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advice on dates

Just thought i would get some of your guys thoughts on dates for next years CO archery elk season. Im thinking of two possible dates to head out into the woods, the first being the opener on august 25th, and the second being sept 15th. This will be my second archery DIY elk hunt and i was just curious to see what you seasoned elk hunters think about the begining vs the end of the season. On one hand i want to go for the opener because ill have the best chance of hunting "unpressured elk" (if there is a thing anymore) for the most part. In the beginign of the season i also figured the bulls are figuring out their pecking order and seeing where they rank amonst each other so locating them   that way and patterening their feeding and setting up on them that way might be the way to go. But then on the other hand i want to experience that slobbering bull coming in hot and bugling in your face. The problem with that is they have already probablly been pushed around by other hunters, have their cows, and are call wise. The other thing and i dont know how much this plays a role in all of this but the moon phase doesnt lend itself well to the opener but more towards the prime rut this year with a new moon on september 15th. Well thats atleast what this rookie is thinking. And if a little background of where ill be hunting helps, its a public land, wilderness area. Well let me know what you guys think because everytime i think i know when im going to go i change my mind. any help will be much appreciated. thanks again.

 

Pat

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Hi Pat, I'd recommend going

Hi Pat,

I'd recommend going as often as possible!:yes:  I haven't archery hunted in many years now, but get out as many times as you can and really enjoy the whole season.

As far as precidcting the rut, that's tricky.  I've never really found a sure fire way of getting it right every year for every area.  The rule of thumb I have been using the last couple of years is 25 weeks from Easter.  That puts the peak of the rut around Oct. 1 for this year.  Take that prediction with a grain of sand on a big beach though.  If you really want to get into the rut you'll probably have to make more than one trip to test the waters and get a better idea of what the bulls are doing where you are hunting.

Have a great season!

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What do you consider "Prime

What do you consider "Prime Rut"? If it is bugling going on all night or during the day then there is no predicating it.  The last 3 years during the bow hunt here in Colorado where I hunt I have only heard 2 or 3 bugles and I know for a fact that one of them was a hunter and I was out for over 20 days each year.  The elk will actually start the rut in August and end in early November from what I have personally seen and the peek activity will all depend on the cows cycle. 

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Yeah i know there is no

Yeah i know there is no science to predicting the rut by any means!! I only have 7 days to hunt though. Im from PA and i was just wondering if any of you seasoned guys had 7 days to hunt what time you would go, and would have the best opportunity to have a chance at getting close to a bull.  i know there are a lot of variable that have to fall into place but just thought i would ask the question. Regardless, i just love being up there more than anything. Thanks for the comments guys 

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I like either the first five

I like either the first five days or the last seven. The labor day weekend and blackpowder season increases the pressure. The last time I hunted in archery was in 2010 around Vail and I called in a 5point twice in about 15 minutes, and it was around Sept. 22nd. I've had really good luck hunting the last week of season in backcountry areas. The spots closer to the roads will be hit or miss. I like the little bit cooler weather for packing out meat which late Sept provides. Just go.

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I should of mentioned a

I should of mentioned a little bit as far as what dates might be best or not crowded.  Opening weekend is always bad along with the second weekend since it is Labor day, then the third weekend is the start of the ML hunt which goes to the fourth weekend.  So if it was me and I only had a week to hunt I would quite possibly pick the last week of the season.  A lot of archers if they haven't gotten their deer or elk have bagged it for the season and have gone home.  You'll have a weekend warrior but that is about it. 

Actually after thinking about it the last 2 deer and 1 elk that I have shot with a stick both came on the last weekend or last day of the hunt and I didn't see another hunter on any of thoes days while I was out there. 

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If you go the last weekend,

If you go the last weekend, don't you think that is the week that you get the most out of staters (like myself) trying to hit that prime time rut. I know it's impossible to figure it out but the rule of thumb for the rut is the end of September, no? One of the things I was thinking about the opener is that you will get alot of the locals out for the weekend and then I might have the rest of the place to myself (relatively speaking of course ). Just an idea !!! Pat

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By the last weekend most

By the last weekend most people have given it up, and the out of staters are usually on their way home so that they can go back to work on Monday.  I do know of a group of 4 hunters that I usually run into every hunting season that are from New York but they take the whole hunt off and don't go home until they get both of their animals or the last day of the hunt.  But then all 4 of them are retired and the few others that come out with them usually do it over the Labor Day weekend since it is a long one and they only need to take 4 days off from work. 

But like you say its a crap shoot on just when the best time really is.  The first week can be hot and dry and the last week can be cold and snowy.  My last archery deer was shot on the last Sunday at about 5:30pm in 6" of snow. 

Joined: 06/20/2011
Posts: 33
Its not so much a matter of timing as it is location.

I grew up in Colorado and learned to hunt the hard way. I don't believe an "unpressured elk" exists anytime of year in most areas of Colorado. I know in certain areas I hunted the elk gave up bugling all together and went into what the biologist call a silent rut. If you are a beginner bowhunter or traveling all the way from PA I would pass by Colorado unless you have alot of points for a choice unit. When I moved to New Mexico many years ago I couldn't believe the difference in hunting. Bulls actually bugled and responded to calls no seas of orange. If you have your heart set on Colorado then good luck but if you want to look at alternatives I can give you advice on what New Mexico has to offer.

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I would love to hunt new

I would love to hunt new mexico and it is def on my list of places to go unfortunately its application process istn very friendly to the out of state hunter especially the budget friendly DIY hunter with only 6percent of the tags available and no pref point system.  Someday ill get out there just cant do it for a couple of years. Thanks for the advice though, for now however going to have to stick with CO being that my brother lives there and logistically it is more feasable. Ill just have to do it the hard way. thanks again

Pat 

Joined: 06/20/2011
Posts: 33
I understand we all have to

I understand we all have to do what we gotta do. I didn't mean you can't be successfull in Colorado and just being able to be out there is half the prize. As far as dates I would say the later in September the better.