Deer hunting Trip October 2013
I left home this morning for my Colorado plains whitetail deer hunt. I won’t actually be hunting until Saturday, but I wanted to get out here and do a couple of day’s worth of scouting since I have never hunted this area before. I went by Rocky Mountain Roosters on my way to use the rifle range and make sure my gun is shooting accurately. I love shooting there because I have it all to myself, even if I have to wait for someone else to finish their shooting, like I did today. It’s really not a typical shooting range, just a field with a sloping hill behind it, with stacks of tires piled up at 100, 200, and 300 yards. They have three shooting benches with sand bags, and it is a very relaxing way to sight in my rifle.
It’s a good thing I went because my rifle was not shooting well at all. I am not sure what happened between Saturday and today, but my first three shots were all very high and to the left. At least my groupings were close, so that made it easy to adjust my scope. I really like this target I used because it has a grid of one inch squares which makes sighting in a rifle so much easier. As you can see in the picture, my groupings were high to start with, then as I made adjustments to the scope, I eventually got my last 12 shots all within a two inch group at 200 yards. I was very pleased!
Then I headed to Limon, Co, where I would be staying for the next five days. There isn’t much between Limon and where I will be hunting, although I did consider Hugo, Co, but their one motel was full of construction workers building a new school there. It’s only about a 45 minute drive from Limon to where I will be hunting, so that is reasonable.
I stopped at the Wendy’s in Limon to have lunch, and as I was getting close to the entrance door this very old couple were walking towards the door at an incredibly slow pace. I waited at the door to hold it open for them, and as they got closer I could read the words on the baseball-style hat the man was wearing, it said “WW II Iwo Jima Veteran.” That’s pretty amazing to see a WW II vet, and when he thanked me for holding the door for them, I said “Thank you for your service to our country.” As I sat in the restaurant eating my chicken sandwich I watched them, and I wondered if I would be with someone or alone at that age, or if I would even live to be that old. The way they needed each other, even to walk, was very touching to me. It’s pretty rare to see a WW II vet these days, if he was only 18 at Iwo Jima, that would make him 87 years old now.
After lunch I headed out to the hunting grounds, driving through a 45 mile expanse of high rolling plains with very little vegetation other than the prairie grass and sage brush. Where there were water drainages, cotton wood trees flourished, but I didn’t see many of those until I got near the area I am going to hunt.
I arrived at my destination at about 4:00 PM, and began to explore the area by driving around on the county roads that surrounded the hunting unit, looking for the best place to head in on foot. Big Sandy Creek flows through the hunting area, and it was full of big cotton woods. Using my map, I found a good place to park the truck and head into the land.
It was a beautiful sunny day, with a stiff breeze from the south, it was 54 degrees. I headed towards the creek drainage through a rolling field of sage brush, tumble weeds, cactus, and buffalo grass, with massive cotton wood trees scattered about. The trees got thicker as I neared the creek channel about a half mile into my hike, and the leaves were bright yellow and orange, some falling to the ground as the wind blew in intermittent gusts .
As I neared the creek I could see the effects of the flooding from last month. There were logs piled four feet high from the flood, yet I was standing in the dry creek bed. That must have been a lot of water! There were still pockets of water left in pools of the creek, but it was certainly not a flowing creek today. The scenery was beautiful!
I didn’t see much sign of deer, but I did see a few tracks. Not very promising, but I still have another day to scout tomorrow. I walked about three miles, and then headed back to my truck as darkness fell. I didn’t see any deer, but I really enjoyed my time on the hike, and the sunset was amazing! Beautiful colors of orange, pink, and purple painted the low hanging clouds as the sun dipped below the mountains to the west.
Tomorrow will be another day of scouting, and hopefully I will have a solid game plan for Saturday morning, and the rest of my hunt. More to come on this story.