Another CO hunt is in the books. I started walking at about 5;30 to get up on the mountain before day brake and all the other hunters, as this area which is usually pretty quiet had about 30 more hunters than normal years. The morning resulted in a few does, and a missed oportunity on a good buck that breifly showed himself. I spent the mid-day napping under a fir to protect myself from the wind a bit as it was gusting up to 20 mph.
Around 1:00 pm a drove of hunters were heading up the trail to hunt the same area, may-be 7 total in 3 groups, I made myself visable to them to hopefully keep them from comming into the cut I was watching, and a couple sat down within 300 yards of me but the realestate I was hunting was another 600 yards uphill from me and as long as they stayed below me I figured they may not spook the bucks that inhabit the high ground.
I watched some does feed out of the timber and head down slope, thru the burn out that was now the only thing between them and myself. A 1/2 hour later the 2 bucks worked there way out of the dark timber. By this time there was only about 5 minutes of legal light left, and being cloudy and windy, judging which one was bigger was a little difficult. I concluded that they were both very similar so prepped for a shot on either one. A quick glance down slope revealed 3 hunters already walking out on the trail, well within sight of these bucks but close to 800 yards away. I ranged the bucks at 439, held off 2 minutes for the current wind condition, and sent one. The buck showed signs of a solid hit, did a strained 30 yard dash and piled up.
Finding the buck in the deadfalls became a little problematic,and took me a good 1/2 hour, but by 9:30pm I was finished quartering the buck and headed down hill with the first load.
The older I get the more I like the fact that I only climb the mountain after I kill something. This spot literally got ruined after opening day. Some of the other camps hunters walked thru that bedding cover for a couple days in a row, by mid week not even the does were working that slope. We had 3 buck tags in camp and the others passed on some smaller bucks knowing that there were still 2 shooters up there somewhere.
I am a firm believer that you can reward yourself with nice bucks every year if you judge the potential for the area, and then hunt for what constitutes a good prime example of a mature buck for that area. Pass on the young ones so something is there next year. The unfortunate part is so many hunters in this spot this year and some nice 2.5 year old bucks with lots of potential were harvested.
Len that hats been on my head for at least 3 mule deer kills, might be a little lucky!!