Sitka Mountain Gear
CO UNit 2 or 10 or Flip?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
coelker 22-Mar-19
coelker 22-Mar-19
Huntcell 22-Mar-19
Adventurewriter 22-Mar-19
wildwilderness 22-Mar-19
coelker 22-Mar-19
Jaquomo 22-Mar-19
Twinetickler 22-Mar-19
cnelk 22-Mar-19
wildwilderness 22-Mar-19
coelker 22-Mar-19
Jaquomo 22-Mar-19
Billyvanness 22-Mar-19
Brun 22-Mar-19
Jaquomo 22-Mar-19
Ucsdryder 22-Mar-19
Treeline 22-Mar-19
Grasshopper 22-Mar-19
Brun 22-Mar-19
Treeline 22-Mar-19
Brun 23-Mar-19
tkjwonta 23-Mar-19
Jaquomo 23-Mar-19
Huntcell 23-Mar-19
Ziek 23-Mar-19
Jaquomo 23-Mar-19
Ziek 23-Mar-19
Brun 23-Mar-19
Ziek 23-Mar-19
Brun 23-Mar-19
BNicely 24-Mar-19
coelker 26-Mar-19
Treeline 26-Mar-19
Paul@thefort 26-Mar-19
Brun 26-Mar-19
Skelly 27-Mar-19
tradhntr 29-Mar-19
RogBow 29-Mar-19
Kurt 29-Mar-19
Treeline 29-Mar-19
Jaquomo 30-Mar-19
Billyvanness 30-Mar-19
From: coelker
22-Mar-19
Well I am running out of time. I am needing to dump my points this year. I can hunt 2 or 10 archery of Muzzy, not 100% for 201. So I am looking at 2 vs. 10.

Alot of Unit 2 I know really well from years worth of Coyote hunting and work in the unit. I know the roads, I know fast ways from area to area, I know property lines pretty well. I however have not spent a lot of time on the "best" Elk area (Douglas, The Boulevard,etc. Larger unit with elk spread through out, some issues with private access and elk going onto the monument. Lower elk density but typically can find bigger Bulls.

On the flip side Unit 10 smaller, not as familiar but still pretty familiar. With OnX I am not too worried about lines. I hear that the elk are more concentrated and have higher densities. Bulls not as big but still plenty big for my expectations.

I can literally scout all of July and like 14 days in August. I have 10 trail cameras I can run. Unit 2 will be about 45 minutes less drive one way which adds up to 1.5 hours more drive time each weekend.

Which one would you hunt and why? I will not have much time off during the season. Weekends the holiday weekend, and maybe 5 days during the week.

From: coelker
22-Mar-19
The flip was if I needed to flip a coin to decide...

From: Huntcell
22-Mar-19
Go with 10 and write up a detailed report since I see more info on 2 . 10 should get some more coverage.

22-Mar-19
How much time will have have??? if you have the whole month I say archery if you are going to have a week or 10 day I say smokepole

22-Mar-19
2 archery.

From: coelker
22-Mar-19
I will have every weekend for archery to hunt. I will have 30 days of scouting minimum between July and August. I will likely have one full week. I am pretty certain that I can get a couple Fridays off as well. Archery Season I will have 16 days to hunt spread out through the month and assuming 5 days off work. If I go Muzzy 9 in a row. I might have less but worse case scenario I will have at least 13 days total archery if I get nothing off...

From: Jaquomo
22-Mar-19
Well, 2 is not an "easy hunt", but with the amount of time you have you should get opportunities at a good bull if you don't have your heart set on a 370. How much experience do you have bowhunting elk? Every year guys go into 2 and think it will be a cakewalk, flock shooting at herds of 350 bulls, and get skunked.

FWIW, My partner and I scouted a couple long weekends in summer, ran cameras from June on, ended up killing both our bulls in the first 6 days of hunting in a place we'd never scouted before the season started. We had never seen or cammed either bull before we shot them and I think they were the two biggest bulls we had seen or cammed.

From: Twinetickler
22-Mar-19
2 weeks of hunting towards the end of September in either unit you will have an amazing hunt. I went to school in Rangely and spent some time in 10. That country would be a fun archery hunt, open enough to glass and find bulls, yet enough cover to move in tight. I would go with 10 archery, but then again I don't know 2. Can't go wrong either way. Good luck!

From: cnelk
22-Mar-19
I would love to be able to hunt 10 again....

22-Mar-19
I recommend 2 archery- it takes more points, there are less tags, more area, bigger bulls. Also less traffic from other folks. pretty remote. I have driven through both and 2 and 10, I like 2 better. Also a big factor is its closer! 45 min each way adds up every time you go, and you said you already know it. Archery is just way more fun than muzzy. Never did like muzzy for elk.

From: coelker
22-Mar-19
My experience, I have hunted OTC Archery in Colorado for years. I have never taken any weeks off to hunt and I have killed 9 bull in 12 years. My wife is a great caller and has great luck calling.

My only reservation was hunting a quality unit in WY with a buddy there was just too many elk and too much action. Archer hunting a single bull with only 5-6 other elk with him is different than a bull with 10 cows and 15 satellite bulls...

From: Jaquomo
22-Mar-19
Ok, you will be fine in either unit with that level of experience.

22-Mar-19
Both will be big fun....I’m partial to 2 but I’ve talked to guys that have had ridiculous hunts in 10. Choose one and enjoy!

From: Brun
22-Mar-19
I am going to use Billyvanness's words, but switch it around. Both will be big fun....I'm partial to 10, but I've talked to guys that had ridiculous hunts in 2. Choose one and enjoy! I sent you a PM

From: Jaquomo
22-Mar-19
FWIW, I believe my hunting partner and Treeline and I still have the three biggest trad bow bulls entered into P&Y from 2-201-10, and they were all from 2.

From: Ucsdryder
22-Mar-19
I have little to offer, but as you probably know, if you’re scouting July, I wouldn’t necessarily be looking for elk. They probably won’t be in the same areas in September. Wallows, tanks, old rubs would be my goal for July scouting.

From: Treeline
22-Mar-19
Go for 2 or try to pull 201.

Work hard to save up the time and plan to be there the full last week.

If you decide on 2, you have some of the best referrals possible here.

I already have an awesome Wyoming tag but am close to 2 and can help some if you go that direction.

From: Grasshopper
22-Mar-19
I am a fan of 10

From: Brun
22-Mar-19
As a recommendation for unit 2 someone earlier pointed out that there are less tags given out for a larger area. While it's true that there has been 15 archery tags in Unit 10 vs 10 archery tags in Unit 2 in recent years those numbers are actually misleading because there has been 10 muzzleloader tags in Unit 2 vs 5 muzzleloader tags in Unit 10. This means there has been 20 licenses during September in both units. I also examined the archery success rates in all three northwest units from the last 4 seasons and Unit 10 is the clear winner in this category.... 58 archery hunters in Unit 10 killed 43 elk for a success rate of 74%.... 35 archery hunters in Unit 201 killed 23 elk for a success rate of 66%....35 archery hunters in Unit 2 killed 19 elk for a success rate of 54%....Don't know if this will help with your decision, but I have a quarter you can borrow if you want to flip. You're in for a great hunt whatever you decide. Good luck.

From: Treeline
22-Mar-19
Now that’s some great intel, Brun. Not sure that the top end would be better in any of the three, but the success numbers are definitely telling!

From: Brun
23-Mar-19
Treeline, I thought the numbers were interesting also, although I agree that there is no real evidence that the top end is better in one over the other. The bulls that you and Jaquomo killed are testament to your hunting skills, rather than an indication of overall bull size in my opinion. I also found another statistic that is unrelated to this thread, but I think will be interesting to followers of this discussion. I added up the success rate in all three units for each year of the last 4, and last year, during our drought was easily the least successful year. 2, 10, and 201 had a combined success rate of 46% last year, which was 20% lower than the next lowest year. The other three years ranged from 66-75%. Hopefully the moisture will help us all out on elk, and not be too harmful to the deer. I still think coelker should consider flipping a coin. He can't lose either way.

From: tkjwonta
23-Mar-19
I think coelker should do a semi-live coin flip. Setup the backstory, type of coin, atmospheric conditions, etc. Would be at least as exciting as many CT live hunts.

From: Jaquomo
23-Mar-19
I know of at least five or six bowhunters who hunted 2 since 2013 who had very little, or no, elk bowhunting experience before the hunt. All but one struck out (I put him on a good waterhole and he killed a 330 gross bull). They saved all those points and weren't able to close the deal. I also know a couple very experienced bowhunters who didn't score in 201 during that time.

As I advise everyone I try to mentor each year, it isn't an easy hunt, despite some perceptions. The terrain, wind, hard thermal shifts and the fact that the bulls often cover a lot of ground all make it more difficult than many expect.

Also, based on what we were glassing and camming from June until we killed our bulls, my partner and I settled on a realistic goal of a 330 bull. Until we killed ours we had only seen a couple that broke the magic 350 mark, and hunting with recurves added another variable. Things have changed since the glory days when the herds peaked in that DAU in 2005. I also believe many hunters overestimate the size of bulls they see.

From: Huntcell
23-Mar-19
after all these failed years of applying for 2 . 10 now is the prize.

I don't know maybe I should do a go-fund-me and get enough money to go guided Unit 40 where all the plus 350 bulls are anyways and be done with it.

From: Ziek
23-Mar-19
Brun's success stats don't really mean very much. With such a small number in each unit, the success rates could be easily skewed by many factors. Experience, expectations, and time spent could all influence the outcome. 201 & 2 are probably considered somewhat better trophy potential than 10, and more hunters may be holding out for a monster or nothing. A 300 bull should be doable in any of those units, 330 - maybe to probably, 350+ not so easy.

"... many hunters overestimate the size of bulls they see." Amen to that! ;-)

From: Jaquomo
23-Mar-19
Ziek, I think you've hunted 2 twice? You know bulls. What would you estimate the biggest gross score elk you saw in there?

From: Ziek
23-Mar-19

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
Well, I wasn't being that picky either time, and didn't spend even half the season either time. The first year I hunted it, I saw an honest 360 (I don't do "gross") heading to bed for the day. I tried to head him off, (we were heading directly towards each other), but he made it into the junipers. I spotted him and another bull bedded, and backed out for the day without spooking them.

We did see quite a few weird racks that year, like this set my wife picked up.

Second time, I started late (I was having too much fun pronghorn hunting). I killed the first "good" bull I saw - 328 6/8.

Next time maybe I'll take my time. ;-)

From: Brun
23-Mar-19
Ziek, First I would like to point out that those numbers are not "my" stats. They are taken directly from the CPW published harvest reports. I freely admit that it is a small statistical sample and the results are certainly, as you suggested, skewed by a number of factors They are however, actual numbers as opposed to speculation and the personal experiences of a very small number of people, and I think worth considering for that reason. All the factors you mentioned probably influence the data, but I also think the greater numbers and density in 10 allow guys to have greater success on smaller bulls if they don't get the bull they were dreaming of. I'm guessing the average bull killed in 10 is smaller than the other two units because of this. I honestly don't know which is the best hunt. I'm just trying to look at all the data and listen to all the opinions so I can make the most educated selection. I also agree with you guys on the realistic expectations in these units, as well as the likely overestimation of score by many guys.

From: Ziek
23-Mar-19
Brun, I wasn't being critical of you. Just that you can't take any stats at face value. I've only hunted unit 2 out of those 3, so I have no opinion on which is the "better" hunt. Too many variables, including personal ones, to make that judgement for someone else.

From: Brun
23-Mar-19
Ziek, agree that all stats have to be taken with a grain of salt, but I do find it interesting to look at everything from as many angles as possible. I think a lot of my research is just killing time to alleviate the boredom of late winter Of course everyone has to eventually choose based on many factors, including their own personal experience and opinions of others. Fantastic sheds your wife found by the way. Really cool looking and large.

From: BNicely
24-Mar-19
I suspect both 2 & 10 should be great units this year. For the record I’m sitting on 21 points and decided to try for unit 2 muzzleloader.

From: coelker
26-Mar-19
Well application is in... Unit 2 archery fingers crossed... I ended up securing access to some private in Unit 2 through some family friends. As a result I will have a place to park my camper and hunting vehicle behind a locked gate all season long. That is huge. I also know 2 a lot better, and in many ways it is very similar to the general units I hunt in terms of habitat/terrian.

From: Treeline
26-Mar-19
Good luck! Shoot a toad!

From: Paul@thefort
26-Mar-19
Have fun Rob and we all expect a fantastic story with tons of pictures. my best, Paul

From: Brun
26-Mar-19
You are going to have a great hunt! Good luck.

From: Skelly
27-Mar-19
Lots of great experience on this thread. i have opted for 2 archery as well. see what the draw brings in June. Doug

From: tradhntr
29-Mar-19

tradhntr's embedded Photo
tradhntr's embedded Photo
Unit 2 is a lot of fun not an easy hunt, hunted it in 2014 a lot of water that year water holes where not working had to do a lot of calling and spot and stalking.The elk move alot in this unit get ready to follow them.Black widow longbow and grizzly broadheads 350+ gross

From: RogBow
29-Mar-19
Good choice, seems everything lined up for you so far.

From: Kurt
29-Mar-19
Tradhunter, Great bull!!!! Congrats!!

From: Treeline
29-Mar-19
Awesome bill, Eric!

From: Jaquomo
30-Mar-19
Ditto on the great bull, tradhntr! And you're right that it can be a difficult hunt and that they move a lot. A friend (who has killed a 400" bull elsewhere) glassed a 400 class bull as he walked two miles down a ridge, then blew the opportunity when the bull snuck in to the waterhole he was sitting. He got up to leave and the bull was standing right behind him watching the waterhole...

30-Mar-19
That’s a great bull tradhntr! You guys killing these monsters with longbows and recurves is really impressive.

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