I'd like to use my 14 deer points in CO this year, preferably on a 3rd or 4th season hunt. After 30 years (I'm 70 but in excellent health and condition) I took up archery again last year and hunted deer and elk in UT. Passed on a nice 4 pt deer at 58 yds because I'm only comfortable to 50 yds and didn't see any elk. I'm still not that confident with a bow so will probably use a rifle on this hunt. I know this is primarily an archery site but I really like the openness and willingness of your members to share. With that number of points, I'm concentrating on the units in the NW quarter of CO which is closest to Ogden, UT where I live. I don't have enough pts for 2, 201, or 10 so some of the units I'm looking at are 3, 4, 5, 11, 12 and 21. If anyone has hunted these units during the 3rd or 4th rifle, would you please let me know of your experience and any recommendations you might have. I was told that 61 is not that good for trophy bucks lately and know that the Gunnison herds just took a big winterkill hit so I have no idea where to go. I'm looking for a 180+ buck (isn't everybody?) and have a 4wd and ATV and plan to spend a week hunting. I have always hunted DIY, public land but would consider a reasonable outfitter or trespass fee hunt. Thanks for any help you can provide.
I have hunted unit 3 a few times in 3rd season with my kids. Lots of deer but all that we saw were smaller (130" on the top end)
I have friends who elk hunt 11 4th season every year. They have seen 1 good buck over the last 7 where they hunt.
Maybe look at a 22 3rd season...
UNit 30 might b an option just south of 21 but not sure. Unit 21 2nd season can be really good, but not as good as later season dates. You are lucky that 2, 10, 201 are all out of reach as the deer hunting there is not very good.
You might consider a less unit and waste points on a 4th tag just to hunt the same unit again a couple times in the next few years. For example Unit 33 4th season, knowing that you would have a chance to turn around and hunt the same unit a year later on a 3rd tag. Same with units like 3 and 4. It takes a few more years, but hunt later this year and return sooner to hunt it again.
Some spectacular early high country hunts are well within reach with great bucks available - you will just need to be able to get around up at 11,000+ feet. The added bonus for these hunts is that you can pick up an OTC elk archery tag for many of those units and hunt the elk in the rut up in the same area.
The late hunts can also be good in the right units but a lot of the bucks will tend to be down on private land.
It may be worth looking into a trespass hunt on private land on a 4th season tag in one of the NW units that you can draw again in a year or two for 3rd season. The area around Meeker has been producing pretty well and there are several outfitters that can offer you a guided or trespass type of hunt.
Might want to get your apps in early since this will be a new system.