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New Elk hunter in Colorado

 
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  #1  
Old 10-30-2011, 09:58 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
New Elk hunter in Colorado

So I went on my second hunt, 2nd Rifle Elk, and got my ass kicked. Looking to talk to Elk hunters (I'm in Colorado) but all Elk hunters input is welcome. I'm not looking for a GPS coordinate to your honey hole, just technique, advise and some general BSing about hunting Elk. I'll tell you a little about my last trip. I'm a public land hunter with a general understanding of the work involved in elk hunting. That said, most I have been able to do is read about hunting elk, couple of the guys I go with are seasoned hunters but seems no one has a "plan", maybe thats my fault, as it seems I prefer to have a plan. Headed out to GMU 15 from Oct. 21-26, got some snow on the 25th about 8". Lots of track some new, most old, but they are there I know that. I picked a couple places I wanted to still hunt, and a couple places I wanted to walk through. I had my pick of deer and had a tag but did not want fire and scare away what I was really there for, elk. So it seems to me a bad idea to combination hunt when your there for one purpose only? But looking for ideas and technique for next year. Good news is, never got discouraged. I think it is a hard hunt and am ok with coming out empty as long as a good time is had. At the same time I want to increase my chances so with that let the conversation begin! Thanks.

Edit to add, I know the search function is my friend and could find plenty of info, I am looking for interaction on this, not just reading. So please don't rip me because I didn't just search and read. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Eden-South of Heaven, Wy.
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Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

I assume you are hunting in Colorado. Scouting is the best way to learn an area. I used a guide when I first got started in elk hunting 30 plus years ago. Used them twice and learned everything I could from them. Both guided hunts were around Craig, Colorado. Hunting during the rut is easier for most than a late season hunt, because they will give their location away a lot of times. Hopes this helps you a little and maybe more tips will come in.
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

Thats actually an idea I had not considered, thanks for that. Instead of spending a bunch of money on gear, a guided trip might make for better money spent on a little education. I do however seem to be confused on when the rut truly is? Seems who you ask will give you a different answer, maybe dependent on location? Also it seems everyone tells me hunt high (elevation) unless weather conflicts and then low, but all elk I saw pulled out of the unit I was in seemed to be low along treeline of open space even before the snow moved in. Did see a lot of tracks up high but seemed to be more of just travel through. Thanks for that tip, I might consider that next time and use a guide. Keep it coming, Thanks.

Sorry, forgot to add, yes I am hunting in Colorado.
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:41 PM
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Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

From my experience the rut usually starts in September and goes to the middle of October. depends on moon phase and cooler weather from what i have observed.
In Wyoming the archery elk season starts September 1 for most of the state and gun season runs from September 10 to January 1 depending on what part of the state you are hunting.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:47 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

I've tried hunting elk up here in British Columbia and I've learned that it is a great challenge. If you don't have a 4 wheeler then you'd better be prepared to walk until you have blisters and you keep walking until you can't walk anymore. Calling the bull elk during the rut is essential for success. If you call well then they come running. If you don't call well then they know who you are. Using a cow call is fun with different settings. I tried lost cow in heat but I was too early and the rut was not on. Elk are smart and they can see you faster than you see them.

This year my husband I checked out where record book elk were taken: Jaffray, Inveremere, Cranbrook and Golden. We stayed 2-3 days in each place. When we were scouting we saw that in order to get to these beauties it's a long ways up the mountain. 5000 meters to be exact. We weren't able to make it because our camper stays on the truck. When we were in Golden, there were elk tracks all over the road. Yes an old logging road. But we were too early and none of the elk were rutting.

In conclusion elk hunting isn't easy, it can take years of trying before one is successful. My husband has a backroad map book for the areas we went. He google mapped the areas, read articles about these areas and next year I know where I want to go where I might be lucky enough to see a cow elk or even a 3 pointer. I say a cow or a 3 pointer (Canadian scoring) because those big beauties are elusive and are alive for a reason; intelligence on survival.

Wishing you the best of luck scouting and while you're doing that, come across your trophy.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:13 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

How many of you hunt 1st rifle season then, it would be closer to the end of the rut, and muzzleloader would be during. I was deer hunting during muzzleloader this year and heard no bugling which concerned me about my tag in the same gmu for elk during second rifle. The hikes are long and I know that is going to be part of a successful hunt, which I am ok with to an extent. I would hate to only have the opportunity for elk in dark timber so far in that I would have trouble getting the meat out (primary goal for me is MEAT!) Has anyone had a successful still hunt, or has most of you only succeeded during a stalk and hike idea? I'll look into Colorado DOW and look at the numbers for each season and maybe get some info from that also.
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:45 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Morgan, Colorado
Posts: 184
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

I'm a fellow Colorado elk hunter and I can share what I have learned. First of all the type of hunting route I choose has a lot to do with the area I am hunting. The 2 units I hunt are 42 and 22. They are very similar to each other as in it's not huge mountains with dark timber and aspens. That being said I spend A LOT of time glassing and I cover a lot of ground doing so. I am leaving in a few days for third rifle season which is what I have hunted the last few years. If you are hunting Large timber areas then I try and find an open area and still hunt by waiting for them to emerge and glass. Now in unit 22 I hunt muzzle loader season and that is a different ball game. Since this season is usually in the rut I spend a lot of time listening and glassing. In my 10 years elk hunting I have learned that you can't chase elk. I have better luck trying to anticipate their movement rather than hiking through the trees. That being said I know people that make that tactic work for them.
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