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G12 Maroon Bells
I was lucky enough to draw a 2nd season Sep 21st thru Oct 7th either sex tag for G12. Looking for some info on the unit. Is it worth it to have horses? Are there parts of the unit that the Billy's move to in late September. Is the winter coat coming in later in the season worth waiting for? Lots of other questions. haha
Thanks for all the info,
I would consider going up the East Maroon trail(pretty easy) for a few miles until you were looking up at the back side of Pyramid Peak. It's straight up from there(very difficult) on either side. Might be best to go up the south side of the valley and look across to Pyramid and try to glass them. There are a lot of goats around there. Horses would be fine going up the main trail, I think impossible going up either side to where the goats live. Be in the best shape possible. There are 14,000 ft peaks all around you and the goats aren't usually at the bottom. Good luck.
I haven't hiked or hunted in the area yet but I plan to get there to climb the Bells and Pyramid this summer. I do know 14er climbers report goat encounters on those 3 peaks all the time.
I don't have any suggestions where to go but I'll suggest an area you may want to avoid. The trapezoidal area starting at the main Maroon Lake entrance, to N Maroon, S Maroon, Pyramid, and back to the entrance will be loaded with sightseers and a number of climbers too. Your season is right in the prime leaf peeper time frame so that area will be busy. Plus you must have a pre-reserved parking pass to enter there which would be hard to come by and make logistics difficult. I'd definitely avoid that area if it was my tag.
Also, the trails of the Four Pass Loop are very popular so don't expect to be alone on those trails.
Be careful climbing in the area, the rock can be very loose and rotten.
Look forward to reading your success story this fall. Best of luck!
I would not wait for hair to grow. By october the crowds will be way down. parking won't be an issue either by then. I would hunt where the goats are, even if there are other people. Be a good representative of hunting and most will be interested in what you are doing.
Here is my kid with his first season Nanny. Got it on Buckskin pass area with all the crowds. Only had 1 person comment negative, the many others were all positive!
If you'd decide you want to enter at Maroon Lake, here is the link to parking reservations. You will be there in the shuttle season.
They still have a lot of the midnight to midnight permits available but the 60 hour permits are about gone. One thing I don't know is whether you can camp overnight if you have back-to-back M>M permits. You can call or email the chamber to find out.
Thanks for all the great info. I am looking at where to enter the area now with a premium being put on not coming in through maroon lake area. Although I would never rule anything out. I am currently looking at Capitol Creek TH and Cathedral lake TH. I am having fun so far just looking at maps and all the different ways into these drainages. My plan is get a bunch of questions about access together then call the ranger district and get them answered.
Spend some time up there this summer. Access it some of the ways you are thinking. Don't want to find out you had a bad plan once season starts. Nothing will get you prepared and in shape for the hunt like being up there before the season.
I hiked the Capitol Creek trail when I climbed Capitol Peak last August. Didn't see any goats but I wasn't looking either. The scenery in that basin is stunning! If you do use that trailhead take the Ditch trail option instead of the old standard trail. Saves about 600 feet of uphill hiking on the round trip.
I’ve backpacked the four pass loop multiple times and saw goats every time at buckskin pass
here is the link to the G12 hunt my son did-
Check this out it is Dirty D's recap of his brothers G12 hunt Fun read and good info on hunt G12. Matt is a awesome guy should send him a PM
Congratulations on the tag. I bow hunted that unit a few years ago. Once you have your maps, PM for info. Hopefully I can help narrow down your search. Are you bow hunting? Are you only interested in Billy's only or any goat?
Thanks for the replies again. All the intel I can get helps. HullHeaver I sent you a PM.
Rock is rotten. These are the first Rocky Mountains that eroded before the next version of the Rocky Mountains emerged. Step rocks and rotten rock that fail in a toe hold or grip can be a bad recipe.
Hunter had filled his tag, had GoPro going and fell. Have a plan for if things go sideways.
Tragic! Thanks for the article. Luckily I'll have help from a couple of buddies. If I am fortunate to be successful I'll definitely keep my pack weight to a manageable amount. Sounds like pack weight and other things have contributed to accidents in the past. Information like this is what makes Bowsite so great. Better to be safe than sorry.
Buckskin pass.. Dont be deterred by the number of hunter's. I was and nearly killed myself looking everywhere but there to avoid the crowds. Finally went to buckskin and surrounding areas and found goats but didnt leave myself enough time to make it happen. Go there, spike in if you can and kill a billy.
Sound advice We’ll-Strung!
Did you hunt first season or second?
Thanks again for all the replies
I hunted second season.. I would also say dont wait for days watching goats you cant access. Go find goats you can get to. I spent lots of time watching goats hoping they would move from cliffsides I couldnt feasible recover them from. That couldve been a second season issue.
They call them the “deadly bells” Be really carefull.