For those of you who are about to head out for Colorado to do some Mule Deer hunting, there are a couple hot-spots that any bow hunter may want to consider. Some of these areas are overlooked by other hunters for one reason or another while the others may be known by the locals.
Here's where to start looking for your Colorado Mule Deer buck this season.
Look to North West Colorado for Your Trophy Mule Deer
Probably your best bet for a public land Mule deer trophy is the North-West corner of the state. This area produces huge Muley's year after year. Some of the best GMU's to try are 11, 21, 22, 23 and 211.
Of those, I'd choose GMU 23 around Meeker. Colorado DOW reports that deer numbers are on the rise in that area and there are some real monsters back off the road.
Two Mule Deer hot-spots around Meeker are the White River National Forest and the Flat Tops Wilderness area. Click here for High Resolution topo maps of both places.
In GMU 22, some of the former Public land is being tied up for Oil and Gas exploration on Federal and State lands. Be sure you check before heading out. These were 20 year leases and many are coming due. Don't be surprised if last years hot-spot is off limits this year.
GMU 211and 11 lie North of Meeker and have a lot of BLM land. Early in the Season, you'll want to hunt high up unless early winter weather drives the deer down. Hunting from a tree stand is a good method if you can find water in the Aspens. A good high resolution topo map is a must for finding springs and ponds that these bucks will water at.
How Good Is the Trophy Potential in Colorado for Bow Hunters?
Pretty good in my opinion. The above areas are where I'd head if I was looking for a trophy Mule Deer on Public land in Colorado. As far as Western States go, I'd put Colorado just behind Utah in terms of Trophy potential.
For example, take a look at the new World Record Mule Deer taken in Colorado in 2006. Click here to read the story.
Good luck and if you happen to bag a big one, send me a comment and let me know!