Co early rifle hunt

cooperjd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
153
Location
colorado
Cashed in a bunch of points (8) and got an early rifle tag here in CO for unit 74.

Made 2 scouting backpacking trips, found a ton of deer, but never did find a big shooter I was hoping for.

Me and a buddy (John) drew the tag together, and a good buddy drove in to help out as well (Tye). We hiked in thursday sep 2nd, getting to camp pretty late, around midnight. Tye showed up friday afternoon.

We spent Friday glassing and finding deer, but still not the big bucks I was convinced were here.

The plan was 'taxidermist or bust' for this hunt. I never had an inch number in mind, more of a "I'll know the shooter when I see it" type of mentality. We found a couple of decent bucks during scouting, and found them again Friday before the opener, so we knew they were in the area.

Saturday morning I think we saw 14 bucks, including the 2 decent bucks. One was a 4x4 and one was a bigger framed 3x4, though he was basically a big 3 point, his back g2 was tiny. With it being Labor Day weekend, we saw a few extra hikers climbing the nearby peaks as well. We also saw a GIANT bull moose at daylight, by far the biggest moose I've ever seen, which was a real highlight.

Saturday evening we all 3 picked different glassing points to try and cover some new country. I saw the most action but all I really did was find the 2 bucks again after something spooked them off their mountain and onto the opposite side of the big basin.

Sunday morning John and I were together in a little glassing spot we hiked to and buried ourselves in willow bushes for cover. Sure enough we located the 2 bucks again, this time with a small forkie in tow. We watched them bed about 1/2 mile away, and for fun was planning our stalks. We weren't actually going after the bucks, but I find it helps to constantly try to figure out how to get within shooting range of deer.

All of a sudden something spooked the 4 point, and down the mountain he comes, bringing the big 3 with him. The forkie must've been asleep or not paying attention, he was nowhere to be found. The 2 bucks came down into the bottom of the basin in the brush, and popped out 450y away. At this point I've got my rifle up going, well, I could just kill that deer right now....

Not wanting to rush things, we watched them to see where they were going. The big 3 stayed in the willows, but the 4 point was moving. He was slowly heading our way, but with a small rise in front of me, I knew i was going to lose sight of him soon. We were on the hillside opposite the bucks, and we anticipated them going up the hill to the top of the mountain where the deer like to bed. At 420 yards he disappeared behind the rise in front of me. I moved up a few feet to clear some brush, expecting to see the deer going up, and anticipating a decently long shot (3-400y).

After a few minutes of not seeing anything, I see antlers coming towards me in the patch of willows not 70 yards in front of me. Holy crap, he's right here! I whispered to John (who was a few feet behind me) to be still, chambered a round in the 7mag, and got my scope completely full of a running bucks chest when he emerged from the brush. I almost just shot him running at me since it was completely straight on, but instead i reached up, turned down the magnification on my scope and let him keep coming. He hit the crest of the little hill we were on and about to turn downhill to head towards the timber line, when I whistled to stop him. He stopped, staring at this thing in the willows, and I took a quartering to me shot at about 40 yards. He stumbled downhill a few yards then tumbled, rolled, and flipped his way to a stop.

I wasn't going to make the stalk on the deer, but when he runs in at 40 yards, what's a man supposed to do??!!

We got him quartered, cooled, and hung in the shade down by a creek while John continued to hunt for a couple days, with Tye and myself spotting and/or exploring new country with him. I've never climbed to over 13,000 ft hunting deer before, that was pretty awesome!

We found the big 3 Monday evening, and John made a plan for Tuesday morning to go after him, while Tye and I hiked my deer out to the truck so i could get him on ice in the cooler. Tye had to head back to KY, so we parted ways after a celebratory beer and I headed back up the mountain to help John.

John got close, had a good position within 150y of the buck, but a falling rock spooked him and he got away without John getting a shot. Something similar happened on Wednesday as well, and that's all the time John had to chase deer, and we had to pack it out of there Wednesday mid day.

Though we never found the big bucks we dreamt of with that tag; we did have a great hunt together, got to hunt some incredible scenery, and had a great time. That is what my "trophy" will represent when I get the euro back from the taxidermist, complete with the spray on velvet. The memories are always worth more to me than a few inches of antler.

Good luck out there!
Cooper
 

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RYEWSKY25284

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
572
Location
Albuquerque,NM
Cashed in a bunch of points (8) and got an early rifle tag here in CO for unit 74.

Made 2 scouting backpacking trips, found a ton of deer, but never did find a big shooter I was hoping for.

Me and a buddy (John) drew the tag together, and a good buddy drove in to help out as well (Tye). We hiked in thursday sep 2nd, getting to camp pretty late, around midnight. Tye showed up friday afternoon.

We spent Friday glassing and finding deer, but still not the big bucks I was convinced were here.

The plan was 'taxidermist or bust' for this hunt. I never had an inch number in mind, more of a "I'll know the shooter when I see it" type of mentality. We found a couple of decent bucks during scouting, and found them again Friday before the opener, so we knew they were in the area.

Saturday morning I think we saw 14 bucks, including the 2 decent bucks. One was a 4x4 and one was a bigger framed 3x4, though he was basically a big 3 point, his back g2 was tiny. With it being Labor Day weekend, we saw a few extra hikers climbing the nearby peaks as well. We also saw a GIANT bull moose at daylight, by far the biggest moose I've ever seen, which was a real highlight.

Saturday evening we all 3 picked different glassing points to try and cover some new country. I saw the most action but all I really did was find the 2 bucks again after something spooked them off their mountain and onto the opposite side of the big basin.

Sunday morning John and I were together in a little glassing spot we hiked to and buried ourselves in willow bushes for cover. Sure enough we located the 2 bucks again, this time with a small forkie in tow. We watched them bed about 1/2 mile away, and for fun was planning our stalks. We weren't actually going after the bucks, but I find it helps to constantly try to figure out how to get within shooting range of deer.

All of a sudden something spooked the 4 point, and down the mountain he comes, bringing the big 3 with him. The forkie must've been asleep or not paying attention, he was nowhere to be found. The 2 bucks came down into the bottom of the basin in the brush, and popped out 450y away. At this point I've got my rifle up going, well, I could just kill that deer right now....

Not wanting to rush things, we watched them to see where they were going. The big 3 stayed in the willows, but the 4 point was moving. He was slowly heading our way, but with a small rise in front of me, I knew i was going to lose sight of him soon. We were on the hillside opposite the bucks, and we anticipated them going up the hill to the top of the mountain where the deer like to bed. At 420 yards he disappeared behind the rise in front of me. I moved up a few feet to clear some brush, expecting to see the deer going up, and anticipating a decently long shot (3-400y).

After a few minutes of not seeing anything, I see antlers coming towards me in the patch of willows not 70 yards in front of me. Holy crap, he's right here! I whispered to John (who was a few feet behind me) to be still, chambered a round in the 7mag, and got my scope completely full of a running bucks chest when he emerged from the brush. I almost just shot him running at me since it was completely straight on, but instead i reached up, turned down the magnification on my scope and let him keep coming. He hit the crest of the little hill we were on and about to turn downhill to head towards the timber line, when I whistled to stop him. He stopped, staring at this thing in the willows, and I took a quartering to me shot at about 40 yards. He stumbled downhill a few yards then tumbled, rolled, and flipped his way to a stop.

I wasn't going to make the stalk on the deer, but when he runs in at 40 yards, what's a man supposed to do??!!

We got him quartered, cooled, and hung in the shade down by a creek while John continued to hunt for a couple days, with Tye and myself spotting and/or exploring new country with him. I've never climbed to over 13,000 ft hunting deer before, that was pretty awesome!

We found the big 3 Monday evening, and John made a plan for Tuesday morning to go after him, while Tye and I hiked my deer out to the truck so i could get him on ice in the cooler. Tye had to head back to KY, so we parted ways after a celebratory beer and I headed back up the mountain to help John.

John got close, had a good position within 150y of the buck, but a falling rock spooked him and he got away without John getting a shot. Something similar happened on Wednesday as well, and that's all the time John had to chase deer, and we had to pack it out of there Wednesday mid day.

Though we never found the big bucks we dreamt of with that tag; we did have a great hunt together, got to hunt some incredible scenery, and had a great time. That is what my "trophy" will represent when I get the euro back from the taxidermist, complete with the spray on velvet. The memories are always worth more to me than a few inches of antler.

Good luck out there!
Cooper
Great story.
Thanks for sharing your hunt with us and congrats on keeping you're cool during an event that would un-nerve many. Good thinking and good shooting.
 

Charles De Salme

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
67
Location
Lakeside AZ
Like you I’ve been looking for a big bruiser. When I see one I don’t have a tag and when I have a tag I don’t see one. Hopefully this year will change. Anyway, memories of the hunt is a trophy in itself. Great story
 
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