Unit 31/32 Third Season

Hawkeye

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We drew unit 31/32 third season deer tags this year. I have spent a fair amount of time studying my maps and reviewing information from the Colorado CPW website. I would love to touch base with some hunters that have hunted the 2nd or 3rd seasons in the last few years. The hunt this year runs from 11/7 -11/13. Therefore, we plan to cover ground, glass and locate groups of does. If we have not tagged out in the first few days, then we will focus on hunting along the boundaries of some of the pockets of private in hopes of finding a wandering buck. Obviously, we are hoping for weather. Please feel free to pm or email me if you have any suggestions on where to start or how to improve our odds of success. Thanks in advance for the help!

Hawkeye
hawkeye0585@yahoo.com
 

littlebull209338

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I forgot to mention that the Southern end, above the river in De Beque Canyon was really burned a couple of years ago and there is nothing there. It looks like the moon. Due to severe drought the area by the wild horses will have very little...no food.
 

Hawkeye

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I was just reading about the Pine Gulch Fire. I hope they get that fire under control soon and I’m very nervous about the impact it will have in our hunts. Let’s hope they get it under control soon.
 

BeanMan

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A couple of photos I took, The one from up on the Grand Mesa slopes was two days ago, the cliffs with smoke was from my backyard this afternoon, the fire really blew up today.

B8B52D6D-A2CD-47C0-AE31-07B1E5309530.jpeg


B473681E-6929-4177-AA1D-DD3B4825C66E.jpeg
 

swampokie

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As i watch horse mountain burn i realize how screwed i am. I was planning on going to that area sept 1 for bear hunt. I also have a third rifle tag that im not sure what to do with. Every area i had researched and counted on is gone. But the way things have gone lately i had to kinda half smile as i saw the news as it so fit in with every other aspect of life right now. Wow why? What do i do? Roan plateau? Bears ?
 

Robiland

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This could be a very interesting hunt come November. Lets hope the rains come SOON and put the fire out and get a little green up for the animals to move into there for food.
 

tailchasers

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The trout folks are already sounding alarms about the potential impacts from runoff so I can foresee a large remediation project being developed to minimize the damages. Maybe they'll do a reseeding program too. Have to wait an see how hot the soil got.
 
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tailchasers

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A pile of people rely upon this drainage as a water supply. We had a fire not long ago near Rangely and the after a couple of letters the BLM did conduct some restoration with follow-up range monitoring. In case you didn't noticed we now have an antelope season once again north of town and critters living in range that has been void of animals for years. A little fire at the right temperature can go a long ways.
 

Hawkeye

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The Pine Gulch Fire is now over 85,000 and only 7% contained. According to forecasts, there will be no rain in the forseeable future. I am beginning to wonder if there will be anything left in the unit to hunt when this thing is finally over. Stay safe out there!

Hawkeye
 

swampokie

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449
I turned in my bear tag today. Guess the deer tag will have to go back as well. Appears that most of the blm i had planned on hunting is charred beyond recognition. I just pray for the landowners and all the people tasked with battling the blaze.
 

Hawkeye

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The fire is now burned over 125,000 acres and only 7% contained. It is the 2nd largest wildfire in Colordo history. Pray for rain!

Hawkeye
 

WesternSky

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455
This is CRAZY.

Does anyone know if they will close down the unit and hunting?
I’m on the cooperator team with incident command for the fire. It is burning heavy in unit 30 now as well.
The PIO for CPW was in this morning’s meeting so they are now aware of the growth and can make decisions on hunting.
 

oilcan

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I’m on the cooperator team with incident command for the fire. It is burning heavy in unit 30 now as well.
The PIO for CPW was in this morning’s meeting so they are now aware of the growth and can make decisions on hunting.
I’m curious are they making any attempts to save the buildings up in that area or is there nothing they can do they just have to let them burn ?
 

WesternSky

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One of their primary focuses is saving buildings and have been successful protecting numerous ones in Dry fork and Roan Crk. They lost the first residence last night when the fire blew up and there was no time to prepare around the house.
 

oilcan

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Thanks I’m sure it will be awhile before I find out if they lost there cabin. It’s west of cow ridge west on Deer creek looks like the fire went through all of it last night.
 

WesternSky

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Thanks I’m sure it will be awhile before I find out if they lost there cabin. It’s west of cow ridge west on Deer creek looks like the fire went through all of it last night.
If it is the cabin I'm thinking of (in the salt wash drainage with pasture in front of it and just west of a couple well pads) it is still standing for now.
 

littlebull209338

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I did a peach run today from Denver to Palisade via:Steamboat/Craig/Rifle. That whole area North and West of De Beque is a near total loss as far as hunting for this fall. The locals I know told me that the game has nearly all moved out. They are concerned that the wild horses will have a rough time this winter if it gets a little ugly. Fire, helicopters and trucks. My wife's Grand Parents and her father owned a ranch on Roan Creek and I hunted that area since I was 14,,,,,paradise lost. Use to be some really nice bucks in there. I saw the biggest elk I have ever seen live in there about 5-6 years ago.
 

littlebull209338

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The horses are not in the fire path but the range is powder dry with a poor growing season, to many horses (my opinion) and no moisture for a long time.
 

WesternSky

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455
Here is the current area closure map for the Pine Gulch fire (units 30 & 31). Unit 21 is affected also but the fire is not in there currently.

closure.PNG
 

Hawkeye

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Now that the Pine Gulch Fire is winding down after burning nearly 140,000 acres, I am debating about whether to hunt this year or turn in my tag. CPW is allowing affected hunters to turn in their tags and get their points back +1. After looking at the burn area on my map, however, I am strongly considering heading to Colorado and making the best of the situation. There is still a lot of area to hunt in Units 31 and 32. After all, the deer have to go some where. If I hunt, I would focus on the fringe areas of the burn - hoping the burn would concentrate the deer and scare aware some of the other hunters. My biggest concern is whether they will open up the roads and public access prior to the hunt.

What do the rest of you guys think? Would you hunt this year or turn in your tags? I would really like to hear from some folks who live in the area or have hunted units 31/32 in the past. Thank you!

Hawkeye
 

oilcan

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The snow has got some green already starting to grow. May not be huge but still some new growth. Hunt...
That’s good to hear. I’ll be in 30 for the 3rd season and plan on checking out our lease and see how it’s looking. With some luck we will be back hunting it next year. You might have a good hunt with light pressure if enough people return there tags.
 

oilcan

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Those that look at this fire over the long run will be amply rewarded.
I agree whole heartedly. On our lease the group that hunted the second season for years dropped out because it was so thick it made it practically impossible to hunt with the leafs on. If and when the Deer return it should be incredible hunting up there.
 

Hawkeye

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Do any locals have any idea if and when they will reopen the roads in and around the burn area in Unit 31? I am going to call the BLM office in GJ but I thought I would check here first.

Hawkeye
 

Hawkeye

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Any word on road acccess in and around the burn area? I have reviewed the BLM's website but it is not clear if you can access the roads on the perimeter of the burn area (e.g., CR204, CR222, Corcoran Wash Road, etc.). I would really speak to speak with a local who has been in the area or somebody who recently hunted the archery or muzzleloader hunts in Units 31/32. Please shoot me an email or text if you are willing to help out. Thanks!

Hawkeye
 

WesternSky

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This is the response I got from the BLM PIO earlier this week,

The Grand Junction Field Office is currently assessing the burned area for potential reopening of areas that do not pose risk to the public or resources. At this time we do not have a prediction for when the closure order will be rescinded or adjusted in size, but are diligently working towards restoring public access. We ask that the public is patient while we address the situation of reducing risk for the health and safety of public land users.

Best regards,
Eric Coulter
 

WesternSky

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I believe that the burn perimeter roads are open but I haven't been up there in person to know for sure. For example, you can take Roan crk rd (204) to access brush and carr creek roads. I just know that you cant get into the burn perimeter.

I think that you will have a shot for it to be open by 3rd season. Regardless there is good 3rd season country that is open now.
 

Hawkeye

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Good luck to anyone heading out for the second season rifle deer hunt in Units 31/32. I hope you find success despite the recent fire and resulting closures. I would love to hear a report from you after you finish your hunts. Shoot straight!

Hawkeye
 

oilcan

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Good luck Hawkeye I look forward to seeing how you do. I will be up hunting unit 30 on the 3rd season in an area not affected by the fire. I do hope to be able to head up to our lease and at least look at the area that burned.
 

Hawkeye

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Well, our third season deer hunt in Units 31/32 turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated. We saw lots of deer and some nice bucks on private property. While hunting the public property, we saw few deer and only a handful of bucks. We tried multiple locations, elevations and terrain throughout the two units with little results. In speaking with the locals, they said it was a down year and perhaps the fire has disrupted the normal deer patterns. My brother in law took a small meat buck and I cam home empty handed. It was still fun to be hunting and see some new country. Thanks to those of you who offered information. Hopefully, my Nevada hunt will be much better.

Hawkeye
 

Robiland

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I'm the lucky (lol) brother in law that ended up shooting a meat buck on the way out. We saw 3 bucks on public. All 3 were in the same group. I messed up in the snow storm on Monday night. So I went back on Tue morning and night to find the 18" 3x4. Couldn't find him. So I settled with a funky 2 point. So in 5 days, Friday to Tuesday, we saw 3 bucks on public land. Tough hunting. But as Jason said, way neat country. Everywhere we went was great deer habitat, without the deer. Reminded us of the Paunsaguant.
 

oilcan

Long Time Member
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3,438
Well, our third season deer hunt in Units 31/32 turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated. We saw lots of deer and some nice bucks on private property. While hunting the public property, we saw few deer and only a handful of bucks. We tried multiple locations, elevations and terrain throughout the two units with little results. In speaking with the locals, they said it was a down year and perhaps the fire has disrupted the normal deer patterns. My brother in law took a small meat buck and I cam home empty handed. It was still fun to be hunting and see some new country. Thanks to those of you who offered information. Hopefully, my Nevada hunt will be much better.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye I just got back myself that’s to bad you couldn’t get into them but it can be difficult on the public in that area. All access to the burn area was blocked off from the unit 30 side I wasn’t able to get up and see any of it. I assume it was in 31 also.
 

Hawkeye

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Oilcan, yes the burn area was completely closed down. You could access the roads on the perimeter of the burn but that was it. There are some decent bucks in the unit but they seemed to stick to the private. We did take our SXS up that steep road in Unit 32 to the top of the Roan Cliffs above Rifle. That was an adventure in the snow and mud - one that my brother-in-law will not soon forget! He may never forgive me!

Hawkeye
 

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