When to Go? Rut TimingContributors to this thread:
COLO 3-D 13-Oct-16
COLO 3-D 23-Oct-16
I have an archery tag for southeast Colorado and am planning on being there for a week. My schedule is flexible so can go throughout November. Thinking 16-23 right now. Anybody help me out on that area and when the big bucks will be out and about?
Someone from Colorado should be able to comment on this. Maybe post this up on the Colorado site. Good luck to you.
Do you have property to hunt? I would be trying to line up some private. As for dates, weather and moon play a factor, but your timing seems right for up in the NW, not sure how far south east, but sometimes the rut to the south starts later.
Thanksgiving-Christmas is the time I've seen the most rutting mulies. If I had a week it'd probably be the first or second week of Dec.
Hope the crops are harvested, it makes the hunting much easier.
Your dates almost match the dates for the 4th rifle season (16-20). The later you go in November the better, rut wise. Why not go the week after that to avoid sharing with gun hunters?
From: COLO 3-D
I live on the Western edge of Denver and over the years I usually see the rut blow up around the 19th of November.
Thanks for the responses. Rifle season opens Dec. 1 for deer but the elk 4th season is Nov 16-20. Maybe I will wait til Thanksgiving week if I can get out of family obligations. Any other opinions?
Thanksgiving is when it's on in SE WYO. But no mule deer seasons here that time of year.
if it's whitetail on a river bottom, first full week of November. Bucks aren't tied up yet but will be cruising hard looking for first doe! Second split starts later this year though (9th) so after that. Mule deer later as stated earlier, they are more visible and with does and a little pre-occupied.
16th to 23rd will be peak rut there. That can be tough hunting because they'll be with the does and there are lots of eyes and noses, but rattling, decoying and calling can be really effective then. 19th-23rd they'll likely be locked into one doe but I've called and deked both in during that period. Go and have a blast!
They are much earlier over here in NW colorado- normally the 3rd rifle season they are all dumbed up...
Seeing a lot more deer right now, they were peaked out last year here around the 9th of November.
If you do a search of my live plains muley rut hunts on this forum, you can pretty much track the progress of the rut from start to finish throughout November, and how I hunt during the different phases. I'm hunting in east-central CO so the dates will be pretty close to where you're hunting.
In the mountains it usually starts towards the end of the 2nd week of November. Last year in Eagle county the bucks started the end of the first week.
From: COLO 3-D
I would say your current plan is solid. Those are great dates and usually will put you at the peak of the rut. Good luck and post pictures when it's done.
Honestly, I like the 5 days before the real crazy rut kicks off (@ 12th-17) IMO that's the very best time to rattle/call/decoy big bucks as opposed to when they are locked into does. All but one of my biggest bucks have been killed during that period in the E. CO plains, plus the ones I've missed for one reason or another.