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Suggestions for campsite locations for DIY Elk hunt

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Suggestions for campsite locations for DIY Elk hunt

Old 07-27-2010, 11:58 AM
Fork Horn
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Default Suggestions for campsite locations for DIY Elk hunt

First time DIY, but have hunted elk w outfitters. Looking for suggestions re campsite locations in elk country. We're hunting in remote national forest, 5-6 miles in-- highest elevations 9,500 ft. We'll have horses. Trying to decide on best place to locate our camp this fall. For example, camp at lower elevations? Mid-elevation? Thick cover, versus mixed vegetation? Closer to water? Making sure not to be too close to hunting area, or is close better to be able to access early and late in day... Worried a bit about having too much scent if we locate camp, cook, etc. too close to where we're hunting. Any and all suggestions welcome.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:11 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,395

You do not want to camp too close to where you plan to hunt, your camp scent and the noise well push the elk away.
You will want to be close to water with horses in camp.
You can either saddle up & ride out of camp or trailer up and drive closer to your hunting spot, then ride the horses from there. Horses are sure nice to have in camp when you are packing out an elk, but they are also require extra time & labor every day.

Good luck hunting,

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Old 07-28-2010, 11:09 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,201

I'm not an expert, but I'll share my thoughts with you. Sleep low and hunt high. This will be better for your breathing, health, sleeping. If it snows in the night, your camp will be less heavily snowed upon and it will be easier to retreat off the mountain if heavy snows compell this. Additionally, it may mean you can stay on the mountain while others camped higher up may have to retreat off the mountain. Do camp close to water.

How far from your elk hunting areas? Good question. You hear all kinds of things. I think I've read about elk walking through elk camp -- while the hunters are out hunting elk, of course. Still, I would think that a mile away from the elk would be marginal; 3 miles away from the elk ought to be adequate. Additionally, you probably ought to be able to cover 3 miles in an hour or less on a horse, so that is close enough to get to your hunting area by maybe 30 minutes before shooting light. I suggest you think about this problem on the basis of how long it takes you to get from camp to your hunting spot. If it is more than an hour, that is probably too far away.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:48 PM
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Location: Cedar Valley Utah
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There are several factors that will play into determing where to set up camp. The time of year, weather conditions, terrain, acclimation and type of hunt all play a part in that decision.

If you were just backpacking in I'd want to be as close as possible without setting up right on top of them. With horses I would camp at least a mile away if you plan on hiking into the hunting area daily and further if you're riding into your hunting area each day if possible. In fact if you're riding into the hunting area each day I'd want to strategically position myself to be able to access several different hunting areas from camp.

Terrain and accessing the hunting area will somewhat dictate how far you can be. You probably don't want to climb something physically draining every day to access an area.

Weather conditions and time of year will also determine if you should "play it safe" meaning you know you can get out if the weather turns real bad.

If you aren't acclimated real well to high elevations it would probably be good to sleep a little lower so your body can recover.
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