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I need advice on my elk hunting

 
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2012, 09:06 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

I am new to this site, so I haven't read everything obviously, and hope I don't slight someone by not being aware of somethiong previously discussed. With that said I will forge ahead. I hunted, guided and outfitted for elk in several of the ranges in Colorado for 25 years. I am familiar with the area around Ridgeway, where I would personally hunt for Mule Deer in those rare seasons I didn't have clients. It is also a fine area for elk in the bow season with high success rates. The main issue with the general rifle season is the number of hunters suddenly in the field a few days before the season begins, and whether by evolution or direct observation, the elk know what's up. So the problem to solve is how to locate them. And, once the season opens and the larger herds are shot at and broken up this becomes a real challenge.

I use a USGS topo map, and was never in the field without the local quad map on my person. With a rule calibrated to the scale of the map I could accurately estimate horizontal distances to the target which is often difficult when looking up or down steep inclines and across canyons. The ranging optical aids weren't on the market then and even now they are a somewhat expensive luxury for a hunter on a budget, not to mention the added weight and bulk for a hunter alone and on foot struggling at altitudes alien to their metabolism.
Elk go into the black timber once the shooting starts, but they don't stay there because there is nothing to eat. I like to hunt the 'quakies' or Aspen groves at the edge of or surrounded by timber. Elk winter in these areas anyway when the snow covers all other browse, so they feel safer there. Small flats along hillsides are typical bedding areas, but stalking along the countour following new tracks seldom leads to anything but a stampede of elk crashing through the timber ahead of you. In my experience, elk always leave an older cow above the trail and behind the herd as a lookout. Hunting the thermals however works often unless there is a steady contrary wind. The problem is that hunting down the mountain in the morning and up the mountain at dusk typically puts the foot hunter a long way from camp at dark, which 'out-of-area' hunters just won't do. It does produce elk though.
The other option is hunting the top on horseback and the topo is just as vital there in locating those 'hidey-holes' at the base of a cliff where a small flat is knee deep in grass at the top of a scree slope with a small spring or seep at the bottom at the edge of the black timber. These spots are elk hideouts and they will be there until spooked and then they will go to another similar location. Study your map and find these small flats and openings and springs. It will save you countless hours of scouting and with luck help you find elk. Better be well versed on shooting at almost verlical angles though and if you come upon them in the quakies you better know how to shoot at point blank range with that rifle that is sighted in for a 400 yrd shot. Good hunting.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:41 AM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
Posts: 204
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by 25elk View Post
I am new to this site, so I haven't read everything obviously, and hope I don't slight someone by not being aware of somethiong previously discussed. With that said I will forge ahead. I hunted, guided and outfitted for elk in several of the ranges in Colorado for 25 years. I am familiar with the area around Ridgeway, where I would personally hunt for Mule Deer in those rare seasons I didn't have clients. It is also a fine area for elk in the bow season with high success rates. The main issue with the general rifle season is the number of hunters suddenly in the field a few days before the season begins, and whether by evolution or direct observation, the elk know what's up. So the problem to solve is how to locate them. And, once the season opens and the larger herds are shot at and broken up this becomes a real challenge.

I use a USGS topo map, and was never in the field without the local quad map on my person. With a rule calibrated to the scale of the map I could accurately estimate horizontal distances to the target which is often difficult when looking up or down steep inclines and across canyons. The ranging optical aids weren't on the market then and even now they are a somewhat expensive luxury for a hunter on a budget, not to mention the added weight and bulk for a hunter alone and on foot struggling at altitudes alien to their metabolism.
Elk go into the black timber once the shooting starts, but they don't stay there because there is nothing to eat. I like to hunt the 'quakies' or Aspen groves at the edge of or surrounded by timber. Elk winter in these areas anyway when the snow covers all other browse, so they feel safer there. Small flats along hillsides are typical bedding areas, but stalking along the countour following new tracks seldom leads to anything but a stampede of elk crashing through the timber ahead of you. In my experience, elk always leave an older cow above the trail and behind the herd as a lookout. Hunting the thermals however works often unless there is a steady contrary wind. The problem is that hunting down the mountain in the morning and up the mountain at dusk typically puts the foot hunter a long way from camp at dark, which 'out-of-area' hunters just won't do. It does produce elk though.
The other option is hunting the top on horseback and the topo is just as vital there in locating those 'hidey-holes' at the base of a cliff where a small flat is knee deep in grass at the top of a scree slope with a small spring or seep at the bottom at the edge of the black timber. These spots are elk hideouts and they will be there until spooked and then they will go to another similar location. Study your map and find these small flats and openings and springs. It will save you countless hours of scouting and with luck help you find elk. Better be well versed on shooting at almost verlical angles though and if you come upon them in the quakies you better know how to shoot at point blank range with that rifle that is sighted in for a 400 yrd shot. Good hunting.
I agree with everything but hunting the quakies. I tend to be very successful doing that and the timber. Maybe I'm lucky.

I get on my dad all the time for how he sights his 300 rum in. He shoots a 200 accubond at 3340. It shoots really flat. His problem is that he is 4.5 high at 100 and 6.5-7 high at 200. He has missed a few animals or wounded them because of this. I keep trying to covince him to change but it makes for easy numbers to remember at 400 yards and out. I've never seen him shoot at an animal that far away and he has only had the opurtunity a few times in his hunting career. I zero at 300 yards. It puts me 2.7 high at 100 and 4 high at 200. I haven't missed using this method, yet....
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2012, 08:19 AM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
Posts: 204
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by 25elk View Post
I am new to this site, so I haven't read everything obviously, and hope I don't slight someone by not being aware of somethiong previously discussed. With that said I will forge ahead. I hunted, guided and outfitted for elk in several of the ranges in Colorado for 25 years. I am familiar with the area around Ridgeway, where I would personally hunt for Mule Deer in those rare seasons I didn't have clients. It is also a fine area for elk in the bow season with high success rates. The main issue with the general rifle season is the number of hunters suddenly in the field a few days before the season begins, and whether by evolution or direct observation, the elk know what's up. So the problem to solve is how to locate them. And, once the season opens and the larger herds are shot at and broken up this becomes a real challenge.

I use a USGS topo map, and was never in the field without the local quad map on my person. With a rule calibrated to the scale of the map I could accurately estimate horizontal distances to the target which is often difficult when looking up or down steep inclines and across canyons. The ranging optical aids weren't on the market then and even now they are a somewhat expensive luxury for a hunter on a budget, not to mention the added weight and bulk for a hunter alone and on foot struggling at altitudes alien to their metabolism.
Elk go into the black timber once the shooting starts, but they don't stay there because there is nothing to eat. I like to hunt the 'quakies' or Aspen groves at the edge of or surrounded by timber. Elk winter in these areas anyway when the snow covers all other browse, so they feel safer there. Small flats along hillsides are typical bedding areas, but stalking along the countour following new tracks seldom leads to anything but a stampede of elk crashing through the timber ahead of you. In my experience, elk always leave an older cow above the trail and behind the herd as a lookout. Hunting the thermals however works often unless there is a steady contrary wind. The problem is that hunting down the mountain in the morning and up the mountain at dusk typically puts the foot hunter a long way from camp at dark, which 'out-of-area' hunters just won't do. It does produce elk though.
The other option is hunting the top on horseback and the topo is just as vital there in locating those 'hidey-holes' at the base of a cliff where a small flat is knee deep in grass at the top of a scree slope with a small spring or seep at the bottom at the edge of the black timber. These spots are elk hideouts and they will be there until spooked and then they will go to another similar location. Study your map and find these small flats and openings and springs. It will save you countless hours of scouting and with luck help you find elk. Better be well versed on shooting at almost verlical angles though and if you come upon them in the quakies you better know how to shoot at point blank range with that rifle that is sighted in for a 400 yrd shot. Good hunting.
I agree with everything but hunting the quakies. I tend to be very successful doing that and the timber. Maybe I'm lucky.

I get on my dad all the time for how he sights his 300 rum in. He shoots a 200 accubond at 3340. It shoots really flat. His problem is that he is 4.5 high at 100 and 6.5-7 high at 200. He has missed a few animals or wounded them because of this. I keep trying to covince him to change but it makes for easy numbers to remember at 400 yards and out. I've never seen him shoot at an animal that far away and he has only had the opurtunity a few times in his hunting career. I zero at 300 yards. It puts me 2.7 high at 100 and 4 high at 200. I haven't missed using this method, yet....
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:23 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fairview Alfa, Louisiana
Posts: 192
Re: I need advice on my elk hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by 25elk View Post
I am new to this site, so I haven't read everything obviously, and hope I don't slight someone by not being aware of somethiong previously discussed. With that said I will forge ahead. I hunted, guided and outfitted for elk in several of the ranges in Colorado for 25 years. I am familiar with the area around Ridgeway, where I would personally hunt for Mule Deer in those rare seasons I didn't have clients. It is also a fine area for elk in the bow season with high success rates. The main issue with the general rifle season is the number of hunters suddenly in the field a few days before the season begins, and whether by evolution or direct observation, the elk know what's up. So the problem to solve is how to locate them. And, once the season opens and the larger herds are shot at and broken up this becomes a real challenge.

I use a USGS topo map, and was never in the field without the local quad map on my person. With a rule calibrated to the scale of the map I could accurately estimate horizontal distances to the target which is often difficult when looking up or down steep inclines and across canyons. The ranging optical aids weren't on the market then and even now they are a somewhat expensive luxury for a hunter on a budget, not to mention the added weight and bulk for a hunter alone and on foot struggling at altitudes alien to their metabolism.
Elk go into the black timber once the shooting starts, but they don't stay there because there is nothing to eat. I like to hunt the 'quakies' or Aspen groves at the edge of or surrounded by timber. Elk winter in these areas anyway when the snow covers all other browse, so they feel safer there. Small flats along hillsides are typical bedding areas, but stalking along the countour following new tracks seldom leads to anything but a stampede of elk crashing through the timber ahead of you. In my experience, elk always leave an older cow above the trail and behind the herd as a lookout. Hunting the thermals however works often unless there is a steady contrary wind. The problem is that hunting down the mountain in the morning and up the mountain at dusk typically puts the foot hunter a long way from camp at dark, which 'out-of-area' hunters just won't do. It does produce elk though.
The other option is hunting the top on horseback and the topo is just as vital there in locating those 'hidey-holes' at the base of a cliff where a small flat is knee deep in grass at the top of a scree slope with a small spring or seep at the bottom at the edge of the black timber. These spots are elk hideouts and they will be there until spooked and then they will go to another similar location. Study your map and find these small flats and openings and springs. It will save you countless hours of scouting and with luck help you find elk. Better be well versed on shooting at almost verlical angles though and if you come upon them in the quakies you better know how to shoot at point blank range with that rifle that is sighted in for a 400 yrd shot. Good hunting.
Well I understand what you are saying about getting on the tops and looking at the meadows at the base of cliffs. I am not a horse back rider but it is not out of the question, I have hiked up to around 11k but it was a all day round trip. I am looking in to spike camping up high and just spending 4-5 days up there by my self to avoid the predawn and after dark hikes in and out. This past year i arrived on opening day of first rifle season though I saw elk during the first season and the second season I was bernt out buy opening day of second rifle.
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