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High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

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High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

Old 06-27-2008, 02:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

Hey Guys,

I am preparing for a guided Archery Bull ELk Hunt in Idaho this Sept from the 21st thru 28th of Sept. My question is two fold. First does hunting at 9000-10000 feet in elevation effect arrow flight due to the thin air, in other words if you use your 30 yard pin at sea level and use the same pin at 9000 feet will it hit the same spot? Is is enough to need to compensate for? Second question is at that elevation how difficult is it to really hunt. Do you ever really catch your breath? Should you expect to shoot while breathing heavily? I am 38yrs old and 240lbs. I can get up the mountains pretty good at 3500ft but I expect to be sucking wind come this Sept.

Any input will be greatly appreaciated.[/align]
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wheatland CA
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Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting


I hunted Idaho last year around 8000-9000 feet in elevation and I used my same pins as if I was hunting here at home in N. California at around 4000 feet. I didnt get a shot at an elk but I did shoot a lot of grouse out to 40 yards. I had some troubles catching my breath when Iwasnt smart enough to walk out the rim and I decided it was a good idea to hike down to the bottom and back out of the canyon. I am 34 years old and 240lbs. I did smoke for 12 years prior to this trip which had something to do with the breating. Anyhow good luck on your hunt and hope this info helps out.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:21 PM
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Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

check em when you get out there, I didn't notice any change, the change is so small I'd say that you wouldn't notice.

Wilderness Athlete makes some altitude supplements designed to help you aclimate more quickly, I tried them and did do better in the mtns than I expected to.

Everything I read on the subject is some people just are better than others, most are probably avg, but some are amazing, some terrible, I think I tend to fall in the latter category when talking altitude.

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Old 06-29-2008, 06:14 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: PUEBLO, CO, USA
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Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

Bring oxygen. Or just ride your bike to prepare. You need a lot of wind out here, and water. This is a no sweat environment( it all evaps). Bring good optics cause at 10000' the mule deer turn into elk.

Good luck and have a good hunt.
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:08 PM
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Location: Altmar New York USA
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Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

I went to Colorado in Sept. 06, 9,000-11,000 ft. I hunt maybe 1,000ft tops in NY. I checked my bow when arrived at camp. Yup the thinner air did effect my pins. My arrows were hitting about 4" different. So I had to readjust.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:29 PM
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Location: LaPorte, IN
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Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

240#? Ouch. I am 6'2" and weigh 190 and I am freaking out this year because I can't get down to 180# fast enough.Everything with the girfriend going great but she loves to cook for me......a lot. Was MUCH easier to keep the weight down as a bachelor. Plus my knees are older and slowing my workout intensity.

I highly suggest you dropping some serious weight. Simply ban all soft drinks, sugars, burgers, friesand you be shocked how quick you will drop. You will be able to chase elk anddraw your bow and aim while breathing.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:56 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

Your body will adjust to the altitude, but it may take a few days. I've never hunted at that height, but I have hiked it and a week makes a HUGE difference. Early in the week it was very noticeable, end of the week we hiked up to 10,243 feet with no noticable effects

As for the pins, just check em when you get there.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 202
Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

Personally I think the key component is that you're going on a guided hunt. Guides are used to flatlanders and people not in shape and can adjust the hunt profile to some degree. At the same time I agree wholeheartedly that you should be in the best shape you can possibly be. I've always done DIY elk hunts where you spend a lot of time hiking your butt off for days just finding where the elk are.. Guides tend to have that nailed down better.

You can nail down your pins quickly on site. I would practice doing some "out of breath" shooting because you will be short of breath often.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:27 PM
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Location: Idaho
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Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

I second the altitude advantage by Wildereness Athlete. You can check it out at www.wildernessathlete.org. There is no way to prepare for the altitude. Your lungs will need to expand and your body will have to adjust. You will want to get something that enhances the oxygen absorbtion in your muscles or fatigue will set in fast.......
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:46 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 111
Default RE: High Elevation Archery Elk Hunting

If at all possible, try to get to your hunting elevation a day or so before hand. The key to high altitude hunting (IMO) is spending a few nights there BEFORE you start to hunt. The first two nights will be a difficult sleep, but you should continue to improve the longer you are there.

The big thing (that was said previously) is bring a LOT of water. While hiking, you should be drinking at least a liter every two hours. If you get dehydrated at high altitude, you will geta headache thatyouwill never forget....been there
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