This year we were excited to draw for antelope here in Colorado in Unit 128. This unit is fairly easy to draw every other year. Walsenburg, Colorado is the SW corner of the area. We have seen many antelope in this area along I-25 when we travel south, so we figured it would be a good area to try. But, was it?
On the day we arrived, the weather was cold, windy and snowy. We did a lot of driving around and looking for antelope. We did get out of the SUV to glass the pubilc BLM areas. The lack of antelope was concerning, but we just assumed they were laying low because of the weather.
Unit 128 has a few good-sized areas of BLM land. The first section is along County Rd. 120 off of Hwy 10. This road is heavily traveled by ranchers and other locals, and we did see several other hunters. Without seeing any antelope for most of the day, we decided to call it a day and ate dinner in Walsenburg at Corines Mexican Food Restaurant. We stayed at the Best Western due to the cold weather. We usually just camp in the 4Runner.
Note: You cannot hunt on Colorado Stl (State Trust Lands) Restricted Access without permission. These areas are labeled in green on onX Hunt app.
On several of the days we were there, we decided to park and walk away from the road to sit and wait for a herd or loaner antelope buck to move in. We turned down a dirt road to the left on BLM land until we came to the posted fence. You cannot go through this fence, it is posted and goes onto private property. We crossed the barbed wire fence and walked about a mile. We sat next to a large bush to stay hidden. We glassed the area for several hours, no antelope.
Note: Yellow indicates BLM land.
There is a lot of private land in this area, so be careful where you decide to hunt. We recommend using the onX Hunt app to determine where to legally hunt. The onX Hunt app worked great with the LTE and 4G service we were getting in this area. We found that most of the private property was posted or fenced, which was helpful.
After sitting at the BLM area down County Rd 120, we decided to go check out the other large BLM area. When exiting County Rd 120, go left and head down Hwy 10 about 10 miles and turn left onto County Rd. 220. When you come to the open gate that is posted, you are allowed to enter this area and stay to the right to get to the BLM area. We glassed this area with no antelope in sight. Where did all the antelope go?
We spoke to a Parks and Wildlife Officer while in the field. He reported checking a couple harvested antelope on opening day, but nothing since and stated “it’s been slow.” He recommended we try “Turkey Ridge” which is located down County Rd. 120 with a right turn by the old school house.
We followed the Parks and Wildlife Officer’s directions and went to “Turkey Ridge.” There was only one small area suitable to hunt antelope. The other part of the area was full of trees and looked more like deer country. We did see three large mule deer bucks, which was exciting to see.
As we were feeling discouraged in Unit 128, we did see a couple heards and a few loaners on private land. However, we did not see a single antelope on BLM land.
Note: Above is a picture of a buck we saw along the road on private land headed out of Turkey Ridge along County Rd. 120.
Online hunter’s forums indicated that it is very difficult to gain access to private land in Unit 128 because it is tied up by outfitters and long-term hunters to the area. However, the Parks and Wildlife Officer told us these ranchers may still be enticed the old-fashioned way of getting to know them months ahead of time by showing up to their places to get to know them and maybe even offering to help them around their ranches. So, who knows?
Unit 128 here in Colorado was disappointing to us, so we have decided to stop putting in for quick draw areas and just put in for the draw in areas we know are good antelope areas. There are outfitters in the area with access to private land. You may want to go this route if you draw for this area.
We still have mule deer and bear season in Colorado and whitetail season in Wyoming. Keep following our blog to find out about the areas we hunt.
Note: Above is a picture of an antelope track on BLM. It gave us hope.