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Elk hunt in Co?

Old 06-17-2010, 08:36 AM
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Default Elk hunt in Co?

Hey guys I am going on a guided hunt next year (2011) and was wondering if anyone has ever hunted the Uncompahgre Natl Forest? We are hunting in the limited draw unit (66). Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:46 AM
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I believe that's one of the better elk units in CO.

Ever hunted at altitude before? Know what altitude you'll be at?
Spending a night say in denver at 5000 ft is a great idea before moving up to 8000 or more feet...

Get in the best shape you can, period!
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:05 AM
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Thanks for the reply, we are staying around 8000 ft and will likely hunt higher. We are getting to Denver 2 days in advance to get acclimated to the altitude. I have begun to get in shape and already am to the weight I want to be at and working on the cardio now.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:12 AM
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Are you bow hunting or rifle? What dates are you going to be there?
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:21 AM
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Rifle hunt and it will be in Mid-Late October
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:36 AM
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I have been rifle hunting in October in Colorado for 14 years. One of the best things I can tell you is...it can be cold as the North Pole in the morning and at night and hotter than hell in the afternoon. One thing that really made my hunting more comfortable was to lose the long johns. If you wear them in the morning you are nice and cozy but in the afternoon you can be just miserable. I'm not sure why but I hate getting butt naked in the woods to take them off. (maybe it was from watching the movie Deliverance) LMAO. I always dress in layers in a fashion where the outer layer can be taken off easily but can be put back on for an evening hunt. You should also be prepared for any weather including deep snow and rain.

Even though the rut will be over the bulls will still come to the call but your guide will know all about that.

A really good pair of gators are great. Pick a pair of gators that the material will be quite. I use just regular hiking boots weather permitting. Hiking boots and gators make the hiking not nearly as tiresome as a heavy pair of hunting boots.

These are just a couple of things that I can think of now. If I think of some more I'll post them up. I'm sure a lot of guys will chime in with some great advice. Good luck on your hunt. You have a long time to plan and look forward to it.

Last edited by Colorado Luckydog; 06-17-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:51 AM
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Thanks for the advice and by all means if you think of anything please post. I can not wait the trip!
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:20 AM
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You didn't say what season you were hunting -- bow? muzzle loader? first rifle season? second rifle season? Is this a pack-in hunt living in a tent camp back in the woods or will you be hunting out of luxury cabins and riding 4-wheelers?

I wear polypropylene long underwear which breathes very well. If you can stash your pants somewhere, you can strip down to just the polypropylene long underwear -- with bermuda shorts worn over the long johns to promote modesty -- if you get hot. If you don't get hot, just continue to wear the pants over the long johns. I commonly wear this outfit when backpacking: wool shirt and blue jeans over polypropylene long sleeved t-shirt top and polypropylene long pants in the mornings or on windy passes, stipping off the wool shirt and blue jeans as I get warmed up. The polypropylene breathes very well so won't get sweated up. There are a variety of wicking fabrics that work as well or better than polypropylene.

Have a warm hat and gloves available. Since you have to wear a hunter orange hat, have a warm hat that is in hunter orange. Filson makes a warm wool hat in hunter orange. Take sun glasses and lip balm. Take rain gear. Carry good binoculars of about 8 power with 40 mm objective lens. Higher power binoculars get to be hard to hold steady by hand. Carry a good hunting knife with you. Sure, your guide is supposed to have one and likely will field dress and quarter your elk, but what if his knife breaks or he loses his knife or his knife is dull? A 4" or bigger blade is probably best for elk.

Take mums antacid tablets. These are supposed to reduce your susceptibility to altitude sickness. I have read this in more than one place and in fact had them recommended to me by my doctor recently. Something about reducing acidosis in the body, but I'm not sure I'm remembering the technical details correctly.

Discuss with your guide well in advance to determine what equipment the outfitter will provide and what equipment you need to provide. Saddle bags? Gun scabbard? Canteen? Sleeping bag? Is the tent/cabin heated? Likewise, determine if there are any limits on how much stuff you can take in and what this limit is. Will they care for the meat? How will they care for the meat? How do you get the meat home? Any trophy fees? What about tipping camp staff (this is probably something to discuss with other hunters who commonly go on guided hunts rather than your guide or outfitter)?

Get into physical condition. Having your weight at the right level is key. You say you have already done that. Good. Aerobic conditioning is good. You say you already have that project underway. Good. My personal opinion is that aerobic conditioning will not give you the sort of wind and ability to climb on and on and on without getting winded at high altitude, but it will give you increased physical stamina for all the hard work typically involved in hunting elk, so you can go all day long and for several days in a row. Strength exercises can also be helpful, particularly strength exercises focusing on the legs and the back. Lunges, squats, knee lifts (strap weights on your ankles and repeatedly lift your knees as high as you can -- maybe 50 to 70 times per knee, do three sets in a session). Do back arches (lay on your stomach, arch your back to lift your shoulders and head as high off the floor as possible, hold for 50 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, what ever, and do three sets of these). Do sit-ups or abdominal crunches. Climb stairs. Most people say the better shape you are in, the more you will enjoy your hunt.

As you get close to your hunt, avoid overdoing your conditioning. You might even dial it back 10% -- you'll still retain most of your physical conditioning. If you are training right now, you should be in good shape well before your hunt and not need to push hard at the end. Pushing hard a month or two weeks before you go on your hunt might cause you to pull a muscle or sustain some other physical injury. If you push and get a minor injury 6 months before your trip, you have time to recover before your trip. If you push your intensity effort up steeply 2 weeks before leaving and you pull your hamstring muscle then, 2 weeks before leaving . . . that could be a problem.

Last edited by Alsatian; 06-17-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:45 PM
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Thanks Altsatian for the info, we are rilfle hunting in later October, we will be riding horses into backcountry and staying in tent camp which are heated with wood stoves. The advice on clothing is big for me since I am comfortable with the clothing for hunting in NY but CO will be all new to me.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:04 PM
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Know whatcha be shooting yet? 30-06? 300 win.mag?

One thing to consider is a GPS, at least know how to mark the trailhead etc...then the back country camp, and have it with you. Really never know what may happen, ie get separated from the guide in the backcountry and have no clue where camp or you are?
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