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My 2009 Lineup

August 5, 2009.

The license draws for 2009 are complete, and they did not treat me well.

I put in a total of 47 big game license applications for 2009. 19 of those were for points only. 24 of them were live applications that netted an UNSUCCESSFUL response.

A handful of the applications resulted in some middle-of-the-road tags that should give me some good opportunities for 2009. It's looking to be a very deer-centric year for me.

Colorado Mule Deer and Elk

I'll be hunting Colorado's 2nd Season (mid-October) for both deer and elk, not too far from the Denver area. Some big mulies have been taken in the limited-draw area I'll be hunting, and those will be my focus during this mid-October hunt ... although I sure wouldn't object to taking a bull on an over-the-counter elk tag.

This will be my only physically demanding hunt of the year. My custom Remington 700 Ti mountain rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum is just right for a high country combo hunt like this.

Nebraska Whitetails

I've been hunting whitetails in Nebraska on and off for about 10 years now. I've never connected on a nice one, but it's fun to try to find them during this mid-November rut hunt. I'll take my Remington Mountain Rifle LSS in 7mm-08 for this one — a perfect little whitetail rifle.

Kansas Mule Deer

I drew a Kansas muzzleloader tag that will allow me to take either a whitetail or mule deer. The spot I plan to hunt has only mulies, which suits me fine. I may even catch the tail-end of the rut on this early-December hunt.

Kansas has very few restrictions on muzzleloaders. I'll be taking my scoped Knight KP1 on this trip. It's very accurate at 100 yards with Barnes saboted bullets, and still gives 5-inch groups at 200 yards. Should be a very effective hunting rifle. This will be my first-ever hunt with this rifle.

Wild Card Hunt?

Some of the hunts I applied for were longshots, and being rejected on those didn't surprise me. But I also got rejected on some really high-probability draws, and those kind of hurt. I'm actively shopping around for one more big game hunt for this fall. Maybe take advantage of Nebraska's two buck limit and put together a Nebraska mulie hunt? Or a Wyoming whitetail hunt on a leftover tag?

2010 Outlook

With two little kids at home, I didn't get out at all during the spring of 2009. In 2010, however, I hope to make up for that a little.

HTW pro-staffer Paul Vanderspek and I are planning a limited-draw spring turkey hunt for Rio Grande turkeys in Eastern Colorado during the April/May season.

Then, in June, a group of 4 of us are trying to put together a trip to Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska for a do-it-yourself black bear hunt. Should be interesting to try to figure the bears out, and hopefully we'll get in to some good fishing as well.

For the fall of 2010, the points I built this year (and in years past) pretty much guarantee me the opportunity to draw a Colorado antelope tag, a South Dakota Black Hills whitetail tag, and a Colorado muzzleloader elk tag. I've also got as good a shot as anybody at a whole mess of really top-shelf tags, but those are always tough.


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