Hunters like snow, but not quite that much
Hunters, it should be noted, might be the only people other than skiers and boarders not perturbed by the weekend storm.
The lingering mild weather and a full moon conspired against hunters for the first three weeks of the rifle big-game season, but Saturday all that changed.
Although the heavy snows convinced some hunters to head home early, there were plenty of hunters happy to see the change in what’s been a frustrating month of late fall.
“It’s been pretty rough,” admitted Gabe Cisneros, standing in a snow-covered parking lot on Grand Mesa midday Saturday. “The weather’s been great, but it’s been lousy, you know what I mean?
“Usually we have our animals by now. But this year, nothing.”
The long, nine-day third season ended Sunday, and the snow might have come too late to help those hunters.
While every hunter dreams of new snow to help track animals, 18 inches of new snow, which Powderhorn Mountain Resort reported this weekend, might be a little too much.
“We were hoping it would snow, but this is amazing,” said Cisneros, a Littleton resident who annually makes the trek to Grand Mesa. “We’ve been driving the four-wheelers, but we can’t use them at all in this stuff. Now we’re glad we brought our sleds.”
The final regular season, a five-day season with limited elk and deer licenses, runs today through Sunday.
Some late-season and private land hunts go into January.
Until things change, the 2012 hunting season is writ by the words of Cisneros and others.
“We were hunting second season on Grand Mesa and didn’t even see an elk,” said Matt Wood at Darryl’s Taxidermy on 29 Road. “My wife killed a deer, and we’ve been getting in some pretty nice deer here at the shop, but the elk have been slow.”
He added that a camp of eight hunters near his also drew a collective blank on elk.
Mule deer are starting their rut, something that portends well for deer hunters looking for the big buck made careless by unrequited love.
“We don’t usually get a lot of deer, but this is when the big ones come in,” Wood said. “The rut usually makes them more visible.”
Having an all-white background also helps.