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Hunted Colorado otc wilderness just outside of winter kill areas, wow very little elk after hiking miles and miles no bugles very little elk.
Spoke with a few guys miles from parked cars very little elk.
What say you?
Went south couple hours. More humans even less elk.
Hunted north of I70 had the same experience. Very few elk seen, none heard. Speaking to some locals in town they all said the same thing. How sad it was to see all the dead animals while driving after winter. I heard the elk numbers were down 50% and the mule deer and antelope had a worse time of it.
The sad part is the CPWolf Dept hasn’t been totally upfront with the overall devastation of the winter kill. They are more concerned with selling licenses
For some reason the elk were quieter this year than ever. Im not down playing the winter kill, but i couldnt believe the lack of vocal elk this year. Even after dark..quiet.
Fresh poo. Tracks. Could smell them. Saw them. No sounds.
They wanted absolutley nothing to do with a call of any kind. Excess pressure and over called would be my best guess.
Welcome to Colorado OTC only going to get worse
Sad :(. I Love elk hunting. Colorado is declining fast!!
Keep the fingers on the string regulations would have reduce the hunter pressure but that horse left the barn and this is the results. Enjoy the hunt.
How many carcasses were laying around? They don't go into thin air. I would think evidence would be every where. Wolves in there yet?
I trap in the UP, a wolf eats it all, except the hair. Hope they choke on that.....
That's sad to hear.
Hunted GMU 33 a limited draw unit on southern end of winter kill area with reduced tags availible. In 9 seasons hunting this area I have NEVER SEEN so many hunters in this area. It seemed like they doubled the tags available. Also Labor day weekend brought out partying campers in droves. I had checked Google earth for September 2022 and no one was there that weekend. We are done with Colorado and there lies.
Fisherick, they actually reduced the tag numbers in that unit in 2021 from 1000 down to 800. They have stayed the same since then. They reduced archery tags for the entire DAU and caved to complaints from the rifle crowd. When wolves hit the ground you can guarantee additional decreases. Slow decay.
Just returned from Craig area . Carcasville as it is now known. Seen about 80% less Elk, a total of 1 Pronghorn when we use to see 100s and no Mule deer were seen. Everywhere we went carcasses.
As far as no bugles go, part of that may have to do with natural selection taking place. We keep killing the elk that make the most noise thus their Gene's done get passed on and the quieter ones do. I dont hunt in a heavy elk area and overall not a lot of other hunters but I only ever hear bugles there in early october
Why would anyone even hunt near those winterkill areas?
They’ve misled a lot of people on the heard numbers for years! They still need that non res money to roll in to cover the bloated budget built off the elk numbers of the late 90’s early 2000’s. The winter kill had a huge impact in those areas, but I’ve noticed the large drop in numbers in areas I hunt which are nowhere near the winter kill areas the last 10 years. Numbers are way down where I’m at this year, a LE unit by name only. There’s probably more licenses than some otc areas. The lack of bugling I think can be attributed to lack of numbers and pressure. They are bugling in the park and the better LE units!??! There is a lot of great elk habitat in Colorado void of consistent elk use! I can tell when a hunter is bugling with their high pitched metallic sounding bugle starting at 4 from the road going in every 10 minutes…… think the elk can’t!! If they aren’t talking on their own, keep it quiet till they do!!!
Midwest...maybe nostalgia...maybe reluctance to believe it was really that bad? You can see someone on the internet saying everything is dead...but how do you know you can believe that? Could be the old switcheroo. Unless you have a local source of information, youre trusting the internet and giving up on your hunting grounds. Wouldnt be the first time bullshit found its way to the web.
I can understand someone not buying it until they see for themselves. Theres people who will tell you Joe Biden is doing a good job too. Doesnt make it true. Just trying to put myself in their shoes.
"You can see someone on the internet saying everything is dead...but how do you know you can believe that?"
A few phone calls to big game biologists, game wardens, forest service, and local connections could easily verify.
'Boots on the ground' reports Ive talked to already is the winter kill is worse than originally reported - Both Colo & Wyo
Not seeing tons in Wyoming but headed over to Saratoga this weekend. Plenty of elk just North of the border though, saw that first hand while bow hunting.
Midwest...valid point. Ive heard enough from people i ve met out there over the years that i believe cnelk is right, im just trying to wrap my head around why someone would go there anyway. History and denial is all i can come up with.
People had to go this year to see for themselves if winter kill had an affect on their area. Now that they/we know they/we will be crowding into OTC areas outside of the winter kill area.
I won't be going back to our normal OTC unit that we've been hunting for the last 15 years. due to obvious winter kill.
Hunting the front range otc and we’re 3 for 3. Pics when I get back to Ga.