2017 Mid-Season Report and New 2018 Adventures
We just finished packing in our drop camps and guided hunters for first rifle season here in the Flat Tops. It’s time to take advantage of this little breather to give you a season update before the volatility of outfitting hits again. I also want to let everyone know about several openings for Spring/Summer 2018: Prince George Bear Hunts, High Angle Shooting Courses, and our All-Inclusive Summer Lodge Rental.
Mid-Season Report 2017
The Flat Tops experienced a cool and dry early spring this year. Grasses and browse in the high elevations never caught-up. These conditions dispersed elk across the elevation grade and resulted in a higher number of elk in our area than previous years. Increased exposure to the rut and elk encounters for archers and muzzleloaders continued up until September 18th. Contrary to what one would expect, a change in weather and early snows coincided with a complete shutdown in the rut for late season archers. If one thing is true about elk, it is that elk rarely do what you would expect.
Our area of the Flat Tops is becoming home to some high quality Shiras moose. Almost every hunter we had in September 2017 had at least one encounter. Word is that our unit might get a tag in the near future!
We had a full schedule of guided goat hunts in 2017. True to form, each goat hunt was a physical challenge. We took several nice billies and most of our hunters saw 30+ goats during their hunts. Persistence, mental toughness and physical preparation for these mountain hunts is what mattered most.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife made some big changes to goat management in 2017, with a massive increase in tags in several goat units. This increased opportunity but came with some big changes in strategy when comes to hunting several of our primary units. When applying for goat hunts here in Colorado in the future, make sure to give us a call to discuss the pros and cons of these units.
New 2018 Adventures
British Columbia Mountain Black Bears
Our BC Coastal Mountain Hunts are booked for spring of 2018, but we have 4 new openings for an awesome hunt out of Prince George, British Columbia.
These hunts are for the last week in May. Cliff will be in Prince George and will coordinate travel from the airport to the base camp. If you have interest, give us a call and checkout details on this page.
All-Inclusive Lodge Rental
In 2017, we rented the lodge to several groups and are already starting to book weeks between May 15th and September 1st for 2018. Weeks can be planned for groups/families with a focus on high country fishing, horseback riding, back-country camping, leisure time up in the mountains, or a little bit of everything. Let us know if you have interest. Check out more details on the lodge here.
These adventures include rental of the full lodge (3,500+ sq.ft.), guided fishing, guided horseback riding, and back-country camping. Groups focused on fishing have access to incredible Brooke, Cutthroat and Rainbow fishing in lakes and streams. It is not uncommon to catch 200-300 fish during a week stay.
Hunter Shooting Courses
In 2018, I am again working with Ward Brien on 3 day shooting courses at his high angle mountain shooting range in Utah. These spots are going to fill up fast and groups of 4+ need to contact us as soon as possible for availability. Check out the hunter shooting course page for more details.
By Cliff Gray
Cliff is a registered outfitter in the State of Colorado, guiding and outfitting over 80 hunters a year for elk, bighorns, goats, bears and mule deer across wilderness areas in Colorado and British Columbia. He has years of experience hunting big game via remote backpacking and horse/mule packing.
Cliff is a private pilot, certified wilderness first responder, and an official measurer for both Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young records programs.