Western mule deer hunt

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I was fortunate to draw a Colorado muzzleloader mule deer tag this year. My partner and I have all the gear we need so we picked the area we wanted to hunt, hired an outfitter to pack us in on his horses and mules since it was around 9 miles from the road, and arranged for him to pick us up 10 days later after dropping us off. We arrived a few days before the hunt opened to acclimate to the altitude, to get a good camp set up, and to have a day or two to scout for deer. The actual deer hunt for me was over relatively quickly. I was able to locate a bachelor group of bucks before the seasoned opened, so on opening day I got up early and got to a vantage point before daylight. However, once daylight came I could not locate the group of bucks I had seen previously but I did see two bucks behind me about 500 yards away. I could not tell much about them due to the distance, so I dropped down the mountain and used the terrain to hide my approach and to get closer look. Due to the terrain, it wasn't too difficult to get within 150 yards of them, however, I don't feel confident at more than 100 yards so I sneaked and crawled a little closer. While I was trying to get closer, the deer had quit feeding and had already bedded. I was able to get within 100 yards of the smaller buck, a 2x3, and about 80 yards from the larger buck, and 4x4. The 2x3 was in plain sight and was bedded facing me, while the 4x4 was facing away from me but due to the snow brush he was bedded in all I could see was his antlers, so it then became a waiting game. Finally, after a couple of hours the 4x4 stood up and I was able to get a clean shot. resized deer.png
 
Thread starter #2
After spending opening day getting my deer secured in camp, I still had several days to enjoy the Rockies. I had a fishing license also, this lake was about 1/2 mile from camp and I discovered it had a healthy population of cut throat trout, which provided a welcome change of diet from freeze dried meals. lake.JPG cutthroat.JPG
 
Thread starter #3
I also had a small game license, and since ptarmigan season was open I brought a 20 gauge along and spent a couple of days exploring the rocks looking for them. Unfortunately, as they are very tasty, I was unable to locate any this trip. Previous trips it hasn't been any problem to locate them but some reason I could not get on them this time. red grass and rocks.JPG
 
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