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DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

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Unread 12-20-2011, 03:05 PM
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Location: West Central Idaho
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Re: DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

Originally Posted by Elk Hunter 338 View Post
$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 !!!!!!
Good point about the horns and cape. I started packing out the horns and maybe a cape long before there were so many regulations because they could be on the outside of the pack and usually by the time the bull was boned out and I was ready to go I was to worn out to pack a load of meat. As a rule I would stash the horns away from the truck just so someone would not steal them while I was gone. Never had any problems with fish and game. I don't know what the rules are here in Idaho or other states now but you could well be right.

And yep proof of sex intact on a quarter!

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
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    Unread 12-20-2011, 03:14 PM
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    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Pocatello Idaho
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    Re: DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

    well said Express, i to0 did a DIY elkhunt in colorado this year on the second general season, and if i had to do it again, wich me and a few of my hunting buddies are going to do this year (2012) we are taking mules and packing into the sweet spot we found on national forest ground this year, we will camp back there this time, we hiked 8-10 miles round trip every day from the trail head where we were camped, we started our assent at 8748' and started getting into elk at timberline around 12,000' the hike was gruleing?yes. was it worth every step to get above all the other hunters and into prime elk ground? you bet your ass it was. would i do it again? in a heart beat but this time im gonna have a mule packing all my gear and elk in and out of the woods. I can say this training is essential the air at 12'000 feet is thin, get on a good cardio work out now and dont quit, trust me its worth it. The better shape your in when you arrive the more enjoyable your hunt is going to be.
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    Unread 12-20-2011, 03:29 PM
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    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: Aussie in Italy
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    Re: DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

    yes, my camp was just above the timberline around 11,000 feet and the rut was late, so it was perfect. I was seeing 10 or so elk on average every day on a 10 - 20 mile round trip each day. You have to be fit.

    Second rifle season things might change above the timberline and the elk may move down into the forest and farmlend, depending on how much snow falls. But you can't predict those conditions as the season dates change and so does the weather...

    The place I wanted to camp was another 4 hours hike from where our first base camp was and in the end I didn't move camp because my hunting partner wasn't comfortable with it. But ultimately it cost us the elk.

    If we had ignored the locals' advice that said " may see a few swinging dicks up there with mules, but non'll bother ya" and that where I wanted wanted to go was supposedly too far to contemplate going.
    Well, that turned out to be worng too. I went there one day to check it out on my own and found that it was even more elk infested.
    Extraction from such a remote place would be more of a problem, but with two men and mules you could do it in one day, or take your time and do it over two days.

    I can't wait to get back there, even now sometimes I go wandering through those mountains on google earth to relive the memories.
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    Unread 12-20-2011, 04:09 PM
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    Re: DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

    10-4 on that it was a blast and I will be back soon very soon, we hunted the second season and they were still bugling there heads off, then as colorado will do, it was clear a cool in 20's the evening of our third day and WHAM!!!!!! Woke up to 3 feet of snow, wholy crap the elk were moving and it was game on. So be prepared cuz colorado will throw curves when you expect fast balls. we were seeing anywere from 10 to 20 elk a day but from a distance on the open slopes right at timberline or above on the open ridge. it was impressive to say the least when the snow hit, when the elk down there decide its time to move, they move, and in numbers. do your research i cant stress this enough, you wouldnt beleive were there is private land in that state, even in remote places and they dont take to kindly to truspasser's. like EXPRESS said dont listen to the locals, BUT listen to them at the same time, if you get what im saying. they are not affraid to tell you were they saw elk and its usually because there's no way in hell there going there to kill an elk, and sometimes that can help you more than hinder you. always remember you have to get that elk out of there after you shoot it, ha ha ha and sometimes thats when you find out if you have good buddies or not.

    Last edited by Elk Hunter 338; 12-20-2011 at 06:13 PM.
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    Unread 12-20-2011, 09:07 PM
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    Location: Kentucky
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    Re: DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

    I did my second year of DIY Elk on Public Land in CO this year. As mentioned in other posts:
    > Good cardio - I am starting up again Jan 1st for next October.
    > Drop as much weight as you can. I lost 50 pounds over the past two years. I plan to loose another 20 between now and next October.
    > A big body elk will be 4 HEAVY packs of meat, PLUS a trip (last one) for the antlers and cape. Take good boots, pack, pack frame, knives, saw... And as many friends as you can muster...
    > Appropriate clothing. Each year we have started 2nd rifle with 50* to 60*F, sunny and dry. And left with 15* to 35*F and more than a foot of snow on the ground at 8,500 ft. (Upwards of 2 to 3 ft of snow at 11,000 ft). I have no idea how folks hunt the high country for 3rd and 4th rifle seasons...

    Finally, ENJOY ! It's a blast. I have yet to tag an elk. But, I look forward to doing it again in 2012 !
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    Unread 01-06-2012, 04:48 AM
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    Location: Beale AFB, CA
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    Re: DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

    What a great thread. I really want to do a DIY backpack elk trip!! This is my dream hunt but I know it's going to be such a difficult hunt. I have never hunted elk and I think it would be a very smart move for me to team up with an experienced elk hunter. I'm sure things could turn real bad, real fast for a couple of uneducated, first time, elk hunting flat-landers up at 10,000 - 12,000 feet during the winter in Colorado. It's kind of scary but at the same exciting!!!
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    Unread 01-06-2012, 03:50 PM
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    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Re: DIY Backpack Elk hunt in CO

    Do it man, and dont look back, you and your buddies will be hooked for life. Elk are like any other animal they need food, water, and need to feel no presure, and i dont care what anybody says, on public ground and in pressured areas you will not pattern them, they are not a whitetail, they may do somewhat of the same thing a morning and evening then vanish into thin air for days, and then poof there back, even without the slightest bit of pressure, so if you do find a bull or a whole herd on pressured public ground,,, get on them and kill that bull because you may never see them again. in the rut, the downfall of many a bull elk is ...... the ladies of course, find the ladies and 99.9 percent of the time you'll find a herd bull, BUT he may or may not be a giant, just depends on what the area has for genetics and bull to cow ratio, in the post rut you will 50-60% of the time find bulls stil with cows trying to pick up straggeling estrus cows but for the most part they will be small, but there is always exceptions to the rule. colorado is an opertunity state lots of elk and lots of bulls but not lots of super quality....EXCEPT in good draw units or on privite ground in my opinion, but just like any were, a monster gets shot in some of the most unlikley units in ever state ever year. A bull elk is a big critter heck a cow elk is a decent size animal so be prepared for work... alot of it. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH... i cant stress enough to never go into a hunt under researched, you will pay for it in some way or another. PLAN PLAN PLAN and then plan some more, becase i would rather have to much food, gear, clothing, etc etc etc, than not enough, and lastly have a freakin blast, elk inhabit some of the harshest places and some of the easiest places, and they will out smart you more times than not, but when the trigger drops and the elk hits the dirt and you get to put your hands on your first bull elk, you will feel a rush of accomplishment that many of our fellow hunters on this sight, and else where have felt, let me tell you (in my opinion) there aint nothin like it. Do it.... you'll be glad you did.
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