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tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

 
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  #22  
Old 08-18-2013, 01:14 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 45
Re: tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

I'll be heading out to 54 for the third rifle season. Hunted there for 13 years, but it has been 10 years since I last hunted there. Been going out in Sept. to trout fish.
First season you have the element of surprise. Bow hunting is now limited in 54 which helps reduce the pressure. If you need any more info on the area let me know.
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  #23  
Old 08-23-2013, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW Wisconsin
Posts: 222
Re: tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

I've mulled over this topic a bit and have a few more things to add... If you find 'fresh' sign, study it, what direction the elk were traveling, were they feeding or just moving through. Where are they bedding, where are they feeding, where can you get a shot at them without spooking them out of there before you get to see them all. When you DO find the elk, hold back a bit and study the area some. If you go stalking through dark timber hoping to shoot that bull in his bed, while you certainly can do that, you're only going to get one chance at it. Bust a herd of elk or just a few singles out of their area and they are not going to be there for the rest of your season. One year I did spot two bedded bulls on a distant slope and did sneak up to them and kill one. It wasn't in his bed but I did see him stand up from it when the wind swirled at 60 yards and thankfully they didn't know where the scent came from. Ended up trotting past me at 35 yards. I've tracked them in dark timber only to jump them and see just a patch of ass hair after a 2 mile track, and lucked into them anther time while still-hunting the upper edge of a steep drainage that had a ton of sign. Nowdays I much prefer to find them and set up on them from a respectable distance where if I don't get a shot one day, I'll get another chance the next. I shot one bull at 600 yards one evening across a narrow drainage that was a short 30 minute hike from a very popular trailhead. There was ONE good spot on that trail to view the other side and having bowhunted that area before I knew there were almost always animals on that steep scrub oak infested rocky hell-hole. Had a herd of 30 feed into view an hour before dark and when a legal bull finally showed himself I dropped him. Within 5 minutes, EVERY elk in that herd was feeding like nothing had even happened. The next morning on our pack in to pack him out, that herd was still within 500 yards of the spot including a huge 6X6...my father-n-law elected not to shoot him as we already had one elk to pack out with just the two of us and most likely we would have lost the meat to one of the bulls. That prior evening we had a half dozen other hunters hike right on by us wondering what in the hell we were doing looking at that distant slope. Killed a bull the next year from that same spot the first morning we sat there and I have no doubt I could kill an elk there every year. Getting there is easy, packing them out is a good half day of bitter hell (but worth every moment).

Many ways to do it, but number one is find the elk then go from there. Don't waste time hunting empty timber hoping for that lucky rabbit's foot.
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  #24  
Old 08-23-2013, 05:18 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Re: tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

Thanks for more great advice. I am looking forward to this hunt more and more. Normally hunt 67 with friends from Grand Junction. How hard is this unit to hunt?
All I am being told is that it is not like 67.
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  #25  
Old 08-23-2013, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 45
Re: tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

Roman1. There are several roads that lead to the West Elk Wilderness trailheads. The one up to Rainbow Lake is a very good one. Lot of people base camp up that road. You can go in the Mill Creek road side. I enter from the south, up the Sun Creek road. Good road leads to the wilderness trail head. Do my hunting from the bottom up to the wilderness with good success. I'll be out there the third season hopefully when some snow is flying. Good luck. Need any more info let me know.
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2013, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Re: tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

Made it safe, Monarch Pass was a very treacherous drive. It dropped down to 22 deg. and blizzard conditions. The locals are saying that the elk are moving. Scouting tomorrow. Staying at the ABC Motel stop in for a beer and say hey.
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  #27  
Old 10-11-2013, 12:43 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
Posts: 202
Re: tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

I will be in unit 43 next week. Near Marble. Find the elk, plan your hunt. I don't go out into the woods and wander around. Specific planning for specific days and bulls. Been killing atleast one bull a year for 11 years there. Follow the above advice and you will be succesful.
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  #28  
Old 10-11-2013, 03:44 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 45
Re: tactics for finding elk during colorado's 1st rifle season

Good luck. Save one for me. Just looked at the cam on Monarch. You must of pushed over at night. Looks like a good start for snow this year.
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