Alright, I wasn't to sure where to put this if it's in the wrong place I apologize.
My brother and I are looking to do a DIY Backpack Elk hunt in Colorado, I'll list out the questions we have so far to get this going.
Besides the tags and lisences what other paperwork/liscenes do we need?
What areas of CO are good for this type of hunt(were looking at the 2012 oct or nov rifle seasons)
How many days do y'all typically stay out for?
Can one man pack out a typical elk kill?
If you can pack anywhere from 75 to 125 lbs per load one man can get a elk out in 5 trips. Rough at best but doable. Bone the bull out hang the meat so it will cool and start packing. Cape and horns the first day as your pack is full of your stuff then in with a empty pack and out full of meat.
That's when you say to yourself" what the hell am I doin here!!"
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
Haveing just 2 backpacking hunts for elk we packed one out. One we hired a outfitter with horses to pack out the other cost $300.00 just over 4 miles from the trail head best money ever spent. Most outfitter will do it for 250 to 300 bucks depending where you are. Colorado has a list of aproved outfitters for packing just find out who is in your area and get cell phone # & talk to them before the season. Some locker plants have some people to use also just make sure you have them lined up in advanced & price.
All you need for the law is your hunter safety card & the appropriate tag/license. All you need for yourself is a way to feed yourself & not freeze to death. Best places on the map are in the national forest & wilderness areas, generally higher the altitude the better. I highly recommend you get with an outfitter that will pack in a drop camp, then pack it & hopefully your elk out at the end of the season. Plan on staying the whole season, and if you're lucky enough to see a bull don't think that means you'll be lucky enough to see another one. Last but far from least if you have a good shot you probably won't get a better shot so take it- & keep shootin' at the vitals till it falls over dead. Trying to carry one out on your back is real, real hard work. Good luck.
Where do you live? Have you done much hiking/packing at 10K feet? I don't mean any insult it's just easy to get yourself into deep trouble in the high country. I am not trying to discourage you but make sure you have plenty of gear and plan ahead to either shelter in place for a week or be prepared and have a safety plan to make an early retreat if you get a 3' snow storm.
$561.00 dollars for your tag and license, you must have your hunters Ed card period, they will not give you a license without it. GJgo said right when he said food and Don't freeze to death, you will easily eat three times what you normally would on a hunt at lower elevations in a day, and the only seasons you can hunt without drawing are the 2nd,3rd,and 4th season so expect snow I've worked and hunted in Colorado and let me tell you It will snow and snow alot in short amount of time so be prepared, Another good thing that GJgo said( not in these words but) Colorado is an opportunity state not a quality state(unless you draw a sweet tag) So when you do see a bull shoot it, because if you think that your gonna hold out for a 350 bull on public ground your sadly mistaken, oh and by the way they have antler restrictions your bull has to have 4 points or better, my favorite shot on any animal is right through both front shoulders a little higher than half way, drops them in there tracks and kills them instantly. I've shot a ton of elk and deer and believe me this shot works very well, I also shoot a 338 edge ( I wonder if that helps at all ha ha ha)Like GJgo said forest service, BLM, national ground are all you got unless you get a landowner voucher Wich can cost upwards of 3000 dollars for an expensive one, and the higher the better and by that I mean timberline or just under it and on the north facing slopes with nasty thick cover, you will run into people so be prepared but most don't lime to hike to were the elk are some do but most don't. As far as packing one out, Elk are big critters so be prepared with good sharp knives and good quality game bags (I like T.A.G. Bags) have a good saw also just in case, a quality pack such as eberlestock, bad lands, or my favorite Mystery Ranch will make your life during the pack out alot easier, with a good quality pack with Internal frame a healthy full grown corn fed man can pack a Completly boned out bull elk off he mountain in four trips, it will be heavy but you can don't it with a well constructed pack ive dont it many, many, many times and believe me when I say it will be heavy, also don't quote me on this but I'm pretty sure that the horns have to come out last but I could be wrong, an the sex organs have to be attached to the hind quarters, period they do not fudge on that in any way, sorry so long and I hope his helps a little and all I can say is be prepared and good luck and buy maps....good ones !!!!!!
Besides the tags and licences you need need a Colorado DOW issued CID number, which of course you need to get before you can buy licences. To get this you either have to demonstrate that your states' hunter safety course is euqivalent or do theirs.
The good areas of CO for this kind of hunt are the steepest most remote areas you can get a tag in.
The unit I hunted in was a draw unit, and I got lucky enough to draw a tag for first rifle season.
I spent 10 days camped in the mountains to scout then the season was 6 days.
Basically you cannot pack out an elk by yourself, because if you kill it are 4 hours hike from the trailead, which is where my base camp was, you will spend 4 days hiking up and down to get it out.
My advice is:
Spend a lot of time studying maps and google earth. Spend a lot of time talking to Local wildlife officers and DOW. Find the most remote place in the unit you plan to hunt in, and then consider hiking another couple of hours further in. When I get back for my next trip I will be setting up camp in a spot which is a full days hike from the trailead. This eliminates any day trippers, even the fit ones.
Many will tell you you don't need to go that far to get elk. Sure, you could shoot one from the trailhead, but in my experience this was the deciding factor that ruined my hunt. After 10 days of watching calm elk, in an area I had to myself with a big bull picked out, photographed and localised on a daily basis, on opening morning I had two (non hunting) hikers and two hunters come in and spoil the immediate area. The elk that were there left and did not come back for the duration of the season. When your season is only a few days long, you want to get in early and find your bull, then hope to kill him on opening morning. Imagine my frustration after so much work to see these swinging dicks turn up to check out the area and literally watch them flush the elk out of their hidey holes to see them pour over the ridges to the next unit.
Hire a mule and walk it behind you. That way you can put your gear on it going in, then if you have to pack out an elk, you should be able to make it in one trip if you bone it out and carry a hundred pounds yourself too. One mule is not much trouble to look after. Two men with two mules and you can carry a lot more gear and food, and easily pack out an elk.
Stay warm, take plenty of good food, climb high, look long and enjoy the mountains.