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I left last Wed - met a fellow in Amarillo and on to Pagosa Springs we went. I've hunted this one area maybe 10-11 times in the past 15 years. I've been very successful and was pumped for a great hunt, although the past couple of times have been really lean.

We waited until Friday to hike in, to allow our bodies to acclimate a bit to the altitude, and after a brutal hike in with 50-60 pound packs we had a nice camp set up by Friday afternoon. Not a single other person was in this area - SWEET. There was an outfitters tent, but it wasn't being used.

Long story short, we busted our tails walking that area looking for elk and found very little sign, saw a raghorn and we had discussed if that happened we would leave and go somewhere else. Elk are where you find them, we wasn't finding them, and I wasn't going to waste 4-5 more days of hunting in an area with little elk sign !

We went to a place called Fawn Gulch right outside of Pagosa and after more hiking found the same results - very little elk sign, no bugling, saw one cow. Lots of mule deer though, that area isn't hurting for mulies.

Again we packed up and left - to the South San Juans and damn, thats some brutal areas and I mean SERIOUSLY BRUTAL. Trujillo Meadows - We hunted up in the 11,000 - 12,000 feet range, similar results of little elk sign and no elk seen.

We had, to this point, seen 75-100 hunters / camps etc and not a SINGLE elk rack was seen, NOBODY was seeing elk and some had seen 0 elk. Locals told us the snowfall in the past 2 years was very very deep and heavy. One girl said her Dad worked for Wolf Creek Outfitters, and they were having trouble keeping clients because of no elk. 1 bull killed, one missed was the total for her Dad this fall.

We moved again, to Fox Canyon ? This was high country, but not timbered really, more like high plains. I saw more bulls sign here than anywhere, 2 cows and 2 calves spotted, but fairly heavy hunting pressure.

Thats it. We hunted in there 2 days and come home, with a total of 1 raghorn seen, 3 cows and 2 calves in all that hunting :down:



Here is my opinion. Colorado is lying about the elk herd, especially in the southern part of the state. They are overselling tags still, because 75% of their revenues come from out of states licenses and they HAVE to keep that money coming in.

Forget Southern Colorado for your next elk hunting destination unless you're the last season and MAYBE heavy snows will f:censored:orce the elk that are there down. Its that lean- fellows I don't hunt easy, I hunt hard, and there aren't the elk there that there use to be.

I'll never go back I don't think :( not to Colorado, not to southern Colorado for damn sure and few hunters I met there felt differently. Colorado can keep there $550 tags
 

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Pagosa

I killed a 6x6 up around rooster rock in 04' and then was skunked in 05' so the last 2 years I have been going north and have had some good luck.... Colorado is some beautiful country... the DOW sent me a postcad for the first time ever this year "inviting" me to come hunt... said they had all kinds of leftover tags avaliable in every area. I guess gas prices is hurting the number of hunters coming out there... or it may be the 500 dollar tags
 

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I have hunted Pagosa since the early 1980's and I can tell you the best time for elk is late. Pagosa is in the center of the winter elk migration and they won't be there until heavy snow in the wilderness area forces them down. My buddy's and me drew tags for the 4'th rifle season and we are hoping for snow. I have a back up plan if the area does not get snow. I play golf at Fairfield Pagosa :biggrin: Elk hunting can be chickens one day and feathers the next. Sorry you did not have any luck but I would not give up on the area as it it one of the best when the weather is right.
 

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I have hunted Pagosa since the early 1980's and I can tell you the best time for elk is late. Pagosa is in the center of the winter elk migration and they won't be there until heavy snow in the wilderness area forces them down. My buddy's and me drew tags for the 4'th rifle season and we are hoping for snow. I have a back up plan if the area does not get snow. I play golf at Fairfield Pagosa :biggrin: Elk hunting can be chickens one day and feathers the next. Sorry you did not have any luck but I would not give up on the area as it it one of the best when the weather is right.
exactly...that is the best time to go to that area...
 

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I left last Wed - met a fellow in Amarillo and on to Pagosa Springs we went. I've hunted this one area maybe 10-11 times in the past 15 years. I've been very successful and was pumped for a great hunt, although the past couple of times have been really lean.

We waited until Friday to hike in, to allow our bodies to acclimate a bit to the altitude, and after a brutal hike in with 50-60 pound packs we had a nice camp set up by Friday afternoon. Not a single other person was in this area - SWEET. There was an outfitters tent, but it wasn't being used.

Long story short, we busted our tails walking that area looking for elk and found very little sign, saw a raghorn and we had discussed if that happened we would leave and go somewhere else. Elk are where you find them, we wasn't finding them, and I wasn't going to waste 4-5 more days of hunting in an area with little elk sign !

We went to a place called Fawn Gulch right outside of Pagosa and after more hiking found the same results - very little elk sign, no bugling, saw one cow. Lots of mule deer though, that area isn't hurting for mulies.

Again we packed up and left - to the South San Juans and damn, thats some brutal areas and I mean SERIOUSLY BRUTAL. Trujillo Meadows - We hunted up in the 11,000 - 12,000 feet range, similar results of little elk sign and no elk seen.

We had, to this point, seen 75-100 hunters / camps etc and not a SINGLE elk rack was seen, NOBODY was seeing elk and some had seen 0 elk. Locals told us the snowfall in the past 2 years was very very deep and heavy. One girl said her Dad worked for Wolf Creek Outfitters, and they were having trouble keeping clients because of no elk. 1 bull killed, one missed was the total for her Dad this fall.

We moved again, to Fox Canyon ? This was high country, but not timbered really, more like high plains. I saw more bulls sign here than anywhere, 2 cows and 2 calves spotted, but fairly heavy hunting pressure.

Thats it. We hunted in there 2 days and come home, with a total of 1 raghorn seen, 3 cows and 2 calves in all that hunting :down:



Here is my opinion. Colorado is lying about the elk herd, especially in the southern part of the state. They are overselling tags still, because 75% of their revenues come from out of states licenses and they HAVE to keep that money coming in.

Forget Southern Colorado for your next elk hunting destination unless you're the last season and MAYBE heavy snows will f:censored:orce the elk that are there down. Its that lean- fellows I don't hunt easy, I hunt hard, and there aren't the elk there that there use to be.

I'll never go back I don't think :( not to Colorado, not to southern Colorado for damn sure and few hunters I met there felt differently. Colorado can keep there $550 tags

Stealthycat, I was out there from the 11 to the 19. We seen few elk each day, although we didn't see much considering how hard we hunted. They were bugling a little the first day when it rain, then shut up totally. But I agree that CO is misleading the herd #'s. Next year we will be looking to go else where. I'm tired of paying $535 for tags that last 4 years and seeing very little elk.
 
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