Consider the Archery Season for deer and elk and the muzzle loading season.  If you are after a big bull, this is the time of year to call them to you. During the regular rifle seasons ( there are four in Colorado) the bulls are no longer thinking of sex, and  a hunter's bugle is likely answered by another hunter's bugle from the next ridge.  With a modern muzzle loader you have a range of up to 150 yards. But  you must make your one shot count.  Hearing the bugles near you is exiting with new adrenaline spurring you on.  

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Ranching for Wildlife - Trinchera Ranch is a participant.  Above are some of their private herd grazing in lower elevations


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From the Costilla Free Press Newspaper
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Male Elk in the lower area with Mt. Lindsey
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Photo courtesy of Leland Dirks

Although there is no hunting allowed in FP, the south end of FP consists of the San Isabel National Forest which is open for hunting, ATV's and  other recreation.  Properties at the back of the park are going to have some accessibility to this area, even though in the past, you have to be a land-owner to gain that access. 

From Costilla Free Press Newspaper- Fall 2011
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2011 Elk News from Costilla County.-  Our County with only 3,600 residents has one of the largest elk herds in Colorado.  Opening day for the combined mule deer and elk rifle season was October 15 this year and the following weeks our local paper, the Costilla County Free Press featured photos of three local hunters that took big bull elk on opening day.   

Two out of the three bulls were taken in the Sangre de Cristo area        

November buck
Taken on Unit X parcel - sold

Used with PERMISSION from "La Sierra" Newspaper, 10-15-2004 edition

The Caption read: "Monster" Bull taken in first day of hunt ---
From the La Sierra newspaper out of San Luis, CO, October 15, 2004
Three Colorado Springs men, all with San Luis roots, shared the credit in what will be one of the biggest kills of the year.  John Hettich, Danny Garcia and Robert Maestas, shown here wth Rich Garcia, shot their seven-by-seven bull elk at dusk last Saturday, the first day of the first season, at the Maestas Ranch in the Ventero
They planned to take the bull elk's head and antlers to a taxidermist for mounting.  "The rest goes into carne seca, " said Robert Maestas, with a hearty laugh.  "Look at it.  It's as big as a horse." All agreed it was great to be in the Valley for hunting season.  "We had to go to the big city to make a living, " said John Hettich, "but our hearts will always be here.  This is still home."
The 2005 archery season is underway, as I write this, and I have seen several hunters in camouflage up in the high country. Muzzle Loaders will be hunting this coming weekend and the first regular rifle season opens October 15.
With the full moon in Mid September, and cloudless skies, the elk are feeding at night and have to be kicked "out of bed" by energetic hunters. There has been no snow, so far and the bulls are still above 11,000'.

Elk in Forbes Park
Part of the 6000 head Sangre De Cristo Herd

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Small Bull

A big buck popped up his head on Dec. 1 - Unit X,
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Herd at dusk getting ready to bed down

Deer on Unit 14 - January 13, 2005
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