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Old 08-08-2017, 12:03 AM   #1
Spike
 
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Default DIY Elk hunt

A couple friends and I are going on a diy elk hunt in lower Colorado in a few weeks. Just curious what are some things we may need to pack that we wouldn't normally think of? What are some things that you could probably have done without?
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:58 AM   #2
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A couple friends and I are going on a diy elk hunt in lower Colorado in a few weeks. Just curious what are some things we may need to pack that we wouldn't normally think of? What are some things that you could probably have done without?
What unit? I've done unit 81 in that area, plus 52 over the line in NM. First thing to pack is your fitness level. Have you been working at it all summer? I have not but only due to family events. But I got walk in the park AZ Mogollon Rim elk & deer units this year.
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:18 PM   #3
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What unit? I've done unit 81 in that area, plus 52 over the line in NM. First thing to pack is your fitness level. Have you been working at it all summer? I have not but only due to family events. But I got walk in the park AZ Mogollon Rim elk & deer units this year.

Unfortunately I haven't been working on the fitness part. But it looks like we'll be in unit 81 for the most part. Maybe in 78 and 80 as well.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:15 AM   #4
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I'd highly recommend running or biking every evening 2 hours every day until you leave for your hunt. Work your way up to some inclines if you can. Anything will be helpful. My Montana hunt was ruined last year due to several injuries stopping my workouts. Hunting the Rockies is a young man's game in most cases. It was a key contributing factor to challenge myself when I started hunting the Rockies 20 years ago. Not so much these days. 4 years of plantar fasciitis plus a pacemaker will do that.


81 is no cake walk. You will find a lot of carcasses close to the road initially, but the elk will get pushed back in quickly. We hunted right on the NM border.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:38 PM   #5
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I'd highly recommend running or biking every evening 2 hours every day until you leave for your hunt. Work your way up to some inclines if you can. Anything will be helpful. My Montana hunt was ruined last year due to several injuries stopping my workouts. Hunting the Rockies is a young man's game in most cases. It was a key contributing factor to challenge myself when I started hunting the Rockies 20 years ago. Not so much these days. 4 years of plantar fasciitis plus a pacemaker will do that.


81 is no cake walk. You will find a lot of carcasses close to the road initially, but the elk will get pushed back in quickly. We hunted right on the NM border.
Yikes! That doesn't sound like fun at all. I've done some hiking the past couple days here in Arkansas and I've come to find that I'm a little more out of shape than I thot I was. But like you said maybe running after work the next couple weeks will help.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:52 AM   #6
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Yikes! That doesn't sound like fun at all. I've done some hiking the past couple days here in Arkansas and I've come to find that I'm a little more out of shape than I thot I was. But like you said maybe running after work the next couple weeks will help.

If you are out of shape in the flat lands of Ark, you are going to be hurting in the mountains of Colorado. You have to cover as much ground as it takes to find the elk. They usually do not come to you, you have to go to them.

In the next couple weeks, try and get in the best shape you can. Begin hydrating with water and hope for the best. Hunting the Rockies is an amazing experience. That being said, you cannot over prepare. I have yet to meet someone out there that didnt say..."I wish I didnt work out as hard in the summer in prep for this hunt"
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:13 AM   #7
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My hunting partner likes to say "it is what it is." This seems to be a good workable expression that applies to anything. In this case, I suggest you look upon your physical conditioning and say "it is what it is!" You can begin working out, but you can't change your basic physical conditioning much in 4 weeks. Do it anyway. BUt don't OVERdo it: you could injure yourself.


While you are hunting, bear in mind that you may need to hunt for 5 days or more. Don't kill yourself on day one, because you may have to hunt 4 more days. As you are walking, when you get out of breath stop and catch your breath. You probably can't walk 3 miles climbing 2000 feet to get to your hunting spot without stopping to rest. It is what it is.


Eat well. Your body will expend a lot of energy, so you need to shovel the energy in. Take snacks with you out hunting. I like granola and nuts and dried fruit mixed together (GORP). Candy bars work. Eat breakfast. Eat dinner. I say this because sometimes the altitude and fatigue take it out of you so much you don't WANT to eat. Resist that impulse and eat.


If your physical condition gets in the way on this hunt, just say to yourself "It is what it is." Next year, however, or the year after that, when you plan to take your next elk hunt, start getting in physical shape 6 months in advance. Get your weight down. Build muscle strength. Build endurance through cardio exercises. I'm assuming this is your first elk hunt or you would already know this.


Don't forget what some people say -- a bad day hunting beats a good day at work. The elk hunting grounds are beautiful. 20% of elk hunters in the Rocky Mountains kill an elk, on average. It is what it is.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:42 PM   #8
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My hunting partner likes to say "it is what it is." This seems to be a good workable expression that applies to anything. In this case, I suggest you look upon your physical conditioning and say "it is what it is!" You can begin working out, but you can't change your basic physical conditioning much in 4 weeks. Do it anyway. BUt don't OVERdo it: you could injure yourself.


While you are hunting, bear in mind that you may need to hunt for 5 days or more. Don't kill yourself on day one, because you may have to hunt 4 more days. As you are walking, when you get out of breath stop and catch your breath. You probably can't walk 3 miles climbing 2000 feet to get to your hunting spot without stopping to rest. It is what it is.


Eat well. Your body will expend a lot of energy, so you need to shovel the energy in. Take snacks with you out hunting. I like granola and nuts and dried fruit mixed together (GORP). Candy bars work. Eat breakfast. Eat dinner. I say this because sometimes the altitude and fatigue take it out of you so much you don't WANT to eat. Resist that impulse and eat.


If your physical condition gets in the way on this hunt, just say to yourself "It is what it is." Next year, however, or the year after that, when you plan to take your next elk hunt, start getting in physical shape 6 months in advance. Get your weight down. Build muscle strength. Build endurance through cardio exercises. I'm assuming this is your first elk hunt or you would already know this.


Don't forget what some people say -- a bad day hunting beats a good day at work. The elk hunting grounds are beautiful. 20% of elk hunters in the Rocky Mountains kill an elk, on average. It is what it is.
Yes this is our first elk hunt. Just had a friend ask if we wanted to go a couple months ago so we made it work. I've heard that a person uses a lot of energy, therefore needs to take higher callorie foods.

"It is what it is" just gonna have to be our motto for this trip lol. But we'll be better prepared next time. I like the advice on taking it a day at a time tho. Don't try to over do it in day one just to get it done.
I really appreciate the advice!
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:44 PM   #9
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If you are out of shape in the flat lands of Ark, you are going to be hurting in the mountains of Colorado. You have to cover as much ground as it takes to find the elk. They usually do not come to you, you have to go to them.

In the next couple weeks, try and get in the best shape you can. Begin hydrating with water and hope for the best. Hunting the Rockies is an amazing experience. That being said, you cannot over prepare. I have yet to meet someone out there that didnt say..."I wish I didnt work out as hard in the summer in prep for this hunt"
Yea this being our first time is more trial and error than anything. But I'm sure we'll enjoy it (even if we are wore out). But we'll be better prepared next time since we'll know what to expect.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:41 AM   #10
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With reference to the future, you CAN get in shape in advance of future hunts, IF YOU WANT TO. You may have to lose a lot of weight. You may have to quit smoking. You will have to work out hard. But it can be done. Enough of that.


You will learn a lot just by going out there. I assume no one in your group has hunted elk before. If they HAVE hunted elk before, successfully, pick their brains and follow their direction. Some things you just can't think through merely by reading a book or sitting at home, you have to be there.


One of the things that is needed -- I'm speaking for future trips -- is a good camp. My first year I tried to camp at 11,500' in a backpacking tent. Not a good solution. You want some place you can get warm. This means either a tent you can stand up in with a heater, a camper with a heater, or a trailer with a heater. You need a place to recharge your batteries, to sit in a chair, in the warmth.


It is often said that he who walks the furthest sees the most elk. That is not necessarily the case, but there is some truth in it. Getting a mile or more away from the road is helpful. This tends to reduce the number of people you are competing with and the elk will be less spooky with fewer people chasing them. Be where you want to be by 45 minutes before sun-up if not earlier. A lot of people recommend getting up on a high place with a good pair of binoculars and looking for elk painstakingly with the binoculars. You need to do this deliberately and slowly. Check for elk close first, but then concentrate and further away distances. Elk are usually banded together, say in herds of 20-50. Elk, when in traditional patterns, move from bedding areas to feeding areas at first light and then back to bedding areas by about 2 hours after sun-up. It may even be the case that the elk are already in the feeding areas at first light and heading towards bedding areas. It is the reverse of this at night. I'm talking about after the rutting season is over. Feeding areas are open grassy areas, usually pretty large open grassy areas (needs to be enough to feed the whole crowd of 20-50 elk).


The elk like to be very close to treeline before the snow has accumulated and driven them lower.


Shoot and keep shooting until the elk is on the ground. Shoot at the same elk. If you shoot and are sure you missed, that may alter this advice.


Think about cutting the elk up and getting it out before you shoot. Don't shoot them in 25 inches of water or in deep mud. I have heard some people say take plenty of rope. I don't know why they said that. I usually have a fair amount of rope in camp. Maybe I'll have an experience some day that teaches me why that person gave that advice. Take two knives with you while hunting. Sometimes knife blades break while working on elk. Your blade may get dull while working on the elk also.


Drink plenty of water. Have sunglasses. If there is snow on the ground, you will want to wear sunglasses. Remember at high altitude there is more sunlight blazing off the snow and into your eyeballs. You may wish to use sunscreen on your face. We have it at my camp, but I don't remember right now if I actually apply it or not. I haven't gotten sunburned before. Maybe this is because I tend to like to tuck myself into shadows while hunting which makes it harder for game animals to see me.


When you see other hunters while out elk hunting, talk with them and politely ask for any pointers they may have to offer or even any good place to hunt. Most often people don't want to divulge their best places, but sometimes they can give helpful pointers.
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