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Old August 20, 2013, 12:03 AM   #1
Brian Pfleuger
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Exploring Western Colorado, Found Some Nice Animals

Found this guy and a bunch of deer (pics of the deer, later) in Gunnison National Forest out in the middle of 15 miles from nowhere.





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Old August 20, 2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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My dad and brother are trying to get me to drop the cash to go elk hunting in CO ...... I'm still boycotting that state because of their stupid gun laws enacted this year ......
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Old August 20, 2013, 01:07 AM   #3
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Awe. It's just a little guy. So cute.
It's always nice to run into them, even if you can't hunt.

My wife and I were watching a respectable 5x6 bull and a single cow from about 125 yards, the other day. She just kept repeating the same sentiment, "He's all horns. They're huge! He's all horns! He's all antlers. That rack is huge."

I kept trying to tell her that he had just a little more mass and more height than a bull Cornbush dropped a couple years ago (as a reference point), but he was still only a little above average.
She couldn't wrap her head around the idea that he was definitely something I'd be happy to tag, but not even close to "trophy" quality.


It still beats what I'm limited to this year, though: a Spike-Only tag.
I like meat, and I'm happy to be able to hunt cows. But, if I'm going to be hunting something loaded with hormones, at least let me get some decent antlers in the process.
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Old August 20, 2013, 05:54 AM   #4
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Unit's I've been in seen some pretty good bulls and we've had dusting of snow higher elevations. Big bulls are still hanging out together also lot of water and feed.

I got buck and bear tag archery and drew rifle cow elk tag and haven't decided on archery bull or rifle bull tag yet. I'm leaving 26th to set up camp and since archery starts Aug 31 labor Day weekend going to be little crowded up there.
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Old August 20, 2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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Seeing elk is always cool, not a trophy by any book but I wouldn't pass on that one. He is about as good of an elk you'll see in the areas I'm able to acquire a tag in OTC or through reasonably priced vouchers.

I didn't draw any tags this year, but I really don't have any vacation yet to hunt with either. So I'd be limited to what I could do in a weekend or a day trip anyway. I have 12 points for elk, so I'm kind of stuck in no-mans land as far as finding a place to hunt elk, too many for most areas and not enough for the good areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob86
My dad and brother are trying to get me to drop the cash to go elk hunting in CO ...... I'm still boycotting that state because of their stupid gun laws enacted this year ......
It is your choice but the people you're hurting with a boycott are the people who are fighting the "stupid gun laws" the hardest.
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Old August 20, 2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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I live next to and work on the edges of Mt Gunnison-Mt Lamborn. Last 3 years elk hunting has been a chore due to high temps letting the elk stay at really high elevations. We see elk all the time were we work but chasing them during hunting season on public property tends to be a difficult matter. Big bucks on the other hand are really easy to scare up in this area. I usually make a trip towards the base of Mt Gunnison every week for work and so far my summers animal tally is 2 bears, 1 big bobcat, several coyotes, 30+ elk mostly cows-calf's, tons of deer with the usual big bucks, and chipmunks/marmots as far as the eyes can see. Its been a good and wet summer and there's allot of green grass still left so the animals should be big and healthy come hunting season.
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Old August 20, 2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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Brian, cool you saw those elk!

For those who immediately say they wouldn't shoot a bull like the one Brian saw, here is some advice from my grandpa:

"Hunters who hunt horns often go hungry...or they lose their teeth trying to eat those horns!"
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Old August 20, 2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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Yeah, there were deer around every corner, it seemed. Only one small buck. He had some weird disease or something. I'll post pics of him later.
Any of them could have been shot easily, all but one with a bow.
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Old August 20, 2013, 02:34 PM   #9
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More Pics





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File Type: jpg Doe1.jpg (52.1 KB, 135 views)
File Type: jpg Doe2.jpg (70.7 KB, 135 views)
File Type: jpg Doe2Close.jpg (60.0 KB, 136 views)
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Old August 20, 2013, 02:36 PM   #10
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Note the wounds/tumors on the bucks chest and neck



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File Type: jpg BuckClose.jpg (49.4 KB, 134 views)
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Old August 20, 2013, 07:40 PM   #11
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Young buck in velvet?

Looks like an engorged "cow tick" on his lower jaw.
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Old August 20, 2013, 07:47 PM   #12
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Maybe Black Wart virus? Not supposed to harm the meat, but man it's gross.
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Old August 20, 2013, 08:35 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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Yeah, he's a young one, Art. One of the spots on his chin/neck could be large ticks, I suppose, but that thing on his chest looks like a hairy donut.

I do see some reference to warts on deer.
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Old August 20, 2013, 08:42 PM   #14
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Exploring Western Colorado, Found Some Nice Animals

Man there are many days I wished I lived out there.
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Old August 20, 2013, 11:17 PM   #15
splatman
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I've lived in Colorado since 1969. The Elk hunting
Is not what it used to be. This state has gone crazy in
Moose transplants. All the area I used to hunt and see
Elk have been over taken by moose. It's almost impossible
To draw for a moose tag. There are actually hundreds
Of left over elk tags available due to the
Boycott which is good in my opinion. Try Wyoming for
Elk it's a cool state and they love hunters!
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Old August 21, 2013, 10:27 AM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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I swear, the people who live in every state think their conservation department are all a bunch of idiots, claim the hunting is being destroyed and tell folks to go somewhere else. I have a friend who's come to CO elk hunting over 20 years. He bowhunts only. He doesn't always get an elk but he says he's never failed to find them and said there hadn't been a single year that he couldn't have shot one if he had even a muzzleloader. He usually hunts with 3 other guys and they typically get at least 2.
I don't know about the moose. In our small travel area, we've seen about 15 deer, 6 elk and no other big game. All those animals were spotted in Gunnison, on the road between between Electric Mountain Lodge and McClure Pass.
We want to find some antelope but haven't yet.
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Old August 21, 2013, 12:24 PM   #17
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I have a vacation home in the central Rockies at 8200 ft. We are here as I write this. We routinely see mule deer in our back yard, and the occasional black bear. Just moseying through like they owned the place. Haven't seen an elk yet. Probably not here enough. They are a joy to watch.
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Old August 21, 2013, 12:27 PM   #18
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I'd still shoot one though, if I got a tag. Not in my own backyard though, that's just wrong.
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Old August 21, 2013, 08:30 PM   #19
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Used to live on the Western Slope in a little town called, aptly enough, Rifle. North and NorthWest were some great deer and elk hunting, especially in the areas near Craig and Meeker. IIRC, just north of the old Exxon Colony project site north of Parachute is the John Deere family ranch and a lot of wilderness area meaning no motorized vehicles so hunting pressure is less than areas where the road hunters are. Pretty country.
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Old August 21, 2013, 10:17 PM   #20
splatman
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Hunters who claim they could have killed
an elk with a muzzle loader every year for
20 years is hog wash. Now I'm talking about
hunting on public land. Now if you are
talking about hunting on a private ranch where
elk are eating hay you can pretty much step
out of your vehicle and shoot one, like one
would shoot a buffalo coming down from
Yellowstone. But if you are hunting public
lands don't be surprised if it takes you
a few years to bag one.
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Old August 22, 2013, 01:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Now if you are talking about hunting on a private ranch where elk are eating hay you can pretty much step out of your vehicle and shoot one, like one would shoot a buffalo coming down from Yellowstone.
Nah, it doesn't require feed and bait for an easy Elk hunt. If they're on a piece of good land (public or private) where they don't get any pressure, and the few humans around never bother them, you get some ridiculously easy shots.

For example, there is a Trust that owns more than 800,000 mostly-contiguous acres in Utah, spread across 7+ historic ranches. (They also own more than 3 million acres spread across Utah, Idaho, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, New York, Missouri, and South Dakota; but that's a different discussion.) Although they do allow public hunts and public access, it is strictly controlled. On most parts of the ranch, the wildlife only see humans as a truck that drives through every couple of weeks, or a ranger that does head counts on horseback.

They manage their land for natural resources (ranging from wood, to deer, to elk, to grouse, and more), and don't augment any of the animals' feed - what grows naturally is what they get. Yet, the hunting experience there is almost like going to Yellowstone. You drive as close as you can get on a road, close the distance on foot (if needed), and make your easy shot.

Elk don't naturally see humans as predators. It is a learned behavior that can be bred into, or out of, them in a few generations.
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Old August 22, 2013, 10:57 AM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatman View Post
Hunters who claim they could have killed
an elk with a muzzle loader every year for
20 years is hog wash. Now I'm talking about
hunting on public land. Now if you are
talking about hunting on a private ranch where
elk are eating hay you can pretty much step
out of your vehicle and shoot one, like one
would shoot a buffalo coming down from
Yellowstone. But if you are hunting public
lands don't be surprised if it takes you
a few years to bag one.
He's near the top of the list of most honest people I've ever known. If he said he could, he could. He hunts all public land and camps there, at least a mile from the closest roads and walks farther in for the hunt. He also stays for at least 2 weeks, sometimes the entire month of September.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; August 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM.
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Old August 22, 2013, 11:03 AM   #23
Brian Pfleuger
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Found these guys yesterday...



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File Type: jpg DSCF0608 (640x480).jpg (49.1 KB, 82 views)
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Old August 22, 2013, 11:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
Hunters who claim they could have killed
an elk with a muzzle loader every year for
20 years is hog wash. Now I'm talking about
hunting on public land. Now if you are
talking about hunting on a private ranch where
elk are eating hay you can pretty much step
out of your vehicle and shoot one, like one
would shoot a buffalo coming down from
Yellowstone. But if you are hunting public
lands don't be surprised if it takes you
a few years to bag one.
Plenty of people are good enough to do that. I've filled every elk tag I've ever had, something like 13-15 I think? I don't consider my skill level to be above average at all. Put the time in, and it's pretty doable.

There are guys here in AZ that kill coues bucks every single year and most of them BIG. They post pics on the forums. Year after year. That's a way bigger feat than killing 20 elk in a row, in my neck of the woods and especially if we're counting cows.
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Old August 22, 2013, 06:42 PM   #25
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Nice animals. I would love to go elk or mule deer hunting but like Jimbob, I will be boycotting Colorado until they repeal those ridiculous Bloomberg gun laws they passed.
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