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Old 09-25-2005, 11:33 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1

A friend and I are hunting Colorado area 79 Oct.22 second rifle season. We have not hunted elk before. We have hunted whitetail for 25+ years. I have talked to a friend of a friend that use to be a guide up north and got some general advice but i'm looking for info in this area: where to look first, how high Thanks for any help
achinnou is offline  
Old 09-26-2005, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Posts: 1,964

Welcome to the forum. I see that you're new so it is likely that you don't know the "in's and out's" of the hunting advice process.... Given what I seen here in the past, I'm afraid you'll have to demonstrate a bit more perogative and knowledge before folks here will likely fill in many of the blanks for you....

Start with the Colorado Dept of Wildlife website and public service contacts, localofficers at the division office near Area 79, wild life biologists, CDOW game wardens, etc. etc. Get your Colorado Gazetteer Map Book (broad) and7.5 Quad/Topo maps (detailed)laid out in front of you with Area 79's borderslaid out. Study the whole area IN GENERAL so that you are oriented. Thenmake some preliminary conclusions what you might want try for a hunt area,learnsome of the peak names, park names, and towns in that area. THEN work the phones with the state folks --- they too may not be detail oriented unless you can demonstrate a degree of familiarity with "their" area and terrain and landmarks. If they think youare on the right track then they will guide you for further details in that area. If they think you are wasting your time in that locale, then they may direct you to a better spot (miles and miles away)--- but they will only wait so long for you tolocate iton a map while going ah, um, er can't find it. They also tend to reward folks with more of their time and advice if the caller demonstrates a preliminary familiarity first. Upon finishing with an officer, ask them if there are any Chamber of Commerce/CDOW/Forest Service liassons in the area. These folksWANT to see the elk harvest succeed and have no vested interest in leading you astray. Once you've made those rounds, then come back here for the finishing touches.

Seldom have I seen the kingdom handed over carte blanche simply by the asking.....

Good Luck
ELKampMaster is offline  
Old 09-26-2005, 12:10 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Nocona, Texas
Posts: 248

Not sure from what area of the country you are coming from friend.......but for us Texas boys the first thing we learned, and we learned it the hard way, is that no matter how much corn you trailer up with you......the blasted Colorado folkwill not be talked in to letting you set up your feeder! Tripod or blind is fine, just no corn feeder!!!
Poor old elk will never get to enjoy the sound of a spinner plate dispersing thecandy of the feed store gods!
But alas, all is not lost! They make these electronic devices that mimic the sound of a feeder going off and we take them along withus! Oh sure, it only serves to scare everything within earshot......but it makes it feel like home! Besides, whowants to actually kill something. We had several do that last year and learned real quickthat that kind of activity takes all the fun out of our camping trip!

Best advice? Trust your"hunter" instinct, use the wind,and learn from what you see. You'll do fine. The best informationcomes from the doing.
RedRiverHntr is offline  
Old 09-27-2005, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 15

As an Eastern whitetail hunter transplanted to Colorado I will tell you what I went through during my first couple of seasons trying to adjust to elk hunting.

1. Elk are mobile. They can and will cover FAR more range than a typical whitetail deer. Everything out west is going to seemlarger. You have to be willing to get off the roads and cover some miles if you want to really have a good chanceat a bull.

2. You will be intimidated by the amount of huntable territory. Get good topos of the unit you will be hunting and find the pack/hiking trails. Use these pack trails to get away from roads and ATV trails. They will give you some security and make traveleasier. They will also allow you to arrange for a packer if you so choose. GET AWAY FROM ATV TRAILS.

3. Elk are herd animals. They leave LOTS of sign. If you are not seeing LOTS of very fresh sign, keep moving. If you are used to whitetail hunting you will be stunned by the amount of sign elk can leave. However, 2 day old sign may have been left by elk that are now 6 miles away. This is IMPORTANT. Old elk sign without fresh sign means little on a 7 day hunt.

4. Elk like whitetails will go underground in response to hunting pressure. For elk this often means steep, evergreen covered, north facing slopes. They will go where most hunters won't. Go to the same places.

5. Water is a more important factor in general, for elk than for eastern whitetails. Find heavy cover, water and fresh elk sign and you are in an area worth hunting.

6. DoNOT waste time sitting on beautiful open parks if you are hunting pressured elk. They will not be there during shooting light.

7. Believe you can find and kill a bull. It is not magic, but takes more work than whitetails back east.Come ready to work hard. Really hard.

8. Have a plan for getting your elk out. This isimportant because you can't be worrying about "how in the heck you are going toget an elk out of there". Buy a lightweight pack frame (Cabelas Alaskan?) and wear it while hunting. Travel light but do not neglect the things you will need to break down and pack out your elk.

9. GOOD boots. GOOD socks. If you buy new boots and don't break them in you will be very sorry. You will be hiking your butt off if you are hunting right.

10. GOOD binoculars. Glassing is the one thing that can save you miles of hiking.

11. Leave the elk bugle call at home. You will be hunting after the rut and bugling will just run the elk off. Carry a cow call as it might come in handy to reassure elk if they hear you but can't see you, or to stop a bull for a shot.

12. Get in shape. Nothing will prepare you for altitude except altitude but you need to be in good shape. Buy Gingo Biloba tablets. Start taking them 2 days before you arrive and take them morning and evening during you whole hunt.This may not work for everyone but saved me duing my fisrt two seasons.

There is LOTS to learn about elk, but if you are willing toreally work. To hunt smart and hike in further than the lazier, less smart hunters you CAN kill a bull and have one of the greatest hunts of you life.

I am a rank amateur compared to many guys, but I followed the above advice and killed my first bull, second morning of my first ever elk hunt. I packed in a small camp on my back 4 miles from the nearest ATV trail. I saw 1 hunter, 6 Bighorns, 4 mule deer bucks, 11 cow elk and 1 bull. Just like i dreamed it would be as a boy.

Good luck and have fun!!

CountingCoo is offline  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Beautiful Western Montana
Posts: 2,308

CountingCoo that was as solid advice as I have seen on this board. One of the things that is amazing is to get to the top of a ridge and see the vast expanse of cover available to the elk. At times it seems like it would be impossible to ever find an elk. In my experience elk like little micro habitats. If hunting a new area the first thing I look for is a long ridge with several little fingers coming off of it. This affords the hunter a reasonably mild change in elevation at which to cover ground, and the same is true for the elk. The best possible advice I could give would be to say that elk are where you find them, you just got to keep looking.
muley69 is offline  
Old 09-28-2005, 11:45 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 612

That is sound advice. Enjoy the hunt. There are several more pages at: http://www.huntingnet.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=1016246
wyomingtrapper is offline  
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