Who's Gearing up for Colorado?

Dave King

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Okay guys... it's nearly time to head west! We'll infect the plains and mountains with our un-ethical behavior and have a good time doing it. Our success rate will probably be higher than the other general groups and we'll fire less shots. We'll see more critters than most and enjoy the time at least as much as anyone else (some folks will bring women and beer).

What's the plans...careful to not set ourselves up for an irate welcoming committee.

I'm planning to head west early Thursday morning (16 Oct.), due west on 70 until Colorado then various roads south-west toward Manassa/Antonito. My wife will be traveling with me on this hunt and we'll camp for three (3) days with friends in an area south of Mogote. I'm hunting with a fella I introduced to whitetail hunting here in Maryland, he's killed a pile of them and is really getting the hang of it but still working on a "trophy" buck. He's a Navy Officer stationed here but calls Manassa, CO home, he recently got back from Iraq and invited me along on annual hunts from now until??? forever I guess.

I'll be taking my Tac-Ord built 6.5x284 and at least one more rifle probably my G-A Precision built 338 Lapua (I'll probably not be comfortable unless I bring my 308 too but we'll see). I know I'll be shooting the 300 SMK's through the 338 but I'm still mulling over a bullet for the 6.5x284...leaning toward a 140 Sierra GameKing (in my experiences (multiple) the 142 SMK isn't too good on critters). I'll probably load up some 155 Lapua Scenars for the 308 (just in case it follows me out there

I'll hunt my typical "tactical" style.. bipods, LASER RF, sand sock, GPS, binos and I'll probably have a partner (another hunter type...my wife does not hunt) as a spotter (and vice versa).

I'll drive my gas guzzler 8.1 liter 2500 Chev PU and help out the nations economy (my wife does not want me driving her Yukon because it might get abused in the area of the hunting camp...she's a little confused about the purpose of a truck).

Any others headed out that way? Any tips? Side bets on the... never mind... Darryl or someone in his group would win that part anyway. (I'm still a 650 yard max kinda guy...gotta keep my word!)

P. S. I didn't figure to pack any stink'n camo clothing...gave up on that hype a while back...but then I remembered I have a Columbia quad-parka and overalls in camo
, guess I'll bring it in a black plastic bag and only drag it out if it's below zero (fahrenheit)....maybe I can trade them for something

[ 09-03-2003: Message edited by: Dave King ]
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Hi Dave,
I am heading out on Oct 15 around noon. Going to hunt the entire week and Saturday morning, then heading home. Actually, we will kill our elk by the first couple of days, then we plan on watching the carcass for bear. Hunting about an hour north of Cortez CO. Taking 4 horses to get the elk out from the other side of the canyon, 338/378 Baer built long range unethical smoker. 300gr Matchkings to boot. Dont you know you are not supposed to shoot mk's at game!!!
Good Luck!
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Hello Dave

Looks like your ready for a good time in the mountains of Colorado.
Sounds like you have prepared yourself for about any weather change and that's good.
I doubt that you will see any nasty stuff though.

We strive for the white stuff and go during the 3rd season in hopes of getting it.

If all goes to plan, my wife and I will be heading to the western slope near Glenwood and Aspen for our annual hunting trip the 24th or 25th of Oct. Our season starts the 1st of Nov.

We meet 4 friends from California who camp a few miles from us and we also meet a resident ex outfitter who hunts the third season as we do, with his family. He camps about two miles from us.
Both groups have killed game at extreme range off my rifles and we meet every year at the same spot.

We will be going out 1 week before the season opens (Nov 1) and set up camp and just enjoy the area without ANYONE being around within miles of us. It's extremely isolated and we also look for game in the bigeyes in those days preceding the hunt.

Our trip out consists of my Dodge diesel loaded down with longrange equipment, food and hunting clothes and I also pull a tarp covered trailer which has the tent, coal, stove, generator, dry wood to build fires, extra fuel, the 4 wheeler if needed to pack out any game when the horses are not there, cots, sleeping bags, extra water and so on.
We travel out by way of route 80 instead of 70 which has more cities and congestion to go through.
I will be taking the 338/416 Rigby, the 300 Tamahawk, a carry LR lighter weight rifle in the 7/300 Weatherby with a bipod and 30" barrel and also my 280 Mountain rifle.

When we get out to Glenwood and before we head back into the rugged area we stop in town for any food items that we didn't pack in the ice chests. We also get our bull elk tags and check at the game commission office for any left over buck tags.

We then drive out to where the pave road ends and the worst muddy road ever thought of, starts.
Before we leave the paved small road, the extra large heavy duty chains are put on all 4 wheels. The mud there is the worst I have ever seen and the road going back 7 miles is straight off and a long way down if one were to go over the side.

Once we reach our camping area which is at 7500 feet elevation, the work starts and the tent is set and all equipment set up inside that we will need. A fire is built and it never goes out the entire trip. It's so warm in that military Arctic tent, I usually run around inside in my underwear when the temp drops to zero. Set up takes about one to two hours to do it right.

From the area we set up camp which is in the middle of large jack pines, I have a longrange spot that is hidden from anyone seeing us and we can leave our equipment set up all season if we want to. The shooting we have at that spot is fantastic and its about 75 yards from the tent. Shooting out to any range we want.

Our most popular shooting spot however, is about 2 miles further out and we normally drive there instaed of staying near the camp during most of the season. We have a spot out there that you can look all around you 360 degrees and see as far as you could ever shoot a rifle and there is usually game in every area we look.

Once were set up and back in, we don't come out till after the one week season is over. That means if we get in there 4 or 5 days before the season we are there at least 12 days without coming back to civilization.

I think my wife likes the camping as much as hunting. I like it to.

The big cats we hear at night make the tent walls seem paper thin and a much firmer hold on the rifle near the cot, seems to be in order. I have taken hold of it when the critters get to close.

We have seen a Grizzly in that area two years ago.

So I guess the answer to your question----Who is headed to Colorado? would be, Carol and Darryl are planning for it as the 13th or 14 th year in a row now.
I painted the trailor the other day, greased the wheel bearings, cleaned it out and we will be packing it up about a week before we leave.

Good luck on your hunt to Colorado Dave and Steve E.
Do 300 gr Match Kings kill game Steve?????????? I didn't know that? Come on Match Kings on game???
You bet---Best **** bullet ever devised for hunting.


[ 09-03-2003: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

I usually run around inside in my underwear

Oh, my gosh. Am I ever glad I'm not in that camp!

I'll be in north central NM around October 4 for 5 days for elk.

Good luck all.
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

As a resident, I will spend the next couple of days buck'n bales and putting a couple shoes on the ponies. We will pack in some of camp this weekend, setup the sheepherders tent, and get a bunch of wood cut.
September 13 is the start of muzzle season so we will be going in on the 11th or 12th with all the groceries and such.
This year I will be hunting with some retired, or nearly retired Division of Wildlife folks, and one FWS biologist. Spend 10 days with them and you certainly know what is wrong with the world.
Depending on how it goes I hope to hold out for a trophy. Enough 2.5 - 3.5 year old 5 and 6 points, I want to get a mature bull this year.

For rifle hunts I have a doe antelope tag in Wyoming (hard to get a tag in Colorado), a late season private land cow tag and a third season doe tag. Maybe I will slap the chains on and go find Darryl's camp so I can see some real long range stuff in action though.

Everything I know and have seen says the last grizzly was killed off in Colorado many years ago. It would be cool if they still existed here, but I think Wyoming is as close as they get.
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Enjoyed the heck out of the entries in this post. Not going to CO this year, but have planned a backpack blacktail hunt in N CA in early Oct, a redneck blacktail hunt in OR the whole late season, and a late AZ whitetail hunt in late December (third year in a row for a coveted tag).

The reason I am offering this post is to bring up the question of how do you guys get away from the $*%^@ ATV's in Colorado? My brother and I are old farts and have been hunting together for 50-some years, if you don't count BB guns. We hunted CO for quite a few years; a few miles N of Gunnison, mostly in the days when you could get a deer and an elk tag over the counter. We looked at it as an elk hunt with deer a target of opportunity. We hunted in a migration area, and if there was a foot of snow or so we would usually get elk. If there wasn't, we didn't. That was fine. The reason we stopped hunting that area was because of the ATV's. They were getting worse every year.

One of our favorite spots was above a saddle that was a highway of tracks, about two miles from camp, which is about as far as it's fun to haul an elk. You could see for miles, and the saddle was always filled with elk tracks, and sometimes elk. It takes almost two hours to get there in the snow. The last year we hunted there, I got settled down just before dawn. About the time I could see well, I started hearing my favorite sound; the sound of an ATV. The guy pulled up 50 feet from me, gunned his engine a few times, looked around and spotted me glaring at him, and said "HI! DIDN'T SEE YA'LL! YA'LL SEEN ANY ELK? WHERE YA'LL FROM? WHAT KIND OF RIFLE YA'LL GOT? YA'LL EVER HUNTED HERE BEFORE? Over the next five minutes, I heard the story of his life, all shouted over the sound of his ATV.

This is a spot that we hunted in the late season, over 10,000 ft in elevation, and was usually tough to get into. We usually had to chain up on all four wheels, and we brought shovels. The last few years we hunted there, we saw very few guys that hunted like we do; lots of glassing, lots of privacy. But there were ATV's all over the place. It ruined the fun to the extent that we dropped out. I do enjoy all the good memories, tho.

I think that using ATV's for hauling out an elk is fine, but not for simulating the Rat Patrol. To me, long distant hunting is about 500 yards, but I hand it to you guys who can cleanly kill things at far longer distances because I know what it takes. I also know that your kind (and mine)of long distant hunting doesn't lend itself to slamming on the brakes of an ATV and opening up at a herd of spooked herd of elk hauling over the next ridge.

How do you escape these guys? Are you hunting on private land? Special drawing areas?

Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

I do not want to turn this into an ATV bashing thread, cuz it would be really easy for me to do so.

First of all, write letters to the Forest Service and DOW with your opinions, experiences and reasons for no longer hunting Colorado. They will do more good there for future planning than on a forum like this.

The way we get away from ATV's is to go where they can't. Special draw areas minimize the number of hunters overall, which tends to decrease the number of ATV's. I hunt public land almost exclusively and I know Darryl does too.

Another thing we do to help combat this problem is to helo enforce the existing laws by cell phone. Any wilderness area will not allow ATV's and many of the National Forests only allow ATV travel on specified trails. Many slobs will create more trails because they can. When witnessing this, we climb high for cell service and let it be known asap so someone can enforce it. Unfortunatly, the Forest Service cannot be everywhere and the DOW can only ticket somebody if they are hunting from an ATV.

New hunting laws state they must carry their weapon in a hard case while being transported, and they must be completely unloaded. This keeps people from "hunting" off their ATV's, but the darn things are so much fun it does not keep them from tearing up the country as soon as they get bored or tired of walking.

Enough rambling on. Sorry the ATV's keep you from hunting here. Wish I could do more about it.
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Good luck to all who are going......unfortunately this year has plans for me......and it isnt hunting...

LOL, within the pipeline to Paramedic.....Anat and Physiology begins...so....while Im learning to discern my medial malleolus from my acromioclavicular joint.....You guys have fun hunting.....

Take care,

Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?


Two years ago 8 people saw this grizz at around 250 yards and we had the big optics on him to. I've killed black and light color Black bears in Colorado and know the difference between a black and a Grizz.

The game division admitted there were a few around from time to time that wonder in.

I get dressed when company comes.
It's just so warm in the tent and with the stove I have, you just start taking the layers "OFF."

Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Darryl where did you find your Artic Tent? I'ld like to have one just in case I make it up to AK.
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Darryl, I was going to ask the same question. Does it have an inside layer, and what type of stove is it. We are using a new tent this year. It is a converted plant tent, you know, the kind people on the corner sell plants in. I had sides sewn on and 2 overlapping doors, one on each end. Also had a stove pipe sewn in. I tested it this winter in my backyard. Had 8 inches of snow and it was really warm inside. It is a 20x30 with 6 foot sidewalls and a 11 foot peak. We can sleep about 14 people if needed.
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

Steve and Texas

Yes, the tent has a liner that is removable if someone is using it in warmer weather.

It has the stove pipe hole already in them plus two vents.

I use the military pot stove and it has a coal grate in it. I use the "Chennel" small lump soft coal in it and it will last all night when I bank it down. I take five five gallen buckets of it with us and bring back 1 or 2 still full and the fire NEVER goes out the entire trip.

I bought the tent at "Bobs Army Navy Store" in Clearfield, PA. It was brand new in the original wrapping from the government.

The tent is octigen shape and is 16 feet across. It does have a center pole and one person "can" set it up. Waterproof and fire resistant. Weighs 100# without the telescoping center pole and stakes. Is 9' tall in the center.
A VERY warm, comfortable and usable tent.

They made them in two sizes, 13" across and 16" across. I had the 13' foot one and sold it to buy the 16 footer.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid77/p3c16e106cb125b90b43843208f74c9c4/fb2fc 3f7.jpg.

[ 09-04-2003: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?

How much coal do you use at night, and does it keep the tent warm all night. Our wood burns up too fast. What kind of coal shelf is in your stove. I am thinking of making a shelf out of some kind of expanded metal, but someone said it will get too hot and warp it pretty bad. How is your coal shelf made?
Re: Who\'s Gearing up for Colorado?


Look for a Military pot style stove with the grate in it already.

They run about $50.00 and comes with 5 sections of flue. They weigh about 45#

The coal lasts ALL night and then I put more in before we go out hunting and theres a bed of hot coals when we come back in. Throw more coal in and it starts right up.

I go to sleep in just my underwear laying ON TOP of the sleeping bag. At about 1AM I get up and put more coal in and bank it down. I then crawl into the bag.
When we eat breakfast, I have to open the tent flap and put my chair in the opening because it's so warm for me.

My wife likes the extra heat though

I burn that puppy 24 hrs a day.


[ 09-04-2003: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
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