CO transitioning deer?

elkocd

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
169
Elk hunting is my thing, but the last few years I've been trying to spend a little more time focusing on deer. Where I grew up deer hunting in the NW we don't really have a deer migration, at least during the early Oct seasons there.

I've been in W CO for the last few days scouting for my upcoming 2nd season hunt. I "assumed" the deer would be in transition by now, but what I'm seeing does not seem so. The unit I'm in is more of a migratory unit with the adjoining areas being higher summer range. The only deer I have seen have all been on the thicker ridges around 8000+ feet. Problem with that country is there is no glassing and I really don't want to just still hunt timber for a big buck.

There are a number of great looking burns that are a little lower, but not a lot lower. Around 7000', but I have yet to see a deer in any of them. Today I walked the edges of one and there was old shit everywhere! By far the most sign I've seen, but all real old. So obviously a lot of deer use them, just not now.

So here is my question for you guys with a lot more experience hunting CO migratory deer. Should I just give up on that country for 2nd season or should I roll the dice and believe the deer will transition in there before the season is over.
 

southLA

Junior Member
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Jan 10, 2021
Messages
32
Going through this right now. Scouting a wider variety of areas/elevations as it looks as if the push down hasn't started yet.
 

Poser

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Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
4,164
Location
Durango CO
Out elk hunting in the high country last week in SW CO and the deer tracks in the snow were coming out of every single high country drainage down to 8,000 feet. No idea where they went after that but it was certainly an exodus.
 

smith3442

Newbie
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
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5
5 years ago it was a warm and dry 3rd season. I spent almost the whole hunt waiting for deer to transition, las day and 1/2 I hunted in the trees. Wished I would not have waited as the bigger bucks didn't show up that year. The previous year they did when a friend had the tag. Good luck 2nd season is almost the same dates as 3rd was that year, but I think you will need weather to get the big ones to come out of the trees.
 
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elkocd

elkocd

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Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
169
Snowing right now at my camp at about 7500'. Hope that gets them to move down a little more.
 

Shastaman78

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Joined
Mar 1, 2014
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6
anybody have any updates on this in CO? will be in the Gunnison basin in a few days looking for deer and wondering what elevation might be best to start at.
 
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elkocd

elkocd

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
169
I've been in my area for the last week straight and there seems to be less deer now than a week ago. I'm at 7000-8000'. The fresh tracks I saw after the weather the other day all seemed to be headed downish, but I have no idea where the deer are. I don't see any glassing the lower burned areas. I'm going to hunt up here for a few days and If I can't find more deer, drop down towards the more private winter range. I don't feel like that is where they are, but at least I can glass the lower country.
 

Russ_Carone

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Palisade, CO
The bigger bucks will still be living at higher elevations:8-10k, as it takes quite a bit of snow to motivate them to leave. However, there are resident deer in many low elevation areas. So you can probably turn up a decent buck in the burn
 

bradyhunt

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
39
Location
Durango, CO
^^ this
SW Co yesterday found a couple good bucks 9.8 and 10k at first light and saw a handful of smaller bucks and does/fawns~8k throught the day.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Chiro22

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
135
Location
California
Looking at a similar situation. hunting an area for 2nd season this year that I was able to get on last year for 2nd also. Last year there was almost 2 feet of snow up around 9600 feet with snow at 7500 feet obviously. This year it seems as though there’s only a couple patches of snow. last year I found all the deer down closer to 7500 feet, I’m thinking this year to re-strategize for heading up to the higher country and looking in the timber because it doesn’t seem like there’s the snow or the weather to drive them to lower elevations yet.
 
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