Buddy of mine drew an S9 archery tag. Due to circumstances beyond his control he doesnt have time to scout so he is planning on winging it. Anyone willing to give him a bread crumb to at least get started? Any help appreciated.
What is this friends fitness level? Be honest. What is this friends archery skill level and equipment? Effective range? What is this friends archery hunting skill level? How any days can they hunt? If they can't get scouting time in are they really going to hunt? Have they hunted sheep before? Have they hunted in the Sangres for any species before?
There is the option of turning the tag in for a point reinstatement but that time is 30 days before the season which is TOMORROW!
Look at the prior kill info for a start. Hope they have a lot of time to commit to the hunt.
That being said, there's no reason to "wing it". Colorado publishes historical kill location data going back as far as 13 years for every sheep unit. For many of the kill sites, exact GPS locations are provided. No doubt the other 10 guys with tags for S9 will be targeting the same areas, but proper use of this data should prevent going in totally blind.
Problem with not scouting though, is that he won't have located good glassing spots, or the access routes to those spots, or have a sense of where rams are hanging out in current times, or have created multiple back-up plans, and etc. Either way though it's a bighorn sheep hunt, and I wish the best of luck to your friend!
I looked and the archery season in S9 accounted for 1 ram 4 seasons ago, 1 ram 3 seasons ago, then 2 then 5 last season. So with 30 hunters stepping into S9 to use archery-only tags there were 9 rams harvested over the past 4 years. The harvest trend is rising so let's say 40% odds if an average hunter shows up to hunt that the tag is filled.
I would estimate a 1 in 5 chance your friend harvests. That may be generous if there are issues with hiking up steep stuff while at altitude due to weather or conditioning or tolerance of altitude.
Those are decent odds and if your friend is more about the adventure than filling the tag then more than likely he will leave the mountain happy. If he really wants to havest a sheep then I would suggest at a minimum speaking with successful archery hunters that hunted S9 the past few years. Hiring a guide is the next step but that will most likely diminish the level of the adventure.