Rookie question on cow behavior

danadrums

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
Messages
81
Location
CO
Alright, folks, here's what is probably a dumb question, but I don't care. I want to know.
I have a cow tag for 1st and 2nd rifle seasons here in CO, which encompasses Oct 10-14, then Oct 17-25. Now, as I understand it, the 1st rifle season would be maybe at the tail end of the rut, and 2nd rifle is probably just after the rut. I can find ALL KINDS of info on bull behavior for just about anytime of the year, but cow behavior is not so plentiful. There is some good info on the CO DOW site, but it is pretty general. Here's my question: How different is cow behavior during these periods? Is it vastly different than the bulls? I will be hunting in GMU 18 and 181 respectively. GMU 18 has a lot of mountains and timber, while 181 is more plains type terrain. GMU 18 is where I am concentrating most of my effort. Are the cows likely to be herded together, or are they more solo? Are they looking for anything different than the bulls as far as terrain, or will it be pretty much the same? Not being a wildlife biologist, I'm not clear on this. Any insight is helpful.

Thanks.

--Dana
 

sbhooper

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Jul 7, 2012
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4,178
Location
North Platte, Nebraska
For one thing, there is no stupid question. If you want to know, then ask.

One thing is that if private land is available there, the cows will head to it when the pressure heats up on the first rifle season. The only time that I hunted a second season in Colorado, the elk had bailed and those that were left were in super thick cover. If this is the case where you are hunting, then you will have to plan to go in and dig them out.

When the rut is going on, you can find cows by going to a bugle. Chances are the bulls will be near the cows. After the rut, then it will be an Easter egg hunt. A lot of the hunt will depend on where the pressure is. Try to get away from the other hunters and concentrate your efforts on the tops of ridges, or within 1/3 the distance down the north slope.

Just my observations.
 

Rooster52

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Feb 18, 2014
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1,818
In Colorado I like to try to figure out there escape route.Usually a saddle in between the private land and public land.Get in there before first light and set and wait,let other hunters push animals around.Hunting Colorado during rifle season,this is the only way I will hunt.I usually set all day if things look good to me.Short seasons and lots of hunters.
 

danadrums

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
Messages
81
Location
CO
Thanks for the replies.
SBHOOPER, I am putting most of my effort into the 1st season elk. The 2nd season is a tag I picked up because it was available and I had a doe tag in the same unit. Since I usually see the most elk when I ONLY have a deer tag, it seemed like a good idea. I hadn't thought at all about bugling. That's a great idea. I will give it a shot.

ROOSTER, also a great idea about watching the escape routes to private land. I've been concentrating my scouting and research on drainages/north facing slopes, as far away from roads as I can find. Hadn't thought about the escape routes. I will factor that into the map reading and google earth scouring.

Thanks a bunch!

--Dana
 

sbhooper

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
4,178
Location
North Platte, Nebraska
Thanks for the replies.
SBHOOPER, I am putting most of my effort into the 1st season elk. The 2nd season is a tag I picked up because it was available and I had a doe tag in the same unit. Since I usually see the most elk when I ONLY have a deer tag, it seemed like a good idea. I hadn't thought at all about bugling. That's a great idea. I will give it a shot.

ROOSTER, also a great idea about watching the escape routes to private land. I've been concentrating my scouting and research on drainages/north facing slopes, as far away from roads as I can find. Hadn't thought about the escape routes. I will factor that into the map reading and google earth scouring.

Thanks a bunch!

--Dana

I did not really say to bugle, but it may help locate a bull. I was mainly just saying to listen for the bugle and go toward it. It can't hurt to try, though.
 

BR-549

New member
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
166
Location
Ohio
In Colorado I like to try to figure out there escape route.Usually a saddle in between the private land and public land.Get in there before first light and set and wait,let other hunters push animals around.Hunting Colorado during rifle season,this is the only way I will hunt.I usually set all day if things look good to me.Short seasons and lots of hunters.

Ditto!
 

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