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DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

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DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

Old 09-07-2005, 08:03 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Default DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

Couple of friends and myself are planning a DIY elk hunt for '06. We're flat-landers but we vacation (go camping)in the mountains (CO and/or WY)just about every summer. My question is; what does everyone use for shelter during an elk hunt? A couple of us have pop-up campers, would a pop-up work for elk hunting or should we look into getting a wall tent or one of the Cabela "extreme conditions" dome tent. Is it possible to get way back into the mountainstowing a pop-up?

I'm not gunna ask you where the elk are, I'll do my homework, but I would like to know what makes the most sense for suitable shelter when elk hunting in the mountains.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about some aspect of elk hunting; weapon, ammo, knives, gear, food, toilet paper, tequila...
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:05 PM
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Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

I guess I should mention thiswill be a 2nd or 3rd season rifle hunt in either northwest or northeast CO.

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Old 09-07-2005, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
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Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options


We have a group from Mississippi who hunt in our general area each year and they show up with a fleet of pop up trailers and the park them in a semi-circle with the open side of the semi circle (and their doors) up against the treeline just off of the graded forest service road. Most of them "wrap" their extended trailers with polypro tarps on all sides but the "door" side. They are a pretty "durable" bunch and always seem pretty happy, and they do some serious elk harvesting too.

Bear in mind that during the 2nd and 3rd rifle season you have the opportunity to pick up some serious snow (or not) and being too far back in on too sketchy of a two track can start looking real ugly when you finally decide the weather is getting too bad and now it's time to pack up and move on down in elevation. I dare say you didn't get that feeling in summer time during your visits,but you sure can getthat "oh crap" feelingin November.

If you are wanting to range "further back in" then consider just getting up earlier in the morning from your "on the road base camp" which sometimes means1AM if you want to leave on a good hot breakfast and get 4 or so miles back in and be positioned an hour before sunrise. Nothing says your base camp has to be right where you start walking into the hunt, a short hop in the pick up to the trail head is okay, just make sure everyone has a key --- be careful to obey the laws as to where you can or can't go with your pickup or ATV.

Arrive early, scout, and get your GPS set up so you can zip into and out of your hunting area in the dark going both directions. You'll have a great time.

Great thing about pop up trailers is you canbreak camp really quick, it may not smack of tradition like a wall tent but pop up campers aresufficient --- it is the camaradery (sp?) that counts.
ELKampMaster is offline  
Old 09-07-2005, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options


Now that's an option I hadn't thought of, camp down the mountain a bit, then truck in everyday.

I'm already planning next summer's vacation... it will be in the area where we will hunt. I need to get a GPS, that's one thing I don't have.

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Old 09-07-2005, 09:25 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 411
Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

Hi Bugs:

I have done 7-8 mile pack-in hunts the last few years, and ended up initially camping at about 11,500', in Colorado. Last year the snow drove me out a day early. I use the Cabelas Alaskan 8 man tent and it works well. I hate being cramped and love the tent, but will be changing strategies for future years as a result of the snow "potential".

You didn't say where you were headed, so, bear in mind, (pun intended) that the bear problem is bad this year, and probably will continue. Many of the forest service camp areas have banned camping in tents or soft-sided campers (all of them around my area), and I haven't seen that before. You might want to check and see if your areas has that restriction this year, if you were planning on going that route. My access point is in the White River National forest and the Gore Creek Campgroundhas those restrictions. The "caretaker" said many others do as well. The restrictions aren't listed on the website, I guess you have to show up to find out...


Good luck,
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:34 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 612
Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

Sounds like you need to consider snow and cold weather. Remember, the quality of your sleep will have a serious impact on your hunt. You need to be able to get dry and warm. Not knowing the details of your area, it is hard to make a recommendation.
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Old 09-08-2005, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Roxboro, NC
Posts: 144
Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

This is what you need. A gp small military tent will sleep 6 xl cots and you can get one from an army surplus store or via the internet for around $500 including liner and poles. I love our tent but you need to find one close by. Shipping could be expensive, the tent weighs in at 225lbs including liner and poles. If you buy one try to find one with the teloscopic(colapsible) poles. This is a 17.5X17.5 octagon tent with 2 doors, 6roof vents, and a stove jack.The tent roof stands 10'6" in the center and 5'6" at the outside edge. We sleep four in our tent and have plenty of room to cook and store gear. With the liner installed we only run a small propane heater/burner for an hour or so when we return to camp, and don't light it again until morning while we are getting dressed/eating. If you experience bad weather sitting crouched in a small tent or camperit's no fun and can ruin a trip. Spraying the tent down with a water sealer like thompson's will make it last a lot longer than a man can hunt. A lot of the surplus stuffmay have holes in it, but don't worry a little coumpound cement and a small peice of canvas will repair just about any tears or holes you have.You can also get a liner for it if you'll be in extreme cold weather. If it's good enouigh for the military it's good enough for me.
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:32 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Nocona, Texas
Posts: 248
Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

We stay in wall tents in our camp and our neighbors stay in a pop up. We camp at around 10k feet and last year received a pretty good snow. With some of the best homemade woodburning stoves ever made, we stayed toasty and dry. The pop-up boys were dry and not quite so toasty. There are advantages to both. They can be packed and gone inside of an hour. Takes us about three times that. You are the best judge of what you value most. And you will learn from each trip and adjust.
Which is what makes the trip more enjoyable!!!
Got to go tell the wife to hide my keys...........else I jump in the pickup and start for Colorado tonight!!!! Woo hoooooo.......
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:50 PM
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Default RE: DIY Elk Hunt - Shelter Options

Thanks for all the info guys. What ever we go with, pop-up or tent,we want to be somewhat comfortable. Since we already have pop-ups, we'll probably go that route and make the best of it. The bear situation is good to know, when we start narrowing down places we'll have to look into getting info. on the camping restrictions.
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