Mule Deer Hunting with Mia at Big Buck Registry

“Mia Anstine recently found herself on the cover of Field and Stream and rightfully so, Mia is an outdoor writer, podcaster, and hunting guide in Colorado. You’ll hear Mia’s positivity as we discuss the numerous species and hunting opportunities that Colorado has to offer. Mia loves getting in shape both mentally and physically in preparation for her guided horseback mule deer hunts and explains why waiting patiently for the right shot will pay huge dividends.” Big Buck Registry

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Elk and Deer Herd Planning San Juan Mountains – Colorado

Colorado hunters are constantly discussing the management of elk and deer herds in their areas. However, it seems this discussion usually happens at camp or in the local coffee shop. If you’re one of these people, who has something to say about Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s management in your area, you need to start attending the public meetings to have your voice heard by someone who can do something about it.

There is an upcoming meeting regarding the management in units 80 and 81, which include the South San Juan mountains of the San Luis Valley. You’ll find detailed information below. If this is an area you like to hunt, check the dates and maybe you’ll be able to attend one or both meetings. Don’t forget to share the information with your hunting buddies.

Public input needed by CPW for elk and deer herd planning in Game Management Units 80, 81 in South San Juan mountains of the San Luis Valley

CPW_SiteLogoMONTE VISTA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is evaluating big-game management in the South San Juan mountain area and the public is invited to upcoming meetings where issues and plans for Game Management Units 80 and 81 will be discussed.

The meetings will be at:
7 p.m., July 13, in La Jara at Centauri High School, 17889 U.S. Highway 285
7 p.m., July 14, at the Monte Vista Co-Op, U.S. Highway 160, about a mile east of Monte Vista.

“CPW is reaching out to the public, including landowners, sportsmen, outfitters, business owners, and anyone who is interested in deer and elk in the San Luis Valley to attend one of these meetings and offer input,” said Rick Basagoitia, Area Wildlife Manager. “These animals are an important public resource and CPW intends to manage them for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Every ten years Colorado Parks and Wildlife terrestrial biologists update big-game management plans which take into consideration a variety of factors, including: hunter perception, harvest history habitat availability, agricultural conflicts, forest management plans and social issues.  At the meeting CPW staff will talk about what is known currently about the deer and elk herds in the area, and the history of planning efforts.  Public input is needed to help CPW draft the management plan that will set goals for the most-desired population, sex-ratio objectives and the amount of hunting opportunity that will be available in the area for the next decade. All stakeholder input will be considered and combined with biological data to inform a revised management plan.

For those who can’t attend the meeting, comments can be made on line starting July 13 atcpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/HerdManagementPlans.aspx. The survey will be available for 30 days.

The planning process will take about a year. A draft of the plan will be presented to the public in the fall.

CPW-Elk-de05b07b-d53b-49f3-b53a-322982ddd9cf

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Mule Deer Bucks – Patience Leads to Hunting Success

Wolf Creek Outfitters hunter travis on first mule deer hunt

One of my favorite hunts is that of the “Gray Ghost,” more commonly known as the mule deer. I have memories of these elusive kings since the early days of my childhood. The big deer put lots of steaks in the freezer, and make tasty jerky or summer sausage. Finding an old guy sometimes offers a challenge, but if you’re persistent, you’ll reap the rewards. Here’s a story of a good friend’s first mule deer buck. ~Mia

Fourth rifle season ushers in a hunter looking for his first hunter mule deer buck. Our friends headed out opening day with grandiose hopes in their minds. Then concluded the day with only a plethora of does (the female deer kind) crossing their path and not a single buck. On day two the guys decided to try another valley and then the next day another. We all know, where there are does, there must be bucks. The boys hunted on.

 

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Fourth season is only five days and the pair watched the time dwindle, and the does dance, before their eyes. The two didn’t despair. We all know, where there are does, there must be bucks. The boys hunted on.

 

The pair saw more does and more does. They hiked and glassed and finally saw some immature, small bucks. They didn’t see what they were looking for. After lunch, they headed back down a ridge and spied large buck tracks, in the snow, crossing their foot tracks. They laughed at how smart the deer are but also knew they could outsmart that gray ghost.

Horseback hunt

CLICK TO SHOP SHOOTING STICKS —->

He immediately dismounted from his horse and took a look through his own binoculars.There at the edge of the field was a great buck! He unsheathed his gun and slowly lay on the ground. The horses watched in anticipation. They’d been through this scenario before. They knew what the rifle meant.

Suddenly the shot rang out. The horses flinched but stood still. The buck had been hit good but it leaped and ran into the brush.

The two friends were not anxious. They both knew the shot had hit its mark. They tended to their horses, grabbed their packs and donned additional layers. It was close to dark and time for some work to be done. After a short search, they located the prize.

It’s his first mule deer and it what a great buck it is!

Wolf Creek Outfitters hunter travis on first mule deer hunt


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Hunting and a “BadRabbit” – How they go together

I often write about hunting and my LG and refer to her as a “BadRabbit”. The other day someone FINALLY asked “What’s a BadRabbit?” I had to laugh because it’s an inside joke with LG and me. Today I will share BadRabbit and hunting with you.

LG is a minor. I try to raise her with ethics, morals, respect and responsibility. I’ve also raised her in a hunting environment. She began hunting the day she passed her hunter’s safety course. Over the years she’s gone from “I’m tired. I can’t hike any further. It’s cold.” to “Let’s see what’s over there. My feet are wet, but I’m still going. It’s 29 below zero, but I want and elk.” Big difference huh? She has gotten tough and more determined over the years. Quite frankly, she’s becoming a “badass”. Yep. I said ass. BUT. I can’t say that word because she’s a minor, and it wouldn’t be an appropriate word for her. That’s why she’s a “BadRabbit”!

Yep. We first used the term bad rabbit when we saw a Raging Rabbit on a t-shirt at an archery competition. We LOVED this shirt and are still looking for one today. Yes, the person wearing it was gone before we could ask. So, if you know where we can get one, please say so in the comments below.

We loved this Raging Rabbit archery shirt. That is one Bad Rabbit!
We loved this Raging Rabbit archery shirt. That is one Bad Rabbit!

So, LG is becoming more of a BadRabbit every day. This year she hunted elk during first rifle season in the snow, rain, sleet and hail. She wanted a bull, but came home with a cow. She was pretty happy with that. When we headed out for a fourth rifle season buck hunt, she didn’t have an either sex tag choice. The tag was a buck only tag, so a buck it was.

When we started off, she explained to us what size buck she was looking for. She has shot does in the past, but this was the first time she drew a buck tag. She wanted a respectable one.

We headed out on the first morning and saw two respectable bucks at about 50 yards. The thing is, in the trees were three BIG ones. We got as close as we could and waited as long as we could before she had to go to school. Those big boys never would give her a clear shot. We backed out and she decided she wanted one of them.

Note: LG could not miss school because she had basketball tryouts which started the same day as hunting season. She hunted, went to school, went to basketball and then got up at 4:00 am the next day to hunt again. That’s one BadRabbit! Oh, and she made the JV squad!!! Whoop! Whoop!

The remaining days of the five day hunt ended up with similar stories. She had opportunities at respectable shooter bucks each day but was looking for those BIG guys. When day five came, she said “Okay. Today I will shoot whatever.” Now, to you and me, “whatever” could mean a legal forked horn buck. Check this out.

The last morning of the hunt, it had rained the night before. It was windy and cold. We head out and hiked. We saw does, spikes, does and small doodoo heads (those are the little forked horns I was mentioning). Then, I saw a big body in the trees. It was a buck and a respectable one at that. LG gets set up. The buck moves in and out of the trees, but never gives her a clear shot.

She said “let’s move over that way”. We booked it to another location as quickly and quietly as we could. Then she said “There he is!” She dropped to one knee as she mounted her gun, steadied and shot. “BAM!” It was a clear hit, but he stood there wobbling. Before I knew it she had reloaded and fired again, dropping him to the ground. All that training and practice sure payed off. That LG is one BadRabbit!

LG gets her 4x3 buck on the last day of the hunt.
LG gets her 4×3 buck on the last day of the hunt.

…..

Special thanks to:

HerCAMOShop.com
HerCAMOShop.com
TenPoint Crossbows
TenPoint Crossbows
Mia Anstine Prois Elite Field Staff; Prois Hunting;
Prois Hunting and Field Apparel
Girls with Guns Clothing
Girls with Guns Clothing

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LG’s Chasing a Colorado Mule Deer Buck

It’s day three of LG’s quest to bag a mule deer buck. She is determined to get a “good one” and has passed on three so far. Check out today’s pass. This is a mature 4×2 mule deer buck. We watched him from sun up until he wandered away.

She has much more determination, patience and will power than I ever imagined. I would have told her “Choot im”, but we have a couple of days to go. No deer down yet. Still hunting.

We are rooting for a “good one’ for the LG!

The buck was bedded beneath the trees and just after sun-up came to rake the willows.
The buck was bedded beneath the trees and just after sun-up came to rake the willows.
This 4x3 mulie sauntered away after giving the willows the "what for".
This 4×3 mulie sauntered away after giving the willows the “what for”.

Special thanks to:

Mia Anstine Prois Elite Field Staff; Prois Hunting;
Prois Hunting and Field Apparel
TenPoint Crossbows
TenPoint Crossbows
Girls with Guns Clothing
Girls with Guns Clothing
HerCAMOShop.com
HerCAMOShop.com

Hunting with Mia Anstine, Hank Anstine and the Little Gal

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LG Squeezes in a Buck Hunt

At times it can be tricky to squeeze hunting in between school, sports and other activities. This year LG drew a buck tag for a season that is only five days. Ordinarily she would be allowed to take a day or two off from school, provided she had good grades. This year she is in high school and basket ball tryouts started the same day as hunting season. LG couldn’t miss school, or she would not be allowed to try out. Tricky!

We managed to squeeze in a morning hunt. Here are a couple pics from the deer we got close to but passed up. Up in the trees, with their antlers locked together, are the two big boys she’s after. She will hopefully get to hunt again before her buck season is over, but in the mean time, she is hoping to make the high school basketball team.

These two SMALLER bucks came out of the trees.
These two SMALLER bucks came out of the trees.
As we stalked the two big boys, these smaller bucks crossed, directly in front of us.
As we stalked the two big boys, these smaller bucks crossed, directly in front of us.
The big boys scrap in the trees. LG was excited to hear their antlers cracking against one another.
The big boys scrap in the trees. LG was excited to hear their antlers cracking against one another.

….

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TenPoint Crossbows
TenPoint Crossbows
Girls with Guns Clothing
Girls with Guns Clothing
Mia Anstine Prois Elite Field Staff; Prois Hunting;
Prois Hunting and Field Apparel
HerCAMOShop.com
HerCAMOShop.com

Youth Deer Hunt – Article at NRA Insights

Youth hunter, Colorado Mule Deer, NRA Insights deer hunt,

Head on over to NRA Insights. It is a great interactive Ezine put out by the NRA for our youth. This month there just happens to be a post in there by Yours Truly. Check the whole magazine out, but look for my article, “Hunter is now a Hunter” on page 22.
What do ya think?!

Youth hunter, Colorado Mule Deer, NRA Insights deer hunt,
NRA Insights Ezine. Page 22

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