Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Pa.
    Posts
    1,161

    Default Colorado Unit 3 Muley

    I just got back from Colorado last night after an uneventful 28 hour drive. I got out there early last Friday and coming through Craig, the number of trucks pulling campers, fifth wheels and toy haulers was amazing. I stopped in the Walmart there and the line of folks at the sporting goods counter was 25 deep. Murdoch's was the same. I did not expect there to be this many hunters, silly me.
    I got to Maybell, set up camp and went out to do some scouting. I found a few spots that looked promising and settled on a spot for the next morning.
    Saturday, I was up at 4am and a mile or so deep in to public just before first light. As it became light enough to see, the trucks and ATV's started to pour in and pretty soon I was surrounded so I packed up and went on a walkabout. Five and a half miles and not a deer to be seen but if there were a season on lifted dodge trucks, I could have tagged out very quickly.
    Fortunately, I had spent the time to find some spots on the map with no roads although these were few and far between. One spot was a little sliver of BLM that a road crossed and opened up into about a mile square of BLM. Where the road crossed, access was very steep and rocky so Im pretty sure i was the only one around who would give it a go. After a grunt to get up to the top it was perfect country, rolling hills and small drainages. It didn't take long to glass up a few does but no bucks so i kept walking. The does saw me and trotted off towards a hill and stopped to look at me before starting over. I glassed them as they went and low and behold, there a was a buck! Not sure where he came from but no opportunity at a shot as they disappeared. I went in that general direction and didn't see anything. I kept going and went over another rise and spotted a couple deer. I dropped down and crawled to where I could glass. There were about 6 or 8 does, one of which was locked on me. With them was a bigger bodied deer and when he looked up, I could see he was big. Real big. I tried getting in to a position for a shot but he was busy rounding up his does and pushing them towards private. He stopped broadside at 300 yards behind a sage brush that covered his vitals and he paused briefly before jumping the fence on to private but I didn't feel good about the shot so I didn't take it. It was a fun encounter and was awesome to see a deer like that on public. From what I could see he was a 4x4 with eye guards, tall and around 26" wide. Since they were only nervous and not spooked, I backed out and planned to let the area rest a day or two.
    Sunday I tried another location and put in several miles and turned up a lot of antelope, enough rabbits and hares to make me wish I'd brought a 22 and a young badger that waddled past me. On to another patch of BLM and soon glassed up a deer rump about a mile and a half away. I took off in that direction and finally caught up only to find it was a spike traveling with a forky. Another piece of BLM I wanted to check out that day had 4 campers parked in the middle of it. The last spot I checked out Sunday was a large basin that lots of trucks stopped to glass but no one got out. I figured it wouldn't hurt to go for a walk down in and didn't take long to glass up a group of does about a 1000 yards away and another group about a mile away. I also spotted a flock of turkeys feeding along. I was losing light fast so I tried to get closer to the deer nearest to me. I got busted of course and never did get to see if there was a buck with them.
    Monday morning I went back to the area i saw the big deer on Saturday and could not find him. I did glass up three does and had great time working my way close enough to see what was doing. Sure enough, there was a decent buck with them. By now the does were getting a bit nervous and trying to get the buck to move but he seemed content feeding. I had run out of good cover and still too far for a shot so ended up belly crawling about 150 yards to a better position, and I am still digging cactus out of me. By the time I got to where I wanted to be, the does had moved and were almost over a rise with the buck trailing behind. I had to quickly get on him and settle in. He stopped broadside and I let one fly. I heard the hit and saw him stumble but make it out of sight before I could shoot again. I later ranged the shot at 340 yards. I went to where I last saw him and found blood which dried up after about 50 yards. I walked in that general direction and over another small rise and saw the 3 does looking back at me. I dropped down scanning for the buck and found a buck trotting towards the does. It didn't seem right that he was moving so well so I scanned the area some more and found another buck about 100 yards behind the others, moving much slower and wobbly. I was able to put a finishing shot on him and down he went. Very fun hunt and glad to get what is to me a nice 4x4. Despite seeing dozens and dozens of trucks and side by sides, according to my GPS, I logged in just over 32 miles on foot in 3 days and never saw another hunter in the field.

    Name:  knife and tag.jpg
Views: 437
Size:  151.4 KB
    Name:  deer.jpg
Views: 441
Size:  157.2 KB
    Name:  Me and Deer.jpg
Views: 440
Size:  138.7 KB

    This is the area I got him, I shot from the top of the hill on the left of center
    Name:  Harvest spot.jpg
Views: 438
Size:  96.7 KB

    Had to stop for a dilly bar on the way home.
    Name:  truck cab.jpg
Views: 440
Size:  81.8 KB
    John

  2. #2

    Default

    Congrats!

  3. #3

    Default

    Great story and congrats on the buck. I love unit 3, and hunt it every year I can for deer. Yes there's alot of hunters, but they are almost as predictable as the deer. Did you by chance see any elk that where down already? I be up there for 4th rifle in a few days. Aren't the cactus fun? LOL, at least it was cold enough you didn't have to deal with any rattlesnakes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Rock Springs, WY
    Posts
    324

    Default

    Nicely done on a heavily hunted unit. I lived in Craig for a few years and I can remember well the influx of hunters a few days before the season opened. Good to see people taking advantage of the opportunities that NW CO has to offer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Pa.
    Posts
    1,161

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ishootdasmallones View Post
    Great story and congrats on the buck. I love unit 3, and hunt it every year I can for deer. Yes there's alot of hunters, but they are almost as predictable as the deer. Did you by chance see any elk that where down already? I be up there for 4th rifle in a few days. Aren't the cactus fun? LOL, at least it was cold enough you didn't have to deal with any rattlesnakes.
    I didn't see an elk and no-one I talked to had either. There was not a lot of snow in Steamboat, perhaps 6" so likely not enough yet to push them down. Hopefully that changes soon.
    John

  6. Default

    Congrats!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Northwest Pennsylvania
    Posts
    230

    Default

    Well done !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    551

    Default

    Congrats on a great buck!

  9. #9

    Default

    Congratulations on a fine public land buck. FYI you can't leave the tag on the antlers after the head has been removed from the body. The tag has to be attached to one quarter of the meat and they prefer the one with proof of sex attached. I shot a buck second season and was required to take it in to DOW for CWD testing. I did the same thing you did knowing that they would need to see my tag anyway I just left it on the antlers. The very nice gentleman at the Denver DOW said let's make you legal. We took the tag off the antlers and attached it to the quarter with evidence of sex. It was boned out and I was just going to lay the tag inside the game bag and he said no you have to attach it to the quarter. Cut a hole in the meat and use a wire tie to sinch it down. Also you need to make sure the sex is marked on the tag even if is a buck only tag. He told me not to worry about 80% of people do what I did and if a warden wanted to they could ticket you for this. All these years I have been doing it wrong and not knowing it. You can bet from now on I will make 100% sure I follow each states rules to the T and if I don't 100% understand I will get clarification in writing!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    2,252

    Default

    I enjoyed your story! I was out there this past week as well. I'd say you did well based off what I saw in the field and hanging in other people's camps!

    I did see one busted up raghorn bull up in the northern part of the unit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Pa.
    Posts
    1,161

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Redman View Post
    Congratulations on a fine public land buck. FYI you can't leave the tag on the antlers after the head has been removed from the body. The tag has to be attached to one quarter of the meat and they prefer the one with proof of sex attached. I shot a buck second season and was required to take it in to DOW for CWD testing. I did the same thing you did knowing that they would need to see my tag anyway I just left it on the antlers. The very nice gentleman at the Denver DOW said let's make you legal. We took the tag off the antlers and attached it to the quarter with evidence of sex. It was boned out and I was just going to lay the tag inside the game bag and he said no you have to attach it to the quarter. Cut a hole in the meat and use a wire tie to sinch it down. Also you need to make sure the sex is marked on the tag even if is a buck only tag. He told me not to worry about 80% of people do what I did and if a warden wanted to they could ticket you for this. All these years I have been doing it wrong and not knowing it. You can bet from now on I will make 100% sure I follow each states rules to the T and if I don't 100% understand I will get clarification in writing!
    Good to know. Thanks for clarifying.
    John

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    2,818

    Default

    That’s a hard earned buck. Congratulations.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •