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Colorado Elk Hunt - First Timer!

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Colorado Elk Hunt - First Timer!

Old 09-14-2011, 11:28 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Colorado Elk Hunt - First Timer!

My brother-in-law and I are headed out to Colorado for our first elk hunting trip. We are both proficient Whitetail hunters and have been for years, but have never been elk hunting. We'll be in the Craig area in Moffatt and/or Routt National Forrest areas and can butt right up to the Wyoming boarder.
What advise can you share with us? Any information would be helpful.
Ideas on where exactly to start looking. Plan of attack? Is it more spot and stalk or bugle and chase? What gear is a must-have? Any tips, words of wisdom or even general outlooks would be great. I appreciate your help. Thanks in advance, and have a great day.
~Justin
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:09 PM
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I have hunted the same area for 4 years but on the other side of the contenental divide. I also am from Missouri. Biggest thing is get in shape. Walk alot before. It is going to tire you out a lot. Drink lots of water. As far as stategy I can't help cause we rifle hunt and the rut is over so what works for us may not work for you.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:50 PM
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Spike
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Thanks for responding. We're rifle hunting too and will be in the first rifle season which is October 14-19th. My understanding is that should put us during the rut, correct? I've been working on the shape aspect. I'm pretty good, but am starting to work in more stairs for strength. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:11 PM
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I can't help you in the "hunting" side of it, but I've done some extensive hiking and backpacking in Colorado. Water is going to be your friend, if you're not peeing throughout the day, drink more. Coming from sea level to that elevation can be difficult, even for those of us in shape. When moving try to keep a slower steady pace to keep from wearing yourself out. You'll cover more ground by keeping a good pace than by moving fast and taking breaks.
My must have gear for a day pack while hiking is
Plenty of water- I drink a lot personally, so I carry about 80 ounces, this is more than alot of other people would carry.
Maps of the area, Compass, and My GPS with extra battery- Some days I don't even turn it on, but I know I have it if I need it.
Good Boots and Good Socks- You'll be putting miles on. And it'll be on hard terrain, not farm fields. Take care of your feet.
Proper Clothing- Weather changes out there quickly, dress in layers and pack accordingly to your elevation

That would be my basics for a day hike, I also typically carry a first aid kit, a camera, my phone, and some snacks. I hope ya'll have a good hunt and I hope this helps a little.
-Jake
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:22 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by SavageSniper View Post
Thanks for responding. We're rifle hunting too and will be in the first rifle season which is October 14-19th. My understanding is that should put us during the rut, correct? I've been working on the shape aspect. I'm pretty good, but am starting to work in more stairs for strength. Thanks again for your help.
I am not heading back for a few years so I have not checked on the rut. We have always hunted the first rifle season like you have and always told by the biologist in the area that the peak of the rut will have passed but we may hear them bugling. We never have but we have taken bulls and cows alike. Just need to cover as much ground as possible and get far off the road.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:43 PM
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Savagesniper, I also am from MO and have hunted CO few times and are heading back to elk hunt 2nd season this year. All good questions. If you do a search here for "elk" hunting and "gear" and other similar terms, there has been many indepth discussions on all things elk hunting. Good luck. Elk hunting is awesome. Wish I would have started 20 years ago.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:18 AM
  #7  
Spike
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Thanks for all the help. I will do some more searching on the forums and see what I come up with. I'm very excited about the hunt and will let you know how it goes.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:51 AM
  #8  
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The peak of the rut will be over, but as has been mentioned, you may still hear some bugles, especially the first day or two of season, but once they feel the hunting pressure, the bulging will stop.
Be prepared to be out of camp in the dark and not get back to camp until after dark. Stay in the woods all day to give yourself as much chance as possible.
Get a map of the area and have a GPS. When I used to rifle hunt, we'd just go to a meadow and sit the first few hours of the day and the last few hours of the day. If you hear bugling, go to it. Maybe still hunt during mid day on north facing slope. They usually bed on north facing slopes, in thick timber where it's cool.
As has been mentioned, get in shape. Push yourself to get in the best shape possible. Elk hunting will take it out of you, BUT once you kill one and have to pack it off the mtn., you'll quickly see why you need to be in shape.
Good luck..
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:35 PM
  #9  
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If you've never been elk hunting in the mtn's. Your in for a whole new hunting experience. Don't bring the whitetail mentality with you. Elk hunting is totally different. Its more like hunting eastern gobblers. Attempting to call them in, and setting up in their path. Being that your rifle hunting. Be accurate out to alot longer ranges than your used to in Missouri for whitetail. Its nothing to reach 500yds. Good optics is a must. Bino's, spotting & rifle scopes. Expect to do alot of walking, and alot of climbing as well to find them. It won't be easy. Your likely in for the hardest hunting you've ever done. Trust the word of a flat lander whose been there 3x's. The better shape your in the harder you'll be able to hunt. Thats the bottom line.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:40 PM
  #10  
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I too am planning a 2nd season hunt in Co-Flat Tops east of Meeker about 30 mi. Never shot a bull but got a cow last time out about 4 years ago in unit 22. I am 67 and sure also wish I had started at a youngeer age. Ever hunt that part of Co?
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