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February 2013: Colorado High Country Adventures is a professional hunting association offering consulting and booking services with our outfitters in Colorado and Wyoming. We have excellent big game hunting for elk, mule deer, antelope and whitetail deer. We offer traditional pack-in wilderness horse hunts, either guided or from drop camps, as well as some outstanding private ranch hunting. The following information will answer some of your questions about how we hunt and what it costs. For specific information about each outfitter and our hunts please call us at (802) 468-8869.
Elk Hunting: To us hunters there are few things comparable to the sound of a bull elk bugle on a crisp September morning, or seeing a herd of elk feeding into a high alpine park at dusk. The elk population is now at a modern day all-time high, and hunters have a choice of seasons beginning with archery and muzzleloader hunts in September during the rut, rifle seasons in October, and late season rifle hunts in November and December. License availability is excellent, and we have great success finding elk whether you choose to hunt our ranches or a traditional pack-in wilderness horse hunt. For the meat hunter cow elk licenses are available by draw in Colorado and Wyoming, and all hunters applying for cows tag are able to draw.
*** Colorado bull elk ***
Mule Deer: Hunters looking for mule deer will find great hunting on our ranches with some trophy bucks available out of the high country elk camps. In Colorado combo deer/elk hunts are available in September for archery and muzzleloader hunters, and during the 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons. In Wyoming all deer are hunted on our ranch and we have been taking some fantastic bucks with antler spreads up to 26"-30". You will get a deer, it's just a matter of passing on the smaller bucks and looking for a mature deer. All mule deer tags are by draw only in the states.
*** Colorado drop camp ***
Whitetail Deer: Our Wyoming trophy whitetail hunts are in November during the rut on a large private ranch located near Lusk in eastern Wyoming. You will see many deer each day and numerous bucks. Patient hunters willing to pass up smaller animals have a realistic chance of harvesting mature 5 X 5 bucks that will score in the 120-150 inch range with some bigger animals a possibility. We limit the number of hunters on the ranch to eight each year, and we only hunt during the middle of November when the rut is on and the older bucks are on the move. Licenses are by draw only but we have had 100% draw success in recent years, along with 90-100% kill success. Once you try a western whitetail hunt you will come back again!
Antelope: Antelope hunts are on private ranch lands in Wyoming. In Wyoming our antelope units generally have 90%-100% draw success each year on rifle tags. You will see hundreds of antelop each day and many good bucks. Antelope hunters should practice shooting at 300 and even 400 yards, although often shots can be had at closer distances.
Physical Conditioning: I cannot stress the importance of physical conditioning enough as your conditioning will play a role in your success and enjoyment of hunting with us. Year after year, the number one reason a hunter does not harvest an animal is because he (or she) is not in the necessary physical condition and we cannot get you into position to shoot. Consult with your doctor first, then you should begin an excercise program well before your hunt which includes both aerobic conditioning and strength work, particularly for your legs. As has been quoted many times over the years: "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail." Do not go into your hunt without giving all you can to getting ready.
On public land wilderness hunts, the high mountain country we hunt is rugged and hunters must prepare physically prior to the trip. Being physically ready will help you get into prime hunting locations and will greatly increase your chances of harvesting a game. There is nothing better than putting a 30 pound pack on your back and hiking up the nearest mountain! Certainly some hunts are more physically demanding than others. Mountain goat hunts should only be booked by those hunters who are comfortable hiking at high altitude in steep, rocky alpine conditions. Wilderness elk hunts will find you with better footing, but again the high altitude and steep country must be considered. Also, do not let the fact that you are coming with us on guided hunt make you feel that it will be easy! Although you will often access prime hunting locations by horse, you usually will still need to do plenty of hiking.
Private ranches have easier access via 4WD truck with foot or horse access. If conditioning is a concern, we recommend you consider our ranch hunts in Colorado and Wyoming. Antelope hunts are loads of fun and anyone can do them.
*** Colonel Kelly Scott USAF killed this great buck with one shot from his 25-06 at 300 yards ***
Weapons: Bull elk are big, tough animals that can weigh more than 800 pounds. Flat shooting, high energy calibers are recommended, loaded with premium bullets such as the Hornady Interbond, Nosler Partition, Grand Slam, Fail Safe etc. As a general rule, the .270/.308/.30-06 are fine elk cartridges and can be considered sensible minimums. Limit yourself to only good shots where you can center the lungs and you will have no trouble harvesting game. We would much rather take a hunter out who is very proficient with his eastern deer rifle loaded with premium cartridges and bonded bullets, than a hunter with a new, super magnum who flinches and cannot hit the "broad side of the barn" as they say.
I hunt exclusively with a .308 I load with Hornady Interbonds. I am able to cleanly take elk and moose with this caliber. I also carry a compact Stoney Point Pole Cat telescoping bi-pod. The bi-pod carries comfortably on my pack or attached to my belt and is absolutely invaluable as a shooting aid. I use it all the time as it takes only seconds to extend and set up. I even use it for close range muzzleloader shooting and for turkey hunting. Once you begin to use a bi-pod you will never want to shoot off-hand again, and most importantly you will be a better shot.
Although most animals are killed within 200 yards for rifle hunters and under 30 yards for archery hunts, you should practice shooting your rifle to 300-400 yards from hunting positions and we recommend archers practice at 40-50 yards. Again, the key to success and a clean, humane harvest is in knowing your limits and being able to center the lungs with your weapon.
*** A big black bear taken on a hunt ***
What does it cost to hunt with us?: Expect average costs of approximately $3500 for guided 2X1 public land hunting and $4000 or more for private ranch hunts. Unguided spike or drop camps are a good choice for those hunters who are comfortable hunting on their own and experienced in Western mountain hunting. These hunts will average in the $1800 per person range.
Please click on any of the buttons below for further Colorado hunting information or call us at (802) 468-8869.
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Colorado High Country Adventures
"Serving big game hunters since 1994"
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