Caribou Gear

Stoked for this Season, tips?

COrookie

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
43
Location
Colorado
Drew my muzzleloader deer tag this year in Colorado. Its a doe tag and I'm pretty familiar with the unit. It is not a unit with a lot of backcountry in so I will probably be "road hunting." As in I will have about three or four spots picked out to be able to hike in and out each day. Any tips for a first timer in both deer (doe) and muzzleloader?
 

ridn9high

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Messages
83
Location
Oklahoma
For a doe, I’d probably road hunt so I didn’t have to pack it far! We’ve seen so many within 100 yards of the road in every unit we’ve been in. If you had a buck muzzy tag, I’d hunt it totally different.
 

RyGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2022
Messages
173
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
If your unit is like mine: it’ll probably be HOT at that time of year. Hunt close to water, and close to shade. The deer will only move early in the morning and late in the evening. Have a plan for how to keep meat cool when you kill something.
 

elkduds

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
3,151
Location
CO Springs.
Scout. Learn about your area by spending time there before opening day. A day of live scouting is worth more than weeks of online research, and you have time for both. Some say scouting is the best part of hunting, and I agree.

Practice shooting from field positions, not a bench or tailgate, and know how close you need to be to hit a paper plate every time. That is your maximum range. Learn to reload quickly in case a 2nd shot is needed. Keep range reasonable so you don't wound or lose an animal.

Leave your vehicle and go hunt. Glass, hike, stalk. See deer from the road? park and go hunt them. Cover the country, put in some miles. Take enough water, or filter the water you found while scouting if it didn't dry up. Be in the good spots you found during scouting 20 min. before shooting light. turn off phone, watch and listen. Ditto evenings, within range of water if days are warm. If you don't know how to track wounded animals, don't shoot after the sun goes down. Still hunt in cover during midday, stopping and glassing more than moving. Know how to get back to your vehicle so you don't need Search and Rescue. GPS is good but can be wrong or not work. Then you need to have and know map and compass.

You are likely to have multiple shooting opportunities on a doe hunt. Pass on uncertain shots, wait or get closer. Your doe is unlikely to drop where you shoot, Even deer shot through both lungs (only shot to take w muzzleloader) often travel 100 yards or more. When you decide to take a shot, go find that deer, even if it takes all day. It won't take that long if you shot with confidence, in range, unobstructed target, game standing still and mostly broadside, calm shooter.

Be prepared for any weather, every day. Listen to daily forecasts and prepare for conditions worse than forecast.

Know how to field dress and skin deer. If the day is warm and you have to carry it to the truck in pieces, take the hide off. A deer shot one day and found the next will probably be spoiled and wasted, killed for no reason. Deer are intelligent and emotional, with family bonds. Be disciplined; only take certain killing shots. Doe with a fawn? I'll keep on hunting.

If you approach this as a camping and hiking trip where you also get to shoot a doe, you will probably be successful. Relax, enjoy. The trip is better than the meat. Good luck this Sept, looking forward to your story here.
 
Last edited:

old270hunter

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2022
Messages
58
Location
California
I’d suggest just glassing 2 days right before the season opens. Does and doe groups are generally predictable in their movements from bedding areas to feeding, and back to bedding. Pay attention to wind direction if conditions are typical for the area. I’d glass early and late, staying out of bedding areas and feeding areas. No need to be out there either, except for the first 2 and last 2 hours of daylight. Whatever you find on day one and 2 before the season, will generally hold true for your opening day of the season. You can position yourself accordingly and should tag out in short order. I‘d stay low elevation for sure and I’d be hunting near wherever there is some really good feed, like apples or crops, with adjacent public land. Might as well get a good eater. This is exactly what I do with a doe tag.
 
Yeti

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