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Hunting during Muzz season in Colo
Good Afternoon Everyone,
I decided to finally make the jump and hunt an OTC unit in Colo for elk. I have been scouring all sorts of maps and called a few Park Managers and Rangers in certain units, but the only question I couldn't really get a straight forward answer was to the pressure that the Muzzleloader Season brings. One of the units I have narrowed it down to has over 230 (muzz) hunters that drew last year. IF we hunt during that week are we likely to see the elk get pushed to the deepest darkest corners where they don' t talk at all or is it something I really don't need to worry about?
I might be able to push the trip to the last week, but I would like to get back for our Pronghorn season in KS since it only lasts 9 days. Thanks for your help!
Respectfully, Chris Mullins
I've killed archery elk in muzzy season and out of muzzy season. I've had both muzzys and other archers screw up elk I'm working. My solution is to get back far enough from any other hunters to remove them from the equation.
My thoughts in the unit I’ve hunted is muzzy hunters absolutely contribute to pushing elk into hell holes. I hunted same location 2 years during muzzy season and one year I was by myself. The following year I was covered up by muzzy guys. What really throws you off is the year I was undisturbed there was a road that went 1/2 mile from where I hunted. The year I was covered up in muzzy guys the road had been removed and you had to walk in two miles. Go figure.
In the area I've hunted the last few years, I've had far more success in the first 2 weeks than the last 2 weeks. Once the one-shot rifle hunters show up, it's pretty much game over for archery hunting.
Does not matter when you come to CO to hunt a OTC archery hunt. Anywhere you go you are likely to see the elk get pushed to the deepest darkest corners where they don' t talk because there is a non of pressure everywhere. It come from from archery elk hunters, archery deer hunters, archery bear hunters, same for muzzle-load hunters, and rifle bear hunters. Some units even have early cow rifle hunts and an early rifle deer season. Then you have grouse hunters, hikers, ATV and motorcycles riders. You also may run into guys with the Once in a Life Time tags. Lastly in a lot places you have the sheep and sheep herders. If you come to CO and hunt OTC don't expect to be hunting un-pressured elk. You will find the guys near the road that don't go very far from the road. Then you have a lot of guys that will get 1-3 miles back on foot. Then in the way back you have guys that go in on horseback and Sitka army. Good luck hope you find the exception to the rule but they are few and far between.
I don't think you are required to wear orange if you are bowhunting but I danged sure would wear it if you are in the same woods with the muzzy folks.
And contrary to urban legend elk in CO do talk. Do they act like elk on private in New Mexico or AZ? No, but they will respond to locate bugles more than you’d think and when in the right mood will be screaming their heads off unsolicited less than 1/2 mile from campsites and roads. If you hunt after the 10th and can’t solicit a bugle keep moving until you find elk. Steep north facing timber is where they are most of the time.
Find a trespass hunt on private land and then the muzzy season is the best time to hunt. The elk get pushed onto private where you are hunting and you don't have to deal with any muzzy hunters. Matt with Stick and String Outfitters has had some pretty good deals on here lately.
Thanks for all the replies! I'm truly not expecting to shoot anything, just learning the ropes for future hunts and having fun with my dad while he still can get up and down the mountain. I know we are going to find pressure everywhere and I am hoping to get back a ways from the road.
I am just a little leery about muzzleloader hunters blasting at movement and shooting everywhere around the units making the herds shut up. Thanks again!
Muzzy hunters add to the pressure but there will be just as many rifle hunters there "scouting". Really more like sitting on their spot til rifle starts.
I wouldn't worry about it.
My experience in a limited draw unit when muzzelloader season is most of them drive the roads on their ATV or UTV and rarely get 1/2 mile off the road. The other bad part is they bring 2-4 non-hunting buddies on ATVs that drive the roads bugleing to locate elk, driving them into hell holes. I will not hunt that season again. Good luck.
Gotta luv pumpkinheads in the wild.
Thanks for all of the input guys!
I am leaning towards the second week now through the first few days of Muzzy season. I am geeked to make it out there!
I do both archery and muzzy depending on my mood. I have been hunting muzzy where there are quite a few tags, and maybe it is just where I hunt but I have ever only seen one person when hunting, and it is actually the same person each time. Ran into him on the trail two years in a row. My old archery hunt I went up there during muzzy one year and saw a lot of camps, but again once I was walking around in the woods never saw anyone. Sure muzzy hunters may contribute to pushing elk, but I think the previous two weeks of archers stumbling around in the woods had just as much to do with it. Elk know right away when things start to change in the woods and react accordingly. They also don't go into the deepest hidey holes necessarily. I don't do quads but hike in along a lot of roads they use. It is always humerous to see these guys grinning at me as they drive by at 4 in the morning to get to their spot many miles back in. Nine times out of ten when they drive by me again, I have an elk quarter in my pack, and all they did was drive.
You don't see many muzzy hunters because so many have their orange vest crumpled up in their packs.
Muzzy week is one of the best weeks to hunt elk!
Depends on how many otc bowhunters there are in the field during the black powder season. If there is 230 black powder hunters and there's been over 500 otc bowhunters before the black powder guys, who do you think puts more pressure on the elk?
Guys always complain about black powder hunters and the pressure try put on elk, but in one area down here, 738 bowhunters in 28 days, calling non stop, puts more pressure on the elk then the black powder guys do. Usually, by the time black powder season starts, the elk have been hammered for two weeks straight by bowhunters, and are driven into areas or private property. When bulls bugle before daylight then completely shut up at daylight, the week before the black powder starts, it's not the black powder guys putting pressure on the elk. Anymore in Colorado, it's a gamble on what you'll find and when you'll find it.
Some of these guys crack me up they state it's all the muzzleloader hunters that push and make the elk shut up then in their next sentence they claim they all road hunt???? I'm sure having an unlimited number of archers has nothing to do with it.
Every week of elk season offers advantages and disadvantages. In the end I don't think the week you pick matters a whole lot. If you can eek out even an extra day or two of vacation do it. A week is a very short elk hunt. Every extra day you add will increase your odds of at least having a close encounter. The length of your hunt is more important than which week.
Time is a giant multiplier in elk success. As for ML season, its a crap shoot. sometimes its huge factor like when a big group was putting on elk drives every day on different parts of the drainages I was hunting. Other times you never see or hear them outside of the trailhead or access roads. Aside from the potential of extra pressure messing up your plans, it's a great week to hunt.
Thanks guys!! I am hoping to be out there 10 days. I can probably swing more just not sure if my dad can as well.
I refuse to do it, I’m sure there are others like myself and that can make it nice
Just another excuse for most
Check with me the end of Sept...