I have to say this was probably the worst season I have ever hunted for Elk in Colorado. The DOW officers also reported that there was a really low kill rate for my area in Southern Colorado.
I have been bow hunting the past 4 seasons and its been a hard hunt each year but this year I saw even fewer animals than before. Every day I hunted both morning and evening so was in the forest for 30 days continually.
Before the season I had installed game cams out in the areas I hunt and was pleased to see both cows and bulls at the locations but there was no pattern to their visits. Two of the locations were heavily used every day but as the season approached the elk became TOTALLY nocturnal in visits to the wallows and other spots.
I sat on them many hours and saw one deer twice but nothing else came in. The only elk I saw in daylight hours was a cow traveling fast between drainages and too far to shoot.
Since I was up there every day I tried to talk to other people who were hunting and all reported poor success and seeing nothing. The weather was probably a factor as it was hot and that does affect elk movement. One group of 22 had two elk both of which were fluke events close to camp and when the hunter was not really ready.
I was disappointed to say the least as I worked at this very hard. The people I know that are younger and can hunt remote areas reported the same lack of animals.
The local DOW is saying there is a huge number of animals in this are but we are just not seeing them in the hunting seasons or when ATVing in the summers. So whether the fires had an impact on them or the dying spruce forests are causing movement out of the area no one seems to know but the results seem to show a difference from the Division of Wildlife numbers.