View Full Version : Colorado archery deer hunt

11-30-2017, 11:35 AM
I've been trying to get down to SE Colorado to hunt deer for several weeks and finally took off last Saturday. I've been busy trying to finish a couple of C4 conversion frames in the shop that were supposed to be picked up weeks ago, but they're still sit there. :( This week was my last chance before the second rifle deer season starts this Friday, so I figured I'd better get a few days hunting in or my license will go unused.

It was unseasonably warm and dry but I saw a few whitetails and mule deer the first couple of days, and passed on a 3x3 mule deer buck at 25 yards that walked by me at less than 10 yards as I hid in some brush. I decided I wanted to shoot either a doe or a nice big buck, but not a small buck. I preferred a whitetail because I think their meat is better tasting, but the eastern mule deer aren't as gamey as the ones from the foothills of Colorado. And I like to let the small bucks and bulls grow up. :)

On Tuesday afternoon I headed down a creek bottom and ran into that 3x3 mule deer again. I went up on some rimrock and down another canyon starting to head back to camp, and saw this nice buck coming up the hill. I hid behind a bush but the wind wasn't right. He was going to walk right through my scent trail and I feared he would spook and run off. I thought about getting downwind of where I thought he would cross my path, but I didn't have time. He was coming right at me. As he approached the bush I was behind, I came to full draw with the intent of stopping him broadside for a shot. However, at around 10-15 yards from me he stopped and looked across the canyon. Since I was already at full draw it was either let down and blow my chance, or shoot. I shot, hitting him behind the left shoulder angling back toward the right side. He took off down the canyon at full speed and since it was about sunset I decided I had better wait til morning to try to recover him.

I got up before daylight the next morning and it was 24 degrees. I needed to make a short ride on my ATV to get back to the canyon to look for the deer, so I waited until sunrise to head out and I dressed real warm. I got to the bottom of the canyon and started heading up to where I shot him. I didn't go far and found gobs of blood....then my arrow covered in blood. I figured he couldn't have gone too far from there.

I bloodtrailed him to a fenceline and searched all over trying to figure out if he crossed it or ran along it. Once I found blood on the fence I knew he jumped over it. So I started searching the brush and cedars for him and after an hour or so I found him laying literally 5 yards off the road I rode in on. I was distracted by some cattle in the road when I went in so I didn't see him then.:eek:

To my dismay, the coyotes had gotten to him sometime in the night and basically ripped his entire left side out. Luckily they didn't get much meat, just the innards. There were tons of coyotes yipping every morning and evening out there and I knew that was a risk leaving him overnight.


11-30-2017, 02:51 PM
Great looking buck! and large... :)

11-30-2017, 05:03 PM
Really Nice buck , Good Shot !!!!!!!!!!!


12-01-2017, 07:44 AM
School us on something Laszlo: is that considered a 4 point buck? or and 8 point? And how old does that make him?

12-01-2017, 08:15 AM
School us on something Laszlo: is that considered a 4 point buck? or and 8 point? And how old does that make him?

In the east (whitetails) they would call a 4x4 buck an "8-point". Here in the west we would call this a "4x4" or a "5x5" because he does have some small brow tines. Supposedly everything over 1" is considered a point se he might be a "10-point" to some. I usually refer to a deer or elk as a N x N instead of "six point" or "five point" to consider all the points, and I think that's pretty common in the west.

As far as age, the number of points doesn't really tell the age. That's done by looking at the tooth wear, but I'm not educated on that. Generally at 1 1/2 year old a buck can be a spike (1-point) to maybe a 2-point (on one antler). I think at 2 1/2 years old they can be a 3-point to 4-point but there's no hard rule on that. At 3 1/2 years or older they're usually 4-points or 5-points and as they get older they gain antler mass and possibly some "extra" points. I'm guessing this is probably a 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 year old deer but I'm not sure. His body is pretty big and he's heavy. I had a helluva time loading him onto my ATV by myself.:eek:

I shot this deer on public land and there was a muzzleloader season there in October, and a rifle season in early November that ended November 8. I delayed my hunt a bit until the deer moved back in or settled down some after being run around and shot at. There's also another rifle season that starts today and goes for 2 weeks. My next chance to go would have been after 12/15.

The licenses in this area are limited, meaning you have to apply and there's only so many available. The entire state is like that for deer. The state game department manages them in most areas for sustainable harvest and maximum revenue, not for trophy quality. So it's hard to find big bucks because anything with antlers gets slaughtered on public land. Colorado is known for big mule deer, but you have to get in line for many years to draw a license in the few trophy areas.

12-01-2017, 08:17 AM
Beautiful Buck, to bad about the coyote's! Regarding point counts I always wondered, we in Montana called that a 4 point but our friend from Pennsylvania would call it an 8 point it seems it's about where your from? Also Lazlo how did your NM Elk hunt go?

12-01-2017, 08:47 AM
Also Lazlo how did your NM Elk hunt go?

I had a great hunt and some close calls, but came home empty-handed. I could have shot some cow elk or spikes but I didn't spend over $800 on a license and a couple hundred bucks on gas and two and a half weeks of my time to do that. I drew the early season and it's not the best as the rut is not really going at that time. While the elk were bugling, they wouldn't really respond to calling. So I sat water holes some, and did the spot and stalk thing most of the time. The other issue was cattle...they were everywhere and really screwed up the elk hunting.

My hunting partner came down the second week I was there and we set up a trail camera on a small water hole I found just below where I shot my bull 2 years ago. That water hole was dry. The first night we got some cow elk and a spike on the camera, so my partner decided to sit in a make-shift blind next to it. Here's some pics we got...the spike is about 10 yards from the blind and the middle of the waterhole is about 20 yards.



Note the time on this one....he never sat in the blind mid-day:


This bull came in at night...looks to me like he's been shot in the shoulder, but survived. The arrow probably hit the shoulderblade which blocked it.


My hunting partner sat in the blind for most of the week and decided to leave a day early. The season ended on Thursday and he was leaving that morning instead of hunting to the end of the season. On Wednesday night he said he was going to sit in the blind, but I really wanted to. I ended up going somewhere else to hunt several miles away and left him at camp late afternoon. I got back well after dark and he was there, I assumed back from his hunt. But he was sleeping in the dark and I asked what he was doing and he said he was "taking a nap".

The next morning he left and I went to the blind early that afternoon to sit out the last evening. I had a bugling bull and some cows close by just before sunset but they never came to the water hole, and the sun set on the season. I pulled the trail camera and went back to camp. The next morning I pulled the flash card out of the camera to see what was on it. This is what I found. This bull came in to the water hole the evening my partner was sleeping in camp!! I am nearly positive he didn't even go out to hunt, and just sat in camp and drank and slept. Note that the year is wrong on the picture, but the day is correct. I just neglected to set the year in the camera correctly.


12-01-2017, 08:56 AM
To bad, but like they say...A bad day hunting is still better than any day of work!!! Nice bull in those pics!

12-01-2017, 09:27 AM
Nice score!