Fire and Coues

ruger1022

Active Member
Messages
213
Hey everyone, last year I drew out a 33 late Coues tag. I had a great time, but wasn't able to get a buck. The Bighorn fire seems to have burned everything I hunted last year, and basically every other spot I wanted to check.

My question is, how do Coues respond to fire? I sure would like to go back and hunt the area in the next few years, but I'm not sure how Coues respond to fire. Are numbers going to go up or down? Will they avoid the areas, or will they be back quickly?
 

Muleman

Active Member
Messages
248
All depends on how hot the fire burned and how fast habitat recovers. If Grass and forbs come back it will be good next year and deer will use it. Most good deer forage takes a couple of years. In my experience elk will be back in in one year, deer (Mule or Coues) will be in 2 yrs when they really get drawn in with the new growth.
 

GilaJeff

Active Member
Messages
314
Hey everyone, last year I drew out a 33 late Coues tag. I had a great time, but wasn't able to get a buck. The Bighorn fire seems to have burned everything I hunted last year, and basically every other spot I wanted to check.

My question is, how do Coues respond to fire? I sure would like to go back and hunt the area in the next few years, but I'm not sure how Coues respond to fire. Are numbers going to go up or down? Will they avoid the areas, or will they be back quickly?
I concur with Muleman, based on my experiences with widlfires and prescribed fires. Fire will definitely improve habitat over time, but the are a lot of variables as to how long and to what degree. Deer are a midsuccessional species and need occasional habitat disturbance to thrive. I mean they can survive in old growth, but burn a hole in the middle of that old growth, and that's where they will be.
 

UTAHcamp

Member
Messages
10
The Bighorn Fire will improve the habitat and strengthen the whitetail herds in 33. One of the reasons there are so many tags in that unit is to counter the over-population effects of the Aspen and other big fires in the past twenty years. There is so much feed in the high country above 5000 (under typical conditions). The drought has had a bigger effect on deer currently. The Bighorn burned areas are going to recover as soon as we get spring rains and a more normal monsoon. This year, certainly wont be normal, but the mountain has already mostly recovered except in the few areas where there was crowning. Completely agree with Muleman & GilaJeff minus the elk...at least in 33.
 

ruger1022

Active Member
Messages
213
That's good to know. I enjoyed my time down there, and I plan on heading back soon. My wife's family is in Tucson, so we find ourselves down there once or twice a year usually around thanksgiving or Christmas. Maybe in a couple years I can try again for my first Coues.
 

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