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bhtigerfan
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Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Two things I learned on this trip. Archery elk hunting is fricking hard, and a mountain lion's eyes look like 2 yellow LED lights at night.

We hunted the same area I've hunted 4 times before and where I shot my bull years ago (southern San Juan National Forest/Navajo Peak area just east of Chromo, CO.) I hadn't been elk hunting since '08 and this was my first time archery hunting period. I practiced a good bit and I'm very accurate out to 30 yards and pretty accurate out to 40.

I only had one chance the whole damn trip to shoot something. I was hunting by myself one morning and was stalking the only bull I heard bugling all week, and he walked out to my right at 30 yards and busted me. He was broadside staring directly at me and I was standing still facing south like him. He was a beautiful 5x5. I had an arrow knocked, but I didn't have my release hooked to my string loop, and I would have had to turn almost 180° to my right and draw my bow. He had some tall brush covering his vitals and would have had to walk forward about 4 feet to clear them. I was about to attempt to hook my release and turn towards him, but he trotted off to the south before I could attempt it. I cow called to him and he stopped for a second or two and looked back at me about 60 yards away, but then continued on. I was sick. Blew my only chance at a bull the whole hunt. I didn't even see another elk the rest of the week except down below on private property.

They had a lot of bow hunters in this area for the previous couple of weeks, and muzzle loader season was going on the previous week into the first weekend we were there. It appears that they ran damn near every single elk off the mountain to private lands. There was absolutely no bugling going on on public land and it sounded like a bugling contest on private land.

I'll tell you more about the trip and the mountain lion incident next.


Our campsite.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/Pd5Ujbj.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/yoKofLl.jpg

This post was edited on 10/25 at 8:22 am


Slickback
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Deer Stand
Member since Mar 2008
26934 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Cool story bro. Seriously. I plan to be doing this in the next couple of years. I'll settle for a rifle kill the first couple trips and work my way up to an archery hunt.

Killing a public land elk with a bow is a tremendous accomplishment.


bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
quote:

Killing a public land elk with a bow is a tremendous accomplishment.
Yes it is. Hell, killing a bull with a rifle on public land is difficult enough. I've got 1 bull in 4 rifle hunts, but missed a nice 6x6 my 2nd hunt because my dumb arse didn't have a range finder and can't judge distances in the mountains for shite.

I've also made one muzzle loader hunt and this archery hunt. I mostly wanted to do the archery because I wanted to hunt while they were bugling. Not gonna lie, stalking that bull while he was bugling was an awesome experience.

But if they're not bugling, it's damn near impossible to kill one. You basically have to get lucky enough for one to pass by you within 40 yards on a mountain of tens of thousands of acres. All I did was walk a lot cow calling occasionally and setting up on small ponds or game trails late in the afternoon.

If I ever do archery season again, I'm definitely finding a more remote location with less pressure.
This post was edited on 10/25 at 8:24 am


Tigerpaw123
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Louisiana
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Awesome trip, just to have the opportunity to go elk hunting in Colorado is a success


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bbvdd
Alabama Fan
Memphis, TN
Member since Jun 2009
14312 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Cheers to for trying. Regardless of bringing one home it sounds like it was still a successful hunt, at least to me.

A bull at 30yds is something I’d never forget.


bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
quote:

A bull at 30yds is something I’d never forget.
Yep, it was pretty cool. Definitely the closest I've ever seen a bull. The others were from a couple hundred yards away.

If I would have had a muzzle loader or rifle, his arse would be in my freezer right now.


DirtyMikeandtheBoys
LSU Fan
Member since May 2011
15634 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Man, that story gets me jacked up. Let's see some pics.

I have an opportunity to hunt bull elk in New Mexico 10/15 or 10/21, and for some stupid reason I can't make up my mind to go or not. Your story is helping me confirm
This post was edited on 9/26 at 9:08 pm


bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
14702 posts
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Okay, now for the other story.

So the day after I got busted by that bull, I decided to hunt the area again that afternoon. The area I was hunting was only about .8 mile south of where we were camped and had a good trail from our camp to the area.

A couple hours before sunset, my buddies called me on the radio and told me they were gonna ride the two mules down to the hill and hunt the west side of the hill and to meet them at the small pond on the trail back to the camp after dark.

So about 45 minutes after sunset (and I couldn't see my sights anymore, lol) I headed back to the trail to meet them. It was about .3 mile to meet up with them and then about another half mile slightly uphill to the campsite.

So I walk back to the pond in the dark with my headlight on and meet them there. We use headlights with red bulbs so it doesn't ruin the mules night vision. I've got a headlight that has 3 modes. Red light, spotlight with fllodlight, and just fllodlight.

So we head out back to camp with me walking behind the 2 guys riding the mules. I had my red light on as I was keeping up pretty good, but about halfway back as we started uphill I started to lag behind by about 50 yards and couldn't see the mules anymore with the red light and was having trouble seeing the trail also, so I switched the light over to floodlight. About 100 yards later as I'm walking up the trail, I noticed one bright yellow light off to the right of the trail ahead of me behind a spruce tree. I remember thinking, "What the hell is that light?" but kept walking up the trail and as I passed the tree and shined my light on it, it was now 2 bright yellow lights. I immediately thought, "frick, those are eyes" and switched my headlight to spotlight. It lit it up and it was a damn huge mountain lion crouched facing me. I about shite myself and drew my Glock 22 about as fast as Josie Wales and aimed it between his eyes. I screamed to my friends up the trail that there was a lion on the side of the trail and my friends could only see me with my light on with my gun drawn. They were screaming to shoot it, but I decided that I'd only shoot if it moved toward me. I hollered at it to get several times, but it just stood there crouched and snarled at me. The 2nd time it snarled at me after I hollered at it, I almost pulled the trigger. I was close enough to see the whiskers on its face, but I remember thinking, "If I shoot, Game & Fish is gonna waste my next 2 days investigating this shoot".

Well after about what we agreed was about a minute, it finally turned to its left and ran off. I got a good look at its body broadside and it was a very big mature cat.

I ran up the trail to meet my friends and one of them tells me that his mule freaked out when they passed that spot and wouldn't go up the trail but he forced her. He thought she was just not used to riding at night.

Worst part was I still had about a quarter mile hike back to camp. I kept my gun in my hand and walked about as fast as I could and kept checking my 6.

The next day we went back down the trail to the spot and I walked off where it was from me. 12 yards.

I kinda regret not shooting it. Will probably be my only chance to ever kill a cougar.
This post was edited on 9/26 at 9:56 pm


PetreauxCat
LSU Fan
TX
Member since May 2009
789 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
What unit?


bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
14702 posts
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
quote:

What unit?
78
This post was edited on 9/26 at 9:54 pm


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AubieALUMdvm
Carolina Panthers Fan
Member since Oct 2011
11006 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Wow, great story and great job telling it.


bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
14702 posts
 Online 

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
I brought my pistol because they have a large bear population there, although I had never seen one there until my last hunt on Sunday evening. A large cinnamon bear walked out about 40 yards away angling towards me and as it walked behind a bush, I lowered my bow and put my hand on my pistol, but my bow hit my GPS on my belt and it heard it. It stopped about 25 yards away in front of me behind the bush staring in my direction and all I could see was its ears and top of its head. It stood there for almost 5 minutes because I had just looked at my watch at sunset and it was now 4 minutes later.

4 minutes is a long time with a bear 25 yards away looking at you.

Well, I decided that my last hunt was fricked unless it left, so I unsnapped my holster and moved to my right where he could see me, and he picked his head above the bush and saw me and hauled arse the other direction.

My biggest concern out in the mountains hunting is coming across a sow with cubs and getting mauled. Didn't think I'd need it to prevent a cougar attack.
This post was edited on 9/26 at 10:10 pm


BeerThirty
Red Stick
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Damn dude. The cougar and bear story sound like they almost got a little hairy! I would have needed an inhaler, some blood thinners for the impending heart attack, and a change of draws. Not necessarily in that order. Can you get cougar/ bear tags for that archery trip for elk?


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Stupak
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2011
165 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Mr Grease Lightning himself!

Always thought you might get eaten by a pussy.



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LSUintheNW
LSU Fan
Here and there
Member since Aug 2009
27051 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
quote:

"If I shoot, Game & Fish is gonna waste my next 2 days investigating this shoot"


Find out how much an out of state cougar tag is. I, and everyone I know, always has a tag in case of your exact scenario.

I still have yet to see one in person. Just hope when that day comes I have a sidearm.

Sounds like you had a blast.


FelicianaTigerfan
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2009
22086 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
Cool story. Did you use an outfitter?


bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
14702 posts
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.


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bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
14702 posts
 Online 

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
quote:

Cool story. Did you use an outfitter?

No, I go with a friend who has 2 mules, a 3 horse slant trailer, and an '04 GMC 2500 4x4 Duramax with 324,000 miles that averaged 15.4 mpg pulling all that shite.

We hunt public land and usually camp on the mountain.
This post was edited on 9/26 at 11:09 pm


FelicianaTigerfan
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2009
22086 posts

re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
I ask because a guy I know just started his own outfitting business up there.

Sounds like an awesome trip. Really wish I could get out there and take advantage of public land in other states


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bhtigerfan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
14702 posts
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re: Back from my archery elk hunt in Colorado.
quote:

I still have yet to see one in person. 
This is actually the 2nd one I see.

My 3rd time elk hunting in CO southeast of Ft. Garland in the Sangra de Christo mountains. I was muzzle loader hunting and saw one from about 100 yards away walking through some spruce trees in a draw below me.

My buddy I always go with saw one once at night while he was driving to the mountain by the Navajo River down on the bottom near all the ranches.

They must have a pretty good population there.
This post was edited on 9/26 at 11:55 pm


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