Vanish and FireTiger's 2019 Journal

vanish

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Nov 25, 2015
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Location
Colorado


Welcome back to those of you who followed us in 2018, and welcome to those of you new to joining us on our adventures. This will be my 9th year journaling our season, which I have been attempting to do since we moved to Colorado. The site I have posted these adventures on has changed over the years, looking for the right internet home. We've been here on Hunttalk for the past 3 seasons.

Link to 2018 Season
Link to 2017 Season
Link to 2016 Season

Our goal last year was mentoring. Things did not quite work out as we had planned, but I was able to help my dad take his first archery bull elk, and FireTiger helped another of our friend's take his first elk. We also introduced two people to pronghorn hunting.

I think the goal this year is to simply relaxed and have a good time. If others want help planning or help on a hunt, we'll try, but we're not going to go out of our way to push others into getting into it. We can be a bit intimidating for a new person who does not have the same commitment level as we do.

Season Schedule

Its too early to tell yet, as draws have not even started here in Colorado, but we do know and can assume a few things.

February
TX Hogs ( Vanish, FireTiger )

April
CO Limited Spring Turkey ( Vanish, FireTiger )

May
CO OTC Spring Turkey ( Vanish, FireTiger, Dad )

August
CO OTC Archery Elk ( Vanish, Dad )

September
CO Archery Bear ( Vanish )

October
CO Rifle Deer ( Vanish, Dad, predicted )
CO Plains Whitetail ( FireTiger, predicted )
NE Archery Deer ( Vanish, Dad, FireTiger )


Thoughts and Plans

Pronghorn is a big hole in our schedule. I am proposing archery, as it starts with two full weekends before elk season this year, which doesn't happen very often. I am leaving the choice to FireTiger though, as she has at least one point and I do not, and it is the animal she likes hunting the most. She will also have a chance to draw in Wyoming.

FireTiger is still working out what she wants to do for elk. She likes the late hunts where we glass them in the snow, but she's not sure where she wants to do it this year. She gambled on reissues last year, lost and went with plan C. We were not greatly excited by that tag. Additionally, the tag she's been saving her point for no longer looks like the way to go.

I talked about doing an alpine archery hunt for mule deer in the future, but I still just cannot get around giving up elk hunting to hunt deer. I really like the hunt I am planning on putting in for, so I've decided to stop worrying about it being a rifle hunt. Theoretically I could use my bow during the rifle season, but its a small huntable area and blowing a couple of stalks could easily end the hunt.

Unlike many on this forum, we don't really put in for out of state draw tags. I have some WY points for elk and deer ( from before this decision was made, and now I feel too invested to "opt-out" ), and FireTiger wanted to do one more WY pronghorn hunt. We are happy enough with the tags we can get here in CO, and don't feel the need to chase the trophy units in other states. I did look into New Mexico as they have hunts for Barbary Sheep, Ibex and Oryx, but I just couldn't make the numbers work out in a way that made me happy. There are a few lottery tags we will put in for, but otherwise that money is going to a traveling hunt fund, most likely for hunts outside the lower 48. We're both more interested in chasing something you can't chase here at home as opposed to having a chance at a "better" hunt for something we hunt every year.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
It's always a good day on HuntTalk when the next Journal post comes up on the feed. Looking forward to the chronicles of your adventures.
 

vanish

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Nov 25, 2015
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Location
Colorado
Looking forward to it. Any fishing in the plans?
Oh yes, absolutely. We're planning an Idaho backpack fishing trip in late July, as well as plenty of trips here in Colorado. We don't tend to schedule those and rather head where the conditions allow.

Besides, I started a new hobby this winter, DIY Balsa lures, and I'll need to test them on real fish. I have a couple dozen, but these were the first three ready for testing.

 
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TheBenHoyle

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Dec 5, 2016
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Location
Illinois
I'll be following along. Great stories and I find I can always learn something from your hunts. Thank you so much for sharing.
 

dirtclod Az.

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Jan 24, 2018
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WE USE TROUT REPLICAS 6" FOR BIG BASS.I DIDN'T KNOW YOU HAD PIKE IN COLORADO.:cool:
 

vanish

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Nov 25, 2015
Messages
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Location
Colorado
I'm going to try to do a better recap of our hog trip.

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Wednesday

Back in the middle of the season, a friend of ours (S) - you might recognize from last year's journal as the fellow FireTiger helped take his first cow elk - we met through BHA invited us to go on a hog hunting trip. I didn't ask for any details and immediately said yes, as we had talked about doing it for years. The trip would be to one of his friend's (M) lease down in Texas. He has done this trip before with his relatives and a couple other friends, but the bunk house could hold a few more people and the more the merrier. We'd split the meat between the group when we were done. We would have access to a 2000 acre ranch, but some of the area near the river would be unreachable due to flooding.



We left after lunch of Wednesday, piling the three of us and two dogs into the from of S's truck. That was fun. S's dog is a young goofy yellow lab that just wanted Hank's love and attention, while Hank, past 10 years old, just wanted some personal space to curl up and wait out the long drive. Dog hair was flying everywhere. Eventually they worked something out, but we found the best thing was to give Hank a spot below the rear passenger's feet! :D

I ate my first Whataburger and we met up with the other half of the crew somewhere past Amarillo. We'd finish the drive in the morning, arriving around lunch time, in time to get out for the evening hunt. The best hog hunting there is apparently at dusk and in the evening anyway.



Darn, got to get to work.
 
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vanish

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Colorado
We ate our continental breakfast in the morning and hit the road. We needed to stop at the market on the way to pick up additional food for the trip. The "old guys" claimed all the cooking - easy enough for me. Little did I know just what that would entail! After two agonizing hours, we were finally out of there with two shopping carts full. Holy cow, I could have lived on that for a month, but I wasn't going to complain after eating their cooking.

Finally, we were on our way to the ranch, arriving just after 2pm. We'd be staying in the bunk, but there were several buildings on the property, including an outbuilding just for cleaning and a walk-in cooler. Nice!





We hadn't been there 20 minutes and I had yet to eat lunch when people were hollering that we needed to get a move on. Apparently, we should be in the stands soon so as to give the pigs some time to show up after we made our racket going in. There was a brief discussion about where each party would be headed. We decided since we hadn't had a chance to see the property yet, that Hank would stay. Several people requested certain spots as they had been there before, and the rest of us drew straws for locations.

We threw our gear together, mounted our flashlights and hopped in a UTV M had brought down and generously loaned us. It would be about 3 miles to the stand we drew, with the last half mile being a muddy mess. We'd brought hip boots as we'd heard it could get pretty gnarly, and that ended us being a wise decision.



Our spot was a giant box blind on stilts furthest away from the ranch and closest to the flooding. There were several high spots around and we were advised this would probably be one of the better spots for traveling hogs, but that the feeders (there were two near this stand) may or may not be working.





We parked the UTV about 1/4 mile away and waddled our way over. On the way, we found a well worn travel lane, and I dumped a bit of corn on the ground where I thought we might have a good clear shot.

It was a perfect stand for two of us, with plenty of room both of us and our gear. We settled in to wait for evening to approach, and to see if the feeders were working.
 

vanish

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Colorado
We got settled into the blind and started hitting our rations hard. I was famished after missing lunch. After an hour of checking out our surroundings, we had a couple of deer wander by out a few hundred yards, but nothing else was stirring, and I got into my book.

The feeders were supposed to kick off at 4:30pm and 8pm and I didn't really expect much until at least the first one, since we were told the hogs are pretty noctural here. 4:30 came and went and we noticed the one closest to us did not trigger. Dang... Back into my book I went. As the sun set, something popper me out of my book and I looked across the pond to see a blond ping standing right next to the other feeder. Agh, where did he come from? Everyone said they'd make all kinds of a ruckus and we'd hear them!

Though he was straight out my window, I called FireTiger over to get the first opportunity. She settled into place with her .270 and dropped him with a single shot through the ear. I was pretty happy with that at 150 yards!

We waited about 15 minutes to see if any others came out, but he was a lone boar. We got out of the stand, waddled over and dragged him about 40 yards away from the feeder. I could tell it was going to be "interesting" to get him out later in the night, as he was on the other side of a swail from the stand. Darkness was falling fast, so there wasn't much for photos at this point, so we got back in the stand to hopefully wait for another hog.

Through all of this, all 10 people on the property had a group text going. Oh, so different from hunting the mountains of home! :D A couple people had heard some squealing, but FireTiger was the first with a shot. S had 5 whitetail bucks under him, which were scared off when she shot, but then missed a hog right after. Much teasing ensued about being outshot by a girl. P had raccoons in his feeder. About an hour later S got redemption as hogs came through again closer. MN called a shot but had to go tracking.

----- More to come, have to get back to work -----
 
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