Archive for the ‘land’ Category

How to find a good place to hunt

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

How do you know if
the area that you are hunting is a good area? That is a good question and one
that I hear quite a bit around this time of year. People are starting to wonder
if the area they hunted last year is an area that produces animals. Should they
change areas? Should they hunt a different ridgeline than the one they hunted
last year? Those are also good questions that people hear people asking. Right
now I am asking myself the same questions and I am going to be hunting in two
days! I guess what you have to ask yourself is what happened last year? Where
you successful? Did you see any animals? Did you hear any shooting? If you were
not successful, did you see animals hanging in other camps? If you are hunting
an area for the first time, did I do all that I could do to prepare for the
upcoming season? Did I scout out the area? Did I call the wildlife management
officer for that area and try and tap some of his knowledge? Those are
questions that you should know the answer to before you begin your hunt this

First and probably the most
important, know your area! I know people that go to a new area every year and
for the most part they are fairly unsuccessful. Once in a while they get lucky,
but for the most part they go home empty handed. I have been very fortunate to
have hunted the same area for elk for the past 24 years. There’s a few years we
didn’t do great but for the majority we are well above the 65% average on
killing elk throughout those years. One of the reasons for this is because I
and the people that I hunt with are very familiar with our area. We know where
the animals go when they are pressured, when it snows, when it is unseasonable
hot, and when they haven’t been bothered at all.

Second of all, you need to hunt
where the animals are
! If you hunt an area that continually is not producing for
you, you should probably start looking elsewhere or if it is a really good
looking area, try and figure out why the animals are not there. Is the season
that you are hunting to early or to late in the year for the area that you are
hunting? Would this area be better to hunt with a bow or muzzle loader earlier
in the season?

Colorado has several different big game seasons that are spaced throughout the fall.
Where I hunt elk, we hunt the earliest rifle season we can because if we get
snow (which at our elevation is usually a lot) it pushes most of the elk out of
the area. Whereas, I have friends that beg for the snow, so that it will push
animals into there area.

Now we didn’t just come by this
information, it took several years of trial and error to figure this all out.
So be patient. Give a new area a chance before you condemn it. It may take you
a few years to make it work for you. For my deer hunt that I have coming up, it
is in an area that I have never hunted before. I am still combing over all of
the topo maps, satellite photos, and any other piece of information that I can
get my hands on to try and put myself in the best spot to be successful.
Everyday I second guess my decision as to where to be opening morning. Without
my mid-summer scouting trip, I would probably end up just about anywhere but
with the prior planning and work, I have a good place to start and a strategy
worked out if I don’t get lucky opening morning. If you are looking for a new
area or hunting an area for the second or third time. Be sure and use every bit
of information that you can get your hands on and any available time that you
have to make some scouting trips, it might just make your hunting season a
little easier.