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scott26 06-16-2008 09:04 PM

Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Greetings all.

I will be going ELK hunting this year near Pagosa Springs, CO. I am from south Florida and have never seen an elk let alone hunted one.Have done lots of deer hunting and amnot new to the woods. (although this will be verydiffrent I am sure) I will be staying with an uncle who does not hunt. I have been trying to gather information for the past month in preperation. Heres some of what is planned so far (random list) and any further help/suggetsions on any aspect of the hunt would be greatly appreciated.

Gear: 7mm Rem mag with 165 nosler part.
Backup- 308 with 180 nos part.
Lots of heavy camo. Lots of coolers
Handheld GPS with topo
Good knife kit.

I have ordered a trail guide book the the Wenimuche wilderness area that I will be hunting and have been studying Google earth. Unfortunately will have very little time to do any actual scouting due to work/vacation time.

I will bepurchasing an over-the-counter bull tag and will hunt gmu 77 and 78. Will hunt 2nd season Oct 18-26.

Read two books on elk hunting from credible sources.

Have started an exercise routine that includes lots of walking with a heavy pack.

I am real fired up but am also thinking this will be a big task. Again, any advice will be appreciated. Thanks again


bugs11 06-16-2008 11:56 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Boots. Make sure you have broken in a good pair (or two) of waterproof leather hunting boots.And pack some moleskin or bandages for blisters and such. The weather can go from sunny and 60's to a raging snow storm in a few hours, be prepared.Get in the best shape that you can, the mountains will still kick your tail. Don't drink alcohol, take a couple Advil when you turn in for the night. Take a camera, CO in the autumn is breathtakingly beautiful.

scott26 06-17-2008 07:40 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Good advice Bugs thanx. Think I will start walking in the boots I will hunt in.


Muliefever 06-17-2008 08:36 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Sounds like you are off to a really good start. The best advice I can give you is to be in shape! I don't always wear big boots either. If you have snow and wet conditions then yes. My Danner's come into play! But I hunt in a good pair of hiking boots. They have made my elk hunting experiences much more enjoyable!

One more thing. I have hunted elk my entire life. And the biggest thing I have learned is this.. If you think you should make a move. Do it!! Do not second guess yourself. Elk are loud animals, making a little noise won't kill you. Just make sure you are scent free!

I hope we both have a good season! Mine starts in September!:D

Colorado Luckydog 06-17-2008 08:40 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
In the mountains and foothills the wind tends to swirl and it's hard to keep it in your face. Make sure to bring some scent killer and use it periodically during the day. Scent cover has proven to be very useful to me and I have been within just a few feet of deer and elk many many times, and they never knew I was there. I use the H.S. Wafers in the fresh earth scent. Even though the wind is swirling, I always carry a wind detector and try my best to hunt into the wind. And last but not least, bring a cow call. It's amazing how easy it is to stop elk with a mouth call. Even if you can't blow a mouth call a primos Hoochie Mamma will stop elk at 300 plus yards for you to get time for a shot. I've seen over and over. Good luck and keep us posted.

Colorado Luckydog 06-17-2008 08:48 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
A couple of more things... Try and bring some camo sweat pants or something like that. It can be very cold in the morning and hot as hell in the afternoon. Long johns are a pain in the ass, the sweat pants can just be pulled off and stuck into your pack.

Hunt open areas in the morning and evenings, but during the day when it's hot you have to go into the timber, or their "bedroom"to get them.

Try and talk to someone to get some tips on cleaning elk. It is NOTHING like cleaning a deer. In Texas I can handle getiing a deer out of the woods in the dark by myself. Getting an elk out is a huge project and you need to plan ahead for it.

scott26 06-17-2008 10:08 AM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed

Great advice and thanks. I had already planned on liberal use of scent killer and I will purchase a cow elk call.

I have been studying google earth looking for places of heavy timber adjoining open fields and a water source, not unlike what I do for whitetail. Also I have been looking for areas with small valleys/cuts that create a natural funnel between timber, fields, and water as possible ambush points. Does this sound like I am on the right track?

Farther these areas are from roads/ easy acess I imagine the better. I am concerened however no matter how conditioned I get here in south Florida I will fatigue easily in the high altitude. I have lived at sea level my entire life. Thoughts?

If I am fortunate enough to see and take an elk I figured there will be two ways to get him out of the woods. One would be to hire a commercial pack outfit. The other would be to take him out piece by piece. Thanks again


Colorado Luckydog 06-17-2008 01:44 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Here's a link to altitude sickness, it's cause and treatment. I've never had a problem with it more than just feeling tired.

One more, you need some decent binos and a good system for carrying them. The regular neck strap gets old quick. I always bring my spotting scope but only use it during the first couple of days of scouting. After we figure out where were gonna hunt, I just carry binos.

I bring boots for bad weather, but use tennis shoes are regular hiking boots as much as possible.

BuckAlley 06-17-2008 07:11 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
Well being from Florida, withthe hot temps, high humidity, low elevation climant your used to. I'd be prepared for colder weather than you might be accustom too. I would bring a good pr of Long Johns to wear under your camo. What might seem warm to us wintery folks in hunting season, might seem freezing to you. Also I'd be doing more for exercising than walking with a pack. Get jogging. The better shape your in the better. Your in for a treat when it comes to higher elevations. Walking upmountain/steep hill10yds will feel like climbing a 100yds in Florida. The best shape you can be in will be your biggest asset. If your out of shape, you'll truly limit how far you can go. I'd also look into obtaining a horse if possible to limit walking. Also plan on much dryer climant compared to FL. Plan on bottled water or hydration pack. Just be sure to drink alot of it. For elevation sickness, and you will experience it to some degree. Most at least get headaches all day long. I had headaches, and some stomach upset my 1st time out. I highly recommend bottles of Alieve, and Rolaids!

Muliefever 06-17-2008 07:20 PM

RE: Pagosa Springs Elk Hunt. Advice needed
I agree 100% with CL.. A great pair of binos can make or break the hunt. I use some 10x42's. they are not to big that they become cumbersome, but have enough power to do some serious glassing. If you are in good shape at sea level then you will be fine at 8000 plus. It will take you a couple of days to adjust to the thinner air though! Trust me on this. From the mountains, been on the coast with the Coast Guard for the last 6.5 years. I do just fine when I make my trip back home to chase some mountain thunder!

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