luck across a mule deer (and maybe a buck):

1. the fun for this trip might be hitting its apex, and

2. it's still the whitetail rut in IA and I still have a valid archery tag

So, I went ahead and moved camp 13 hrs east with no regrets....
 

crock239

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
497
Location
Iowa
...not wanting to leave empty handed, on the way out of my unit in Colorado I stopped to pick up a momento of the trip. No, I'm not concerned that this hunt report will cause point creep to increase in the immediate area...;)
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I arrived back in IA, did quick switch out of gear, fulfilled some Dad duties, and headed to my favorite public land IA spot. 20211119_072419.jpg

I love this place. A high oak-covered knife ridge sandwiched between a river and fallow field, connecting private ag fields to the east with bedding cover and sanctuary on the west end of the ridge. The perfect travel funnel ambush.

This morning was frosty crisp and still, and as usual a half dozen bald eagles were chattering and fishing the river only 40 yards from my tree.

The first deer of the morning was a nice buck...narrow but HEAVY and to me an obvious shooter. I watched as he slowly approached from 75 yds, following a trail that would lead him only a few yards from my stand....

20211119_122155.jpg

On what would have been my last hunting day in CO....I'm already looking forward to my next chance to hunt the mountains, but in this case it seems like pulling up stakes and changing locations was a good choice.

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Wallydeuce

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
1,012
Location
NV
Nice buck. Congratulations!

Congratulations on your experience in Colorado. That's why they call it hunting.
 
Yeti

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