Sorry guys! Resident archery. I'm farily new to archery hunting in the west. I'm in pretty descent shape and would prefer something that gets me as far back in as possible. What other information would be helpful?? I appreciate any advice!
I've never hunted Colorado, but plan to in the future- most likely archery mule deer. There is a ton of information out there in the form of numbers and spreadsheets, and there's also Google Earth. It can be confusing to start crunching statistics, especially because CO has a weird spreadsheet format, but once you get the hang of it you can really learn a lot on your own. It can definitely become quite addicting! If you are familiar with Microsoft Excel you can begin to make your own spreadsheets and charts for statistical data for units you've narrowed down your choices to. Look at data for a wide range of years, and get a feel for the trends. Try to evaluate yourself compared to what you think the "average" hunter is. You have to remember the harvest data is taken from everyone from new hunters to seasoned hunters; road warriors to backpack hunters; young hunters to old hunters. If you find that your success is consistently above average for past hunts, expect to be above the average of the odds you're looking at for future hunts. If you subscribe to Eastmans, use their MRS charts as a very basic starting point. Find a few units that you can draw that look good on paper in their charts, then go on Google Earth and see what the country looks like.
Like I said it may seem overwhelming, but once you narrow down your choices to say 5 units, it becomes a lot easier. The more work you put in studying these things, the more confident you will become with your choice. After doing all of this, then you should be ready to ask a few more specific questions to those who may have first hand knowledge of the areas. If you show that you've done your homework when asking you will have a better chance at getting the info you're looking for. I'm probably going to hunt CO in 2014 or 15, but my studying has already started, using the same resources I've posted here.