Turkey Hunting in Colorado 2009

If you, like me, are a victim of Turkey Hunting addiction, it’s time to get off your butt, and get your applications for limited licenses turned in. There is a new area available, and you need to get your app in real early. I’ve never hunted there, but I’m thinking that it should be excellent!

Go HERE for more information. Be advised that if you are using Firefox it will not allow you to view the site. For some reason, it thinks that the DOW website will harm your computer.

So, got your shotgun or bow set up and ready? If not, now is the time to make sure that all of your gear is in top shape. That includes your body, if you are out of shape yourself after the holidays then start a program to get your body into hunting form.

Draw permits get you into the better areas but they can be tough to get some years. Do to the hard work of the Division of Wildlife, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and yes, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Wild Turkeys are pretty widespread across Colorado. Over the next month or so I will post about some of the better non draw places to hunt Turkeys that I know of, and, I hope others will also let folks know some of the general areas that have proved to be productive. No, I don’t expect anyone to give up their actual honey holes. But, we as a species, hunters in general, are a declining species over all, and nothing will keep more people afield than a reasonable chance of success.

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16 Responses to “Turkey Hunting in Colorado 2009”

  1. Scott Says:

    Have you been turkey hunting? Let me know!

    Scott

  2. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Not this year Scott. I moved at just the wrong time to be able to get a resident license, and I just cannot afford a non-resident tag. There are more huge birds up in this area of Wyoming that I can believe though.

    I can’t wait! :D

    Have you been out yet?

  3. Scott Says:

    Thanks for the note. I have not been out yet. I am planning to go next weekend.

    I’ve bagged a couple of turkeys in Colorado, but they have been in limited-license areas. So, I’m scouring the internet for possible areas to hunt with an over-the-counter license. I’ve got a few possibilities…

    That’s cool you found some good birds!

  4. Patrick Sperry Says:

    What part of the state are you in Scott? I might as well pass on some of the things I learned in thirty years in Colorado! :D

    Also look at what I posted about Wing Bone calls, they really seem to be effective. Build three, they will all have a slightly different tone. You use one, then another, then the first, and then the third. Best yelper call set up I ever came across as far as effectiveness!

  5. Scott Says:

    Hey Patrick – I’ll check out your post re: Wing Bone calls, for sure. It sounds great and I’m always up to try new and different things.

    I live in Erie, which is north of Denver, and east of Boulder. Previously, I had hunted down in the Trinidad area. Out of state, I hunted in Kansas for a couple of seasons and really liked that. I was hoping to go to Nebraska this year, but time/money/work factors prohibited that from happening. So, that’s why I’m getting a late start on hunting here in Colorado.

    From what I found, it seems that the Rampart Range/Woodland Park area seems to be decent. I know further southwest (Pagosa Springs) is supposed to be good, but I’d rather spend more time hiking around than driving. Any information you have would be great.

    Do you hunt antelope at all? I’ve been wanting to go to Wyoming for antelope, but have pulled the trigger on that trip yet.

    I hope all is well!

  6. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Okay, you are on target Chris! yes, Rampart Range is where I was going to steer you! Take I25 down till you get just south of Denver. Then take US 285 to Highway 85. Follow that till you get to Highway 67 (I think, check a map, I know the way by heart, and things like numbers change.)

    Now, when you get to the basic area; There is a check point if you turn left. You may do alright if you go south through the checkpoint. If you choose to do so though be aware that you will get Gobblers to answer calls. But, and here’s the caveat; as soon as you get set up, with a bird coming, an off road type on a dirt bike will come screaming along. The hunt is blown. 6 out of 10 times anyways.

    So, back to hwy 67. Pass the turn that goes south. Go to the first right turn after that intersection. There is a campground sign, take that and go to the campground. Find a place to park.

    Now, set a way point on your GPS if you have one. You want to hike roughly one mile N/NE. Take a look around. You will be able to tell where we cleared brush, trimmed trees, and so on. That was an Eagle Scout project that I helped with as a member of NWTF.

    I would do this part as a scouting trip. Get familiar with the area, very familiar. Then, next day, and hopefully many more to come. Head out from the Campground about an hour before sunlight. Earlier is better but most of us have trouble navigating safely in the pitch black. Find a place to do an initial set up. SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN! Don’t move at all for at least 15 minutes. Then, do a very soft yelp… Wait another ten, do the same thing. About now, you should get a response of some kind. Move toward it, but in very small increments. When you think you are about two hundred yards from where you heard the response get set up. Put out decoys if you like them, and so on. Do not saw, or break branches while you do these things. Then, sit, and listen. About now you might hear the classic fly down. Nock an arrow now if you are hunting with a stick and string, or cycle the action on your shotgun. Do it later at your own peril. I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

    That’s a honey pot for early, and late season, and a complete washout mid season. I have taken three Beards in that general area with a bow, and two with a shotgun. Not bad IMO for seven seasons in the area. Oh, and don’t worry so much about camo pattern. Movement is the big thing on the Turkey Birds list of staying alive!

    If ya get one, I need some tail feathers for fly tying!

  7. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Sorry, I forgot to add my trademark!

    Shoot Straight, and be safe!

    Oh, and don’t forget about the Trinidad area…

    No need to go all the way to Pagosa. But the place is sweet!

  8. Stick & String Says:

    Although I’m about as far from being any kind of turkey hunting expert as possible, and don’t claim to be, there are a couple things I’d like to add. To begin with, it’s important to know both where the toms are roosting, as well as the hens. It’s also very important to know the strutting zones & dusting zones, as well as feeding areas. All of this can easily be accomplished by plain old hard work in scouting. The idea is to pick the direction the toms will naturally want to fly down to, and set up there. When hunting the fly-down (my favorite time), I set up from 1 to 2 hours ahead of daylight. That enables me to set up a little bit closer, 100-150 yards from the actual roosting tree. DO NOT call much other than isolated single yelps until just before the fly-down, much as a hen would on roost. It’s also a damn good idea to NOT make them shock gobble any more than absolutely necessary, as well as having several different kinds of calls. Use the different calls to imitate plural hens. It’s ALWAYS best to call no more than the gobbler “wants you to”. Pay attention and the gobbler will indicate how much calling he wants to hear. DON’T call too much! Some gobblers will come in totally silent, particularly in late season. Naturally the collapsible decoys are better in my book than the hard, bulky, noisy decoys. Use the old trick of tying fishing line to the neck, then down to the base before trailing back to you so that you may create feeding movement of the head dipping. I could go on forever but don’t want to bore yall or insult those whom are far more advanced than I am.

  9. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Your never a bor S&S! All of what you said is always good advice!

  10. Stick & String Says:

    I’ve found turkey hunting is almost exactly like elk hunting, but simply scaled down. Thanks for the kind words and I’ll contribute more later as time permits. Perhaps you would be so kind to post our group’s (hunterscentral) link so that Scott & others may join? Thanks again!

  11. Scott Says:

    Thank you very much! I really appreciate the information. That is huge!

    Is the area you are speaking of past Woodland Park (on Hwy 67)? It looks like it (67) goes Woodland Park — Westcreek — and then heads north to Deckers. It looks like there are some camping areas pretty close to Woodland Park (5-10 miles) and more up toward Westcreek. I’ve never been to Westcreek, so don’t know if it’s an actual town.

    Again, thank you for your help..that is really cool!

  12. Patrick Sperry Says:

    No, go just past Rampart Range Road.

    Hope this all helps!

  13. Scott Says:

    Yes, it helps a ton. Just to have a general area to target is great. I really thank you for taking the time to help out. I’ll definitely let you know how it goes!

  14. Scott Says:

    Thanks again for the information. Your directions were ideal. I went down to the area last weekend (April 24th). There was still quite a bit of snow and the campground road was closed down. There are a number of trails throughout that entire area.

    I didn’t hear any gobbling. I did see a few (fresh) tracks in the snow. I talked to another hunter who was with his son. The hunter had shot a decent bird on opening day (April 11th) in the exact area you had described.

    Rampart Range Road was closed, so I didn’t get a chance to check out any other areas. I hunted pretty hard and covered alot of ground searching for sign.

    I may try again this weekend.

    Thanks again for all your help!

  15. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Stay in touch! Also, if Rampart Range is closed then the off roader’s will not be back in there yet, and that’s also a good area. Just walk past the road gate about a quarter or half a mile. then get off to one side or the other, and try a few yelps.

    Shoot straight and be Safe!

  16. texas hunting Says:

    louisiana hunting…

    Turkey Hunting in Colorado 2009 « Conservative Libertarian Outpost…

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