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Anyone have success hunting the Flat Top Wilderness?

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Anyone have success hunting the Flat Top Wilderness?

Old 03-13-2016, 07:12 AM
  #21  
Giant Nontypical
 
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I was trying to be sarcastic Pete! Yes, the internet has really ruined a good share of hunting spots, as has Eastmans, Huntin Fool, etc. where all the people that don't want to do a lot of research can see what is recommended in a magazine. Then they wonder why where they want to hunt takes two lifetimes to draw a tag to hunt there one time! I help a lot of people out, but I try to make them do a lot of the basic research and then let them come back to me for the finer stuff to answer particular questions. The times where I almost told them what tree to sit behind is long gone!
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:01 AM
  #22  
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I know you were. I just wanted to make sure my point wasn't misunderstood by others.

Nothing will change and it will go on. I just wanted to vent a little.

I still have a couple of spots left. When those are found i'm going fishing.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:10 AM
  #23  
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Where I hunt, it's getting harder and harder to get away from crowds. I don't mind helping people/new hunters, but I'm not doing all the work and taking all the expense only to give my efforts away. Having unpoached private land is becoming a major necessity for those fortunate enough to afford a good spot.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:56 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Muley Hunter View Post

It's getting to the point in Colorado that no matter how hard I scout for new areas to hunt. Someone will be there come hunting day. When I ask them how they knew to come to the spot they always tell me some guy on a forum told them.

It's getting old.
I don't want to complain. My experience hunting in Colorado has been pretty great. Still, human nature being what it is, I'M GOING TO COMPLAIN!!! Just a little.

On opening morning last year I was walking out in the dark with a companion who was not a hunter and along just for the fun of participating in an elk hunt as an observer. I was headed for a spot where I had killed my elk the year before. By the way, it happens that that kill was almost certainly the result of hunter pressure that pushed the elk to me. I'll describe that a bit further below.

So we get to a point where the trail breaks out of the woods for the first time, and I know this is the take off point where I leave the trail and head down to my chosen spot. We paused there to rest briefly and so I could tell my friend what we were going to do and what I wanted him to do -- sit separately from me but to remain quite and generally cloaked by shadows and trees. We notice someone is coming up behind us with a light. We talk to them. They were headed to the very same spot! They graciously conceded that we got there first and went on to try another place. Still, I was surprised that someone else had exactly the same place in mind. This is a big place, 2 miles in from the road. I had no luck, probably as a result of the unusually warm weather in the first rifle season in Colorado in 2015.

Back to my success at the same spot in 2014. While sitting in my spot -- which was at the foot of some ridges and a canyon, an open generally flat, grassy area -- I noticed there were hunters on either lip of this big canyon, several hundred feet up above the flat area I was at and probably 1/4 mile away and 1/2 mile away respectively. Normally I leave about 9:30 AM to go back to camp. That morning I decided I would hang out longer, thinking maybe one of those two hunters would push an elk to me. Sure enough, 10 AM sharp two cow elk came trotting out of an arroyo that fed down out of that canyon and onto that flat that I was watching. The lead cow was quartering towards my left at a middling trot. I waited for her to get closer. When she looked directly at me I figured I better start shooting. I shot 3 times before she went out of sight behind some trees to my left. She gave no indications of having been hit, but I felt surely I landed with one of those shots!

I looked around for 45 minutes with no sign of the cow or of a blood trail. I was searching along the path she had been traveling on. I did find her, but she took a hard right angle turn right after she got out of my sight. She was hard hit and there was a lot of blood close to where she went down. I hit her at least twice on the forwards part of the left shoulder (quartering shot -- the bullet angle would have gone back diagonally across the lungs towards the off-side lungs), just were I would have wanted to land my shots. I think I consciously tried to lead her for one of my shots, and I think that probably missed in front of her. Either that or two shots landed so close I couldn't distinguish two entrance wounds.

I learned a few things through this experience. Be patient and thorough in looking for downed game. That elk was dead within 20 seconds of my first shot if not within 10 seconds. But after 45 minutes of fruitless searching I was kind of at the end of my rope. I wasn't sure I had hit her. I never considered the chance she might not continue along the last known path. That assumption was 100% wrong. Another thing would be -- before shooting -- to try to observe where the animal is when you shoot, so you can later look for blood sign there. I did go over to where the elk had run, but because I didn't fully focus on that I couldn't find where she had gone. There was some broken snow on the ground, but I didn't find tracks. That might have been my own failing. I think I was not thinking real well at the time, and that may have contributed to my poor searching effort. I live at low altitude. Maybe I was a bit scatter brained because of the 11,000 foot altitude? I had some upper respiratory cold that had laid me low the day before -- I could not go out on the hunt the day after opening day. Maybe my congested lungs and the altitude combined to leave me oxygen deprived and scatterbrained? I didn't feel bad. I'm only conjecturing. Also the excitement is part of it. The two elk I've killed before fell where they stood so it was no challenge locating them. A good learning experience for me.

Last edited by Alsatian; 03-18-2016 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:40 AM
  #25  
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Glad to hear you found her. Usually, tracking an elk is easy. They're heavy and move fast when shot. Even on dry ground they leave a good trail. You weren't expecting the direction she changed to, but you will be next time.

Every elk hunt teaches us something.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:30 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by justhuntitall View Post
[/align]
[blockquote]


Cougar Mag

I just got back from the Flat Tops and I hate to say we struck out this year we were there the last two weeks we seen elk but they were very nocturnal cuase of the warm weather and very few bugles .
But if you are going here soon you will have a great advantage over us cuase it will cool down and they should be on fire and there isa lot of elk there.

I've been going there above Yampa for 10 yearsand me and my buddies have only been skunked twice this isthe second time butthe time before thatthere were shots not taken and a miss or two.

If you want I can key you in on some hot spots but I wont do it on here . And dont worry about it you will see elk . And if you have time take a hike to devils causewayyou will really enjoy the view.
F
Good luck
Shane
[/align] [/blockquote]
Originally Posted by justhuntitall View Post
[/align]
[blockquote]


Cougar Mag

I just got back from the Flat Tops and I hate to say we struck out this year we were there the last two weeks we seen elk but they were very nocturnal cuase of the warm weather and very few bugles .
But if you are going here soon you will have a great advantage over us cuase it will cool down and they should be on fire and there isa lot of elk there.

I've been going there above Yampa for 10 yearsand me and my buddies have only been skunked twice this isthe second time butthe time before thatthere were shots not taken and a miss or two.

If you want I can key you in on some hot spots but I wont do it on here . And dont worry about it you will see elk . And if you have time take a hike to devils causewayyou will really enjoy the view.
F
Good luck
Shane
[/align] [/blockquote]
looking for tips in unit 231. I can trade info in unit 12
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