Colorado Shed Hunting Questions

Ultraheight

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
111
Hi All, longtime elk hunter here (though a bit short on success; Got my first bull two years ago!) in Colorado. Once shed season opens here on May 1st, I was hoping to get out to do some shed hunting (only hunting-related activity my GF will tag along on and a good chance to stretch my legs). I've been fortunate to find some incredible dead heads over the years while scouting or hunting, but never really gone out in the spring for sheds. I've got some spots in mind, just looking for advice.

A couple broad and CO specific questions: 1. Given the current level of snow pack in NW/Central Colorado, should I be looking in true winter range (mostly BLM; Under ~9K feet) or are the elk starting to creep up in their upwards migration? 2. Does anyone have a pulse on if bulls have started to drop in numbers? IE Should I be boots on the ground May 1 or should I push it back into May a bit? Last weekend I saw 3 bulls off the Gore Range with their headgear still attached 3. Do good zones get picked over pretty quickly after the opener? My hope is to not drive 3 hours on May 8th to an area where I've confident I could find some, to see that it's been picked clean. 4. How often do folks find matched pairs within a reasonable distance of each other? How much energy/time do you expend looking for a match versus moving on to a new area? 5. Is there value in lugging my spotting scope around? I've heard that's how a lot of serious shed guys find them.

Will also accept any general advice, don't feel like you have answer all of these. Thanks guys
 

Ucsdryder

WKR
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
6,134
Here’s how Colorado works…


Elk shed antlers before may 1. Guys find antlers before may 1. Guys hide antlers before may 1. Guys pick up their stash of antlers on may 1.

But by all means get out there and enjoy the beautiful Colorado spring weather. I will be! Just don’t expect to find any sheds.
 
OP
Ultraheight

Ultraheight

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
111
Here’s how Colorado works…


Elk shed antlers before may 1. Guys find antlers before may 1. Guys hide antlers before may 1. Guys pick up their stash of antlers on may 1.

But by all means get out there and enjoy the beautiful Colorado spring weather. I will be! Just don’t expect to find any sheds.
I have heard as much, fair point! I was hoping to not stir things up on the ups and downs on the implementation of shed season. I keep it legal and am just looking for a decent shed or two above the fire place...hopefully that's still possible.
 

squid-freshprints

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 25, 2023
Messages
104
Location
CO
IMO. Good/obvious areas will be hammered by may, but... nowhere gets picked clean, I have witnessed many late season slabs in super well traveled spots.2 For an awesome set I would, and have gone great lengths for a match, like years and miles apart.3 Sarcastic but true none the less, there are better drops in Utah and AZ. they welcome you with open arms;)
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2013
Messages
1,021
Location
Colorado
Snow pack-
Elk are following the green up, which isn’t necessarily where snow has recently receded.

Most bulls have shed by now.
Some rags or smaller bulls may hold late(I’ve seen bulls with antlers in may) but most have shed.
First shed bull pic this year was 3/2

You can’t find them if you don’t go, so go and figure out what’s been hammered.
Have multiple backup plans.

Side by side the Sets are not uncommon, but far from the norm.
For me. Effort depends on size.
Took me 5 years to match up a 380, but I did it.

Yes to a spotter, but only if there is really good cross canyon glassing.
Otherwise, no way, too heavy and bulky.

My advice would be to go to places that aren’t popular.
In fact, popular places are the last place I’d shed hunt.
Carve out your niche and find some pockets.
Boots on the ground now would be my suggestion.
Just don’t pick them up yet.
You want to find sign from a few weeks ago, the longer you wait the more difficult that’ll become.
 
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