I drew my elk tag for muzzleloader in 2018, this was the first time using a muzzleloader for elk. Got this guy on the second day of the season, after not hearing or seeing an elk on the first day. The day started out great. When we got to our hunting area there were elk bugling all around us. I harvested my elk around 12 noon, after stalking him into the timber and finding him feeding with some cows. An 85 yd shot. First time hunting unit 14.
A primary tool used in the management of Colorado’s big-game animals is a limit, or quota, on the number of licenses issued in most game management units (GMUs). When applying for a limited license, a preference point is awarded when an individual is unsuccessful in drawing their first-choice hunt code. Preference points provide a mathematical advantage when applied to future drawings.
It may be the crunch of dry leaves or sensing movement out of the corner of your eye that elevates your heart rate and turns a day out in nature into a hunting trip. While it’s easy to relax and become absorbed in nature, most of us are out there to put some healthy, free-range meat in our freezer. And as any successful big-game hunter will tell you, the real work begins after you’ve harvested your animal. No matter how you look at it, that statement is always true. If you hiked a couple of miles to locate your elk or deer, hiking back out with the meat, while rewarding, is going to be harder. Having a well-stocked big game backpack will help you through long days in the field and guarantee that you make the most out of your harvest. Read more
The morning started off slower than I had anticipated. By 9 a.m. I had made my way up to about 10,800 feet and had yet to hear a bugle. It was a discouraging start to the morning. The previous day I had bulls bugling at first light. My initial thought was I had pushed them out of the area. I decided to swing back into the valley below me, where I had heard a few bulls the previous morning.
Every year as a family we pack up and head out to the mountains. This is my 5th year hunting elk and my first ever harvest. We climbed up a vertical mountain on all fours, where the track and sign was thick and we waited…calling a little here and there. This Imperial beast came crashing through the oak brush and presented himself to me with a broadside shot in a clearing. Three trips and 9 hours later, we finally got him back to camp in the dark. Hard work finally paid off!
I have hunted deer and elk in Colorado since I was 14, learning from my father. This was my second bull elk taken on my 40th hunt. This hunt was different from the rest because it was a draw unit on public land and it was a do-it-yourself hunt. I saw a nice 5-point bull on opening morning for a brief second. That afternoon and the next morning I caught movement in the dark timber. The second afternoon it was quiet, other than hunters. So I decided to stay away from the area for a couple of days since a lot of weekend hunters were leaving, and see if the elk would return to their pattern. I went back into the area on Wednesday morning and elk were all around me but moving through the black timber. Early on Wednesday afternoon I set up in the black timber and waited. It was 4 p.m. when I got a glimpse, and he gave me my shot of a lifetime — a broadside shot at 40 yards. It missed Boone and Crockett, but made gold in Safari Club International (SCI) at 366 1/8″.
Blake’s 2014 Mule Deer
Colorado’s 2014 second season was a warm one. I was able to harvest this buck on the second day of the season about a half-hour before dark. After walking back to the truck to drop off the rifle and gather my buddies, we were able to locate the buck in some aspen trees. All it took was one shot from my Ruger®.300 Win Mag. Overall, we had a pretty successful hunt, filling 4/5 licenses in our camp.
Erik Virtue’s 2013 Bull Elk
During the 2013 second season, I shot my second bull, a nice 5×5 with a long shot from my .300 Ultra Mag. We were able to quarter and pack the bull out shortly after dark.
DWe are now accepting testimonials about the successful small game and waterfowl hunts as well as big game hunts around the state. Please include your name, a general hunt location and the story behind your outing (up to 250 words). Also please include a high-resolution, digital photo (.jpg) with the name of the photographer and any people in the photo.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s video production crew has produced a new film called “Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands.” Filmed in high-definition video and recorded in digital audio, the film explores Colorado’s hunting opportunities on public land for big game, small game, waterfowl and turkey. The 17-minute film also offers insights into the various land-management agencies and showcases the different “life zones,” that support wildlife.
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