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CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

 
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2011, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 96
Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

I have mixed feelings. I was GMU 12 (around the top near Sleepy Cat) outside of Meeker and the ATVs started screaming through at 3 AM opening day. Between the ATVs and the 4 wheel drive golf cart things I am surprised anyone got anything. That, along with the rednecks beside us banging a wrench on a propane tank and generators that ran all hours of the a day and night it was not a peaceful experience. Someone in our party came across a hunter who was out of ammo having shot 5 rounds at 3 elk, not knowing if he hit any of them. I could hear whole hunting parties unloading volleys at what I suspected were fast-moving targets.

I understand ATVs are allowed outside of wilderness areas but I think ATVs can attract some bad element. (Full disclosure, we had two ATVs in our camp and I am not attacking all ATV-ers). Additionally, ATVs allow the older and disabled to access hunting areas. Having worked with those requiring assistive technology, I have a sensitivity to their needs which I did not have prior.

I would like to move to wilderness area next year as I am blessed with good health and can hike. One of the members of the party I hunted with is 74 and needs an ATV to get around. I will unfortunately need to find a new party next year to hunt with should I decide to choose another GMU.

(If anyone is interested in a wildness area hunt with me, please PM me. I am a Colorado resident, in shape, mature and serious about hunting. I also don't drink so I won't be 3 sleeping bags to the wind in camp. )
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2011, 10:22 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 77
Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

I'm really happy to see that most of you feel the same way i do. This is harsh, but if you are to old or out of shape to get elk out then don't go elk hunting.

Where i hunt elk, the roads have been closed for 3 years, and far more elk stay on the public land. In the past, the orv pressure would push all of the elk to the private land. Hunter success has increased (especially for those willing to work for it) as a result of the closed roads.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2011, 11:06 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,564
Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

What I've noticed is that the more roads are closed the worse the bad stuff is and the worst the damage, then guys through more fits and get more access shut down and crowd more people into less area. That's all that has happened, the hunting is going to be for the privileged few, the guys who works his butt of 6 days a week can not run up to his favorite area and get some meat and get it out without getting ran over or ran of. The whole of my area has been designated a wilderness area, in areas I used to be able to just idle my truck up there and take a walk and get game, I made no big mess and harmed no one at all and I was able to get my game out and be back to work the next day, now half of California and Utah are camped one three access roads and instead of just putting around in our trucks these guys say screw it and rail all over the place and tear everything up. Closing the roads has caused more damage and made the hunting worse than ever for the average Joe. BUT on the other hand I'm starting to build my horse herd to access those shut of areas and get game out. Most of this is just a land grab in the name of multi use or as one sign put it "to enhance my non motorized experience".
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2011, 11:21 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Colorado, Front Range
Posts: 561
Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

I live in Colorado and hunt the wilderness areas on purpose to avoid road traffic. If you are looking for an easy in and easy out then I suggest that you find and hunt units that allow for this. I can understand your frustration since this happened after you drew your tags.
Me and my family will spend over 60 days a year here in our hills and OHV's have destroyed tons of forests and I for one am happy that they are controlling and limiting there use.



Jon

Last edited by strombeckj; 10-21-2011 at 11:25 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2011, 07:30 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Morgan, Colorado
Posts: 200
Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

There seems to be some miss conception that those of us that use atv's don't work as hard for our game. I hunted muzzleloader for years on foot and passed on elk that I knew I couldn't pack out in a timely manner. Since I started rifle hunting I have packed elk farther to get it to my atv than I did before I bought it. I see no problem with them if used in the correct manner which is to get you close to an area you wish to hunt. I've seen trails that hunters use horses exclusively and it is much more worn and erodes faster than any atv trail. the OP was using ROADS not trails and these are roads that have been there for years.

We as hunters need to remember that those that oppose us doing what we love have to start somewhere. First they shut down vehicle access then they shut the entire area down. Stop bickering and educate. In all actuallity the same thing could be said about long range hunting as people that ride atv's. Some people may say that only a lazy hunter shoots at an animal 1000yrds away when they know they could get closer. Now any long range hunter knows it takes a fair amount of skill to pull a shot like that off BUT there are a lot of people that give long range hunters a bad name taking shots they are not qualified to take. There are bad apple that ruin it for everyone!! don't forget that


On a side note, I have personolly whitnessed a truck doing FAR more damage than atv's. On my atv I can get up a hill with little to no wheel slippage. The first year I brought an atv we had to help a guy in his brand new chevy pickup because after spinning his tires up a hill WITH CHAINS for a half mile he got hopelessly stuck. He threw rocks and mudd the entire distance trying to get to an area he had no buisness being in in a pickup. In the same unit I whitnessed some of you "pack hunters" decide to camp in one of the best spots in my unit scaring off every elk for 10 miles instead of an area that is more suited for camping simply because it would take you all day to get where I can get in 10mins. I would rather have a atv go by at 3:00am than have someone finaly reach a good spot walking in right as I am ready to take my shot.

Last edited by dodgefreak8; 10-22-2011 at 07:42 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-22-2011, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Dolores, Colorado
Posts: 63
Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

I am in total agreement with dodgefreak8. His post is right on the money. We have the same problem here in SW Co, but thru a lot of public uproar, the USFS finally started to listen. A new forest Supervisor was assigned and the hearing process was restarted. Remember one thing in all this discussion, orders are coming from the Feds, not from the local or state officials. Here roads that were LEGAL roads were planned to be shut down under the guise that they don't meet current USFS "road standards". Our local elected officials (county, state & fed) got involved and suddenly the forest service woke up and started to really listen instead of giving lip service. Hunters and their $$$ are a vital part of the local buisness.

A new plan was released yesterday that addressed a lot of concerns raised by the 1st plan eg., camping issues, parking, motorized game retrieval and road closures. The new plan does not make everyone happy, but IMHO it is a step in the right direction. There are those who want to shut down the forests to all but hikers at one extreme and those who want wide open access to everything on the other side.

I am 70 years old and hike trails meant for hiking and horse back riding all summer. I have a problem with 2 wheeled traffic on these trails...especially the mountain bikers. They come whizzing down these trail very quietly and I have almost been hit several time. Motor cycles are also allowed! Anyone who has hiked these trails can attest to the fact that they don't tread lightly!

Multi use is just that....our lands and use them wisely and in a spirit of cooperation. I am an ATV owner and user, but stick to the rules. If I see someone breaking these rules, I have no problem reporting the violation and would appear in court if necessary!

Rant over!!!
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2011, 09:45 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 728
Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

I think the real problem in CO is the short seasons. When you only have a week to hunt everyone is out for the whole time and desperate to find something to shoot at. We give so many tags out that it's just over crowded. If you over saturate an area with a bunch of folks desperate to find something(hopefully elk/deer) to shoot at everyone try's to "get away" so that is why people are trying to walk/wheel or pack as far away from the road as possible. I think that this really just drives all the game to private land and makes the following seasons a waste.
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