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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Quick Trip to Colorado #14142206 09/27/21 12:51 AM
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I made a quick trip to Colorado this weekend. I have a special bear tag for the Oct and Nov seasons. The tag is for the Bosque de Oso (Forest of the Bear) State Wildlife Area. This part of the state has the highest bear density in the area and there are only 2 tags issued to this special hunt and I have one of them. I have gone up several times in the last few months looking around and this weekend will be the last time I go because I want to rest the area before hunting it. I have seen a lot of bear sign and there is a huge amount of acorns on the Gambel Oaks as well as chokecherries and Sumac berries plus a little bit of wild raspberries and rose hips. The bear are actively feeding putting on fat for hibernation. The oaks still have their leaves so it is hard to glass into the thick stuff so I haven't actually seen a bear but have found where they have been tearing stuff up eating and this weekend I found a waterhole way back in that had 4 different sets of bear tracks. This is the biggest track which is about 4 inches across the pad. A bear with a foot like that will weigh between 250-300 lbs and will square about 6 feet which is a decent bear.
[Linked Image]

For those that don't know what I mean by squaring 6 feet, that is a measurement taken from a freshly skinned bear. You lay the skin down flat without stretching it and take a measurement from the tip of the nose to the tail and another one from the tip of the claws on the front feet and then add the numbers and divide by 2. A bear squaring 6 feet will be about 7 ft nose to tail and 5 feet between the front paws. A bear with a 6 ft square is a shooter anywhere and is what I am looking for. Right now there are people hunting elk and deer in the archery season so I didn't stay too long because I didn't want to mess up their hunts.

I saw a lot of mule deer when scouting for bear this weekend. I think I counted 34 but may have missed one or two in my count. No really big bucks but I saw at least 7 bucks that were forkhorns or 3x3s. The deer were really healthy looking so the deer hunters should have a good season this fall. I also saw a nice sized flock of Merriams Turkeys which is a species I have not taken yet.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I decided to check out another State Wildlife Area that is close by. It is called Lake Dorthey and you cannot even get to it from CO but instead have to go through Raton, NM. I have heard it is a good place to hunt turkey, bear and elk and since it was just down the road I figured I'd wander over. You have to drive through Sugarite Canyon State Park in NM to access Lake Dorthey and I drove by a couple really good looking lakes that had trout rising but I don't have a NM fishing license, but do have one for CO. This is really pretty country.
[Linked Image]

I got to Lake Dorthey and stopped by the info sign and saw that there was also a lake there which makes sense since it is called Lake Dorthey. DUH! There is about a half mile walk to the lake and fishing in by flies and lures only. So I broke out my ultralite and a box of lures and began walking. The hills around the lake are covered in Gambel Oaks and I saw several piles of bear scat along the trail. Best part is you can hunt it with an over the counter tag! Guess what I'm doing next fall? Yep, another bear hunt! The map showed Lake Dorthey to be a fairly small lake with a creek flowing into it.
[Linked Image]

The lake had a lot of weeds and moss near the shoreline so I decided to hit the creek. When given a choice I will always fish moving water for trout. I tossed some MEPPs spinners and Kastmasters in the lake just to see what was there but brought in vegetation on every cast. Look out creek, here I come! The upper end of the lake was really overgrown with thick willows and while I could hear the creek running I couldn't actually see it. I absolutely hate busting willows to fish a creek but there was no option so I waded into them. After busting about 30 or 40 yards of overgrown green hell I came to a shallow beaver pond. Nothing in it so I went further upstream and found a series of long narrow beaver ponds with deep water. I had to do a bow and arrow cast because of the willows right up to the edge but that was OK because the trout were smashing a 00 silver MEPPs. I went 11 trout in a row! All of them were rainbows and I kept a limit to broil up for supper tomorrow.
[Linked Image]

The smallest trout I kept was about 10 inches and the biggest was about 12 inches. These were really fat fish and they took to the air when they felt the hook. When I dressed them I found the meat was dark orange. This means they have been feeding on freshwater shrimp and scuds and they make the best table fare. I love fishing for trout and will even fish for the stocked trout in TX but there is no real comparison to a wild trout that spent its whole life in cold clear water above 7000 ft eating shrimp and scuds. These are going to be great!

Life is GOOD! Cheers Y'All.


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Re: Quick Trip to Colorado [Re: Flags] #14142303 09/27/21 02:06 AM
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coolphotos Great post Flags. That will be a hunt of a lifetime! Hope you will share the adventure. cheers


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Re: Quick Trip to Colorado [Re: Flags] #14146015 09/30/21 12:40 PM
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FANTASTIC POST Flags. Also coolphotos I plan on making a one week trip to Colorado this upcoming spring. Any good places you can recommend to camp? Your post is a dream vacation and is one trip for the memory books. Thanks for sharing. rockon

Re: Quick Trip to Colorado [Re: Flags] #14146323 09/30/21 04:58 PM
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Congrats Flags on that bear tag! cheers
Great post and nice trout! Thanks for sharing your Colorado trip thumb

Re: Quick Trip to Colorado [Re: Laker One] #14146666 09/30/21 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Laker One
I plan on making a one week trip to Colorado this upcoming spring. Any good places you can recommend to camp?


What part of the state are you planning on hitting? Shoot me a PM with some info and I'll see if I can help.


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Re: Quick Trip to Colorado [Re: Flags] #14146784 10/01/21 12:42 AM
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awesome post and pics Flags clap congrats on your bear tag banana

I would definitely set up over that waterhole ninja slinger


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Re: Quick Trip to Colorado [Re: Flags] #14147522 10/01/21 05:26 PM
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Great post. Thanks for sharing!

Re: Quick Trip to Colorado [Re: Flags] #14149181 10/03/21 05:02 PM
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Looks like a beautiful place. Good luck on your hunt!

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