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Hatchet Jack

12aw late

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I drew 12aw late with not very many points (don’t worry Catfishkev already gave me a bunch of chit for it) ended up turning my 3rd season Colorado tag back so I could focus on this hunt. This is the first real sought after tag I’ve ever drawn. I keep hearing fantasy stories about the late hunt, but I’m still not buying it.  Going DIY.  I expect a good number of 140-160 bucks but thinking that digging up a 180+ is gonna be a chore. I’ll have 3-4 family/friends helping out, with plenty of big glass to go around.  I learned a lot about the kaibab last trip out and am planning another one after the early hunt to better learn the lower west side.  Then I’ll be there 2 days prior until end of the hunt. 
Do any of you kaibab vets have any input a guy should know that most don’t consider on their first hunt there?  The main thing I hear is don’t shoot the first big buck you see. Any other input or realistic expectations?  I’m just excited to spend a couple weeks in such a cool place.   Thanks guys 

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If you see a big buck on opening morning 90 minutes into the hunt....shoot it.  Taylor did last year.  I would not have passed him either.

I am thinking this year might be epic.  I have not seen the new Mangum burn firsthand, but I wonder if anything green popped up this late summer after?

I have been on a few late hunts up there, but never for myself.  Depending on weather, that will determine where the deer will be.  We have always hunted high, and seen plenty of deer.  

If you are patient, a 180" buck is a possibility.  But, if you like a buck, shoot it.  I knew 8 tagholders last year that had either 12AW or 12AE late tags.  7 of them were guided.  6 of them took 180"+ bucks.  I am pretty sure the only DIYer got the biggest buck of those 8 people I personally knew.  But, I know of some bruiser bucks that came off the early hunt by guided hunters.

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lots of big bucks killed in that area during the 80s and 90s. I'm not talking 3 or 4 talking dozens in the OTC archery season. Some very close friends shot some monsters and one shot 190 At least I thought he said that back in the late 90's with a early rifle tag.

Was always fun to see people during the archery season pull up to jacobs lake with there bucks in the back, most came from the lower elevations in the sage and scrubs. we used to go to the lodge and eat just to see what was coming in and it was dang near an hours drive to were we were camped. I never missed 1 OTC archery deer season in the kaibab we stayed the whole season and then some.

Like others said dont shoot the 1st one you see unless he's super big and your know it when you see it. if you stay away from people and the crowds like sowatts and jump up. you will have a better chance at tagging one you maybe have seen the 1st couple of days. where as sowatts and jump up as well as the burn there going to get shot as soon as there seen cause they are community spots Ie the entire hunting community ;)

 

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Mine was taken in the early hunt. In the !!

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Hunt hard but dont pass on a good buck opening morning. I hunted 12ae early a few years ago and if I had passed the buck I shot opening morning I may not have gotten a shot after. Late is a little different but I wouldn't take the chance. 

My buck turned out to be about 167" which I am more than happy with. I had the smallest of 3 bucks at the check station when I checked mine in, but the other 2 bigger bucks were guided. 

Good luck on a great tag. Scout as much as you can. 

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thanks for the input guys.  headed back down in a few weeks to see what made it through the early hunt.  i'll let you know if i see anything worthwhile.

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Ryan Call of High Point Outfitters just talked about the road situation on Jay Scott podcast,  he  said if the roads are still closed for your hunt, and it snows, could be very limited access to the winter range areas, or even getting out of there.

But so what, take enough supplies to last to spring

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Yeah I heard that. Is it a factor of the snow being too deep to get around or more that the roads wash out or get too sloppy to get around? I have access to snowmobiles so if snow is the problem I’ll just treat it like a wy late cow hunt and if the camper has to stay until March so be it 🤘🏻🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

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18 minutes ago, UggRedBilly said:

Fr22 opens up on 11/20 it even says so on the website. You'll be fine when it comes to access

That’s what I read o the signs as well. Should make opening day interesting.

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My guide even said it would. It states that it would open up earlier if able too. Like if there is a flood and they can clear out all the loose debris. But if not then 11/20 the latest

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