GMU 30 3rd Season Rifle


Hello Colorado Hunters, I am from California... Whew, got that off my chest. If you still read this post after that revelation, thank you !!

I had inquired with ColoradoScouter over on Bowsite about the tag I drew and he recommended this site to me, so here I am.

Let me start by saying that this is my first time hunting Colorado. I have been in the draw system now in most all western states for over 15 years. I have been fortunate enough to draw some incredible tags across the west over those years and have been even more fortunate to harvest some very nice animals. I DIY on nearly all hunts. I have never really posted pictures on other sites. I would be happy to post pics here, but not sure if you want me to post pics from other states. Let me know.

This year I used all 11 of my deer points and was successful in drawing a unit 30 3rd season buck tag. I will be "doing this hunt myself", except this year I am pulling my 13 year old son out of school and sports to help me out.

In 1995 I accompanied a friend who drew the roadless area of the Book Cliffs in Utah and helped him harvest a dandy bull. In 1997 I drew the roadless area of the Book Cliffs myself for elk in Utah and harvested a really nice bull (355), however I am not familiar with the Books in Colorado.

I am not trying to e-scout, or ask "where should I hunt?".. Not saying I won't take any "tips" someone may be willing to give! Rather, I have a few general questions about the hunt, and some things I may deal with during the hunt. Here are my questions:

1. The 3rd season is later this year (Nov. 6-14), I looked at the maps on the CDOW site which showed migration cooridors, winter grounds, etc.. Do you think deer will move into these area by this time irregardless of snow, or do they only go down to these area after being "pushed" out by bad weather / snow?

2. Do the deer in 30 move south no matter what, when they migrate, or do they simply change elevation. I see that some of the main drainages go nearly all the way north in the unit. Will deer simply drop off the tops and winter in the bottom of these canyons and stay in the northern end, or do they head south and get out of dodge.

3. Do you think the rut will be on by this time?

4. Do you have any recommedations for camping areas, or do you recommend staying in the towns and driving out every day?

5. Roads: Utahs roads were like GREASE when wet, is this area similar? If so, would you recommend chains?

6. Finally, would you bring an ATV? Is is helpful in this area or a waste of time?

I know this is a LONG post, but any direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.. Tad G. (aka Gamekiller)

by Gamekiller
Phew - I had to print that    by  colorado goatman    08/25/2010   Login to post Private Reply

Phew - I had to print that one out to see everything.:-). Yep, you're a brave soul mentioning you're from California, but you're a hunter, so all is forgiven. I don't think there's anything that prevents you from uploading photos in a post - I sure would like to see what you got! After all, Utah is our neighbor and they've got some great hunting over there. Nothing gets the blood pumping like seeing a nice kill. However, on the Photo Gallery, it has Colorado specific criteria, which makes sense. When you get that big muley in November, load er up.

You need to get some BLM maps (Douglas Pass and Grand Junction) and study them well.

1-2. If there's early snows, and it stays, the deer will start to move early. If there's late snows, the deer will move anyway - I guess it's in the air. In 30, they'll typically move south off the tops, to the canyons and on the desert. Elevation depends on snow. So, use a bottom-up approach. I predict by that time, they'll be off the tops and in migration route.

3. Don't know about the rut. A good resource would be http://charliealsheimer.com. He seems to think the rut is very predictable, and he's an authority on the subject.

4. Camping during that time of the year, well, just remember this is Colorado. Yep, there's plenty of camping, and there's plenty of B&Bs in Fruita. Either way will work fine - pick your medicine.

5. Read Tips.

6. Yes and yes. Weather will dictate the use of your ATV, which should only be used as an alternative mode of transportation. Terrain and your cojones will dictate the use of your truck.

Hope this helps.

Posting Pics    by  Gamekiller    08/25/2010   Login to post Private Reply

Colorado Goatman, thanks for the direction, much appreciated. Looking to post a few old pics for you guys to get everyone pumped for the season. Having a tough time figuring out how to do it. I tried copying the jpeg and pasting, didnt work. Helpful tips? Thanks..

I was told the programmer is    by  colorado goatman    08/26/2010   Login to post Private Reply

I was told the programmer is doing an update on that feature and had to temporarily disable it. I'll take another look tomorrow - "I want photos...I want photos...I want photos!"

You must be patient young man    by  Gamekiller    08/26/2010   Login to post Private Reply

You must be patient young man :). I will keep an eye out and post a few once the link is up. I will post in respective forums so keep an eye out, i.e. mule deer, sheep forums, etc..

Have you ever taken any big    by  colorado goatman    08/26/2010   Login to post Private Reply

Have you ever taken any big game in Colorado?

Colorado Goatman I haven't.     by  Gamekiller    08/26/2010   Login to post Private Reply

Colorado Goatman I haven't. In fact, this unit 30 tag is my first ever hunt in Colorado. I have been SUPER lucky over the years and drawn some of the best tags in the west. I have drawn the late season Kaibab tag in Arizona twice, early bull Arizona unit 10, Book Cliffs Utah, etc.. Probably the best tag was a sheep tag in Oregon last year, the John Day River hunt where I beat 850:1 odds. I have applied in Colorado for 13 years for all species, and this is my first tag. Seems like I was always 1 point from drawing. I have always hunted public land and nearly always DIY... Just my way of doing it. I consider myself as lucky to have this 30 tag as all those other previous great hunts and want to treat it the same.

I do have a little bit of Colorado history in me. My Dad and his buddies bought a ranch in Colorado down out of Pagosa Springs back in the late 50's when they got out of the army. It was called the Red Rider Ranch up the Blanca River Canyon and I still have an old brochure from it. This place was SPECTACULAR. They ran elk, deer, and sheep hunts right out of the ranch. They had it for several years and then needed money, so they sold it. My Dad never forgave himself for selling it (unfortunately I was not born yet so I had no say so!)

Anyhow, pics are just of some nice animals I have been lucky enough to have taken over the years in various states. To me they are all trophies, I hope you guys like them also.

I think you can upload those    by  colorado goatman    08/26/2010   Login to post Private Reply

I think you can upload those photos in a new post.

Most of your Qs have been    by  Stinky    08/27/2010   Login to post Private Reply

Most of your Qs have been answered...

1. Lately, don't count on any snow, but that changed last year. That unit is not real high and I wouldn't expect it to get a bunch of snow.

3. The rut will very possibly be on.

4. Highline Lake state park in Loma will have showers and bathrooms. At that time of the year, there may be some mountain bikers in there. But, it will be pretty desserted. Probably about $10 a day. I'd say that it probably about 30 minutes from the hunt'N.

Other than that...anywhere in the BLM or NF. I used to camp in the BLM up there.

5. Yes and double yes, same mud.

6. Not really all that helpful.

7. Get you a Garfield and Mesa County topo map and a BLM map (Douglass Pass) (which will have the private land on it. I don't think that NF map will cover that area.

8. Call the DOW in Grand Jct. and ask to speak to the Game Warden/District Manager for that unit. 970-255-6100 You'd be surprised what he/she will tell you.

Hey Gamekiller Congrats on    by  ellisbowhunter    08/27/2010   Login to post Private Reply

Hey Gamekiller

Congrats on drawing your 3rd season tag....its a good one....I thought I'd give some input on your questions having hunted in the unit north of 30 a few years. Where those bucks winter at will definitely be dictated by the weather...generally, they'll naturally move to lower winter grounds no matter what but if there's not a large amount of snow come 3rd rifle season you'd be smart to keep an occassional eye on the higher canyons as some big bucks will hang up in there. Snow will also have some effect on the rut timing but usually you won't see it full effect til after your hunt, with or without snow. Camp where you hunt....more sleep. Although Fruita's economy would love your contribution haha....bring chains and atv...roads suck when they're wet. Have fun & good luck