Contributors to this thread:
Here is a quick question for you mule deer hunters..
Would you expect to kill a high country archery buck w only 2 days to hunt? Feel free to comment what percentage or in 2 days there is a 70% chance or a 20% chance - of putting a respectable buck in the pack.
So high country, archery gear, normal scouting routine, and 2 days.. Yes or no what’s your answer?
NO, less than 10%. But I expect you are going to show a mule deer you killed on the first day with two days to hunt.
If I had a normal scouting routine, I’d say the first two days are the highest percentage a guy has...
There about 30 days of hunting for every deer (any sex) killed during archery according to survey estimates. I would not expect to kill one in 2 days in most places I have hunted the high country but I wouldn't stay home if I had the tag and only 2 days. If normal scouting means you have eyes on bucks the day before hunting starts, thats a big multiplier.
I expect to fill my tag each and every time I go hunting. If I didn't have that positive attitude, why bother to go in the first place?
Now for a reality check on filling a mule deer tag with only 2 days to hunt, I'd have to estimate your odds would be something close to 99.9% against you.
2 days hunting beats 2 days not hunting. Give it a whirl if that is all you have available.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"
If you go hunting zero days, you won't get one. If you go for 2 days, you have a chance.
and proven, the first time in is the best time to kill one
I go every day with the intention of filling my tag but not the expectation. Satisfaction generally comes from meeting or exceeding expectations. When I am allowed to set those expectations, I try to be realistic.
"Bomber Trips" - Personally I enjoy them! Controllables: Effective pre-season scouting, location and identification of repeatable behavior of deer in a specific location with terrain that supports effective stalk opportunities, physical conditioning, archery skill competency, effective and functional gear, mental ability to embrace the suck. Uncontrollables: Other hunters, weather, gear failures, deer who decide to no longer follow repeatable patterns, luck. One can only control the controllables, and in doing so betters your odds for a successful hunt. I can't claim this for deer, but I shot a nice bull in an area I knew well three hours after leaving work. I was back home within 24 hours. PL, DIY, Solo
This is interesting to me, to ask another way, if you only had 7 days to archery hunt high country bucks at the beginning of the season, how would you split your time? I would go 4 days preseason scouting and 3 days to hunt, maybe 3 and 4....
For those that know Javehda knows he is in that elite group..... 2 days for him is like two years for the rest of us and I'm not kidding
I've hunted plenty of times with only two days. Sometimes that's all a working man has. Your odds are right around 0% if you don't go. I think the bigger question is probably how much time/effort/money are you putting into those two days. If you're traveling halfway across the country as opposed to driving down the road, well that stuff matters. All else being equal, I usually choose to hunt.
For like 10 years in a row killed in the first 2 days of my hunt, this has was with a rifle. Archery I have had maybe 2 times in the past 20 hunts. Part of that is I know I have more time and don't push the encounters.
If it is the first two days. I’d give it a high probability.
With a lot of preseason scouting to find where the bucks are and hopefully find several different buck groups for a plan A, B and C in case one of the buck groups gets blown out.
Have always said the first day of the season is the best day for deer and every day after that gets tougher! Especially true with the new seasons starting later.
Thanks for the compliment Adventure and for me it comes down to logistics or how the situation plays out. Many times it takes a few days to get everything in the right places for a stalk. Add in other hunters and the guided hunters that are usually chasing the same deer and taking that all into account I give myself about a 20% chance at hunting the way I do or for a a single targeted deer, most likely above 200", alone, and until the end of the season or it gets killed.
2 days is also very very real this year in some places as archery deer hunters will have 2 days before the start of high country rifle when 600-1000 yd shots are hucked across basins causing safety concerns as well as effectively eliminating archery deer in these units. Amazing that our fellow archers choose yes choose to put fellow archers in this spot.. Disenfranchising to say the least.
Interesting to think that the choice was made to voluntary degrade the archery deer experience and down to 2 days in some places while most of the state lost the best 4-6 days of the season. With as crowded as it is getting, the latest starting dates of any state, and now a 2 day window =Yea sad state for archery deer hunters in Colorado... Adventure the change has me looking at other avenues to hunt deer. Later seasons, burns on the front range that hold resident deer seem a good choice, or eastern plains - as the alpine window just got so short and crowded that it is getting to be for most (including myself) unattainable unless the stars align just right..
Finally paul I hope that is not you and thx for blurring out the "white glow" - my last 3 deer have taken 6, 22, and 7 days respectively.
Well said, I wish we could get the aug 15th or 20th start for archery deer back on the table...
Javheda what ever you choose I would hate to be a big buck where you decide to go!!! Javehda has a garage of gagger skull capped deer most of us would add a temple/trophy room for any of those deer
2 days is more than enough time.
With the additional info, I would say you would have a 40% shot because if I am reading you right, you can scout before the season, you just figure when guns start popping 2 days into your hunt, your chances are done.
But remember also that there are only about 25 of those rifle tags and its feasible you can find a area/ buck where not one of them goes. It takes so many points that it will be different people each year, meaning lots of people who don’t have it figured out where the big-uns will be. I think I know the unit you are referring to and there is a LOT of country there
Jahvada pretty much sums it up. Bow hunting mule deer above treeline has been screwed. Still blown away at how much CPw hates bowhunters...