Colorado elk hunt, non resident, public ground.

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by YZEATER, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. YZEATER

    YZEATER Well-Known Member

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    i got the phone call i have been waiting a long time for. my cousins had a couple openings in their group to go to Craig Colorado to hunt elk. this will be the 10th year of them going.

    we will be driving out, hunting bulls and cows. renting horses for 2 weeks, staying in a tent 3 miles up into the mountains. we have to send in for cow draw by April 5th.
    We've been talking about this for a long time, and still can't believe we are going.

    I still need to decide which gun i am going to be using, a .257 wtby mag, 300 win mag, or 30-378 wtby mag. I'm thinking lightweight would win over power. so i might be taking the .257 loaded with accubonds.

    Horses: i have experience in my younger days, my buddy, not so much.

    any thoughts and ideas, i am open. I know the unit and area we will be hunting. i have access to a little work out space and plan to be in decent shape for this to make it worth while. everything i read says be ready for the altitude.

    looking for any and all opinions to make this a great trip.
     
  2. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    I'll be hunting northeast of Craig this year also. The 257 Weatherby is enough gun but you may want to take a 30 also. The old cowboys I went with used 25-06's.

    I used a 270WSM last time and rolled a cow at 500+(482 to the bush she was behind). I'll be taking my 6.5-284 this year also. If the horse carries the gun it can be heavier.

    It wouldn't hurt to get a horse lesson or two. I bought a set of big stirrups that my boots fit in. We haul horses from South Dakota. They get pretty skinny after a week.

    Somewhere on here was a link...here-

    http://www.wildsheep.org/pdf/six_minute_hill.pdf.

    Sounded like a good way to get in shape.

    Good Luck!!
     

  3. YZEATER

    YZEATER Well-Known Member

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    been thinking more and more of taking the big 30. we'll be walking alot, but also hunting from horse back to cover ground too.
     
  4. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    Horses are GREAT, but if you do not ride frequently, especially your buddy, SPEND SOME TIME IN A SADDLE the month before you go, or the first 3 days of your 5 day hunt will be MISERABLE.
    Take this from an eastern flatlander who speaks from experience!

    GOOD LUCK Have Fun

    Dave
     
  5. YZEATER

    YZEATER Well-Known Member

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    time to get serious. applied and paid for my cow tag this morning.

    i haven't rode a horse in at least 10 years. i was around them for the first 15 years of my life. my buddy has never been around them. we will be getting a refresher course over the summer. my sister and mother have horses yet.
     
  6. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    I sent in Thursday.

    What Unit you going to?
     
  7. YZEATER

    YZEATER Well-Known Member

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    units 12, 23, AND 24. baldy mountain.
     
  8. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    i took my first elk last year with a 25 caliber 100 grain sierra bt. at 450 yards 1 shot from my 25 Bobcat ( 270 wsm necked to 25 ) vel. 3550. Your 257 whby. will work fine.
    mike
     
  9. GonzoK34

    GonzoK34 Well-Known Member

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    You'll need to ride a horse at least 2x month in the beginning to get your legs in shape. There's allot of up and down motion riding a horse. Your back and your legs will experience strain from muscle you haven't used for a long time. After your legs get accustom to causal riding. Start riding at a faster pace and longer rides at least an hour long or longer if possible. In the last couple of months before your hunt ride at least 3x each month. Try to get in as much back country trail riding so you get use to riding up and down differing terrain.


    I have hunted from horses several times. Montana and Utah where I normally hunt has some extremely steep terrain, deep ravines, slippery side hills, rocky switchbacks, timbered areas with downed trees, thick brush, washed out trails, and open wind blown ridges. Combine rain, mud, snow and ice. Going up steep hills lean forward over the horse neck. When going down steep hills lean back and lay flat over the horse's butt. Give the horse his head, don't try to hold em back. Just relax - the horse knows better than you what he needs to do to get you both through an obstacle. Make it easy for both you and the horse. Horse' do get pissed off. So take riding a horse seriously. As stated by others, not preparing for your horseback hunt could end up with you or your friend laid up for a few painful days. Worse seriously injured. Medical Evacuation gets expensive fast. Rescue isn't a phone call away if you can get cell/sat phone reception.

    The benefit of using horses is that you get back away from crowds, get further back into less hunted or not hunted at all country. Get up high before day break. Ty the horses up and hunt on foot to vantage points to glass for elk.

    Understand also that with a horse camp there's allot of noise that carry's out quite a distance. Elk don't like new and unusual noise. You may have to ride some distance from camp.

    Good Luck
    Gonzo
     
  10. YZEATER

    YZEATER Well-Known Member

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    the horse part is going to be rough. i'll be able to ride some. my sister will be bringing her horse back down to my house and i'll get the refresher course.

    i still haven't decided which rifle i want to take. i did think about getting a 338 ultra mag, cause i've been wanting one for a while.
     
  11. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    Ive heard some real horror stories with horses on hunts.
    mike
     
  12. YZEATER

    YZEATER Well-Known Member

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    my cousin and uncle that we're going with have told us some horse stories. running off after getting spooked by a shot, if your too close to them. he said if you get mad at the horse and shoot it it'll cost $1200. he said they have had pretty good horses.
     
  13. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    Just try to get as much in the saddle prep. as you can before the hunt as several have mentioned. Also, as mentioned, you are best to get away from camp with the horses and tie them up to go on out a ways to glass and actually hunt. The first thing to remember when you dismount is to ALWAYS yank the rifle out of the scabbard or you might find it in two pieces when one decides to get down and roll on it! I would take the 300 Win Mag as my main gun and any of the others as a backup of the ones you list that are presently in your safe. I've been on three horseback hunts (two DIYs) and they are extra work, but with several guys you can split up duties and not waste too much time messing with them. Good luck and BE SAFE!!!
     
  14. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i would agree with getting your rearend in shape for horses. also get in the best shape you can. most elk hunting is tuff. i would also recommend a product called altitude advantage. the one thing you can't get ready for is the change in altitude. there is a condition called altitude sickness that is a very bad thing to get. serious headaches, can't sleep, of course very tired, and just basically misserable.i've experienced it a couple times and you will feel like a dog. the last hunt i went on, i took the AA and had no problems. read up on the affects of altitude and how to prepare for and deal with it. that's my advice for your hunt.