Whitetail Deer Hunting in Colorado
The timing of taking a Colorado plains archery deer hunt didn’t work out so well for me this year, at least not for my fist hunt. Record low temperatures hit Colorado the past few days, with the high today only 10 degrees, much colder with the wind factored in. It was even colder yesterday, but tomorrow is supposed to get up into the high 30’s, so maybe I’ll see more deer activity than I have thus far.
I am hunting a wildlife area about 30 miles southeast of Limon, CO, the first time I have been to this area. It’s a lot of high plains with some rolling hills, and not a lot of trees. I have managed to find a few deer with my binoculars, but I have not been able to get close enough for a shot at anything with my bow. This is definitely a different type of hunting than hunting in the mountains, and I need to adjust my tactics if I am going to have success on this trip. I only have one more day on this trip, but I have until the end of the year on my tag if I want to come back and try again.
Aside from the cold weather keeping the deer holed up, this is the peak of the rut, which tends to keep the whitetail deer in seclusion once they have found their mates. In situations like this, the thickest areas of cover are going to be where I find deer, and often times that means a depression in the ground, a drainage of creeks (that flow in the spring and summer, but are dry now), a fence line clogged with tumble weeds, or maybe the tall buffalo grass that chokes a saddle between hills or in the crease of a ridge. It’s tough hunting, especially since I have never seen this land before.
But I have to employ the techniques that I know whether I have seen this land before or not. First of all I have to be cognizant of the wind, which has been blowing hard from the south for the past two days, I’ll see what it does tomorrow as it starts to warm up. Secondly I have to narrow down the feeding and bedding areas, which I have not been able to do to this point. The snow of the past couple of days has hidden a lot of the sign that I am looking for, although I have been able to see some tracks that I know are fresh. My biggest challenge so far is that I have not been here long enough to pattern the deer at all.
It is beautiful country though, and I am having fun on this trip. Even though the conditions are brutal, it is the challenge of the hunt that I enjoy, and tomorrow is another chance. It is supposed to be a lot warmer tomorrow, into the 30’s, so I plan on an all day hunt, moving slowly through this new area, and glassing often from high vantage points. I can’t say that I am optimistic about getting a deer, but I can say that I will enjoy the hunt.