This year, I can easily say I’ve never hunted something like this. I’ve been here before multiple times and the last years snow and bad weather just decimated the beetle killed pines. The once open areas great for glassing and vegetation are now a graveyard for wood.
I wanted to share with you how you would have to quickly pivot the way you are hunting and why in a situation like this one.
I arrived to camp on Sunday afternoon just in time for the afternoon hunt. The weather was 47. That is actually warm for a November 3rd rifle hunt in Colorado. Typically it’s 30 and we just had 12 inches of snow the night before. With that said, snow is great for tracking but can be crunchy to walk on when it freezes. Overall, it’s still great to know where your quarry was headed.
As I get to camp I ask the group what they have seen. The common response is “nothing” with a sad, frustrated look on their faces. As I realized their dismay, I also realized there were way less hunters on the mountain compared to usual. This means either bad hunting or warm weather or both.
I quickly realized by the end of Monday’s hunting that the problem isn’t the weather or the animals. It’s the fallen timber. You couldn’t walk 3 feet without having to jump a stump or try to get creative to avoid some dead branches that would make a heck of a lot of noise. I’m thinking to myself, “these guys aren’t seeing anything because they are scaring it away before they can see it!”
I quickly decided to change plans and look for slopes that would hold animals and that I could park myself in for hours. Essentially hunting from a ground blind with only ground cover. It took me 2 hours and had already run into 4 deer and a mountain lion. Clearly, I was on to something. I connected with the guys at camp about the change and 3 of the 6 guys followed suit. Can you guess which guys are seeing game? You guessed it! The guys that changes their plans to accommodate the situation. While nobody has harvested anything as of yet, I have high hopes that we can bring some meat home to our freezers.
The next time you get frustrated or sad about what is going on. Don’t get defeated. Think about what you could do differently to change your outcome.
Scout, Hunt, Repeat
Hope everyone is having a good season!