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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where does the trip start?
A. The hunting party will meet CCO at the predetermined trailhead at the agreed upon time. CCO does not provide transportation to the trailhead, hunters will be able to lock and leave their vehicles at the trailhead. We have not had any issues with vandalism or theft at our trailheads. But keep in mind we do not recommend leaving valuables in your vehicles.
Q. How long is the ride into camp?
A. The length of the ride varies depending on which camp you’re going to. Most camps are all 2-4 hours away from the trailhead with one camp 5 hours. We utilize 4 different trailheads depending on where we’re going and the weather/road conditions.
Q. What comes with a drop camp?
A. Our drop camps are setup to make your stay in the back country as comfortable as possible. They are equipped with cots, tables, chairs, a wood stove and a propane cooking stove. Along with basic cooking utensils, dish soap, pots, pans, cups, plates bowls and silverware. Propane for the cooking stove and fuel canisters for the Coleman lanterns are included. Lighter fluid for the wood stove will be provided, along with some firewood. Hunters do have to collect firewood to burn depending on how much you go through. There is an axe, handsaw and shovel in camp.
Q. What kind of gear do I have to bring for a drop camp?
A. You need to bring your sleeping bag, food to last the length of your trip and necessary hunting gear for the type of hunt you’re on. We recommend coming prepared for a wide range of weather conditions as well, regardless of the time of year you’re in the mountains. Please look at the “Gear List” page for a full list of recommended gear.
Q. Is there a way to communicate when I’m in the mountains?
A. Cellular phone service is nearly nonexistent in the back country. CCO staff uses the Garmin Inreach satellite communications device, as it’s the easiest and most reliable way to communicate in the back country. We have found satellite phones to be inconsistent and unreliable. CCO does not provide any satellite communication devices for Clients. You can find information on the Garmin at https://explore.garmin.com/
Q. What do I do when I have an animal down?
A. CCO provides packout service to our drop camp and pack-in hunters as part of our agreement, as well as providing meat packing service to DIY hunters. The animal must be quartered out, we recommend the use of games bags and suggest hanging them in trees to help preserve the meat and prevent scavengers from getting to it. Game doesn’t necessarily have to be packed back to camp, it is the hunters responsibility to pack it to a location that is safely accessible for horses. Please provide coordinates or an accurate description of where meat is located for game pack out. Often the hunter will be needed to lead us to the meat location.
Q. How do I tag my animal?
A. Properly marked carcass tags should already be filled out and attached to a quarter. (Not to the antlers per game regulations). Evidence of sex is required by state game regulations to be naturally attached to one quarter. Carcass tags should be punched - MONTH, DAY , SEX and SIGNATURE are REQUIRED. Hunters do not have to accompany the wrangler out with their animal, but are required to sign a game packout permission slip per state regulations. The permission slip states that the hunter gives CCO permission to transport the animal from the site to the processor in Antonito, CO. Packout permission slips will be provided to hunters.
Q. What happens if I need to leave camp early?
A. CCO provides pack in, pack out as well as any trips necessary to bring game out as part of your contract. However, if you forget something in your vehicle, or if an individual in your party wants to come out early requiring additional trip into the wilderness, an additional $300 fee will be assessed. See contract.
Q. Will the altitude affect me? What can I do about it?
A. Altitude affects everyone differently and our camps are all above 10,000ft. We advise people to try and spend an extra day or two before your hunt in the area to allow your body time to acclimate. There are also medications and supplements that you can look into that can be helpful. Diamox is a prescription altitude medication you can talk to your doctor about before your trip. Wilderness Athlete makes a supplement called Altitude Advantage that some of our hunters recommend as well. You can buy cans of oxygen either locally or online that seem to provide immediate, if temporary, relief from symptoms. Most hunters that come from lower elevations deal with a period of adjustment, the better shape you’re in, the easier the adjustment seems to be.
Oxygen - https://www.amazon.com/Boost-Oxygen-Natural-Portable-Canister/dp/B08562MH82/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1626Z4RKJIT2L&dchild=1&keywords=oxygen+boost+canisters&qid=1618754348&sprefix=oxygen+boost%2Caps%2C199&sr=8-5
Altitude Advantage - https://wildernessathlete.com/products/altitude-advantage
Q. What kind of food should I bring?
A. We have clients that bring everything from freeze dried mountain house meals and homemade meals that have been prepared, vacuum sealed and frozen for reheating in camp. You can pack in groceries to cook regular food, many hunters bring steaks/seafood, vegetables and canned goods for meals. Hunters are welcome to bring soft sided coolers for perishable/frozen food for long term refrigeration. Small hard sided coolers must be able to fit in panniers (pack saddle bag). We recommend avoiding glass containers whenever possible due to the possibility of breakage.
Q. Do I need to bring water?
A. At each camp there are two 7 gallon jugs of water filled from a creek. We’ve never had an issue drinking the creek water, but you can boil, treat or filter before use. We recommend bringing a filter for drinking water.
Q. How can I make my pack in easier?
A. One of the biggest ways to help with your pack in, is to have your gear and food boxed or in duffle bags of equal weights. This makes the loading of gear on the horses easier and quicker. Equal weight distribution is important when packing horses. Bags can be pre-weighed at home and labeled.
Q. Can I bring alcohol?
A. CCO can pack in alcohol for clients, but responsible use is encouraged. Please see your contract.
Q. Can I bring Mariuana?
A. NO, it is legal in the state of Colorado, but federal law makes it illegal to have on Federal land. Therefore CCO policy prohibits marijuana on our trips. All of CCO operations take place Federal land.
Q. What do I have to do before being picked up at the end of my trip?
A. CCO will drop you off in a clean and tidy camp. It is your responsibility to leave the camp as you found it. This includes washing, DRYING and packing away all dishes to prevent rodents from getting into them, nothing should be left out. Clean up trash and bag for packout, sweep floors, and clean cooktop. Please have your bags packed and ready for loading onto pack horses when your wrangler arrives in camp. If anything in camp is damaged (lanterns, dishes, etc) please inform the wrangler so the next group can be provided for. IF CCO HAS TO SEND IN A WRANGLER TO CLEAN THE TENT BEFORE THE NEXT GROUP ARRIVES, A $400 FEE WILL BE ASSESSED.
Trail Rides/Fishing Trips/Pack Trip:
Q. What can be expected out of a 2 hour ride?
A. An easy 1 hour ride in each direction. Ride through the aspens to a scenic overlook with an amazing view of the valley. Expect to be back to the trailhead in about 3 hours.
Q. What can be expected out of a 3 hour ride?
A. A gentle ride up the 3 forks trail to Conejos Falls includes great scenery and river crossings. Take pictures under the falls and bring snacks for a short picnic. 1-1/2hr ride in each direction with time off at the falls. Expect to be back to the trailhead in about 4 hours.
Q. What can be expected out of a 4 hour ride?
A. Scenic ride through the mountains, 2 hours in each direction with a picnic in between. Lunch and bottled water is provided. Expect to be back to the trailhead in about 5 hours.
Q. What can be expected out of a 7+ hour ride?
A. This is a customizable day trip. You can ride into a lake or stream to fish, artists use this trip to find a great view to paint, or we can ride the trails all day. Lunch and bottled water provided.
Q. Does CCO provide fishing gear?
A. No, Client is responsible for bringing their own poles, bait, tackle, etc. Client is also responsible for purchasing a valid fishing license prior to the trip.
Q. What do I need to bring?
A. Please see our Gear List page.
Q. Where are you/your camps located?
A. We are located in southwest Colorado on Forest Service Road 250, in the Conejos Canyon about an hour southwest of Alamosa, Colorado. Click on the link below to view a map of our boundaries, complete with the locations of all of our camps.
Q. How far ahead do we need to schedule?
A. We start taking bookings January 1st of each year for the coming season. To guarantee your spot, the earlier you book, the better. Most of our hunting camps fill up by the first of March. If you know the date you will want to go, contact us several months in advance for all trail rides and pack trips. For spur of the moment occasions, give us a call and we will do our best to accomodate you.
Q. Where is your office?
A. We do not have an office. We trailer up to the canyon every day, and meet all clients at the trail heads. We do not ever transport clients in our vehicles. This is for several reasons. One reason is so that the client has a vehicle at the trail head, and if something should happen that they need to walk out and leave before we can get there, they have a means of transportation and aren't stranded. Another reason is that FDR 250 is a very rough road. It takes us at least twice as long to get to the trail head as it does the client in their car. As such it is a huge timesaver for the clients to simply meet us on location.
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