OTC Colorado Recap

bloatmar

FNG
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
52
Another year back in Colorado. This was my third attempt at this unit in 4 years. We never recovered one year one, year two was a bust and this year was something in the middle. Talked to several people in the unit and nobody saw or heard any elk. One guy had been hunting 16 days on a muzzle loader/bear tag he shot a cow that was pushed by some hunters. He said he heard over 100 bugles and 4 were actual bulls the rest were hunters.

1st day was supposed to be an easy day getting to a glassing knob early and well the elevation gain was tough on us and the distance was much farther than I thought. My buddies dad came who was 64 and he impressed us with his ability to keep up. Age is just a number! Ended up doing a 12 mile loop found some sign we guessed was a week old. No bulls bugled that morning.

2nd day we headed in a different direction to glass and found a great knob. This is where I messed up. I was the leader of the group basically due to my limited knowledge of elk hunting the past 3 Years. Two bulls were bugling below us about 800 ft of elevation and 900 yards away. A bull appeared in a small meadow below us around 350 yards away and 600 ft below us. He appeared to maybe be legal from the quick glass I got on him. Instead of chasing that bull we had eyes on I said let’s go chase the bugling bulls. They were consistently bugling about every 15 minutes. Upon our arrival they shut up of course we waited for the thermals to switch so we would have the advantage. Once they switched the bulls went quiet and we couldn’t locate them on the large benches I believe where they would be bedded most of the day. We found plenty of sign in those benches but the elk were gone. We attempted a cow party and after nothing we moved forward and tried the advertising sequence. That was the conclusion of day two. Should have chased the bull we had eyes on.

Day three back to the same knob and again the bull bugles from the same bench and I know no hunter is over there. We race over for the same game plan and well we got skunked again.

Day 4 we found a fresh wallow and sat that in hopes of the warmer temps that day would cause the elk to come in. That did not work just some decent mulies came into the wallow/meadow.

Day 5 my buddies dad had work emergency and we had to head back to Texas.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
29
Everyone I've ran into has said they've heard and seen nothing. This is only my 2nd year and the unit I hunted last year was hit hard with winter kill so I'm scrambling to find new areas away from the north west units. I've heard night bugling and gotten into fresh sign a few times this year in New units I've never hunted. No luck with any daytime activity though.

Sounds like you had a lot of activity in your unit! I'd try to get between those bulls and their beds and catch them early on their way to bed next time.

Get the elknut app and run Paul's sequences. Sit at least an hour and watch and listen for them to come in quiet. Most otc bulls are quiet during the day from pressure. Make sure you put your shooters in the hang up spots and you'll see them come in and investigate if there's bulls around.

Good luck next year!
 
OP
bloatmar

bloatmar

FNG
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
52
Everyone I've ran into has said they've heard and seen nothing. This is only my 2nd year and the unit I hunted last year was hit hard with winter kill so I'm scrambling to find new areas away from the north west units. I've heard night bugling and gotten into fresh sign a few times this year in New units I've never hunted. No luck with any daytime activity though.

Sounds like you had a lot of activity in your unit! I'd try to get between those bulls and their beds and catch them early on their way to bed next time.

Get the elknut app and run Paul's sequences. Sit at least an hour and watch and listen for them to come in quiet. Most otc bulls are quiet during the day from pressure. Make sure you put your shooters in the hang up spots and you'll see them come in and investigate if there's bulls around.

Good luck next year!
I have the app. I actually had a long phone call with Paul last year on the mountain! What I found odd was the main bull bugling was already on a north facing bench around 7:45-8. I figured that’s where they were spending the day. I have no clue where they went
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
29
Haha that's funny, I talked to him last year from the mountain as well. Super nice guy. I was surprised he answered when I called the support number on the app for help with a technical issue. He gave me some tips for next time after I botched an 8 yard call-in.
 

Ucsdryder

WKR
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
5,670
You non residents should get a Christmas card and a box of chocolates (and maybe some lube) from CPW. I don’t know how someone can justify the cost and effort for 4-5 days of hunting. This is the 3rd or 4th similar thread. “Came out, saw no elk, had a great time” (or some variation). Sounds like you had the right attitude for it though!
 
OP
bloatmar

bloatmar

FNG
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
52
You non residents should get a Christmas card and a box of chocolates (and maybe some lube) from CPW. I don’t know how someone can justify the cost and effort for 4-5 days of hunting. This is the 3rd or 4th similar thread. “Came out, saw no elk, had a great time” (or some variation). Sounds like you had the right attitude for it though!
The difference is I saw elk and heard elk on my unit. I understand what I’m getting into coming to OTC this is my third year in that unit. Previous year was Montana and we got into the Elk. Also I saw several bulls on the adjoining unit that I will have enough points for in one year as long as point creep doesn’t jack up that unit too much. I do the research and put in the time to get into elk I was .75 miles off the road in elk. Everyone else in that unit was 8 miles back calling hunters into their setups left and right. We all can’t live in western states
 

mjlimey

FNG
Joined
Sep 13, 2023
Messages
13
You non residents should get a Christmas card and a box of chocolates (and maybe some lube) from CPW. I don’t know how someone can justify the cost and effort for 4-5 days of hunting. This is the 3rd or 4th similar thread. “Came out, saw no elk, had a great time” (or some variation). Sounds like you had the right attitude for it though!
This is what makes it fun though!
 

Gerbdog

WKR
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
821
Location
CO Springs
I have the app. I actually had a long phone call with Paul last year on the mountain! What I found odd was the main bull bugling was already on a north facing bench around 7:45-8. I figured that’s where they were spending the day. I have no clue where they went
I think its hunting pressure... im hunting a point unit this year (currently back at the houes for a family health emergency.... think things are under control, so thats good) and all the bulls / cows are in bed by 7 30 - 8 am where im hunting. They are there, plenty of them, but theyre pretty nocturnal. The bugling stalls around 7:30 am... but.... just sitting and listening will get a few bugles over the next few hours and gives the opportunity to locate and get in close. These are bugles they do on their own, they dont wanna respond to our bugles.

Just a big difference from the beginning of the season til now. All i can think is that these animals have all been called to by hunters over the last 3.5 weeks and are wise to it now.

The things thats confusing over the last couple days is being within 100 yards of bulls and their cows and.... then calling to the cows as a bull and the bull in his bed doesnt even budge, make a peep, nothing... he just doesnt give a crap im calling his cows off. Guess i need the cows in the area to go into estrus already cause at this point in September i expect the bulls to come unglued when i get in that close to his cows and call to the cows.

We did this on two different bulls and his cows and ... man those bulls just wouldnt budge... raking didnt work, challenging didnt work, cow calling, calling to cows, slow play, .... you name it, threw the book at them and they just laid there..... Didnt even stand up to walk around his cows until they all stood up to feed and leave (didnt get a shot).

Ah well, hopefully back into the woods once home life is settled here and hit it hard for the remainder of the season.

Glad you guys had a good time and any time you can spend in the elk woods hunting is experience and points towards closing the deal next time.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
29
I think its hunting pressure... im hunting a point unit this year (currently back at the houes for a family health emergency.... think things are under control, so thats good) and all the bulls / cows are in bed by 7 30 - 8 am where im hunting. They are there, plenty of them, but theyre pretty nocturnal. The bugling stalls around 7:30 am... but.... just sitting and listening will get a few bugles over the next few hours and gives the opportunity to locate and get in close. These are bugles they do on their own, they dont wanna respond to our bugles.

Just a big difference from the beginning of the season til now. All i can think is that these animals have all been called to by hunters over the last 3.5 weeks and are wise to it now.

The things thats confusing over the last couple days is being within 100 yards of bulls and their cows and.... then calling to the cows as a bull and the bull in his bed doesnt even budge, make a peep, nothing... he just doesnt give a crap im calling his cows off. Guess i need the cows in the area to go into estrus already cause at this point in September i expect the bulls to come unglued when i get in that close to his cows and call to the cows.

We did this on two different bulls and his cows and ... man those bulls just wouldnt budge... raking didnt work, challenging didnt work, cow calling, calling to cows, slow play, .... you name it, threw the book at them and they just laid there..... Didnt even stand up to walk around his cows until they all stood up to feed and leave (didnt get a shot).

Ah well, hopefully back into the woods once home life is settled here and hit it hard for the remainder of the season.

Glad you guys had a good time and any time you can spend in the elk woods hunting is experience and points towards closing the deal next time.
Maybe give them more breeding sequence with cow estrus sounds and get it going at first light before they've bedded.

Last year I was spoiled with multiple call-ins and bulls bugling everywhere. This year I'm having to start over and find new areas as there just wasnt fresh sign where I spent my season last year.

I'm looking for more glassable terrain as calling only strategies don't seem to be as productive and I'm just not finding elk sign to give me the confidence for my calls.

Recouping for a last outing this week to close the season before rifle.

Good luck out there!
 

WoodBow

WKR
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
1,754
You non residents should get a Christmas card and a box of chocolates (and maybe some lube) from CPW. I don’t know how someone can justify the cost and effort for 4-5 days of hunting. This is the 3rd or 4th similar thread. “Came out, saw no elk, had a great time” (or some variation). Sounds like you had the right attitude for it though!
They aren't tags, they are adventure passes. That's how you have to look at it. I'm not going to those places and doing those things without it in my pocket.

I will say my take on it has changed slowly. I hunted OTC colorado for and never killed an elk. Mainly because I was dumb enough to be trying to do it with a recurve. Secondly because I suck at elk hunting. We had fun. Now i'm starting to look more into the landowner tag approach. I'm not as poor as I used to be.
 

tpm231030

FNG
Joined
Oct 30, 2023
Messages
12
They aren't tags, they are adventure passes. That's how you have to look at it. I'm not going to those places and doing those things without it in my pocket.

I will say my take on it has changed slowly. I hunted OTC colorado for and never killed an elk. Mainly because I was dumb enough to be trying to do it with a recurve. Secondly because I suck at elk hunting. We had fun. Now i'm starting to look more into the landowner tag approach. I'm not as poor as I used to be.
Suck at elk hunting too. Planned hunting the higher elevations only to get snowed out and change our plan on the fly. The only elk we saw all week were in valleys on the private ranches. Word spread so fast that everyone trying to hunt public land was sitting in their truck at the trailhead, glassing the elk in the valley, trying in vain to figure out a way to get them.
 

Hipaitz

FNG
Joined
Aug 16, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Nebraska
My buddy is a resident and I plan on accompanying him on an archery hunt this fall. He saw 1 cow in 5 days of hunting last year.
 
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