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Old 03-07-2018, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default Colorado elk hunting

So Iíve got the bug to go out west and elk hunt

Iíve got no idea where to go or anything
Iím not paying a guide service 4K or more to do it, which leaves me with a DIY hunt

Does anyone have any tips tricks and the like for hunting elk?
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:43 PM   #2
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Interested in this

Iíve submitted in the only lottery I play, the Pa elk tag lottery and I never have won a tag
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:49 PM   #3
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The mountains north/north east of Delores/Cortez. We slayed them and all four of us tagged out by 1300 hours opening morning.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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I'm sure many will be in shortly to make public their favorite spots that they've in most cases spent years finding.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:38 PM   #5
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I'm sure many will be in shortly to make public their favorite spots that they've in most cases spent years finding.
I'm not concerned with sharing my hunting spots at all. There are plenty of animals to go around. Even after sharing I've had no problem downing deer, elk or antelope.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:42 PM   #6
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Those elk tags in colorado are a prized, coveted item.....not easy to come by unless you have a (D) after your name and the rules don't apply to you.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:13 PM   #7
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And besides, the mountains north/north east of Delores/Cortez is a mighty big area
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:16 PM   #8
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Have taken several nice animals over the years from the Western Slope, mainly outside of Grand Junction.

Last time I was up there over the counter Bull tags were around $800 or so for a non resident, not sure if that's changed. I think OTC archery tags give you access to the most units, if your into bow hunting.

Find a good unit, do some climbing, 9 to 10 thousand ft will get you away from most of the lazy hunters, good luck.

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Old 03-07-2018, 05:58 PM   #9
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Another spot was outside of Glenwood Springs. We did archery there and like you said Buckshot, you've got to get up high and away from the road hunters. I didn't have any luck there but my buddy did.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:24 PM   #10
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Tags are 668 OTC for antler I’m fairly certain
Not 800$ though

I just don’t want to waste $$ on a guide service
And I don’t want to waste $$ going out and not having any idea where to go
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:44 PM   #11
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Me and my friends were just discussing CO and hunting, but we compared pricing, public land, access and lodging - and it looks like we are Montana bound.


Good luck in CO, should be fun.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:47 PM   #12
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I’d love to do something like this some day. Just the camp experience looks awesome. But damn it gets expensive real quick.

More power to those that suck it up and do it. I’m jealous.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:08 PM   #13
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The hunt and the walking, hiking, crawling through all kinds of muck is the easy part. Wait till a 700 pound bull is on the ground. Then it's work!!!
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:11 PM   #14
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I've been out there twice, once with the rifle once with the bow. Like someone already said above, get away from the road and other hunters as much as possible. Both times were unguided the first time (rifle) was pretty lackluster. We saw a few groups of cows (harvested one) and that was about it. The group I was with wasn't too adventurous and didn't get off the roads far enough IMHO, plus the area seemed a little too popular. The second trip (bow) was awesome. IIRC I saw 7 bulls over the course of the week, only my bow elk rookie stupidity kept me from harvesting one. The second time however I was with a much more ambitious group and we hunted a more remote area, two of the guys in our group had hunted the area the previous year and we had spent a lot of time looking at topo maps and satellite photos. If your going unguided and can't personally scout the area I highly recommend you pull up as much satellite imagery as you can. The area we hunted I could readily identify individual trees, rocks, etc while on foot just from previously looking at satellite images, it greatly improves you odds knowing exactly where you are when planning how to approach an area.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:15 PM   #15
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Me and my friends were just discussing CO and hunting, but we compared pricing, public land, access and lodging - and it looks like we are Montana bound.


Good luck in CO, should be fun.


Hadnít looked into Montana yet, weíre going DIY if we go no lodges or anything like that

I want to hunt like they do on some of the better hunting shows
Hike camp harvest pack it out
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:16 PM   #16
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I've been out there twice, once with the rifle once with the bow. Like someone already said above, get away from the road and other hunters as much as possible. Both times were unguided the first time (rifle) was pretty lackluster. We saw a few groups of cows (harvested one) and that was about it. The group I was with wasn't too adventurous and didn't get off the roads far enough IMHO, plus the area seemed a little too popular. The second trip (bow) was awesome. IIRC I saw 7 bulls over the course of the week, only my bow elk rookie stupidity kept me from harvesting one. The second time however I was with a much more ambitious group and we hunted a more remote area, two of the guys in our group had hunted the area the previous year and we had spent a lot of time looking at topo maps and satellite photos. If your going unguided and can't personally scout the area I highly recommend you pull up as much satellite imagery as you can. The area we hunted I could readily identify individual trees, rocks, etc while on foot just from previously looking at satellite images, it greatly improves you odds knowing exactly where you are when planning how to approach an area.

What would you suggest for a good place to find decent sat photos?

Just google earth?
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:17 PM   #17
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And besides, the mountains north/north east of Delores/Cortez is a mighty big area
I know that area well. My Utah cousins run cattle just northwest of Dove Creek in San Juan County, Utah (east of Monticello).
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:43 PM   #18
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What would you suggest for a good place to find decent sat photos?

Just google earth?

It was about 12 years ago so I can't remember exactly but I think we had got them from the national forest service somehow.....however they were the same quality you get on Google earth now so you can just use Google earth or the satellite view on google maps.

It's important to note you want topo and sat images because sat images make everything look much flatter so you need to use both in conjunction.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:46 PM   #19
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Hadnít looked into Montana yet, weíre going DIY if we go no lodges or anything like that

I want to hunt like they do on some of the better hunting shows
Hike camp harvest pack it out

By lodging, I meant lodging....options, parks, camp grounds.

Not just Lodges lol.

Albeit up north means - you often are setting up hunting camp - in the snow. Some like it, some dont. If you bring the right gear - it is a hoot. If not - you will heading to the nearest motel LOL.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:57 PM   #20
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By lodging, I meant lodging....options, parks, camp grounds.

Not just Lodges lol.

Albeit up north means - you often are setting up hunting camp - in the snow. Some like it, some dont. If you bring the right gear - it is a hoot. If not - you will heading to the nearest motel LOL.

Whatís a out of state tag for Montana?
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:21 PM   #21
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Guy I work with goes into the mountains east of Grand Junction for elk.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:25 PM   #22
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Whatís a out of state tag for Montana?

Drawing 275
OTC 270

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/licenses/all/
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:28 PM   #23
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FFS might go that route!!!

That’s only antlerless correct? I’m not seeing any option other than that at that cost
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:29 PM   #24
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FFS might go that route!!!
That is antlerless though - just so you know.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:35 PM   #25
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That is antlerless though - just so you know.


Still might go to CO after a bull, and then Montana for a cow

Depending on how I like the meat /if I have room for tanned hides
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:59 PM   #26
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You will like the meat

Tasty
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:08 PM   #27
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You will like the meat

Tasty


Yep.

They are tasty critters
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:41 AM   #28
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Hunting is the easy part, start walking or jogging a minimum of 4 months in advance. The mountains are beautiful but they'll end you in a heartbeat. If you can't continuously jog a mile or 2 then you're not ready. Look into renting a mule, they aren't pricey and they're about the only animal that will save your ass when a mountain lion walks into camp. And they make packing meat out a dream. Have an emergency call setup with your group i.e. Three rapid shots means someone's in trouble, it's so easy to break a leg or worse and always know the general area where your group is hunting so you can locate and help if needed. Colorado is a dry state, maintain your camp fire and pay attention to the wildfire risk game wardens watch this stuff and they regularly check popular camping spots. Been elk hunting in Colorado since I was a child and every year is a new adventure. Have fun, nothing on this planet like hearing a bull bugling in the trees before sun up.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:21 PM   #29
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Like he said get in shape be used to climbing up and over rocks. I took a buddy elk hunting here in ok.

he walks every day on his land mostly flat along the river.

the mountians more like hills kicked his ass
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:04 PM   #30
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If you go after bulls get a bugle call. During rut they are real stupid, i have seen them, bulls look past the one using the call looking for the bull to fight.

there is also a cow come back call that stops elk in a full run
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:01 PM   #31
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If you go after bulls get a bugle call. During rut they are real stupid, i have seen them, bulls look past the one using the call looking for the bull to fight.

there is also a cow come back call that stops elk in a full run


Going to be getting a bugle and a cow girl call

My plan is to train a year out
Jogging to start and get one of those altitude training masks to get used to thinner air
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:21 PM   #32
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The 1st time out will show you how much to expect from yourself. The 1st year dont expect much but you never know, go out every day and may the hunting gods shine upon you.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:00 AM   #33
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Going to be getting a bugle and a cow girl call

My plan is to train a year out
Jogging to start and get one of those altitude training masks to get used to thinner air


I didnt realize you were a first timer to the big hills.

Optics, flat shooting rifle, optics, fitness, good boots, fitness and a backup plan.

You are going to either love it - or hate it lol. Albeit I think you will love it.

Yes I put in optics and fitness twice. I should have put boots in twice. Sore feet are a motherfucker.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:09 AM   #34
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Me and my friends were just discussing CO and hunting, but we compared pricing, public land, access and lodging - and it looks like we are Montana bound.


Good luck in CO, should be fun.
From what I can tell Montana for an out of state otc hunter has better odds.

Colorado is doable but you are going to have to pick a unit, study the maps, and then you need to put feet on the ground weeks/months before you actually hunt to get an idea of where the heards are and what the terrain is like, then watch the weather to determine if they will be up high or down low. An out of state hunter coming in blind without a guide will be a crapshoot. I would call the division of wildlife and talk to some people there, they can be pretty helpful.

Colorado is highly populated which means that there will be a lot of competition out in the field, you need to be willing to walk further than everyone else and possibly spend a night in a bivy sack or backpack everything in.

As far as hiking in goes.. you are from Michigan.. no matter how fit you think you are the mountains will kick your ass, don’t think that you will just walk in 10 miles like it’s a vigorous Michigan hike in the woods. I’ve lived here for 17years and I hike regularly and I still get kicked in the ass humping a pack over long distances. It might be one mile on a map but when you add vertical gain to the equation...

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Old 03-09-2018, 12:14 AM   #35
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Still might go to CO after a bull, and then Montana for a cow

Depending on how I like the meat /if I have room for tanned hides
Few animals taste better than an elk..
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