While many of Colorado's big mulies have been taken in the southeastern portion of the state, this hunt takes place near Limon, about 75 miles east of Denver. At first glance, this vast and open land does not look like much, as mule deer haunts go, but the continued success of Sierra Grande's hunters confirm it is truly a trophy area.
This season, 11 of 12 rifle hunters took a buck, with the one unsuccessful hunter passing on several shot opportunities. The largest buck of 2002 grossed 211 Boone & Crockett, with a second deer coming in just over 200 inches. Most of the remaining trophies scored between 170 and 200. The exceptions were two bucks that scored below the 170 mark but were "mistakes" shot by overanxious hunters.
Sierra Grande's clients consistently take trophy class bucks like this for two reasons. First, the guide has his pay docked if he instructs a client to take a buck under the 170 B & C mark. With this financial motivation, the guides are usually dead on in their evaluation of the animal, even at great distances. The second reason the scores are so high is a "reverse" trophy fee scale that applies higher trophy-class fees to smaller bucks, thus encouraging clients to hold out for a big one. I'll explain how the scale works in a minute.
Like everything else in the economy, quality mule deer hunts are subject to the vagaries of supply and demand. With limited opportunities for true trophy-size bucks, hunt prices can be high, and the charges at Sierra Grande Outfitters are no exception. They charge $7,000 for a five-day rifle hunt and $4,000 for a bow hunt. In addition to the hunt fee, there is........(continued)