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Colorado public land elk hunting #7362484 11/30/18 01:37 AM
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Planning my first trip for next year and just looking fir any and all information from people who have done it.thanks

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362488 11/30/18 01:41 AM
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What are you looking for? Number of people here have been out there hunting.

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362516 11/30/18 02:11 AM
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Anything really besides the obvious tags and firearm. Anything that might get typically over looked and just any suggestions as stated itíll be my first time ever so literally anything will be beneficial

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362517 11/30/18 02:13 AM
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My first tip is donít listen to peopleís advise online.


IME they will have you overloaded walking way too many miles looking in places animals donít live

For the record Iíve been to Colorado 5 times, Arizona once and Wyoming once

Last edited by txtrophy85; 11/30/18 02:14 AM.
Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362518 11/30/18 02:15 AM
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Not looking for anyoneís favorite spots or anything along those lines.gear suggestions things along those lines

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: txtrophy85] #7362520 11/30/18 02:16 AM
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Yeah I was gonna try and be realistic with the suggestions

Last edited by wwhunter; 11/30/18 02:16 AM.
Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362538 11/30/18 02:26 AM
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Lived in Colorado for 15 years, killed that many elk I suppose. Unit 48 by Leadville is a good one. I never left there w/o an elk. Sometimes it was last day but always killed elk. It started to become a 2 points area though so could only draw there every other year. There are many good areas though.


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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362550 11/30/18 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wwhunter
Not looking for anyoneís favorite spots or anything along those lines.gear suggestions things along those lines



Boots,pack and frame cold weather light weight clothes, lightweight rifle and and 10x42,binoculars, tent, sleeping bag, knives and gps.

I hunt either in archery or second rifle. Lots of units are good.


If your a deer hunter you probably own 75% of the gear needed already

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: txtrophy85] #7362557 11/30/18 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
My first tip is donít listen to peopleís advise online.


IME they will have you overloaded walking way too many miles looking in places animals donít live

For the record Iíve been to Colorado 5 times, Arizona once and Wyoming once



Some truth to this but at the end of the day you have to balance risk and what you are doing. There are tons of packing guides. Get a few of them and plan out based on how you are hunting. Do you have a camp and just striking out for the day? Are you planning on hiking 5 days and hunting as you go? Number one thing is understand the mountain will always win and being in good physical shape will trump any gear.


Tracking shot animals in the mountain is far harder than Texas, espically if you are hunting slopes. A tree that looks 15 yards tall in the glass may be 50 yards tall up close. This group of three trees look different based on which angle you are at. If you shoot an elk mark your shooting spot with something highly reflective and range where you shot the animal. Take pics with your phone. Write down notes. When you start looking use the reflective target as something to range against.

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362589 11/30/18 03:07 AM
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Thanks for all the info so far guys. I do believe I have most everything Iíd need besides a few. My main concern is camping on public land any suggestions as far as that goes. Tents suggestions and essentials? Thanks

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362593 11/30/18 03:11 AM
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Go with a group that are all younger than you. It's so much easier. up


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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362594 11/30/18 03:13 AM
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I use a willow pass 4 person Coleman tent. I donít hunt late season. It gets down in the low teens at nite where I hunt. On a air mattress I donít get cold, I normally sleep in my clothes.

One unit I hunt I can use ATV and pack my gear up then hunt on foot

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362654 11/30/18 04:03 AM
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A few things not to skimp on are wool socks with quality boots, binoculars and spotting scope. I have seen people buy the cheap hiking boots and blow them out the first day of walking on the mountains. Binoculars and spotting scope are used a lot more as you are looking long distances to spot animals. Inferior optics will stress your eyes and give you a headache.

As for tent camping, I would use a canvas tent. I have a Kodiac Canvas tent with the enclosed awning. I use the awning for my kitchen area. It will sleep 2-3 persons with gear. These tents are heavy so if your packing in to set up camp this wouldn't be an option,

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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7362916 11/30/18 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wwhunter
Planning my first trip for next year and just looking fir any and all information from people who have done it.thanks


Just go, everything else works itís self out. Itís so simple, donít let it intimidate you.

Basics are map/nav skills or GPS and water.

Two basic kinds of western hunting, bivy and truck camp, your gear list is just a comfort list essentially.

Feel free to PM me, more then happy to set up a call and walk you through everything from app strategy, gear and ever hunt strategies. I hunt out west in 2-3 states every year, and get to test a lot of gear


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7362918 11/30/18 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by wwhunter
Planning my first trip for next year and just looking fir any and all information from people who have done it.thanks


Just go, everything else works itís self out. Itís so simple, donít let it intimidate you.

Basics are map/nav skills or GPS and water.

Two basic kinds of western hunting, bivy and truck camp, your gear list is just a comfort list essentially.

Feel free to PM me, more then happy to set up a call and walk you through everything from app strategy, gear and ever hunt strategies. I hunt out west in 2-3 states every year, and get to test a lot of gear




^^^^^^^^^ Thatís an invitation you shouldnít pass up.

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: Theringworm] #7362927 11/30/18 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Theringworm
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by wwhunter
Planning my first trip for next year and just looking fir any and all information from people who have done it.thanks


Just go, everything else works itís self out. Itís so simple, donít let it intimidate you.

Basics are map/nav skills or GPS and water.

Two basic kinds of western hunting, bivy and truck camp, your gear list is just a comfort list essentially.

Feel free to PM me, more then happy to set up a call and walk you through everything from app strategy, gear and ever hunt strategies. I hunt out west in 2-3 states every year, and get to test a lot of gear




^^^^^^^^^ Thatís an invitation you shouldnít pass up.


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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7363049 11/30/18 05:38 PM
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Colorado public land gets a lot of pressure. People come from all over the country to hunt it, and they have been doing it for decades. The most common thing that they all have in common, is that they are there more for the social aspect of it then actually hunting. Find out where they cannot get their four wheelers to, and where it's going to take some effort to get to. That's where the animals will be. I've found that once you get a couple miles into a Wilderness area, the animals start to appear. Go another couple of miles, and you start to see antlers. Get up on a ridge before daylight and use good quality binoculars to do your hunting. Keep looking until you see something, or move to another location to glass from. Hunting the mountains means lots of hiking in the dark and glassing in the light.

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7363072 11/30/18 05:51 PM
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Get in shape. I ran a lot before I went and because of that did not have much issue with the altitude. If you are going to pack a lot of gear, assemble that pack (or a training pack) with the approximate weight and start hiking with it.

Break in whatever gear you intend to take well ahead of time, especially boots and packs. If new to GPS, get it now and start practicing/familiarizing yourself with it.

If day hunting, clothing is not hugely important as you can always suffer for a couple of hours before you get back to camp (too hot or too cold). If you are going to hike and hunt the whole time, buy a reputable brand with multiple layers that you can shed. When you are moving you don't need more than 1-2 layers down to about 20 degrees. Prepare for everything from 0 to 80 degrees, and sun to snow.

Figure out where you are going, and if possible go scout it out. I expected to be glassing canyons/slopes but our area was heavily forested and required a different approach in most areas.

Most of all, have fun! It's beautiful country, take it all in.


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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7363128 11/30/18 06:31 PM
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Best way "for me," to get in shape was to walk up and down my local high school football stadium. I did not do a certain number of times, but did a time. 30 minutes, and wearing the boots I was going to hunt in. At first I was able to do 7 repertistions. 6 weeks later I was up to 17 in the same 30 minutes. When we got to the mountains, I was in shape and ready to enjoy my hunt. Others who walked a track carrying their backpacks were not ready for the mountain. For me anyway, it was actually harder on my legs coming back down the stairs than going up them. And you have to come back down the mountain, so prepare yourself. Anyway, this training works for me. Six weeks worth gets me in shape.


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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7363174 11/30/18 07:08 PM
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RE Mr T's post....an old friend who had lived in Denver and traveled the Rockies as a gun mfg'er sales rep, guided for elk during Season...used to talk about Running ALL the old Bronco's Stadium on I-70's steps, starting & finishing with a lap around the stadium per 2-3 hour session to get in shape, starting in the early summer. He was in his 40's at the time and when we hunted together. walked me down many times down WT hunting in West Texas. ...and supposedly slept in snow banks when he got caught in a unexpected blizzard. Hunted the Uncompaghre area as I recall, and treated his crew to a couple days in the naturally heated pool at Glenwood Springs after they came off the mountain.
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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7363710 12/01/18 04:03 PM
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Only thing mentioned in all above is disagree with is the statement that clothing is not hugely important. The right clothes can save your life. Leave the cotton at home. Wool, underlayers and get some good outers that don't absorb every drop of moisture.

Also you can draw a Wyoming general elk tag with 1-2 PP. We have less pressure, and elk unfortunately, and good hunting.

Don't be afraid to come up and hunt.A partner is recommended, for safety sake and packing help.
Throw a chainsaw in your truck, beetle killed trees fall all the time and can block you in.
Camping on the NF is easy, find a spot and setup camp.

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: EddieWalker] #7363805 12/01/18 06:10 PM
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This is 100% true Eddie Walker

We were in an area this past season that allowed ATVís that bordered a wilderness area that was separated by a river. Every evening we spotted a group of elk about a mile across the river. If any of us were willing to get wet, we could have gone over there and killed one, but none of us wanted to cross the river or pack out an elk that distance. With horses it would have been cake.



Itís been my experience that most people who dole out advise on the mountains have either never hunted them or only been once. Like Bobo said, itís easy, donít freak out over it. I read threads all the time on forums and you would think these guys were planning a lunar expedition or something rivaling Columbusís journey to the new world.

It can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. You can pull up into a spot with minimal gear and have a good chance at being successful. You can have all the cool trendy gear and be successful too.

Just go and have fun if your serious about it.


Most people get on these forums asking about it to hear negative aspects of the trip and then use thst to justify it to themselves for never going

Fortune favors the brave. Get out there


Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: Mr. T.] #7363872 12/01/18 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. T.
Best way "for me," to get in shape was to walk up and down my local high school football stadium. I did not do a certain number of times, but did a time. 30 minutes, and wearing the boots I was going to hunt in. At first I was able to do 7 repertistions. 6 weeks later I was up to 17 in the same 30 minutes. When we got to the mountains, I was in shape and ready to enjoy my hunt. Others who walked a track carrying their backpacks were not ready for the mountain. For me anyway, it was actually harder on my legs coming back down the stairs than going up them. And you have to come back down the mountain, so prepare yourself. Anyway, this training works for me. Six weeks worth gets me in shape.


Very good advise here, works for me as well, and i have tried both.

Where you seem to suffer the most is Down hill/Side hill, with a load. Keep in mind, a rear elk quarter weights about 85 Lbs.

Like someone posted above, leave the cotton clothes at home, spend the money and get wool base or any of the new synthetic stuff available on the market today.

I've been 4 years in a row, all DIY pack in trips, so if you have any questions just shoot me a PM. I also have a pretty good gear list that i can email to you.

But all in all, have fun!


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Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7364466 12/02/18 04:24 PM
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Just to repeat myself, once you get out there, you have to be willing to get up hours before first daylight and be sitting on the mountain glassing when you can see the first hints of light. I spent the money for 10x Swarvoski binoculars years ago, and I think that was probably the best money on any equipment that I've ever bought. There are other brands that are probably as good, but I don't think there is anything out there that is better.

Wear whatever keeps you warm and dry. People have been doing this for centuries. Get quality, but don't feel like you have to buy the most expensive clothing out there. For pants, I found that 100% polyester dries out the fastest when wet. Use sock liners and wool socks. It doesn't matter what brand they are, wool is wool. There are so many decent jackets out there that it's impossible to say what is best, just look at a lot of them before buying. I like to go to Cabela's for something like this since they have so many brands to look at. In the Boy Scouts, we learned about layering, which is more important than what brand of gear you have.

Be careful of boots. Expensive boots doesn't always mean water proof or that they will last. I've learned the hard way that they will all leak on you long before the tread wears out. The stitching will wear away from climbing over rocks and then start to fall apart on you. I currently don't even have a pair of good hunting boots, so I would go to Cabela's and look at everything that they have before deciding on anything.

Sleeping bag should be rated for minus 20 at least. The rating is what you should be able to live at if it gets that cold, but just like tent ratings should always be cut in half, think the same thing about sleeping bag ratings. If you are going to backpack, tent and sleeping bag need to be as light as possible. Never bring a change of clothes. Never bring anything extra if you are backpacking. Plan on smelling really bad, and getting cleaned up when you are done. To cook, I bring a small wire screen that I can put a very light coffee mug on to heat water. Mountain House freeze dried food is all that I carry. Two meals a day, nothing else. I've gone as long as 6 days without seeing another human. If you go to where the animals are, you won't see very many people.

Re: Colorado public land elk hunting [Re: wwhunter] #7365466 12/03/18 03:27 PM
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Get the Colorado Fish and Game rule book. You can probably get this years copy. Some rules have changed, lots of roads and trails have been closed, some maps do not show them. Learn it Know it Live it. We went to years ago and the Game division peeps where writing lots of tickets. We didn't get fined, talked to several that had been fined.
We hunted 551 Sargents area, east of Gunnisson just off Monarch Pass, had good luck on elk in the 4th season, elk there are not plentiful but they're there
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