Finally. Solo success on 5th trip to Colorado

Newtosavage

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I've been going to Colorado to hunt elk for the past 4 seasons. Always got close but either couldn't close the deal or more often - I had the wrong tag in my pocket. But I sure learned a lot in those years and I helped my buddy locate and then pack out his 6x6 last year. Every year I was gaining more experience and confidence, but it still wasn't happening for me.

One thing I learned was that a big part of why I go is for the solitude. Being with my amazing wife since I was 18, working for 30 years since college and raising 3 kids doesn't leave a guy a lot of "alone" time, and I realized how much I missed that after my first week of solo scouting in the mountains a few years ago.

This year I wanted to see if I could change my luck by going solo for mule deer instead of taking a buddy with me after elk. I love my buddies but always left Colorado feeling like I had done a lot of work for them because I wanted to make sure they had a good experience. But this year was my turn. I'm a die-hard meat hunter, but I will admit I've always admired the way mule deer antlers look. Plus, I figured I could get a mule deer out of a canyon by myself, but I wasn't going to get an elk out of a canyon by myself. So I committed to a solo hunt and pulled a 2nd season mule deer tag off the leftover list.

As I usually do, I arrived 5 days before the opener with the plan of finding a good base camp location, glassing a ton, and laying eyes on a few legal animals before the shooting began. On Wednesday of last week, I saw this guy stand up out of his bed mid-day in an aspen grove (the one behind me in the pics) and then casually walk off. Not seeing anything better during my scouting, I made this buck #1 on the hit list and made a plan to be on my way to that aspen grove 2 hours before sunrise on Saturday.

I saw a few other bucks during my scouting week and had two other great backup locations figured out. I also walked up on a dandy black bear who was standing up 100 yards from me looking over the same meadow I was glassing. He never saw me and we just stood there looking over that meadow together for about 5 minutes. That was a cool experience but I didn't opt for the bear tag and I have no regrets. It was enough for me just to watch him for a while - especially that close.

I know this is probably a "dink" for all you who grew up chasing muleys, but it's a trophy to this flatlander. A wise man once said "never pass on the first day that which you'd shoot on the last day" and when he showed himself, I didn't hesitate. Not to mention the nasty weather that I knew was on the way - a great motivator to get meat in the cooler and break camp. It was 92 degrees when I left my home last Monday, 13 degrees when I left the truck Saturday morning, and it will be 92 again today back home. I think I was wearing everything I own while sitting there for an hour waiting for the sun to come up! But it was all worth it. :D

I ended up finding him right where the mature sage meets the aspen, just like several here had suggested on a previous thread I had started. So thanks to all of you who offered your advice! And a big THANK YOU to all those who contribute here - I have learned a ton on this forum and I'm sure I'll continue to learn more. Hopefully I can return some of those favors too!

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Rich M

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That's a hunt done well - gotta love it when everything comes together. Congratulations.

Understand the whole helping others aspect of it all. 3 of us will be hunting this fall and I need to remember that it is okay to take the buck and not give it to one of the other guys.
 
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Newtosavage

Newtosavage

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That's a hunt done well - gotta love it when everything comes together. Congratulations.

Understand the whole helping others aspect of it all. 3 of us will be hunting this fall and I need to remember that it is okay to take the buck and not give it to one of the other guys.
Yup. After my buddy shot his bull on literally the first day of elk hunting of his life, I was happy as heck for him but I also resolved that next year ( this year ) I was guiding myself and nobody else. LOL

Like I said, I love helping people hunt and fish. Probably 75+% of what I do these days. It's important to give back and pass along the experience I've gained. But man, every now and then I just need some ME time. LOL

And yes, this was a plan that came together as well as any plan I've ever had. I was beginning to wonder if I was just that unlucky in Colorado. Thankfully I got my answer at 8:30 on opening day. :D
 

street

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Dec 22, 2018
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CO
Congrats! I'm still chasing them, day 3. Saw a good one last night, starting to figure things out, maybe..
 

KHNC

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Jul 11, 2013
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NC
Nice job! I have a point in CO. Deciding rifle or bow will be the decision for next year looks like.
 
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