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ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
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2012 Colorado Elk

I have to apply for my time off for next year by the end of THIS month (september).

So I've decided to take one week to hunt elk in colorado units 70 or 71 (or 62???!!!) and 2nd or 3rd season. right now, i'm leaning towards second season due to the higher probability of good weather.

and i'm considering unit 71. but i'd rather see what you guys thought about some of the other units too. I'll be choosing an OTC permit for rifle. and I need a place to camp.

It'll probably be second season.

SGM
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
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2012 Elk

Ndemter, That is great you will be chasing elk here in 2012. I guess my first question is have you or ever hunted any of these units before? If so and you saw game I would tend to say go to that unit as you somewhat know it and since you’re from Kansas I am sure your scouting will be very limited to none. As for which season is better that has allot to do with preference and weather. I like to hunt muzzle loader or first season if I can get a tag (draw)  but I know several hunters who prefer second or third because of the snow (hope of snow) for tracking and pushing the elk down out of the high country. Of course by second or third season you have had allot of hunting pressure from archery, muzzle loader and first rifle. If it was me I would hunt second season over third as weather usually is better but that can really vary from year to year and unit to unit.  I have never hunted those units you mentioned so cannot help you but have hunted for over 25 years in 12/23/24. If you want send me a PM and we can talk about that. I understand wanting a nice bull but, you might  consider putting in for a draw tag and get  a cow or get a left over cow tag in which ever unit you pick.  Odds are better at seeing a cow and they are $200 cheaper. As for camping you can camp any place in the national forest or on BLM land in your unit unless posted otherwise. I like to set up a base camp where I know I can get out of the hills in a hurry in case a big storm moves in. From base camp we drive to the area we want to hunt and hunt that area all day. I know I asked several questions but I hope that helps you. If you have more questions send me a PM and we can talk.  

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Joined: 10/03/2011
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elk hunting

SGM,

 This is the first time I have ever posted anything on a forum so if I sound ignorant its because I am. I guess I am behind on times but thats ok because I really don't want to be a tech know wizard. However I seen your post and it seemed sound so I thought I would respond with a comment and maybe a few questions of my own. If you don't mind and if you do then I will not bother you again. I am from Kansas and don't get to scout but I did hunt twice this year for elk (archery) and I seen one elk both times I went ( two elk) which combined was 7 days. Is spotting this number of elk acceptable or would you say that number is too low and move to another unit? This was my first year hunting elk and I just loved it but with no knowlegde or experience I don't really know what is bad or good. The unit that I hunted was really rugged but that is why I chose it. I am not a young guy but I am in outstanding physical condition (thank you God) so I don't mind hump'n it out 10-15 miles round trip. I mainly try to avoid people because I figure elk are where people are not. I thank you for your time.

SGM
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Hunters Helping Hunters

 

Elkdigest, welcome to the site as it is always good to meet another hunter. I am not a big tech guy either but have to admit I was very pleased when I found this site. As for asking questions go right ahead and in no way are you bothering me. I would believe that to be true of all the folks on this site. We are here to help and to learn from each other. Even those of us that have chased elk for years can learn a thing or two that is for sure. Congratulations on your first elk hunt and sounds like you had a good time. Since this was this your first time elk hunting and no scouting I would say it was a pretty good start to your elk career. I think it was my third year hunting before I saw an elk while actually hunting. I know folks that will go 7-10 days and not see any elk so two is not horrible . It takes a few years as a rule to really learn an area and the habit of the elk in that area. Things like bedding areas, wallows, water sources, dark timber, etc. If you keep jumping units it is hard, especially out of state to learn these things or the unit. Hiking 10-15 a day is quite a bit and can wear you out in a few days. I usually cover 4-8 at the most in a day but at a very slow and quiet pace. Slower, stopping and listening and watching has paid off for me but it took a few years to learn that. Was stubborn and to hyper when I was younger. If you have more or any specific questions send me a PM (Private Message) so we can talk more.   

 

  

 

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Joined: 10/03/2011
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elk

I did enjoy my hunt this year immensely and I have to admit that when I seen an elk I was somewhat startled by their size. I am just going off common logic but I suppose that elk are vocal animals because they are spread out in large areas and in order to find each other the calls aid in locating each other. I didn't hear one elk bugle and I am wondering that elk, like turkeys here where I live, will go silent when hunting pressure mounts. Also I found out rather quickly that they have an acute sense of smell and that the wind in the mountains seems to nearly always swirl instead of coming from one direction. Do elk bugle mainly in the mornings and evenings and are most active at those times? If elk go silent then would nearly be impossible to find them because of the vast expanses where they live. When they bugle they give up their position like turkey hunting. I got to hunt the opening part of season and the last two days of season so I am sure at the first of season the rut has not had an affect on them and the last of the season they are probably all spooked up.

SGM
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Glad you enjoyed the hunt and

Glad you enjoyed the hunt and if you are like most elk hunters you are hooked for life. It is a sickness that cannot be cured and the only medicine is to get in the woods and chasing them. Elk are social critters for sure and are fairly vocal. Cows and calves are more vocal than bulls and yes hunting pressure will shut them up. As for bugling, it is mostly from evening, all thru the night and into the early morning but occasionally you will hear one in the afternoon. Weather plays a big part on when they will start to bugle. This year was much later than normal due to the heat. Cows and calves will "talk" all year round at all times of the day. Mostly faint/low mews between them. To a point elk give up their position when you hear them but not like turkeys as they do not stay in one spot for long as a rule. Yes it is hard to locate elk in their vast home range, that is why you need to learn the water holes, black timber, feeding areas etc. Regardless if you can hear them or not you still need to find them and that is all on their turf. Elk have a fantastic sense of smell, hearing and sight. Not easy animals to sneak up on without being seen, heard or smelt especially in a heard. Welcome to the mountains and the swirling wind. You will also find that on ridges winds will change as the temps warm up or cool down. Hope this help and no doubt some other folks will give you more advice too. Keep at it, learn your area and one day it will all come together for you. Once you get one down then the true work starts.

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elk

I am definitely hooked I am already making plans for next year. One of the best things that happened was that my wife got to see an elk, she went with me because she didn't want me out by myself but she stayed near the truck and a bull passed by her not at not more than 80 yards so she was really thrilled about it. What a magnificient animal. We just got where we can go do things that we really enjoy after raising kids and things. You know how life is. I had wanted to go elk hunting my whole life but really couldn't spare the time or money. The years have passed us by now but I plan on catching up as much as I can. There may be alot more hunters out there that know more than me but I don't see how anyone could enjoy or appreciate more than I do. What do you think about staying away from roads. Everything I have read says to stay at least a mile or two away from roads. Is that because other hunters frequent those areas most often? Also If I understand your reply you would suggest hunting the area that I hunted this year so that I could pattern the animals that live there before making any decisions about going to a differant unit?

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good advice there

That's all good stuff.  I'll add a few things though.  If you're looking for good weather, I'd apply for 1st rifle, then buy the 2nd season OTC as a back up.  

Also, how do you want to hunt?  Those units work pretty well for being truck based.  They are pretty similar in a lot of ways, and don't differentiate much.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Man, this year went so fast. 

Man, this year went so fast.  I have been talking about 2012 in Co,lorado also, and the draw is not too far off lol

I also have to decide between units.  Never checked 71.  Still thinking on 62 though.  Second season, combo hunt.  That's assuming I can draw the deer tag with one point.

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70 , 71

I use hunt 70 and 71 for about 5 years, the only way that i would ever hunt them again, would be in the 3rd or 4th season, they are very weather sensetive, if it is nice weather, you wont see any elk, you need snow in the high country for those units to be any good. jmo

Kevin

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that's pretty well got my

that's pretty well got my mind made up to hunt 62 then. maybe third season. i have very little time to put in for my vacation for next year. i better do it tonight.