Colorado Mule Deer during Muzzleloader/mid september

NYSKIER

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Hi guys,
Done a bit of mule deer hunting but have yet to make it to Colorado. While working on figuring where to apply I realized that I had two roadblocks. 1) The season opens later this year and 2) My sister is getting married on the 6th of September so that takes hunting the opener out of me as I'm out of state. If I were to come out during muzzleloader which starts during the 8th what kind of activity would I see in the South Western Part of the state. By activity I mean, would deer be in velvet still (How long do they stay in velvet?), will deer still be visible in the high country or will they have shed velvet and disappeared into the dark timber? I know muzzle loader will add to the pressure however Colorado's rules definitely shorten the range of muzzleloaders making them more similar to archers.

Thanks in advance!
 

KHNC

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Bucks will be out of velvet by then. Plenty of ML hunters, TONS of OTC elk hunters on any public ground in CO.
 
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NYSKIER

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I'm not looking for a velvet buck per say I just wanted to know if they would still be out and about in the high country bedding on rock ledges and such/more out in the open or if they would have retreated to the dark timber during the day/the thicker stuff.
 

Hoot

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I'm not looking for a velvet buck per say I just wanted to know if they would still be out and about in the high country bedding on rock ledges and such/more out in the open or if they would have retreated to the dark timber during the day/the thicker stuff.
There will still be some bucks in velvet, but not as many. You'll still have an opportunity at bucks above timberline in most years, some years the food burns off early and they move lower in larger numbers.
 
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NYSKIER

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There will still be some bucks in velvet, but not as many. You'll still have an opportunity at bucks above timberline in most years, some years the food burns off early and they move lower in larger numbers.
I'm assuming early burn off would be from above average temperatures and not enough rains?
 

Hoot

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I'm assuming early burn off would be from above average temperatures and not enough rains?
More below average snowpack the previous winter/spring, but yes. It is still early this winter but we are looking to be in much better shape than last winter...
 

dirtytough

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Bucks will be out of velvet by then. Plenty of ML hunters, TONS of OTC elk hunters on any public ground in CO.
I gotta disagree with most of this. I hunted an easy to draw muzzy unit this year. I killed a buck on day 4. And I only saw 2-3 bucks that had shed. I also only saw one elk hunter.

As for the op I'm not sure what you mean by muzzy starting on the 8th? I looked at it a few months ago and could have sworn it started on the 14th in 2019?
 

Foldem

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Remember that the muzzy season dates kick back to 9/14 in 2019.

I agree it depends on the year but in the areas I hunt alot of bucks start stripping around the 5th and by the 10th I'd say 75% have stripped. Also, in the heavy hunted units I wouldn't expect many bucks to be way above timberline. Yes it does happen, but to me I've seen a shift in my area toward utilizing the timber more and more every year once archery really gets going. Good luck and shoot straight!
 

5MilesBack

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Yes it does happen, but to me I've seen a shift in my area toward utilizing the timber more and more every year once archery really gets going.
This year every buck I saw was at close range in the timber. Jumped a group of 7 bedded bomber bucks while I was screaming at a bull. They were at 30 yards below me, while the bull was above me and his cows were strewn all over that timbered slope. Haven't seen anything even remotely close to that since the 80's. Back in the 80's I'd see close to 100 deer (does and bucks) a day while elk hunting. Excluding this year, Ive seen probably a dozen deer total in the last 15 years while elk hunting.
 
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NYSKIER

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Remember that the muzzy season dates kick back to 9/14 in 2019.

I agree it depends on the year but in the areas I hunt alot of bucks start stripping around the 5th and by the 10th I'd say 75% have stripped. Also, in the heavy hunted units I wouldn't expect many bucks to be way above timberline. Yes it does happen, but to me I've seen a shift in my area toward utilizing the timber more and more every year once archery really gets going. Good luck and shoot straight!
Thanks for all the input guys I looked at the regs wrong that was for 2018. Also Foldem wen you say heavily hunted I you referring to deer hunters in a unit with high tag allotment or lots of pressure from OTC elk?
 

Jimss

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As mentioned earlier OTC elk units generally have gobs of hunters running up and down roads and trails. There are spots to get away from hunters in OTC elk units but it usually takes a lot time and boot leather to find them. The farther you are from main trails...the better off you'll be! The timing of shedding velvet can vary from year to year....just as the disappearance of bucks into the trees. The first cold snap with snow can often push them into trees. Obviously hunting pressure varies from 1 location to next...which definitely impacts how quickly bucks disappear. There are a number of variables and it's tough to put a finger on an exact date from 1 year to the next.
 

KHNC

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I hunted the last two weeks of the season this year and every buck I saw was still in full velvet.
I have not seen a velvet muley in CO past 09/8 or so. I guess its different in some areas. I hunt around unit 13 in NW area. I have seen NM muleys in velvet as late as 09/21 in the Gila. But they rut in January down there.

As for OTC elk hunters not being around, well, i guess you have found one serious honey hole. I would take that secret to your grave.
 

swampokie

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I think tons of hunters is a gross understatement. Ive found tons of outfitted hunters in the wilderness and tons of Texans and local road hunters in the more metropolitan areas. Ive been there the last two years during this timeframe and it blows my mind how 6 different seasons at the same time brings out so many hunters. Go figure
 
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NYSKIER

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Thanks for all the input guys really appreciate it this will definitely figure into where I will try to draw
 
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