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I would REALLY appreciate ANY input!!! (ELK)

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I would REALLY appreciate ANY input!!! (ELK)

Old 03-04-2014, 08:31 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Location: Turkey-Town Kansas
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Default I would REALLY appreciate ANY input!!! (ELK)

I am planning my first elk hunt (rifle)..... 20+ months from now! I figure if I wait til fall of 2015 that gives me plenty of time to be as ready as possible.

I am trying to do a BUDGET hunt on public land using an over the counter cow tag.

I would LOVE any input that any of you would like to give!!

I am in really good physical shape and plan on REALLY training hard with a loaded pack (even tho the hunting elevation will make it even harder). I am from Kansas and plan to drive to CO for the hunt, unless someone has a better destination. "Better" = greater chance of connecting with a cow elk!

The plan is packing our own food, sleeping in a tent or truck bed, and going where MOST people won't or cannot go due to the physical difficulty or remoteness.

I am an experienced hunter, and I love the spot and stalk. I have taken deer and turkey with a bow using this method and figure I can get close enough to an elk to seal the deal with a rifle.

Once again... I have a lot of time to prepare, and I would LOVE any and all input/experience/stories/tips etc!

Thank you all so much!

Don
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:22 AM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
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If you plan on sleeping in your truck, there will be plenty of other hunters. If you really want to be in a "Remote Area" plan on hiking in for several miles or bringing horses. Then you better have a plan for getting the elk out. You will get lots of good advice on this forum.
Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:15 PM
  #3  
Fork Horn
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Thank you very much! I really appreciate the input! I know it will be TOUGH! And yes I plan on hiking in with a tent and enough basic supplies to last a week or more.

I don't expect, nor do I WANT "easy".... in the event that I connect, I think it will be that much sweeter if I had to work for it! If not then it will be a great, week in the woods!

Thanks again!
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:22 PM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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First gear:
longjohns: think moisture transfer, not warmth. When you hike in the mountains, you sweat even in really cold weather. I have a light and medium set. Its only real job is to tranfer moisture to outer layers to evaporate, so you have to get a synthetic or wool that will do the job. Never use longjohns with any cotton.
Socks: Merino wool is really the only way to go, even if you hunt when it is warm.
Boots: Need good ankle support in a decent goretex type boot
Sleeping bag: Good synthetic to about 0-15 degrees. Down is OK if you camp at the trailhead, but on a pack in I don't trust a bag that if wet won't keep me warm.
sleeping pad: As important as the bag because if you don't have one your back will hurt and you will sleep cold
Raingear: I think packable is the way to go. I have Cabelas rain suede packable. They last about 6-8 years for me and pack away into my day pack when I don't need them.

Keep warm and dry and keep your feet happy and you will enjoy the trip a whole lot more. The list above is a sizable investment, but if you don't have some items, you have a lot of time to space out purchases. Do weekly searches on Cabelas and other sites for specific items and buy on sale. I buy quality materials, but I NEVER buy a particular camo pattern. The best pattern is the one on sale! Outfitters camo is as good as any high dollar pattern out there.

As far as areas to check into, there are plently of elk on public land within a short distance from Pagosa Springs, Durango, Gunnison, from Grand Juntion, Glenwood Springs, Meeker, Steamboat springs, Leadville. The list is long.

The next time you see a Moo cow on the side of the road, think about if you shoot that animal 4 miles from your truck. How are you going to get the meat to your truck? Research and learn the gutless method of getting an elk ready to pack out.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:17 AM
  #5  
Fork Horn
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I can't thank you enough for taking the time to type up such a lengthy and detailed response! I copied all the great information and put it on my list.

I actually taught myself the "gutless" method when I was young. I never knew it had a name, but when I was a kid I never saw the point in messing with all the guts so I just removed the meat and left the rest

You make some very good points and I truly appreciate it all! I have a lot of second hand camo from craigs list that works just fine, but I will need some other items. I figure 20+ months is enough time to get it all.

Also a good excuse to get a 30.06 since all I own is a 30\30.

Thanks again!

Don
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:56 AM
  #6  
Fork Horn
 
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My question is, why not just take your bow and you can
go in Colorado during the rut ( when they are bugling
for either sex in many units ). In my experience you'll have
a better quality experience with far fewer other hunters
to trip over.

You might also consider getting a preference point this year
in Wyoming , with 1 pt. next year there are quite a few units
that would be available there.

Good Luck
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:55 AM
  #7  
Fork Horn
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Originally Posted by w123t View Post
My question is, why not just take your bow and you can
go in Colorado during the rut ................

Cuz like a dummy.... I sold it so I could buy my wife a nice gift!
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:20 AM
  #8  
Giant Nontypical
 
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If you want a cow elk and want the chance for a really good hunt in 20 months, I suggest hunting during the muzzleloader season in CO. You should put in for a preference point this year (due Apr 01) and put in for one next year. That would give you 2 points and just about any cow tag with muzzleloader in CO can be obtained with 2 points. Points can be used in any season so if you decided to go with either a bow or a rifle you could still use the points.

As to an area, well that would be up to you to decide. I have done well on elk with a muzzleloader on Gore Pass near Kremmling (unit 15) and the area around Big Red Park north of Steamboat Springs (unit 5) but I haven't hunted either for many years. Since you are looking nearly 2 years out (very intelligent by the way) I suggest you get ahold of the big game biologists via phone at the DOW offices and start asking questions. I've used the biologists and they have provided me a lot of info. It may take a half dozen calls or so to get ahold of the right guy but phone calls are cheap in the long run.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:27 AM
  #9  
Spike
 
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Default Dont wait!

Why wait 20 months when you can go in 8. Then you can go again 12 months after that. I have been going for 30 years, most of the time on the cheap like you are talking about. You can do it for about 15-17 hundred. Man- that is 150.00 bucks a month. GO FOR IT. First thing check regs on cow tags. Cow tags are probably on a drawing unless left over tag{Good Luck}. Bull tags in most areas are over the counter- be sure and check. Good boots, Good glass, Good rifle, Good positive outlook. Make some calls to DOW and pick an area with lots of elk. Don't worry about trophy animals. Just have fun and look for numbers. Bringing home any legal elk is a blast and good eating. After you decide on an area make some more calls to local DOW people. They will give you general ideas, also the CO. website has some great educational tools. Google Earth is great after you determine where you want to go. Clothes- just wear your regular deer hunting clothes but be prepared for bad weather just in case. Most important-- Positive attitude-- don't give up! My success about 40% in 30 years.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:32 AM
  #10  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Normally the best chance to fill your freezer with cow elk meat is to hunt late season. There are many more cow tags available late and they are easy to draw in almost any unit.

It will be mostly residents hunting the late season, and most of those guys will not want to hunt far from the truck for a cow. Guys will go to the end of the earth for antlers but don't want to put much effort in shooting a meat cow. It will be crowded close to the roads, but over the ridge it will only be you and maybe a couple of locals out for the day on horseback. I have done this hunt many times and have done very well in filling the freezer.
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