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Hunt report: Successful but not elegant

For two seasons Noel, Steve, and I had hunted GMU 12, a productive — and popular — unit in northwestern Colorado. We had some success, tagging a young bull in 2017 and having an almost successful timber sneak last year, but had made several realizations about the location: To reliably find elk, we had to…

Eight podcasts about backpacking, running, climbing, and hunting

This winter I’ve been a guest on six podcasts, and will soon appear on two more. It wasn’t intentional — whether by coincidence or due to an increasing number of outdoor podcasts, I received an exceptional number of interview requests, and I always say yes. Most readers will probably be familiar enough with my own…

Backpack hunting: My evolving approach

Originally I thought that hunting would be an extension of the backpacking season. Like in the summer but now with a rifle in hand and in the pursuit of elk and deer, I wanted to roam deep in world-class wilderness areas and to camp in different spots each night. But I’ve learned that this approach is…

Assessment: Morapos Trailhead, Colorado GMU 12 || Elk & deer hunting

Morapos Creek is a popular and productive hunting area for big game, notably elk and deer. It’s located in northwestern Colorado and encompassed by GMU 12. To the south of Morapos Creek is Milk Creek; to its north, Deer Creek; and to its east, the South Fork of the Williams Fork of the Yampa River. Morapos Creek…

Hunt report: Almost a successful timber sneak

Morapos Creek delivered last year, our first hunt in Colorado’s GMU 12. Steve and I saw elk or fresh elk tracks several times per day, encountered few other hunters, and shot a 4-point bull on Sunday afternoon. Hoping for a similar experience and results, we returned this year. For extra manpower, we added Noel, with whom I…

Pre-trip backpack hunt checklist: To do before you go

This weekend is the start of Third Season for elk and deer. Steve and I liked what we saw last year in the Flattop Mountains in northwestern Colorado, and will be going back, along with Noel, my partner on my first successful hunt four years ago. This is my sixth backpack hunt now, and each year…

Hunting binocular shopping: More personal than I thought it’d be

During recent hunting seasons, I’ve been very satisfied with my backpack hunt gear list save for one item: my Pentax DCF LV 9×28 binoculars. They’re compact and light (just 12.9 oz), and they were reasonably priced ($225 MSRP), but they proved ill-suited for big game hunting in Colorado, lacking satisfactory: Low light performance; Field of view (only 5.6*), eye…

Five strategies for hunting elk & mule deer in Colorado

You can’t shoot an elk or mule deer until you find one. Duh. And for a beginner DIY hunter, learning to find one is probably the biggest challenge — at least, that was my experience. Where will the big game be, given the location, season, current and recent conditions, and time of day? Otherwise, hunting is…

Elk Hunt Report: Filling my freezer & ending the era of cluelessness

This was my fifth year of elk hunting, and finally I may be getting the hang of it. While I’m pleased that my chest freezer is full again (thanks to a four-point bull that mistakenly skylined himself at 2:30 in the afternoon, more details below), I’m perhaps happier with other things that went right. Specifically,…