Colorado Backpack Elk Hunt 08'

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by lerch, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Earlier in a thread I was asking for info on elk in CO and now the plans are being set. Depending on whether i draw a muley tag or not me and my cousin will be heading to CO for first or second season elk next fall. So far we are looking at the area above the Valecito resevior just west of pagosa springs. We are gonna use 2 mules to pack into the high country and TRY to get away from other hunters, please dont let me got shot at again!!!!

    I am hoping this thread will continually evolve until the hunt and all of yall can help us prep for one hell of a hunt.

    This is the evolving equipment list:
    2 mules
    my eberlestock dragonfly pack
    his eberlestock number 1 pack
    my 270 Allen Mag
    his encore 300win
    Kathadin water filter
    MRE meals (im burned out on mountain house)
    Cabelas Extreme 4 season tent
    2 US Military Sleeping System Bags (rated to -30deg)
    swaro binos and spotter
    Garmin GPS and standard compass navigation by him (ex-USMC)

    Im sure im forgetting stuff but thats what i can think of for now.

    So you guys tell me what you think about the land, equipment, etc and any tips and advice are more than welcome

    We are simply good bull elk hunting, this aint no quest for the next BC record holder.

    thanks
    steve
     
  2. dogdinger

    dogdinger Writers Guild

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    a few comments....

    hi lerch....i have done an awful lot of hunting such as you are describing. I'm gonna suggest that you go in the very first rifle season. weather is usually milder and the bulls are still bugling. all your equipment sounds fine. be sure and have the proper gear to take care of the livestock and have a way to be able to leave them on their own...IE: hobbles, etc.....you wont be using them to hunt, just to pack. make sure you get the proper permits etc for them ....i know that colo requires out of state hunters to do certain things to bring their livestock in to the state.

    the next thing i would suggest is meat prep/care items. sometimes the weather at that time of year is fairly warm. you should check into locker plants available in the area in case you need them. normally , quartering and hanging in the shade will suffice.

    be prepared for anything....i remember a hunt that first season that almosted ended in disaster when a storm blew in and dumped 3ft of snow in the mtns.....me and a buddy were camping 8 miles in @ 12.000 ft with 3 8yrs old boys....had to leave all our gear there and make our way out on the horses....

    if you have any specific ?? let me know if i can help.....good luck and have fun...AJ
     

  3. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Thanks for the good info so far. My cousin really wants to go during the first season also for the simple fact of weather. I hate the idea of having to pass up a good muley but if it will make a safer trip for us then it sounds like a good idea. Plus it would be great to be up there when they guys are still bugling.

    Would the area above Valecito be good?????

    thanks
    steve
     
  4. TennVol

    TennVol Active Member

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    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    How many days do you plan to hunt?

    There are things will help or hinder depending onthe amount of time you will be back in there.
     
  6. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Thanks for the post so far. Muley hunting is prolly done with since in the first season we mght catch bulls still calling. I have always wanted to be in the mountains with bulls calling! The hunt will last about 7 days above the valecito res. I have to check the units on my map before i tell you any specific units. The main theme is we want to get high and away from other hunters, no more repeats of WY!!!!!! I am curious as to preserving meat if we pop a bull early and still wanna hunt for another.

    BB, 7 days or maybe a little more if we need.

    thanks
    steve
     
  7. TennVol

    TennVol Active Member

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    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  8. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Some food items to look at to augment MREs.

    Idahoan Mashed potoates - two serving pack

    Bullion cubes

    Dry spice such as Barbeque

    Ramen noodles

    Instant rice

    Foil packages of Tuna, chicken

    Shoot a few grouse or rabbits to help out.

    I looked several times on the internet but never found a really good source of mixed dehydrated vegatables at any price I was wiling to pay.

    My concept of food is that the evening meal is heavy duty and consists of meat, carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes, beans) and vegetables. The only requriement is that it be warm, salty, and filling. I do not pay to much attention to lunch. Breakfast is either instant oatmeal or instant cream of wheat. I will probably remember some more food stuff and add that later.

    5 gallons of camp water containers. The fold up ones with the spigot are cheap, light and small and you can burn them up when you are ready to leave and not bother packing them out. One for canteens and one for camp use. If you are systematic and not lazy you can fill them up at noon and put tablets in them and then when you get back to camp in the evening the water will be disinfected and ready to use.

    If you want something better than just water, there is gatorade mix and Crystal Light. Gatoraid has lots of sugar in it and is heavier per quart of mix but Crystal Light has no food value.

    Braided nylon construction twine is great stuff and much better than the twisted stuff.

    First aid pack with antibiotic creme, antiseptic, bandaid, really large bandages and rolled gauze. Tylenol, etc of your choice. You should be prepared to deal with a seriuos injury and keep the person alive. Duct tape can be used in place of medical tape so don't pack tape twice.
     
  9. TennVol

    TennVol Active Member

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    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  10. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Steve, The first time I did what your doing was in 98'. Yea, I learned from mistakes. Me and a buddy went out blind going to an area I picked out of the Gazzeter, and ordering some usgs maps for. We managed to kill a cow with archery tackle.

    !st and foremost, very good lace to toe boots, with quality socks.
    If your feet go south you are soon to follow. I use The best quality Danner boots, not the ones they sourced out to china.

    I always pack in enough rope and a 20x30 plastic tarp, and fassion a lean to over the tent. Keeps things much drier and adds more storage space. If it snows that tarp will save you skinny butt from waking up with a drift on your chest.

    Like tennvol said prepare for any weather, I have gone on trips where it was warm and high skys all week. Others that were miserable, cold and wet, snow,ect. I normally check the weather forcast for the week following up to my trip and the forecast for the trip, just to see how the trend is going.

    I can't give any advise on the stock, never used them before.

    Meat care is always somthing to consider before hand. Here is my advice take it for what it's worth. Chances are good that if your hunting high and near or in the snow it will freeze hard most every night. If the weather is clear It might make 50 during the day in direct sunlight. You could hang your quartered meat in the shade all weak and not have to worry about spoilage.

    Like tennvol said quarter it promptly and hang it. Just don't gut it out!

    Yes you read right, think like a buffalo hunter, all you do by gutting it is make a bigger mess than neccesary.

    Roll the elk on one side. make a cut through the hide down the length of it's back. Know skin the hide off working down towards the hocks. (Use precausions if you are saving the cape ) When you have one side skinned remove the back strap, cut off the rear quarter at the hip joint, cut off the front shoulder and neck meat trying to keep it all in one piece. To remove the tender loins, carefully make an 12 inch incision through the top side of the abdomen parallel with the tender loins. Hold the guts out of the way by pressing down on them, and remove the TL. That side is done. The carcass should be light enough to roll over and repeat on the other side.

    Here's where some think I'm looney , but when you think about it it makes alot of sense. Hang the meat and antlers high in a tree wrapped in a game sack or old cotton sheets, and forget about that meat. You can come back for it when the season ends or your partner kills his elk. Keep hunting one of you just killed an elk and more may be near-by. One gun shot will not make the whole heard vacate the area imediatly. But too guys packing out one elk sweating up a storm and bitchin about how heavy there packs are will. (or in your case bitchin' at the mule and kickin' it in the ass to get it to jump that deadfall.)

    There's no better feeling than 2 out of staters walking back to camp at the end of day 2 or 3, knowing the tags are filled the meat is safely in a tree. Celebrate, get a good nights sleep tommorow the work begins!
     
  11. elkstalker300

    elkstalker300 Well-Known Member

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    I live near there in Cortez and I'm not sure of that area but I wouldnt hold my breath for the deer tag if you dont have any pref. points. Guys that hunt with me from N. Mexico didnt draw this year and they had 2 points. Colo holds a certain percentage for the resident hunters and only give out like 20 percent to nonresident. It may be different in the area that you will be applying for but deer (buck) tags are really getting hard to draw for. Go the first season if you can draw, its a either sex elk only tag and they are still bugling
     
  12. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I will put this here so you will be sure to see it even though it probably belongs under the boots thread.

    Try the two layer sock system. The first layer is called a liner. It is very thin and will wick moisture and has smooth seams and prevents blisters. The second layer is the sock you would normally wear. I use Thorolo coolmax hiking and coolmax or polypro liners. Other people like wool outer socks, but I have simply logged a lot of miles jogging and am partial to the synthetic fibers.

    Same goes for underwear. Moisture control for the first layer is important. No cotton undershorts or undershirts allowed. I do not like the North face stuff becasue it develops pills and causes a false allergic reaction with me - I itch like crazy. I do not like Body Armor because it seems to get smelly very fast.
     
  13. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    I am looking at unit 751 as the one we will hunt, north of the valecito reservivor. There will probably be 3 guys now, i got another buddy wanting to go.
     
  14. elkstalker300

    elkstalker300 Well-Known Member

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    Like I said I have never hunted there but I have heard that area is awesome for elk. I have been in Durango in the winter time and the elk come down and winter right in town and the outskirts, I used to go over just to take pics of the bulls in peoples yards, its pretty amazing after hunting season how tame they get. You guys should have a great time but the most important thing is be safe and keep the animals safe. Colorado proclamations should come out around March I think. I actually hunt areas 71 & 711