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Unit 201 Colorado hunting
To all you bow hunters wishing for elk tag in 201 some bad news to report now I did not draw a bow tag I did a rifle tag .This unit is no longer what you maybe once thought I spent a week in August there and a week before the rifle season and hunted 7 of the 11 day season we hunted Middle mts and Diamond mts elk were few and far between on middle we scouted and hunted hard with 3 bull that I considered shooters the whole time we were there not at all what I was expecting. One fella in the group just scouted the whole time he did not see a shooter 350 or better that was our bench mark. I had been hear 5 years ago and elk were all over the place when buddies drew 2 tags . Things have changed quite a bit since then . Talking to 2 old guy that drive thru and look at elk they said unit has been getting worse every year 2020 the worse yet mind you this unit is highly recommended and yes we seen the culprit wolves . We heard them and seen them from my experience in Wisconsin and Michigan there only a few year left in this unit before it is a thing of the past . Sorry to burst ones bubble but it the truth shooting a rag horn or small satellite bull is possible but the numbers of shooters is definitely going done hill fast . Any of you guys what to talk and I’ll share my photos and scouting tips please feel free to contact me. Just FYI if you think i am full of it Colorado has a ballot this year about wolf reintroducing and some of what I seen is the problem in north west Colorado right in unit 201.
I spent a good amount of time in 201 this year and a buddy of mine that is one of the best big bull elk killers most will never know had an archery’s tag in there. He spent an unbelievable amount of time in there. He came out with a good bull, but not an awesome bull. Possibly the best bull taken out of the unit this year. Very unimpressive.
For sure. The NW corner elk herds have been reduced by CPW for a while. Landowner complaints of elk damage etc, and now wolves, and tough winters. Colorado has never been the trophy hunting elk spot always about the numbers. AZ, NM have most potential, UT an NV also manage for trophy class.
Man that is hard to hear. It ise to be such a great area.
Sucks to hear but not surprising. And to think that the wolves have not really taken their toll yet on the mature bulls in 201 and NW corner. They will however continue to take their toll more so every year as they kill leave to waste more bulls every year that will never reach maturity.
Good thing the Birkenstocks in Boulder can have their voices heard on what happens in NW CO for wildlife management.
6 wolves, been in there about a year, thats around 120 elk so far if they eat like they do in WY. If a third of those elk that are now wolf turds were bulls, thats around 40 bulls.
In 2019, bowhunters killed 13 bulls in 2 & 201. It took roughly 400 years of preference points to get that opportunity (20 tags X 20 years each).
Is our new wolf pack responsible for 201 declining noticeably? Probably not yet, but they aren't exactly helping.
Just an interesting note, this year I have no doubt at all that one of the biggest bulls I found in 2 last year I found over 40 miles north and well into WY. I am not sure what it means but I am pretty certain that him and the 2 other bulls he was with this summer had all went a significant distance north into WY...
Can't be. Wyoming has even more wolves than Colorado. That would be suicide.
Well in WY we can shoot them on sight... They may have moved due to the wolves. The area they moved into definitely does not hold any sustainable wolf populations and I am pretty certain that a wolf has never been documented there...
I just can't believe that likely less than a dozen wolves, who don't even spend their entire time in 201 (we saw one in Unit 2 in 2018), is the major factor in the decline in bull quality the original poster complained about. I suspect there are many reasons, not the least of which is that building points for over 2 decades leads to expectations for a hunt that are damn near impossible to meet.
No wiser is onto something. First off, the overall numbers of elk in that DAU are purposely reduced to about 1/4 of what they were during the mid-2000s heyday. But they still give out the same number of bull tags (including rifle, etc..) So it stands to reason that there will be fewer top-end bulls than there used to be, but expectations haven't changed.
What a shame. I feel bad for the guys waiting in line for their turn.
Really liked your comments guys and respect all the theories about the unit issues I might have met the really good bowhunter out there he definitely was after the big one and I did get to hear him bugling and growling he’s pretty darn good lol
Long shot but I sure did practice alot
Long shot but I sure did practice alot
Here is the bull I killed
I've never understood the appeal of 201. Yes, it used to hold some huge bulls, and I suspect it still has a few. But it's a tiny unit, the elk are confined to relatively small areas, and it's no secret where those areas are. After being chased by bowhunters for a month, it doesn't surprise me at all that hunting was tough during the rifle season.
Second, the OP admitted to one of the peeves I experienced in my unit 10 hunt. He said he spent a week up there right before the rifle season, which means he was scouting during perhaps the best period of the archery season. I find that extremely inconsiderate of fellow hunters who waited over 20 years to draw that tag. I had several hunts blown up by rifle and muzzleloader hunters doing the same thing during my hunt. One time, the 2 hunters in a side-by-side hadn't even drawn a tag! They were just up there blowing up archery hunts for no good reason. Come on, boys, you have all summer to scout. There's no reason to be up there scouting during an on-going hunting season.
Lastly, I think the drought conditions contributed to a sub-par hunt in the NW corner this year. I know it did in unit 10. Water holes that elk frequently used on public were dry by the time the season started. Leaving the only water left mostly on private. That consolidated the elk on private more than normal, and made the public land hunting challenging. I still had a great hunt, easily better than any OTC hunt I've had, but it fell short of my admittedly high expectations of 350" bulls behind every bush.
"What a shame. I feel bad for the guys waiting in line for their turn."
I don't feel bad for them, how does someone wait that long without keeping an eye on the unit and then act surprised when it doesn't live up to some mythical expectation? Not to mention, with the lack of moisture we've had this year, I'd bet any given unit won't be growing as many big bulls as it has before.
So the LO tags must be pretty affordable now? :^)
Interesting, HH... I mean "KD". The draw recap stats don't seem to bear that out, but why let facts get in the way of a good narrative? 45 resident bowhunters applied for the six tags in 201 with enough points to draw in 10. If anything, guys are dropping into 10 because they could draw with 20 points this year. But you are right, many are still chasing the 2006 "201", not realizing it isn't nearly what it used to be.
These discussions help me temper my expectations for the states where I have, not max points, but plenty to draw one of the better units. For a time I thought I would hold out for a certain size. Or the biggest animal class in the unit. Now my goal is to go in and mix it up and hopefully have a good experience. Also instead of researching antler inch average. I’ll be looking for which unit has the fewest overlapping seasons. Or some kind of pressure measurement. I’ll be asking which hunt date or unit has the fewest people running around.
I read stories of guys waiting 20-28 yrs and then every ridge has 20 guys looking for the same animal. Stories of 3-4 outfits camped out with 20 spotters each. And only 4 people with tags. This Is not my idea of a good time.
So one of my new search criteria will be the date with the fewest people. And may have to settle for less Antler inch for a quality hunt. Reading Grey Ghost story really cemented my new goals. He may not have shot the biggest bull or his 350” bull. But he did it the hard way, and squeezed every yr waited out of that hunt.
So again. I appreciate this topic to reign in my expectations
I have 25 NR points i haven’t been saving for the NW corner really haven’t been putting it off for any unit just been hunting other places. One thing about building a lot of points in several states is rarely do your hunting partners have same points for a particular species and state. Haven been limited by vacation time I usually do hunts I can with friends or family in places we can all draw. I recently retired so I expect to use my points in the next couple years likely in unit 61. I don’t expect to shoot a Bull “worthy” of 25 points I’m just looking for a good hunt. In fact I have shot Bulls in Arizona and Utah using half those points that will probably be bigger then my Colorado Bull ends up being if successful.
My buddy just shot a 350"+ bull in an OTC rifle unit, walking distance from the end of the road in the national forest...keep saving all those points for a big bull though!
201 Bull archery. 380 and change
Surfbow, is that the norm?
I think there are big bulls in every unit if you look in the right places, there's an easy 350+ bull that hangs around in my neighborhood every spring and he has a huge nontypical buddy, and we are in a pretty ho-hum unit if you research it. But, in the "premium" units after 20+ years of waiting, I get the feeling many people expect they will come running up and impale themselves on your arrow for you too...
I think Gray ghost is a pretty good example of just how hard it can be regardless of the area. Killing a true giant takes skill and a little luck. GG did everything right, from scouting all summer to hunting the ENTIRE season and he killed a hell of a bull, but it just goes to show 380” bulls are 380” bulls for a reason!
I would like to respond to gg remarks about a few thing first off I talked to 2 bow hunters who where actually hunting the week I was there. There was no blowing up there hunts as you posted I was not ramming around the wood as you posted we talked and had plenty of glassing spots to not affect there hunts . As for water there’s water all over in that unit and there was plenty there in October. If you want to see stuff blown up come to Wisconsin on public land hunting .Believe me your one hunt is nothing.
Fair enough, Bull Killer. I'm glad to hear you weren't the typical inconsiderate rifle hunter riding his ATV all over the same woods that bow hunters were trying to fill tags in, like they were doing in unit 10.
On two points made in this thread. First, talk about inconsiderate hunters. I rifle hunted unit 3 for antelope this year with a friend who has cancer and can longer draw his bow. We had several stalks busted because of people chasing antelope with their 4X4 rigs, jumping out and shooting at the antelope at any range. The behavior was unbelievable. Second, we also saw a lone black wolf heading for unit 2 about a ½ mile from the Little Snake River and 4 miles south of the Wyoming border. Talking with some of the locals they said they have seen several more wolves the past couple of years than the 6 confirmed. Guess it doesn't matter now with Colorado passing 114.