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I need advice on my elk hunting

 
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  #1  
Old 12-04-2012, 06:59 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fairview Alfa, Louisiana
Posts: 192
I need advice on my elk hunting

Fellas , I will be heading to the the same area to hunt near Ridgeway CO. next year as I did this past year to hunt 2nd rifle. Imagine hunting national forrest that you travel 7 miles through a ranch on a public road( dirt) to reach NF (9K feet) and then the forrest is only a mile or two thick before meeting the rock/ timber line at about 11,000 below 13k peaks . For the most part the public property is covered with dark timber with a very little scrub next to the private ranch.

The ranch seems to have no shortage of elk on it and the public land hunters seem to guard the fence waiting for a elk to step across by chance or to travel up in to the dark timber for the day . After studying maps it seems there are some meadowds near the rockline .

Now I have no desire to sit in the dark timber where visability is around the 50yd mark. I am guessing what I would like to know is weather elk will be way up next to the rocks at the 11k mark . Generaly there has been a few light snows that melt and frost every morning and I question whether there is any apprciable food for them. The best I can tell there is little or no hunting preasure up there (maybe because there is nothing up there) .

Being from Louisiana I only get time to scout a day or two before I try to hunt while up there.
Thanks pc401
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2012, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 58
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

Hey Pork Chop,

I guess the short answer is yes, they MAY be up there, but no way of saying they WILL be up there. I've definitely seen elk at 11,000ft and higher, even in NOV in CO. It mostly depends on the weather and, of course, the area (hunting pressure, food, water, etc.). So yes, it is certainly possible for them to be up that high, especially if there isn't 2 ft of snow.

Overall, dark timber and only a mile or two across usually means no elk, or not for long if any significant hunting pressure - that isn't much to hide in for an elk, and as you know, even though they like to hide in the dark timber sometimes, they still want food an water nearby when possble. It sounds like you may have found that nearby food.

Without knowing more and actually having hunted it, my advice would be to give it a try, but have that as just one of at least 3-4 options (hopefully with those being spread out, especially with some elevation variation). Give it a try for a morning or a full day - watch the meadows then walk the woods some during the day and look for sign. Better yet, pray for some light snow and look for tracks. You will be able to tell pretty quick whether the area holds elk - if not, you've wasted a half-day and you head to plan B.

To be honest, that's what a lot of elk hunting is; you often spend 2-3 days (or more) just trying to figure out where they are. They are somewhat nomadic. They may be in there thick one year, and you won't see a track the next. That is why it is good to have some different plans, and like I said, the weather really changes things sometimes. It will force them into areas they aren't normally at, or push them out of places they tend to stay. I guess that's why they call it hunting and not shooting.

Bottom line, your location and scenario sound like it's worth investigating, but you won't know until season - just have a plan B, C, D and keep going until you can at least tell you are seeing some sign. Scouting is nice, but to be honest, just because they are somewhere in August doesn't imply you will find them there in OCT or NOV - so even scouting has a "shelf life".

Good luck...
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fairview Alfa, Louisiana
Posts: 192
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

I see your point ,I. have been thinking about your post a few days now and I came up with this idea. I arrive on about a tuesday before season rest a day and scout the area i hinted this past season for a day . Get in the truck and travel to other areas in the gmu and spend a day scouting . Hopefully I can find elk before season starts and allow time to spike camp in if necesary. This past year was my 3rd elk hunt though i see elk I have yet to close the deal. I appreciate your input , especialy fron a Colorado resident.
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2012, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 583
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

The other suggestion I would have is to try to hunt the 1st season before they get pressured onto the private land. Scouting a few days before the season can sometimes work and other times it can work against you. If the elk hear or see a person in the woods, they will disappear from an area. If I were traveling from outside of Colorado like you and only had so many days to be hunting, I would rather spend more of that time in the woods WITH a gun then without.
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2012, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
Posts: 207
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

I've had better sucess the last several years with Elk in the timber in CO by creeping through the timber. My last 4 bulls have been a result of me learning the wind pattern and hunting into the wind. If I can't nail down the wind pattern and have a wind direction in my favor I don't even attempt a stalk. I tend to move from tree to tree and use my binos to look through the timber. I stumbled upon this method by pure accident. With binos, you can look well beyond what you immediately see in the timber and see bulls bedded down. The bad part is Elk will spread out and bed down over several hundred yards and when you spot the group, its a crap shoot whether or not you will run into bulls or cows. Then, sometimes you only see one animal and ounce you see an animal you are stuck and can't go further.

It works for me. My last 4 bulls were shot in their bed and none of them never even knew I was there.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:14 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fairview Alfa, Louisiana
Posts: 192
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marble View Post
I've had better sucess the last several years with Elk in the timber in CO by creeping through the timber. My last 4 bulls have been a result of me learning the wind pattern and hunting into the wind. If I can't nail down the wind pattern and have a wind direction in my favor I don't even attempt a stalk. I tend to move from tree to tree and use my binos to look through the timber. I stumbled upon this method by pure accident. With binos, you can look well beyond what you immediately see in the timber and see bulls bedded down. The bad part is Elk will spread out and bed down over several hundred yards and when you spot the group, its a crap shoot whether or not you will run into bulls or cows. Then, sometimes you only see one animal and ounce you see an animal you are stuck and can't go further.

It works for me. My last 4 bulls were shot in their bed and none of them never even knew I was there.
Well, I ran in to this while hunting this past year , cows and more cows and I could hear bugles further up the mountain but as soon as I jumped a cow the gig was up. I seem have better luck at seeing elk at and past the 1K yard mark. This is why I have begun practicing at longer range shots. this coming year I hope to sit from a vantage point and place a shot on a unsuspecting bull.I am particularly interested in hunting meadows just below the rock / timber line.
This long range shooting is challenge in it self in reguards to learning the principles and understanding the variables involved , not to mention the acquiring of required equipment to handle such shots.
A question that i do have is in a given basin if there is food water and no preasure will elk migrate out of the basin at random or do they stay relatively put unless somthing pushes them out. thanks for the insite.
Also I have considered the first rifle season though the only folks I know like the second season so the first would mean a solo hunt whitch is not out of the question.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
Posts: 207
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

Well there is nothing for sure when it comes to patterning a herd of elk. I have watched a herd stay in the same drainage for 4 days and use the same.bedding area each night, for years I have seen another herd on private property in the same opening everyday all day and I have seen herds hit an area and move on. Prior to the season I would walk the majority of the outside of the timber to getan idea of where the animals are coming and going.

And as far as long range goes, my furthest bull eS taken around 650 yards. Pretty far in most circles, but here, not so much. Most of my bulls have been between the 300-500 yard range.

If you can't et closer than 1000 yards, plan your hunt differently so that wind, ridge tops, mountains and valleys can be used for concealment from noise, wind and sight. Knowing the lay of the land is some hunters biggest weapon.
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