Sangre de Cristo Deer Quality

strousek

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
111
Location
Colorado
I hunted the Sangre de Cristo range in CO back in 2016 burning 9 PP on the high country early rifle tag. Those mountains chewed me up and spit me out soaking wet. Since that hunt I have completely revolutionized the way I go about high country scouting and hunting. I have nearly cut my pack weight in half since then and changed my mindset with dealing with several days of rain and fog. I am determined to get back into those nasty mountains on a redemption tag and conquer them.

Having looked at the stats the points to draw the early rifle tag have been decreasing slowly since 2016. The resident tags drew out with 7PP in 2019, 6 PP in 2020, 5 PP in 2021, and to my shock 3 this year in 2022. My original plan was to scout for a few years while possibly hunting bear or elk in the mountains and then draw the early rifle tag again and go after a nice deer. Now I am worried that this may be a wasted effort of scouting when I should be focusing my efforts elsewhere.

Does anyone have any first hand experience with the Sangre de Cristo deer herd that can attest to why the large drop in the required PPs? This tag used to be a 190" or bust type hunt so I am curious as to if the overall deer numbers are that low or if the age class of deer has just reduced down to smaller bucks. Shoot me a PM if you have any experience with these deer and any insight possibly for me. Thank you
 

squirrel

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
248
Location
colorado
"conquer them" made me smile. You survive the needles and sangres, After healing up if you are dumb enough you go back!

Sorry I have no secret insider knowledge of the deer hunt there but I think you already know the answer since demand for mature deer is growing exponentially and the point level is decreasing... too much lead poisoning. Seems to be a statewide problem, except for the ones cashing the checks.
 

Mtnmilsurp

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 16, 2021
Messages
122
Location
Larkspur, CO
I think nearly any high country early season mule deer hunt is going to be a daily gut punch if you’re after a big one. Which side of the range (east/west) are you hunting? I imagine the terrain intimidates a lot of folks.
 

justin davis

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
4,018
Location
Colorado
I hunted sheep in there a few years ago. The deer quality was poor. I didn’t see any nice bucks and I scouted and hunted for sheep a lot. Those mtns used to have some giants in them. But like a lot of colorado. The big ones are being killed off quick. I think in the sangres with the impentation of the 4th rifle season. A lot of
Big bucks got killed off.
 
OP
strousek

strousek

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
111
Location
Colorado
I hunted sheep in there a few years ago. The deer quality was poor. I didn’t see any nice bucks and I scouted and hunted for sheep a lot. Those mtns used to have some giants in them. But like a lot of colorado. The big ones are being killed off quick. I think in the sangres with the impentation of the 4th rifle season. A lot of
Big bucks got killed off.
Well how did the S9 tag go for you? I would be curious to talk to you about which areas you hunted specifically. I will shoot you a PM if that is ok?
 
OP
strousek

strousek

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
111
Location
Colorado
I think nearly any high country early season mule deer hunt is going to be a daily gut punch if you’re after a big one. Which side of the range (east/west) are you hunting? I imagine the terrain intimidates a lot of folks.
I hunted the west last time. Statistics show that it is more productive however I am open to hunting either side.
 

Poser

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
4,496
Location
Durango CO
I can’t help you with the specific Mtn range, but I backpack/glass/scout/explore the high country of the San Juans 40-50 days annually between June and September and my conclusion is that this high country mulie tag is overrated in general. I think the points make it seem desirable, but I’ve found big bucks to be very rare in the high country and very common in town. I imagine the Sangres are no different. I’ve done some high country Mtn biking over there, but that’s the limit of my experience.
 

ahlgringo

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
945
Been 4 or 5 years since I have been up there in Sept, saw a couple dandy's then, but no current intel. The Elk hunting has taken a dive though for sure. Beautiful area though that will for sure make you earn it.
 

naneumranch

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
Messages
22
We hunted it about 10 years ago and everyday a small plane flew every basin around us. When we got out we asked one of the local taxidermist what was going on. He said they were probably scouting and once they located a good buck would pack in the next day :(. Most of the buck we saw during that hunt had started to rub out and get hard horned do they were dropping into the timber.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Top