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New Elk hunter in Colorado

 
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:12 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

smchop: Welcome to the fun an challenges of hunting Elk in Colorado. There is alot of good info in these posts.

After taking a look at your post I did some quick research at the CDOW site on GMU 15 because its a unit I have never hunt in. The Upper Yampa is what they call that area. By looking at 2010 numbers ide say you got a tough area to hunt. Some of the lower success rates, and a decent amount of hunters competing in the area. Also I have this nice little tool that shows private and public lands in GMU units and you got a nice piece of Nation Forest to hunt on but I imagine most people are right there and on alot of the main roads. Mostly High country 8 to 10000ft is gonna put you in the dark timber for alot of your hunting. You have probably learning all this kind of info so Ill throw out a couple tips.

I agree with WyoElk2Hunt in scouting is one of the best ways to be successfull. If you can get back down into that area 3rd season do it. You dont have to do a ton of walking, just get around the mountain and look for tracks and travel patterns. Best scouting will be through out the first two seasons up to your season. But even then they can still move on ya. 1st season is always the most popular hunting season for rifle. Its the end of rut and much easier to get the position of the animals and catch them off guard. I was lucky enough this second season to still have alot of bugling around me and that sure is fun!

Major weather changes are your friend, they will get the animals moving. By the looks of the terrain there, most people wont want to get out and walk. So use the terrain to your advantage. And most likely you will shoot it in a canyon so be prepaired to quarter it and pack it out.

As far as having a plan goes, its good to have a general idea of what you want to accomplish in a certain day. That doesnt mean you wont catch a fresh set of tracks and wind up doing something different. But in general have an idea of what canyon, you want to hunt, or ridge you wanna scout out. Or flat you want to watch at first light.

I could go on for days, but ill cut it off there. Good luck and good shooting!
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

That was a problem I had this go around was the dark timber and shooting lanes through the aspens. I only saw one bull, but couldn't get on it though. I had one chance and the only shot I had was at his ass or his nose! Had I gotten a shot I would have had no choice but to quarter and pack. I really like the idea of a still hunt, not because I am afraid to put in the work, man I hiked my ass off this go around. So glassing an area I get, maybe I am hunting the wrong area for the hunting I want to do. Seems no matter on the map I picked it was all about finding a shooting lane even if I came across elk. It seemed the weather this year was ok, but warm in the afternoons. The snow didnt seem to help except for deer. It seems everything was bedded down. So if I were to scout a new unit would you look for higher clearings or lower clearing? Not saying I may not be able to find that where I am at, but havent ran across it yet. the meadows we were in seemed to have little traffic.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:11 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

Dark timber can be part of the game up at that elevation. This year my brother out his bull at 9500 elevation, in a canyon in the aspens and dark timber. It can be fun and frustrating. I did a little more research and it seems like the Sarvis Wilderness areas around Green Creek and Silver Creek are decent spots. Good areas for where the start moving with all the hunt pressure.

Also looking at that terrain seems to be some decent parks you could still hunt if you know how the animals move and feed. In my experience the only way your going to catch an elk in a park is early at just shooting light, and almost at dark.

Ide say get a high vantage point. Somewhere you can see a good distance. That area has several creeks and streams so think about where they would water. Years like this where it gets warm they will bed down durring the day.

Luckily your willing to hike so you can get into those places with less traffic and get to where you can see to spot them.

Found some pictures you might want to take a look at. Kinda show some terrain that might be worth getting to know.

Red Dirt Road from I-40 near Rabbit Ears Pass, Colorado
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2011, 11:40 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

Alby that is some beautiful area, and more what I had in mind on my hunt. Even the high ground I covered was covered in timber and could only pick spots where I thought I would have a reasonable shooting lane. Which leads to the other posts about glassing, I guess glassing is it and I did not do enough of it. I'd love to go out 3rd and just get some time in tracking but I put off my knee surgery so I could still go second and now monday I go under the knife, all the better for next season! DodgeFreak8 I agree, glassing and stalking what I know is there is more what I had in mind, I've seen them run and I'm not that fast if I walk up and suprise one! I'm not opposed to changing areas, as I said I am new to this and would like to look into areas that would be more my style or idea of a hunt, but no I'm not oppossed to putting in the work or walk to get there. On the other hand I have no preference points to get in anywhere yet either so I have to work with what I have. Great info guys, thanks to all that have posted and helped me so far, right now I'm a sponge and just want to take in all that I can to increase my chances of success or at least have the most enjoyable time I can.
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2011, 01:12 AM
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Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 810
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

It doesn't hurt to call the local biologists and game wardens. Anything you can learn about the area and elk habits there will help you. Elk are quite habitual animals but hunting pressure changes those habits. Pressure usually drives them into the timber and they are most likely feeding in the aspen's rather then the open due to hunting pressure.
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2011, 10:10 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Re: New Elk hunter in Colorado

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoCTD View Post
It doesn't hurt to call the local biologists and game wardens. Anything you can learn about the area and elk habits there will help you. Elk are quite habitual animals but hunting pressure changes those habits. Pressure usually drives them into the timber and they are most likely feeding in the aspen's rather then the open due to hunting pressure.

I plan on doing that in the off season. I didn't want to be "that guy" that calls last minute and just seems like I want to know where to go to find elk during hunting season. Hopefully make some contact during the spring and summer season and make a little more contact than just a pre hunt phone call.
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