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scott26 06-17-2008 09:24 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed

I dont think I was paying enough attention to hydration on a few deer hunts up north and your post reminded me of how much you can sweat even in the cold. I will pack gatorade/water in excess thanks. Didnt think about it being drier so I will pack some lip balm.


Thanks for the encouragement hopefull it wont be as big a deal as it might sound. 10x42 binos will be on the shoppin list as well.

Cant thank you all enough for the great advice.


bugs11 06-17-2008 10:46 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
I talked to my Dr. regarding going up to 8-9k feet from the flatlands. He suggested taking one regular aspirin for 5 days before heading up and while at altitude. I do that everytime I head to CO. Seems to help, but it may be the placebo effect. I was going to mention the lip balm as it is way drier in CO mountains than Daytona beach.

Hurricanespg 06-17-2008 11:07 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Scott; I am in pretty much the same boat as you, although I do live at a little bit higher elevation. I will be going elk hunting for the first time this fallduringCO's second rifle season. My group is planning on backpacking into an area and hunting theentire second rifle season.
The advice that everyone has given me can be summed up into.........Hydrate, and when you think that you have gotten into the bestshape of your life then go out and get ineven better shape.
My current exercise regimenis......swimming 5 days a week for an hour at a time. Running/jogging3 milesevery day and another 3 miles every night. One day out of the weekend I take a 6 mile trail run with 35lbs on my back...I have found that I cannot balance very well with more than 35lbs in a backpack while running.
Good luck, hope it will be as fun for you as I think it will be for me!

scott26 06-18-2008 07:01 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Same to you hurricane and thanks. Sounds like your exercise plan will be more vigorous than mine, not sure I could find that kind of time. My usual pre-season exercise routine is fast paced walking for two miles a day while slowly building a heavier pack. By season I am carrying a 55 - 60 lb backpack 2 miles a day. Makes hunting carrying a 8lb rifle and a 10lb pack a breeze. Thanks again and good luck this season.


homers brother 06-20-2008 09:04 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Coming from Florida, acclimatization to the altitude's going to make or break your hunt. When I lived in Pagosa Springs, I never hunted the Weminuche, but the general environment there is similar to what I hunt now in Wyoming.

Trust me on this one, what's going to make carrying a 10 lb pack and 8 lb rifle easy to carry is your level of aerobic conditioning. Walking with your pack will get your back, shoulders, and legs into shape, but you'll find yourself taking 15 steps and stopping to breathe. Run. Or walk very fast as a minimum. Change up your workout - alternateyour aerobic workouts with strength workouts.

Next - Hydration is absolutely critical at 7,000 -10,000 feet.

bugs11 06-21-2008 09:41 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Speaking of conditioning, I read somewhere that one should prepare for mountain air by climbing hills while wearing a pack and restricting airflow by only breathing through the nose or have your mouth open just slightly. That replicates what it will be like at altitude. You need a few days up high for your body to react and make more red blood cells. Personally, I like to spend a day at 5k feet, before going up and staying at 8-9k. The first coupe of days are the hardest.

quietelkstalker 06-22-2008 02:13 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
when u buy an otc tag you are allowed to go to any unit that is otc i have some good hot spots in unit80 which is not to far. if you would like some info pm me .

Alsatian 06-24-2008 08:49 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Scott26: Get a GPS device and learn how to use it. It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy and you don't have to know how to cook eggs benedict using the device. It can provide a comfortable sense of security and provide serious help if you get turned around. Even the simple ones allow you to set a waypoint -- like where you have parked your truck or started out from -- and then later select the GPS to direct you back to that waypoint. Take a map and compass as back-up for the GPS. A Magellan eTrex is pretty cheap and suffices, although many other devices may also be entirely suitable.

The key physical attribute is stamina. To build this, reduce body weight (if you are over weight) and do exercise that makes you breath hard. Do not expect to prepare for the thin air -- that is not my point -- as this is next to impossible for us low landers. Be ready to breath hard and have to pace yourself. That is just the way it goes. What you want to accomplish -- and which is achievable -- is to develop the stamina to keep going all day long and for the duration of the hunting season, day-after-day.

The advice about binoculars is good. Let your eyes do the work for you. Once you have climbed a few hills you will understand the wisdom of this advice. Get on top of a high hill before first light and scout for elk with your binoculars.

turkeyward 06-30-2008 12:21 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
I used to live there and hunted the Wemenuche extensively. First tip hunt close to the aspens. Second tip, the good hunting starts at about 10,000 and then goes up well past 12,000. Really -- get in shape. At the bottom of the mountain heading towards the highway the public gives way to the private ground. Even though its the bottom its still high elevation. Any way the elk will sometimes go hang down there. Lots of elk and lots of fun. Be sure not to trespass. Lots of bears too. Should think about a bear tag if you can afford one. Head out from Wolf Creek campground. When you get past poison park go south of the big headwall and climb to the top of it. There is about 4,000 acres of beautiful aspen benches. Work those benches to the top of the aspens. There are a few really good wallows up there and work to the continental divide. There are several pockets there that hold elk all through the hunting season. Up on top of that big headwall there are three small drainages that are full of wallows and dark timber bordered by aspens. Hit those really hard. Of course watch the wind and be quiet, they are there.
Good luck have fun and post pics when you get back.

scott26 06-30-2008 07:10 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed

Thanks for the detailed advice. I will make use of it and post the pics. Deep thanks again.


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