Waiting on 1st elk

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by emmagator, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. emmagator

    emmagator Well-Known Member

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    Its been seven years since i started chasing elk with a bow. Ive yet to get one down. Im from oregon(westside), and its tough hunting for Roosevelts. Been over east and enjoyed it more, but still no luck. Im now thinking about out of state, where opportunity may be better, ie Colorado.

    All of you seasoned elk hunters who have been there and done that, hunted out of state, etc... Knowing what you know now where would you go to have the best opportunity at your first branched antlered bull? Public land.

    Thanks
     
  2. Cullboss

    Cullboss Well-Known Member

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    You might take a look at New Mexico. I took my first bull with a bow 4 days into my hunt a 6x6. I have a couple friends that have also taken their first bulls bow hunting in New Mexico.
     

  3. Cullboss

    Cullboss Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pic of a bull I took in New Mexico my second kill. He would have been a 6x6 but had a tine broke off on each side. He was definitely an old guy and a fighter.
     
  4. Cullboss

    Cullboss Well-Known Member

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    Guess pic didn't post hope this works.
     

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  5. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    NM works if you can draw. Usually the best units have the highest number of hunters applying. I started hunting elk here when I was 13. I will see if I can post a pic. of my best bull to date with a muzzle loader. Just got my bow this year so will see if I can get drawn for bow next year.
     

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  6. Cullboss

    Cullboss Well-Known Member

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    Redsparky I have drawn a tag 5 years in a row for bow hunting. It seems that there are less bow hunters in New Mexico chasing elk.
     
  7. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    If you go to the popular areas pull up the complete report from G&F you can see how many hunters are putting in for a unit by total and by choice of draw. Seems like everybody wants to hunt the Gila or unit 34 area. I think it kind of sucks when 2,000 + hunters are putting in for 150 tags. When you look at the number of hunters getting their second and third choice over somebodies first choice you will see where I am coming from.

    I usually get better draw results with the muzzle loader, my daughter and I usually draw every other year, but it has never been my first choice. I usually got my first choice when I was the only hunter applying. That was before they changed the way the draw works.

    This year for my first time applying with the bow I have three choices picked out that should have over 50% chance to draw on any of them. Usually it is in the 60-75% range. The units have small herds spread out in them but I have an idea where to look. Since there are small herds they are not very popular to apply for so I am really looking forward to getting into them during bow season.
     
  8. Cullboss

    Cullboss Well-Known Member

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    Good luck to you redsparky. I usually hunt in unit 16 or 22. Maybe I have been lucky or maybe it's because I hunt in the wilderness area. My buddy and I always put in together and have always gotten our first choice (knock on wood).
     
  9. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    Looking at this years report you have not gotten lucky but have really good odds on drawing. Then again it is like the units I hunt with small localized elk herds you have to know where they are to be able to hunt them :D. My old deer hunting grounds were east of you in unit 24 so I do know something of the elk herds in that area. On a public forum I won't say which hunts you are putting in for but with my limited knowledge I ran the numbers and they are good.

    I had the misfortune of having a hunting show kill a bull on camera in my unit so odds went from 50/50 down to less than 10% to draw as about 1200 applicants put in for 100 tags during the ML season. Things you can't account for year to year. I did get drawn for the mid October hunt and the bulls were still bugling a little but were bedded down 20 minutes after sunrise and out of beds about 20 minutes before sunset.

    As they say in The Hunger Games, yes thank my daughter, "May the odds be ever in your favor."
     
  10. Cullboss

    Cullboss Well-Known Member

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    Any luck in the draw redsparky?
     
  11. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    I PM'ed you as you responded to one of the other post of mine.
     
  12. bowtechboss177

    bowtechboss177 Well-Known Member

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    I would not go to Colorado. OTC hunts are probably the hardest hunts to get a bull, let alone see a bull. I went on an OTC rifle elk hunt in Colorado and only saw 2 rag horn bulls and trust me, we were hunting hard. We saw a decent 6x7 the day before the opener and it was on private land. The next day we went back to try and find the bull and hope that he moved onto public, but 3 trucks were parked bugling and looking for him in their spotting scopes. We had to buy a Colorado land map because everywhere we went we were on private land. Just giving some advice and there are many better states than Colorado.
     
  13. FurTaker

    FurTaker Well-Known Member

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    I stongly disagree there are over 90 units in Colorado with available OTC tags for the 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons with decent odds of a branch antlered bull if you know where to go, like anywhere you cant expect to jump out of the truck and run into a herd. There is also either sex archery tags available OTC in a large portion of the state. I rifle hunted Colorado for 11yrs and seen plenty of elk killed some and missed some opportunities as well. But the last couple of years my hunting partners and I decided to give the bow a try, and I've never had to much fun in my life (first time experiencing the elk rut) :D first year shot a cow the 1st evening, really didn't wanna eat that tag and you could say I was a little trigger happy. Last year I had a little more control of myself and passed on the cows, and came home with a respectable 5x5 it was by no means a easy hunt, but ive never heard anyone whose hunted elk especially with a bow say that it was easy... All I can say is pick a place and take the time to learn everything you can about