Aww yeah, Colorado draw results are out and my excitement for hunting has not wavered in the off season. Therefore, I declare it time to start the 2018 journal! If you're new to the site or the Live Hunts forum, you may want to go blow a few hours reading our past journals. If you don't want to read them, here's the TLDR: We're a couple that hunts mostly on public land in Colorado, do-it-yourself, for any species with any weapon, and we try to recount those hunts here.
Link to Season 7
Link to Season 6
Theme of the Season
If you've read those, you'll know that we have a few friends we've introduced to hunting. The theme of this year is intended to be mentoring. B-Rad only applied for and had a deer tag last year, was unsuccessful, but had some fun stalks. Fitzy only had a small game license. Both of them jumped in head first, with no prompting by us, and applied for elk, deer and pronghorn this year. We have two other friends that have hunted elk unsuccessfully for 3 years. My dad has hunted archery elk for 7 years with a single cow under his belt.
Here's the rough schedule at the moment. Some hunts overlap, so it will depend on whether we've tagged out in one unit or not.
CO OTC Archery Elk (Dad, Other friends)
CO Archery Bear ( Vanish )
CO Early Rifle Deer (FireTiger)
CO Rifle Pronghorn (The whole freakin crew, some with buck tags, some with does)
CO 2nd Season Deer (B-Rad)
CO Plains Whitetail (Vanish, Fitzy)
NE Archery Deer (Vanish, Dad)
As you can see, we're a bit light on the elk hunts. Neither FireTiger nor I have elk tags yet. Most likely I'll just buy OTC Archery, but I may just watch for tags while helping others. FireTiger has had success on 4th season elk hunts, and I would put money on her trying to get a hold of one of those tags, but she's got this idea of hunting new units, whereas I am more inclined to hunt where I already know I'll find elk.
You'll also notice a bear tag in there. Fully expect to not fill this tag as I usually only see one per year while hunting, but it will be the first time I am carrying one. I was always kind of ambivalent on hunting bears, but two things have changed. 1.) I've eaten bear twice this year, and its good. 2.) There's record numbers of bears out there this year. Why not?
We're still just over two months away from the first season, but in the meantime we'll be alpine fishing and scouting. I've got two deer points now and I'd really like to try an archery alpine mule deer hunt in the near future, either 2019 or 2020. I started researching and gathering the gear for that type of hunt in 2007 and even though we moved to Colorado in 2010, I've always focused on archery elk. Bugling bulls are hard to resist, and vacation time is limited!
Lastly, Hank and I continue for explore the CO Front Range backyard backcountry. With so much development, it can be easy to miss the foothills. It takes a good map and being willing to climb some quite steep stuff to get in there, but there's a lot more available than first glance. This meadow was our reward for 2 hours of climbing the other day, only a 20 minute drive from home.