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  1. #26
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    I was just thinking that we’ve heard the common refrain about less hunters yet constantly hear about crowding and access issues. Is it just that more land is private and locked up than number of hunters?

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendigo View Post
    I was just thinking that weíve heard the common refrain about less hunters yet constantly hear about crowding and access issues. Is it just that more land is private and locked up than number of hunters?
    Thatís my impression, fewer hunters overall but more of them forced into the same areas, so seems more crowded? There is quite bit of truth to what Gretch says about CO hunting ime. But I came to hunting late in life so never knew any good old days; and as with most things in life, a lot of hard work and a little luck will almost always pay off. There are still lots of places the pumpkin patch will never be willing to spread.


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  3. #28
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    There are less hunters in total, but more traveling west to chase elk and mule deer for their Instagram accounts.

    If only two percent of hunters previously travelled west/north to hunt and now its five percent...it becomes a big problem. People are more mobile now, the economy has been good, and people like Randy are sharing as much knowledge as possible with anyone that will listen. This makes it much easier to come out and hunt. It used to be you had to buy and read books and purchase maps and scout.

    Now, if you are sitting in Iowa you can watch some you tube videos, read some free articles and ďe-scoutĒ with OnX.


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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendigo View Post
    I was just thinking that we’ve heard the common refrain about less hunters yet constantly hear about crowding and access issues. Is it just that more land is private and locked up than number of hunters?
    yes. also differing restrictions on private land. especially east of the Rockies. If you’ve gotta pay $$$ to harvest an elk are the Rockies better than a half mile pen on a Mississippi River bottom?

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Me and my kid each drew a buck tag basically out the back door. Opportunity hunt for before/after work/weekends. Other than that we'll do an OTC bull elk and an antlerless control tag.

    We spent five days last week backpacking in ID looking for bears. None seen but still a good trip. Lots of elk, deer, grouse and chukars in the area.

    Attachment 374489

    Attachment 374490
    You were very close to my old house. I'm about 90% confident I know exactly where you were. And I'm happy to see it, if I'm right. Very cool zone.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    Have you been to Colorado lately? It’s almost not worth hunting OTC. Also, 12 archery tags per year, last year had 67% success rate (on all tags - 55% on archery) on 45 tags. The year before 54%. Target population is 1,450 and current actual is 1,900.

    It has been steadily increasing since the burn. Out of the 30 bulls shot last year, there was a couple in the 350” to 360”, a 390” and two over 400”.

    I drew with three points...but Utah has the 5 year freeze after drawing. I had a 2.4% chance of drawing. Not a chance in hell I am turning the tag back in...lol.

    The canyons are dark, steep and deep. Not sure if you are trying to keep the info off the internet or being genuine...but it is all over the other hunting forums, so I am not burning a spot or contributing to point creep for residents.

    Colorado OTC is literally the worst elk hunting in the country outside of the coastal states. Record applicants in every state makes tags harder to get...except Colorado. It will be another year of record OTC sales. It has gotten so bad, they have had to start making more and more units limited draw to try to get populations back up and slow crowding. Also, the extreme increase in outdoor recreation during the pandemic is causing calving numbers to drop fast.

    yea one of my good hunting buddies lives in Eagle and in the last 10 years Colorado OTC has been pretty good to us. Both muzzleloader and rifle. I've posted a few pics in previous Fall days afield threads. I have sat out the last 2 years tho. I'm completely surprised to hear 2 400" bulls came off Nebo last year. I'd keep the tag too if I drew with 3 points. I went into Utah's draw with 23 elk and moose points and didn't draw shit. I still think Nebo is towards the bottom tier of Utah's LE elk units. I've been on the unit during archery season and I've been on some of the other premiere units and there's no comparison. Good luck I'm sure you'll have a great time.
    Hunting kicks ass.
    Chicks dig Labs.
    I'll keep my job, my money and my guns and you can keep the change.
    From my cold dead hands.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    yes. also differing restrictions on private land. especially east of the Rockies. If you’ve gotta pay $$$ to harvest an elk are the Rockies better than a half mile pen on a Mississippi River bottom?
    shooting penned raised animals is fucking gay.
    Hunting kicks ass.
    Chicks dig Labs.
    I'll keep my job, my money and my guns and you can keep the change.
    From my cold dead hands.

  8. #33
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    Fall 21/22 Days Afield Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by thebirdhunter View Post
    yea one of my good hunting buddies lives in Eagle and in the last 10 years Colorado OTC has been pretty good to us. Both muzzleloader and rifle. I've posted a few pics in previous Fall days afield threads. I have sat out the last 2 years tho. I'm completely surprised to hear 2 400" bulls came off Nebo last year. I'd keep the tag too if I drew with 3 points. I went into Utah's draw with 23 elk and moose points and didn't draw shit. I still think Nebo is towards the bottom tier of Utah's LE elk units. I've been on the unit during archery season and I've been on some of the other premiere units and there's no comparison. Good luck I'm sure you'll have a great time.
    Thanks. Yeah, I would be applying in different units if I had more points. The freeze period kind of sucks, but gotta take what you can get. I feel pretty confident we can lay eyes on some 320+ bulls. I am by no means going into it thinking I will shoot a 390+ but it is obvious they are in there. The success rates are extremely high and with only 45 total tags...the percentage of trophy bulls is higher then I could draw in CO with my current 2 pts.

    We have had good draw luck, but are more in a pattern of gather points in every state possible and spend them as soon as possible when a hunt better the CO OTC is available. At least that is my strategy. Also, while we do hunt muzzleloader and rifle for meat...I am primarily an archery hunter and primarily an elk hunter. If I can have an above average archery elk tag, I will take it 100% of the time over other species. Just something about chasing 800 lbs turkeys that yell back at you.


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  9. #34
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    Things that have gotten much worse. Montana, public access . I shot my only sage grouse on what is now the Galt ranch ,west of White Sulphur,1981 16 gage Winchester- pre war. Lost the spot and the gun. Sad.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebirdhunter View Post
    shooting penned raised animals is fucking gay.



    'Right now it's booming': Deer population on the rise, hunters asked to shoot more deer


    It appears Mississippi's deer population is growing and, consequently, hunters are being asked to shoot more deer.

    "All factors except for statewide harvest point to a population increase," said William McKinley, Deer Program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. "Field reports from the coast to Tennessee and from the Mississippi River to Alabama all indicate an outstanding fawn crop this year.

    "Everybody I've talked to has commented on how many fawns they're seeing on camera. It was a mild summer for Mississippi. We had substantial rain. Temperatures were moderate, so the summer stress period wasn't as bad as most summers."

    One main reason for the apparent increase in deer in Mississippi is thought to be a reduction in bag limits for does. Hunters complained for years they were seeing fewer deer. Although there was no scientific evidence to back the claims, there was no data to refute them, either. So, MDWFP reduced the bag limit on does statewide and limited opportunity for doe harvests on public lands during the 2017and 2018 seasons.

    'Doe harvest dropped by 35%'

    The results were significant. In the 2017-2018 season, the estimates of statewide deer harvests were the lowest on record with roughly 195,000 deer taken and 45,000 fewer does harvested than the year prior. In 2018-2019, harvest numbers were about the same.

    For the 2019-2020 season, the bag limit for does was increased, but the statewide harvest of deer only increased to 221,000 — a far cry from the mid-1990s when annual harvest estimates were regularly over 300,000 deer.

    McKinley said those reduced harvests have led to an increase in the overall population.

    "Absolutely, it did," McKinley said. "Doe harvest dropped by 35%. When we're talking about that many does left on the landscape — huge impact."

    Data collected over recent years by State Farm backs the claims there are more deer. The company's annual report on the likelihood of having a vehicle collision with an animal, primarily deer, Mississippi was ranked as No. 8 in the nation with a 1-in-59 chance in 2019-2020.

    The 2019-2020 data reflects an increase in the likelihood of a collision with deer over the two prior years. In 2018-2019 Mississippi was ranked No. 9 in the nation with a 1-in-61 chance of a collision and in 2017-2018 No. 10 with a 1-in-91 chance.

    McKinley pointed out that more drivers on the road can increase the odds of collisions with deer, but said the numbers of drivers in Mississippi has increased little from 2017 to 2020.

    'Plenty of deer around'


    Reports from across the state also indicate an increase in deer numbers. In the Southwest and Southeast zones, where some hunters have complained of low numbers for years, reports indicate a growing population. Some hunters in the Delta are saying the same thing. In the northeast part of the state, Land Smathers of Abderdeen said the deer population is booming.

    On one plot of land where Smathers hunts, seeing eight deer a day was at one time phenomenal. This week he went to the property and saw 20-25 deer in an afternoon.

    "It's been that way the last two years," Smathers said. "Even the public land — the numbers are just better.

    "Right now it's booming. There are plenty of deer around."

    The South Delta has been an exception. Repeated and prolonged floods have negatively impacted wildlife with some hunters and managers saying the numbers are down by as much as 70%.

    Harvest and the belly factor

    McKinley said reports from across the state not only indicate a growing population, but a healthy one. He said conditions have been almost ideal for antler growth as well.

    However, McKinley said the fly in the ointment is the abundance of food. In many, if not most parts of the state, McKinley said there has been an incredible acorn crop and deer won't need to move as much to get a full stomach.

    "Two things make deer move; the rut and their bellies," McKinley said. "The belly factor is null and void.

    "Movement is going to be suppressed because there's so much food. Less movement means less chance of an observation. It's already affecting movement. People are reporting deer movement has dropped off."

    He also noted that acorns are a preferred food source, so many hunters will need to adapt their strategies to be successful.

    "Deer are not going to use food plots as long or as often when acorns are this abundant," McKinley said. "They will walk past corn feeders and they will walk through food plots to eat acorns. If hunters do not adjust their strategies, they are going to have some sad hunts."

    The population rise could cause trouble, though. McKinley said conditions are such that there could be another large fawn crop in 2021. If the population continues to rise, antler quality and the overall health of the herd could suffer due to more deer on the ground than the habitat can handle. So, McKinley said hunters need to harvest more deer this year.

    "We're looking at a healthy, increasing herd," McKinley said. "We need more hunters out there.

    "If we don't reduce the numbers, the health will start to decline. We've got to keep the numbers in check."


    https://www.clarionledger.com/story/...ed/3775475001/

  11. #36
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    We can get five doe tags in numerous zones, plus a general tag and B tag good for just about anywhere else. Truth be told, I would be perfectly happy shooting seven stubble field does every season for the rest of my days.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Reverend Floater View Post
    You were very close to my old house. I'm about 90% confident I know exactly where you were. And I'm happy to see it, if I'm right. Very cool zone.
    Awesome area for sure, I'd love to go back. There's too much to explore out there.....

  13. #38
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    A wise friend said to me after i shot my first cow elk: ďIíd rather eat chick than eat dude, ya dig brother?Ē


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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    A wise friend said to me after i shot my first cow elk: “I’d rather eat chick than eat dude, ya dig brother?”
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    as a decidedly meat hunter, i dig.

  15. #40
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    A grain fed WT doe is fine eating.

  16. #41
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    CO public land elk/deer hunter. Always hunted rifle seasons, and itís a shot show of people from all over the country. Most of the ones I talk to probably shouldnít be spending the 700 bucks a tag to hunt based on their ability to get around and how they make a living.

    Also pretty sure most of those groups split the $ and party hunt which is...illegal. No way to prove that unless youíre the warden though...


    Luckily they donít leave more than a couple miles from road or camp so never felt a need to call them in

  17. #42
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    The doe pronghorn i shot last year has been the best tasting animal Iíve shot in the last 5 years. Iím all for it.


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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    A wise friend said to me after i shot my first cow elk: ďIíd rather eat chick than eat dude, ya dig brother?Ē


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    Like button


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  19. #44
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    Big time score at the local sportsmans today. I had 13 rounds left of the hornady superformance I usually shoot and havenít been able to find any, so I bought all I could. Click image for larger version. 

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    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  20. #45
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    Glad you found some!

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    Big time score at the local sportsmans today. I had 13 rounds left of the hornady superformance I usually shoot and havenít been able to find any, so I bought all I could. Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	60 
Size:	132.9 KB 
ID:	374807


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    Those are a great round! Best factory copper I've ever tried.

  22. #47
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    Oct 2005
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    Fall 21/22 Days Afield Thread

    So...my best friend that I have known since kindergarten moved out to CO with me over 15 years ago. We have been hunting together since we were in high school and team up out west on each others tags.

    When one gets a trophy tag, it is a win for the other one and I am just as happy to call and spot for him and vice versa.

    Anyhow, he was super stoked to hunt my Nebo elk tag with me and so far, we are coming up empty on all our other tags. That can be good when you have a trophy tag you want to focus on.

    This morning missed on our CO deer tag (had 12 pts). Kind of expected with the season change this year, so hopefully next year. Hoping we miss on pronghorn and elk because...CO surprised us by releasing moose results on the same day as deer and he drew 66 bull moose!!!

    Anyhow...wife has given blessing for me to hunt my elk tag 12 to 14 days and his moose tag 7 days (gonna do early Oct rifle...we have two toddlers). He will hunt a week with me and Our dads are gonna come out and help spot (they canít physically successfully hunt elk anymore) and drink a lot of beer and smoke around the fire.

    Anyone have a best friend hunting partner? Dealing with the man that taught you to hunt not being able to do it anymore but not wanting to miss out while you still can? Hunt 66 for moose before (we know the unit well and have see a lot of moose there)?

    Anyhow...funny how things work out. Miss out on all the tags you had a high chance of getting and hit on a 2.4% AND 1.7% tag. Sometimes it is frustrating enough to make me want to just go fishing instead...but when you hit it...good times.


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  23. #48
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    Finding a good hunting partner is harder than a wife.

  24. #49
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    Congrats on the moose opportunity! That 19 day hall pass isn't anything to scoff at either No moose here, but we wanted the season choice tag.

    I'm fortunate that my brother and dad are 1A and 1B for partners, with another good friend right there in 2nd place. That's the list. I've hunted with a dozen different guys out here and its challenging to find someone who has the persistence, patience, skill and conditioning to hunt the West. My dad has some health complications post COVID, so I know I'll have to ease up and stop sending him into steep 11K+ drainages.

    My brother is an absolute natural. Doesn't matter - fishing, waterfowl, small game, big game, trapping - give him a freezer and he'll fill it.

  25. #50
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    Getting a little tired of bear baiters... They squat on easy road access around here and try to control public lands for themselves via the bear bait stand registration process. A bait stand can block off a whole damn drainage to reasonable access, and that's what most of them seem out to do...

    Met a pair yesterday afternoon. Looked like a couple bible salesmen robbed a camo store. One had a silenced something-or-other strapped to his pack, the other had an AR-something in a 3-pt sling across his chest, finger erect like he just got out of Hunter Ed class. The neatly-bearded one was chubby, the one who looked like he never has to shave seemed reasonably fit. They were both half my age.

    They allowed how they didn't really want me down there, as they had a bait stand about a mile down the track, and it's against the law for me to hunt within 1/4 mile of their bait stand. [smug smile]

    I informed them that it was against the very same law to locate a bait stand within 1/4 mile of the Alaska Railroad, or any publicly maintained road or trail, and that there is a 1/4 mile bait station restriction from either bank of the Snow River [as well as certain other rivers and bays in Unit 7]. [no smile]

    Blink..."Well we'd appreciate it if you didn't go hunting down there, since that's where we're hunting [they were walking up the railroad back to their truck]."

    I knew right where they were hunting, a natural funnel where the easy foot access of the railroad runs along the toe of a mountain and parallel with the semi-braided Snow River. A creek drainage and a slide chute on the mountain to the E come together right there, and there's cutoff lakes and duck ponds all through the bottom there, as well as a bend in the fast deep river which makes the dry land on the river bottom a super game corridor.

    Didn't recognize these boys as locals, and was a bit put off when they started quoting the law at me, so I asked them where they were from, expecting 'Anchorage' or 'Soldotna'...
    "Kentucky".

    "Well, tell ya what: I'll just go where I came here to go. I'm climbing up the mountain to hunt for brown bear anyway. I shouldn't bother anything you boys are doing".

    "You realize it's against the law to hunt over our bait stand?"

    "Not if I'm a quarter mile over it, son. [smug smile] Y'all have ya a goon'un!" Away I went.

    Happy Memorial Day, fuckos.

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