We’ve already shown you how powerful goHUNT’s INSIDER Draw Odds tool is for finding new hunting opportunities that are in or out of reach based on your point totals, so now we will look at how to use other INSIDER tools for researching and planning for a hunt that you have already drawn this year.
Once you draw a tag… there are a few dilemmas we all deal with like how to narrow down where to hunt or some of you might have a tag that is valid in multiple units and you need a way to narrow down one unit that is worth your hunting time. An example of this situation would be some unit groups in Colorado, general tag regions for nonresidents in Wyoming and even over-the-counter units.
Let’s say you drew a muzzleloader tag for Unit 7 in Colorado which allows you to hunt in Units 7, 8, 9, 19, and 191. If you’re an out of state hunter, you can’t waste your time trying to scout each unit or just take a guess and pick the unit that “looks” best on a map.
Here are the simple steps we follow to research multiple units:
- Navigate to Filtering 2.0 and select Colorado then click on Mule Deer. You will see a list of 185 units.
- Since you drew a Unit 7 muzzleloader tag, you can just click on the boxes next to Compare for all of the units that your tag is valid in. Select Unit 7, 8, 9, 19 and 191. Note: you can click on the Hide Seasons button at the top to make it easier to compare units.
- Once you’ve selected your units, you will notice an orange compare box appear at the bottom of the screen. It will show you have 5 Units, and 26 Seasons selected. Click Compare. The map and results will now adjust and just show you the units you selected.
- At the top of your results, expand the Seasons information to see harvest success. (tag allocations would show up if you selected your residency under Draw Odds, but since you already have the tag, we don’t need to show that information)
- You will see that right now Unit 7 stands out with 170” trophy potential. Buck to doe ratios are all 29:100 for the five units. So we must now move to other information to fine tune our unit selection.
- It’s a good idea to compare the harvest success for those units. You will see that Unit 8 and Unit 191 have a drastically higher harvest success than the other units at 22% and 19%, respectively.
- Does the slightly higher harvest success in Unit 8 make this a clear choice? What about the higher Unit 7 trophy potential? The next step to confirm what unit to hunt based on the information in the unit profiles.
- Let’s take a closer look at Unit 8 and Unit 191 and use the Unit Profile information to see where we could hunt.
Using information found on the Unit Profiles to select a unit to hunt
- Open up Unit 8 and Unit 191 in separate tabs or windows (if you have access to two monitors).
- Right away you will see in the On the ground section that Unit 8 has more public land (Unit 191 is 49% private compared to Unit 8 at 25%).
- You will also notice that the terrain in both units is vastly different when looking at the elevation range and terrain photos. You can use that to your advantage to make your decision. If you like a big mountain hunt because you want to possibly get away from the crowds, you could go with Unit 8 and if you like more rolling terrain, then go with Unit 191. Another way to research the unit is to quickly browse the unit boundary map we provide. Expand the map and check out the terrain in satellite view or map view.
- Looking at the historical temperature, you will see that Unit 8 is also colder in September on average and receives more precipitation. Cold temperatures could help you locate more bucks because deer will be on their feet since they do not have their full winter coats during early September.
- In the Species within this Unit section under mule deer, you will see some very important information that may help you with your decision. Unit 8 has this description, “Bucks typically migrate by November and head north to Wyoming, or east to Unit 191. Some large bucks sometimes migrate from the Rawah Wilderness in the west.” For me, that would seal the deal and I would be headed to Unit 191 to chase bucks in Colorado.
In the end it all comes down to what type of terrain, buck quality and harvest success you are looking for. All of this research is a small, yet important part of your overall strategy for figuring out where you want to hunt. That is the real power of INSIDER. You can make the product work for your own personal goals and find great hunting opportunities all across the West.
You can check out goHUNT’s research tools by joining INSIDER. Plus, they have agreed to give our members a $50 KUIU gift card for signing up, just be sure to use the UNITS promo code.