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Eastern Plains Whitetail
Anyone have photos of their harvest?
I got this one on the plains
Not Colorado but still a decent buck ;-)
From the plains in an area where I haven't seen a whitetail for about 10 years. The CPW's eradication effort seems to be working. My hunt thread is on the Mule Deer forum.
Nice buck! Anyone still hunting out east and what's the deer movement like?
As of Monday the deer movement was just like always at this stage of the post-rut. Muleys were still trying to find the last does in heat so when you found one buck you often found four. My whitetail buck came to an active scrape and I shot him from ground-level while he was working it. But since there are no whitetail does for about 100 square miles he was probably just being hopeful that a muley doe would hang around.
I hunted the weekend. Whitetail bucks were still cruising and responded great to grunting. I had a doe tag and never saw one.
anyone still hunting our east?
Some older muley bucks have already started to drop antlers. I know of two BIG bucks shot last week by gunners on "antlerless" permits. IMO, they shouldn't even have a December rifle season, and the area game warden agrees. With today's guns it's like stealing, and is really affecting the number of mature bucks in the overall herd.
But money talks, and outfitters appear to have our Commission by the balls.
I am glad they have the late rifle season. My 14 year old daughter and I were able to get out the last two weekends. We walked over 20 miles in 3 days of hunting. Yesterday we followed a group of deer for 2.5 miles before they bedded in a draw. We snuck into about 40 yards and waited a hour and half for a shot opportunity. It was not like stealing and it was probably the most fun hunt I have ever been on and I have hunted lots of days over the years, killed my share of critters -most them with a bow.
John MC if everyone else is seeing the photobucket message instead of your pics, its because photobucket went from free hosting to $300/year if you want to let others see your pics on a forum. Luckily Bowsite lets you upload straight from your computer but a zillion other web sites were effected.
That sucks and bowsite gives me a error every time I try to upload picture yesterday. Looks like it worked today
Not upside down :) Bowsite technology could use a update!!
John, congrats to your daughter! I think it would be great if it was a youth hunt. You did it right. Where I hunt it isn't like that. They shoot them out of trucks, at 700 yards, and the mature bucks are still out in the open and with does. If I hunted with a rifle the way I bowhunt (or guided for an outfitter) we could wipe out virtually every mature buck in the region. The game warden is begging them to reduce buck tags but it won't happen because too much big $$$ is involved.
Honest question - would you and your daughter have had the same quality hunt if it was late October and not a rut hunt?
This guy has a heart condition and can't walk 100 yards. Chased this buck down with the pickup.
Lou- From what I hear talking to the landowners in the area we hunted. Hunters in the early season did a lot better and saw a lot more deer. We hunted two large ranches the first weekend including the one we hunted this Saturday and saw no mature deer only a few small bucks and does. Every buck we saw were not with does with the exception of a little spike. IMO the rut has come and gone before this season. Also the number of antlered tags for this unit was not what I would call excessive. I believe there was in the 30 tag range. Compare that to antelope rifle season in the same area they put out hundreds of buck tags those you can truly drive around and spot from the truck.
I consider myself only a bowhunter. I have not killed anything other than a coyote with a rifle since 2009. With that said I think we as bowhunters at times forgot why we choose to be bowhunters especially in a state like CO were we either bow hunt a species or gun hunt but not both in most cases. I think most of us want a challenge of killing one close and not at long range with a rifle. I don't think that gives us a right to bitch and moan about those that choose to hunt a way we think is a easier way. Some of those guys might be future bowhunters, they might be the guy with a heart condition, or a guy that only has the time or desire to get out a couple days a year. Besides they are lot more like us than those don't want either of us to hunt anything. Lastly no matter how many deer are kill after being spotted from a truck I believe there are always a lot more you are not going to see from the truck. If you are willing to leave the truck you have opportunities the guys driving around are not going to have.
Congrats to your daughter that's AWESOME!! Great buck. I'm sure she enjoyed the time afield with Dad.
The Mule Deer here in NW Colorado seem to be back on some hot does this past weekend. Some giants I've not seen since the rut were standing around- hopefully they winter well! Overall, I would rate the deer season this year way above the average from the bucks our hunters and people I know harvested.
John, maybe you misunderstood my point. I have no problem with rifle hunters. What I have a problem with (and the lead game warden shares my thoughts exactly) is the overharvesting of mature bucks and the subsequent effect on the gene pool due to the explosion of outfitting out there.
What you're describing is how it was in my unit 20 years ago. Now, virtually every property large enough to hold a deer is leased by the big outfitters. There is no knocking on doors out there anymore. Their business is selling big mature bucks for big bucks. My ranch is the only sizeable one in the whole region that isn't leased. There were only two youth tags drawn (December) this year because there is no place for the local kids to hunt anymore. There were 78 total buck tags for the December season in this unit. If you've followed my live hunts on the Muley forum you've seen my photos of bucks with the does right up to Dec. 1. I was out there last week and they were still with the does. My rancher friend only allows two rifle buck hunters because he knows they shop for and kill the two biggest bucks they can find. It's not a real trick then - you can glass for miles from high points and spot them, then get within 600-700 yards and bang. The way the terrain is set up in that unit and where the winter wheat and millet fields are located relative to the bedding draws, you can pretty much spot every deer from a vehicle from someplace in the morning or evening.
What is happening is that so many mature bucks are being shot - in both rifle seasons - that the ones breeding most of the does now have goofy antlers, 2x4, huge 2 points, 2x3 that will never be more than 2x3. The game warden and I both believe that over the cycle of this massive selling of big bucks the genetics are being altered, and he sees it more than I do. But in my nearly 30 years of hunting the same area the change is striking.
We've both talked to the lead biologist about this, who told me bluntly that they don't really care about antler size or genetics, only about the buck-doe ratio. If the ratio is within guidelines, no problems. We both wonder what will happen in a few more years when there aren't enough mature 4x4 type bucks to satisfy the guys paying $7000 for a week. Those guys don't want to shoot a 24" 2x3 like I shot last year. But right now what we're seeing is a rapid decline in 4x4 adult bucks. Even my rancher friend remarked about that last week. And his place is a big "sanctuary".
If they would follow the game warden's suggestion and cut back on the December buck tags I believe it would make a big difference in the overall quality of bucks. If it's just numbers that matter, maybe a collapse in classic 4x4 buck numbers will lead to a decrease in outfitting, which will then open up more places for those future bowhunters - or hunters in general - to hunt. So in the long run that may be a good thing?