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Colorado Elk #7570257 08/02/19 02:22 PM
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Going to hunt 2nd Rifle in Colorado Unit 78 this fall. I understand it will be crowded. I have spent a lot of time on Onx and have picked a few areas to start. Will only have one scouting day before season opens. Been looking mostly for hidden pockets bulls might use for solitude after the rut. We will have a base camp with the ability to spike out as well. Backpack a reasonable amount so spiking is not an issue. Making my first elk hunt at 60 is fun. Not worried about the terrain, will just be slow. Age and miles have slowed me down but not stopped me.

Not looking for your honey hole, just advise for a first timer.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7570329 08/02/19 03:52 PM
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rokslide.com

they have a forum with a wealth of knowledge about elk hunting and gear, etc.

lots of helpful people here too, just giving another resource

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7570894 08/03/19 12:21 PM
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RafterH I don't have any info for you. But if you see fit, I'd like to read about the journey (with pics of course). I'm just a couple years behind you and would like to know how it goes. I'm not done in either! up


Press for an AMERICAN.
Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7570908 08/03/19 12:59 PM
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Go on the Colorado Parks and Wildlfe website. They have a section under Elk Hunting called Planning Your Hunt that gives you some basics. They also have a section called Elk University which has some good video basics.
Just keep in mind that the air is thin at elevations where your likely to encounter Elk. You need to get in the best shape you can between now and your trip. Hiking on flat ground is a lot different than hiking at 5,000 to 10,000 ft. A lot of people experience altitude sickness which can cause serious problems. Itís very important to keep hydrated.
Good luck with your hunt.

Last edited by Pappybear; 08/03/19 12:59 PM.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke
Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7570921 08/03/19 01:37 PM
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https://huntscore.com/hunts/co/elk/72d32948-5364-414f-a807-f9201ee0e08a

You might want to go a day earlier just to get acclimated at a little lower elevation than your first day scouting. pay attention to what your body tells you, altitude sickness can kill so like stated drink plenty of water .
Colorado had lots of snow this year area should be pretty green.

Good luck , pretty country.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7570939 08/03/19 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RafterH
Going to hunt 2nd Rifle in Colorado Unit 78 this fall. I understand it will be crowded. I have spent a lot of time on Onx and have picked a few areas to start. Will only have one scouting day before season opens. Been looking mostly for hidden pockets bulls might use for solitude after the rut. We will have a base camp with the ability to spike out as well. Backpack a reasonable amount so spiking is not an issue. Making my first elk hunt at 60 is fun. Not worried about the terrain, will just be slow. Age and miles have slowed me down but not stopped me.

Not looking for your honey hole, just advise for a first timer.


I grew up in that unit. Spent many a summer riding NF fence, I can still remember getting lectures after the last grizzly was killed. 2nd Rifle is a tough season, usually donít have the weather to drive them lower yet.

My advice donít over look some of the lower elevation stuff, especially some of the stuff right off the road, you would be shocked how many elk are in that lower country. If there is water there is elk


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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7571006 08/03/19 03:30 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Iíve been looking in the Allen creek area mostly. Will definitely look lower as well. With a base camp and backpacking experience, Iím certain we can adjust as needed. Really looking forward to this hunt. Iíve hunted mule deer in NM and bear in Arizona, this is my first elk hunt.

Experienced not being hydrated in the mountains in Arizona. Donít want to do that again!

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7571180 08/03/19 08:07 PM
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Get in the best physical shape you can, the altitude will be tough on you.


Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7571213 08/03/19 09:03 PM
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Agree with BOBO, in areas we have hunted in the past around Delores hunting pressure will run a lot of the elk to the cedar,pinion pine and oak brush in the lower country.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7571330 08/04/19 12:47 AM
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If people arenít there, the elk probably will be. Oak brush next to dark timber is a huge plus.


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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7571379 08/04/19 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RafterH
Going to hunt 2nd Rifle in Colorado Unit 78 this fall. I understand it will be crowded. I have spent a lot of time on Onx and have picked a few areas to start. Will only have one scouting day before season opens. Been looking mostly for hidden pockets bulls might use for solitude after the rut. We will have a base camp with the ability to spike out as well. Backpack a reasonable amount so spiking is not an issue. Making my first elk hunt at 60 is fun. Not worried about the terrain, will just be slow. Age and miles have slowed me down but not stopped me.

Not looking for your honey hole, just advise for a first timer.



Kudos to you for not letting age getting in the way. Good luck.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7572285 08/05/19 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by RafterH
Going to hunt 2nd Rifle in Colorado Unit 78 this fall. I understand it will be crowded. I have spent a lot of time on Onx and have picked a few areas to start. Will only have one scouting day before season opens. Been looking mostly for hidden pockets bulls might use for solitude after the rut. We will have a base camp with the ability to spike out as well. Backpack a reasonable amount so spiking is not an issue. Making my first elk hunt at 60 is fun. Not worried about the terrain, will just be slow. Age and miles have slowed me down but not stopped me.

Not looking for your honey hole, just advise for a first timer.


We will be back in Unit 70 again this year. I had a blast last year. Didn't kill, but had a great time and looking forward to it again. I have a few years on ya and I haven't given up yet either. Good luck.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7572366 08/05/19 12:58 PM
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Being a pack-packer, then you're well aware the weight of drinkable water is worth more then the weight of heavy food. Walking in, it is usually a daylong hunt for me, elk know how 95% hunt and have no problem watching folks walk by, only to slip out after they pass, a busted herd can run for miles. I have taken many bulls after 10am when hunters are returning for breakfast.

Most times, less walking is better, find a location that has elk, fresh elk sign (there will be obvious trails) and become a tree, let the other hunters do all the walking as they will move elk.


Die young,,,,as old as you can....

"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Dennis

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7572415 08/05/19 02:22 PM
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First thing that I would look for on a map is where there are no roads, and limited access. Colorado can get crazy with how many people are running around on 4 wheelers all in the same area, but if you can get a few miles away from all of them, you will start seeing animals. For me, I want to get as high up a ridge as I can before daylight, and then when the sun starts to rise, I want to be glassing as much land as I can. Usually I'll stay put until the sun is well up and the odds are very good that I'm not going to see anything else. Then I will spend the day moving and exploring for better glassing areas. By the end of the day, I will be in what I hope is the best place to glass and see something moving. I stay put until legal shooting time ends, and then I head back to camp. Of all the guys that I've hunted with, none of them stay out until dark. It's a pain walking back in the dark, but you won't see anything in camp, and dinner tastes the same in the dark as it does in daylight. I've actually lost friends because of this and their belief that I wasn't helping out in camp enough because I stay out so late. I'm not there to camp and relax.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: EddieWalker] #7572437 08/05/19 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
First thing that I would look for on a map is where there are no roads, and limited access. Colorado can get crazy with how many people are running around on 4 wheelers all in the same area, but if you can get a few miles away from all of them, you will start seeing animals. For me, I want to get as high up a ridge as I can before daylight, and then when the sun starts to rise, I want to be glassing as much land as I can. Usually I'll stay put until the sun is well up and the odds are very good that I'm not going to see anything else. Then I will spend the day moving and exploring for better glassing areas. By the end of the day, I will be in what I hope is the best place to glass and see something moving. I stay put until legal shooting time ends, and then I head back to camp. Of all the guys that I've hunted with, none of them stay out until dark. It's a pain walking back in the dark, but you won't see anything in camp, and dinner tastes the same in the dark as it does in daylight. I've actually lost friends because of this and their belief that I wasn't helping out in camp enough because I stay out so late. I'm not there to camp and relax.



10 years ago I would of agreed, now a days I think itís the opposite. You need to find the middle ground thatís been walked past. First overlay people use now is the roadless indicator on OnX(response from 6 people in last two years Iíve ran into). In Idaho I was 8.5 miles back and ran into 8 hunter camps, ironically didnít see one camp going in. Ran in to an outfitter when leaving that was hunting on his own time, he was doing pretty darn good hunting from the trail head.

Last year 6+ mile(3k elevation change)in a CO Wilderness area, I called in one hunter and ran into an additional four hunters in two days. Back country was extremely crowded. Dropped out and hunted some low lying areas off a major road going to 4 major trail heads. Called in two cows, two bulls, and mountain lion and never saw another hunter past 300 yards from truck(two smart local muzzle loader mule deer hunters).

Not trying to talk people out of the high country, will always be animals up there, but itís a lot easier to glass out ever inch of a oak scrub basin then dark timber basin


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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7572464 08/05/19 03:19 PM
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I understand what you are saying. A few years ago we took a family vacation to Colorado and while seeing the sites, went up above tree line to see if we could find any elk to take pictures of. We saw some huge mule deer bucks, but never found an elk. We did see elk towards the end of the day down low along the hay fields. It was the middle of summer, super hot out, but the elk where where the food was. Once we started looking in those areas, we found elk all the time. On another trip, we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park and never saw an animal down low, but when we got up high, right at tree line, I was able to find dozens of elk laying right at the edge of the trees. Funny thing is that we where the only ones stopped on the side of the road taking pictures of the elk. Everyone else just drove past us. Some would slow down a little as they passed us, but most just seemed to be in a hurry to get where they where going.

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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: EddieWalker] #7572810 08/05/19 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
I understand what you are saying. A few years ago we took a family vacation to Colorado and while seeing the sites, went up above tree line to see if we could find any elk to take pictures of. We saw some huge mule deer bucks, but never found an elk. We did see elk towards the end of the day down low along the hay fields. It was the middle of summer, super hot out, but the elk where where the food was. Once we started looking in those areas, we found elk all the time. On another trip, we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park and never saw an animal down low, but when we got up high, right at tree line, I was able to find dozens of elk laying right at the edge of the trees. Funny thing is that we where the only ones stopped on the side of the road taking pictures of the elk. Everyone else just drove past us. Some would slow down a little as they passed us, but most just seemed to be in a hurry to get where they where going.

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Beautiful bull, that Park is quite the viewing. I hope they donít screw it up with the proposed wolf release


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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7572824 08/05/19 09:53 PM
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Thanks again everyone. I think I know my limitations and I've been concentrating on areas between 7500 and 10000 feet. I have found likely looking areas from 1/2 mile to 4.5 miles from our base camp location. Most of the guys with us are a lot younger and will no doubt head deep and high. I have identified a couple areas just off private land that look promising on Onx. Some not very far at all from a major highway. There are a lot of named trails in the unit we are going, but I tend to think that most guys will use them as jumping off points to go really high.

Do elk use creeks or would they be more likely to use still water. There are a couple of creeks in this part of the unit that have great cover close and are not to far from isolated small meadows. I know if this was whitetail, I would look hard at those areas.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7572935 08/06/19 12:18 AM
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Make sure you have either a few friends with you or the name of an outfitter to pack one out if your successful. They are more than a handful. I was with a group of 4 many years ago in a wilderness area. Backpacking a hindquarter for 2 miles is not fun.



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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7573143 08/06/19 09:34 AM
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Best advice I was ever given was to be where you are going to hunt when the sun comes up. But, to do that, you have to know the area.


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7574058 08/07/19 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RafterH
Do elk use creeks or would they be more likely to use still water. There are a couple of creeks in this part of the unit that have great cover close and are not to far from isolated small meadows. I know if this was whitetail, I would look hard at those areas.


Yes, elk use creeks regularly. Keep in mind that this was a big water year for Colorado, so there is still a lot of water up high, so elk may not need to come down to creeks for water this year though.

My advice is to get in good physical shape and be prepared to hike about 10 miles per day. If you are not able to walk long distances over rough and steep terrain, or if you hike too slow, you'll have a hard time harvesting anything. That being said, make sure you have good footwear. And make sure that you are comfortable making an accurate shot at up to 400 yards. I have killed a bull at 525 yards, but I probably would not try that distance again.

Get good optics where you can glass long distances. It's amazing to see tiny little specs so far off in the distance that end up being elk.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7574060 08/07/19 02:10 PM
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Elk hunting is tough! But very enjoyable, even if you are not successful. I have been elk hunting three times all on public land. The first year I killed a small 5x5, second year did not see any, and the third year I missed another small bull. I was 42 when I killed the elk and packing it out three miles up a logging road was a sobering experience. A few times I was on my back gasping for air! Last year I helped a buddy pack his bull off the mountain but it was downhill and not so bad. Even though we boned out the meat, my pack was still about 60 lbs. Carry meat bags with you and make sure you have a good pack with hip support. Carry water, a Life Straw, and snacks high in carbohydrates. Be in the best shape you can and have fun.


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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7575950 08/09/19 02:20 PM
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One more question. Insulated boots or non insulated for second rifle. Doesn't matter which to me as they arre both very well broken in.

Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7575956 08/09/19 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RafterH
One more question. Insulated boots or non insulated for second rifle. Doesn't matter which to me as they arre both very well broken in.


I’m non insulated, but it’s personal choice. I wouldnt go over 200gr of thinsulate or primaloft unless you are extreme north.

I also like leather lined instead of waterproof membrane for breathability, but I’m probably a minority there


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Re: Colorado Elk [Re: RafterH] #7575964 08/09/19 02:27 PM
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Take both, you may get one pair wet and wearing wet boots in early morning lead to cold feet and blisters. Good to have a pair that can dry out overnight . Don't put your boots right next to a fire or stove, they will dry to fast and can ruin the boots.
Have some comfy camp shoes as well.
Many an elk has been taken near or in camp, hunt mid day as well, most hunters will be in camp and elk can move all day if conditions are right.

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