Jeff and I are heading back to Colorado to hunt Elk again this Fall. This time we are doing several things differently. It will be interesting to see how this year compares to the previous two.
This trip is going to be different in a big way. For one, Billy, the consummate alpha male is accompanying us. Billy is awesome with a bow and he was able to convince Jeff and I (quite easily I might add) that we would have a better chance at seeing elk if we would go during archery season. So, this year we are going out during the third week of September, supposedly during the heat of the rut. We will be hunting with bows which adds an element of excitement that we haven’t previously experienced.
Previously, we didn’t worry too much about hitting an elk, we just worried about seeing one. Now we should see some, but getting close enough to close the deal with a bow will be quite a challenge. We are going to be hunting unit 71 this year which is quite a ways from unit 42 where we hunted in 05 and 06. There is supposedly a 15,000 head strong herd in the area we plan to hunt, but only a 16% success rate by archery hunters. It looks like the odds are against us, but that will just make it that much more exciting.
I did not put in for a mule deer draw this year. I decided, instead, to just apply for a preference point. My entire hunt will be focused on getting close enough to an elk to harvest one with my bow. For this reason, I’ve already changed the 3 pin site on my bow to a 5 pin. I previously had 20, 30, & 40 yard pins. I now have 20, 30, 40, 50, & 60 yard pins. I’ve already got fairly proficient at 50 yards and plan to be capable of killing a squirrel at 60 yards by the time September rolls around (what is that saying about the best laid plans of mice and men?).
We decided to splurge on accommodations this year. In 05 and 06 we slept (very comfortably I might add) in Jeff’s Cabellas Outfitter tent. This year we have booked an ‘economy’ hunt with Circle K Ranch in Dolores, Colorado. We found Circle K on an Internet search. For $1400 each we will receive a room with a private bath, home cooked meals each day, all the non-alcohol drinks we care to extinguish, access to a coin laundry (this is priceless) and advice on where to hunt from the ranch owner. We can also rent horses (if we so desire), might be able to hire a guide for a day, and will receive help packing our elk out if we are successful. Since we still will have tag cost of aprox. $500 and fuel cost of probably $200 each and misc cost of $100-200 this trip will end up costing us between $2200 and $2500 each, which is a little more than previous trips.
It will be fascinating to see how this year differs from the last two!
Mountain Lion – Winter of 2007
I do not have a trip booked yet. However, I really want to go on a Mountain Lion hunt this winter. I’m leaning towards archery, but I’ll wait to make that decision after I see how I do with bear and elk first.
If anyone has any suggestions for an outfitter or guide for a great lion hunt, please let me know.
NEW MEXICO – ELK
I have put in for a New Mexico Elk tag (guided hunt). I put in via Cabellas Tags and am stoked to find out if I got drawn or not. The odds are fairly decent if you put in for a guided tag. The odds aren’t near as favorable on the unguided tags.
I’ll let you know as soon as I know something about this.