19 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Kentucky
Joined: 12/14/2006
Posts: 21
Advice on Elk hunting.

I'm from Kentucky and looking to take my two sons elk hunting in Colorado and don't have the funds for a guided trip for all. I want to make this a good trip for them and could use some advice on were to go. Keep in mind this will be our first trip to Colorado.

Offline
Moderator
Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1740
Advice on Elk hunting.

doublej, Welcome to BGH! Big smile
Are you wanting to rifle, bow or Muzzleloader hunt?

This link will take you to the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Stats sight and will show you the best units in Colorado for elk. Have you ever applied in Colorado for a preference point? If not, you might want to get a few PP saved up before you apply, as our better elk units will usually take a few to draw a tag.

http://wildlife.state.co.us/NR/rdonlyres/7828FA0B-D87C-4CDF-A7F1-1F178E7B285D/0/2005Elkharvest.pdf

Offline
Location: Kentucky
Joined: 12/14/2006
Posts: 21
Advice on Elk hunting.

Looking at going on the third rifle hunt so we can by the tags across the counter. We're not going until 2008 season. Do you think it would be better to get pp?

Offline
Moderator
Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1740
Advice on Elk hunting.

If you want to only hunt the 3rd season and it's over the counter, you won't need any. If you look on DOW's site, 1st season has a lot better success rate but it's elk only and draw only, if you want to do a combo deer, elk hunt you'll need to do a later season.

Offline
Location: Kentucky
Joined: 12/14/2006
Posts: 21
Advice on Elk hunting.

Can someone recomend an area that would be better for first timers to hunt. I've oredred maps of the areas and plan on doing a lot of reserch. If I could find an outfitter that could do a drop camp that was dependable and not cost a lot this would also be an option.

Offline
Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
PP

I might make a suggestion that you apply for preference points. That way you may be able to draw a cow tag or two in your group. Cows are generally a little easier to come buy and are pretty tasty also. If everyone is dead set on hunting bulls only, don't bother with the preference point. Just remember that sometimes legal bulls are hard to find on public ground. The more research you do, the better your odds should be. Good luck!

Offline
Location: Montana
Joined: 10/24/2006
Posts: 448
Advice on Elk hunting.

Id Like to give a point of view you may not like to hear, I am a guide in MT and SD and have as well in Wyoming. I have seen many many non resident hunters try and hunt areas unknown to them due to lack of funds or believing that thier hunting exsperiance "back home" would be enough in the high country. It isnt. Just this year I talked with some hunters from Alabama complain there was no mulies in a certain area where i had just driven up and passed i dunno how many along the road.
My point is the chance of success for a out of stater who not only is going guideless but also hunting a state with COMPLETELY different terrain, and isnt even sure where to hunt is close to nill. Plus its dangerous alone, we often go in to find lost hunters that flat shouldnt be in this kind of country without someone exsperianced, that knows or has a better idea of where and how to hunt the area.
I dont mean to rain on your parade but i think youd enjoy it much more if you saved up another year and hired a exsperianced outfitter with a history of good hunts.
Colorado can be a great place to hunt but its not easy for in-staters to hunt , there are alot of hunters and it is exstremly rugged country, nothing at all like Kentucky. Much less as you ask "where do i hunt"
My 2 cents take it for what its worth

Offline
Location: Kentucky
Joined: 12/14/2006
Posts: 21
Advice on Elk hunting.

Romey,
I agree with you and did book a drop camp for the first rifle season in area 12,24. The drop camp is 20 to 25 miles back in the wiilderness and the outfitter will take care of my Elk if I happen to get lucky. I'll be hunting the Flattops.If anyone has been in this area any help would be great.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/05/2004
Posts: 126
Advice on Elk hunting.

You know, there are several places in Colorado where you can do a late season cow elk hunt on private land with your boys relatively cheap and that includes lodging. If you're just getting started, it may be an option that you might want to consider.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 01/01/2007
Posts: 25
Advice on Elk hunting.

DoubleJ,
Good choice on 12.24. Just a quick check shows an average success rate of 32% for 24 1st Rifle, and 48% for 12 1st Rifle.

AB

Offline
Location: Coeur D' Alene, ID
Joined: 01/04/2007
Posts: 3
Dont get your bubble bursted!

Even though I'm new to this site, I am not new to the wilderness. I'm 25 and have take 12 whitetail, 1 mulie (ID unit 2 is limited to one deer per year, I started hunting @ 12.) I have taken 7 elk, 5 black bear, countless coyotes, and have my fingers crossed on drawing my moose tag.

Even though I agree with Romey in most aspects....but I do have to inflate your bubble a little since he burst it. Even though you are out of state, and you haven't been to CO, doesn't mean that you aren't going to have the hunt of a lifetime. Being successful should only be a bonus. You are going into some of the most gorgeous country god ever put onto this planet. You will see things, smell things, feel things and overall have an experience that hunting in the flat lands cannot offer you....and all the way you will experience it with you sons....you are a model of what a father should be to his sons. There are some things you can and should do to make it this experience what you are seeking.

Flatlanders have a tough time when they come and hunt in the Rockies. I'm sorry, but if you haven't hunted/hiked at over 7000 feet in some gnarly terrain, then there isn't anything on the east coast that will prepare you for what you are going to meet.

However, preparation is going to be your best friend.

Just some things to look at....and obviously you are an intelligent man, so I'm not saying you haven't done any of these, just maybe put a fresh set of eyes on it to give you a different perspective.

You can effectively scout from out of state:

A. Research the elk in the area you are hunting. Find a book/website/wildlife official that can explain what they eat, how the travel, and what some of the pressures in the area that can stir the animals behavior. (weather, water, predation, disease, feed, human interaction.) Not only are you going to have to research the animals, but you should also take a glance at some of the other wildlife. You not only are (hopefully, I'll have my fingers crossed for you) going to run into some elk, but you have mtn lion, bear and yes, even the chance of a rouge wolf (all who consider a cow call/calf call a dinner bell), mulies and whitetail.

B. Get a good topographical map. You can usually find them at a reasonable price. Some swear 1:25000 is a must, but if you just want a lay of the land 1:100000 has worked for many a hunter. Where I hunt I usually prefer this because it shows the ridge lines/saddles/drainages without being to "busy". Not to mention when I plug it into the GPS it looks familiar. You can also get maps of vegetation in the area so you can tell the difference between heavy brush/timber. This info can be invaluable in your out of state scouting.

C. Write out an emergency plan with your boys. The only thing worse than getting lost in the Rockies in late fall, is getting lost without the proper supplies and the proper plan. If you get separated it is better to know how your party members are SUPPOSED to act.

D. Get a good check list of supplies you should build up. How terrible would it be to save all the money and put all the work together, to get into the woods without the proper foot-wear. I usually number everything and check the list off, then make sure that I have 1-whatever of my gear so I can't forget things.

E. The final step is the most important. Speak to experienced elk hunters. Not only the ones from CO(they will provide valuable terrain and area information), but others that know and understand the animals. I shot my first bull when I was 16; when I walked up to the animal I was amazed at the size of it. I had seen plenty of them before, and had hunted them for two years prior, but to see a horse with antlers laying there at my feet I felt completely ill prepared. Fortunately for me I had the help of my dad and two other experienced hunters to help me.

I by no means, am the best hunter in the world. But I have been around the block more than a few people. Even though people are going to tell you that it isn't possible, or that it is too dangerous....don't give up. It is going to be a lot more work for you than someone that goes in and has an outfitter do the work for them. But if you can't afford that, just work for your elk. Many men have done it, and a lot of them have been successful doing it.

I am not exactly sure why these men feel that they are the only ones capable of hunting elk. Is it a challenge....HHHEEELLLL YES....is it dangerous if you are ill prepared. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! But do your homework and it will be the best experience of your life. Just remember, it's not like sitting in a tree stand on a deer trail....absolutely nothing like it.

I have gone elk hunting with never stepping foot on the ground, and I shot the biggest bull of my life there in two days of hard hunting. The only difference between me and you is that I have experience in the high country.

The work is going to pay off when you are sitting by that fire after your first hunt with your boys. Gazing at the flame hoping that you can find the words to describe what kind of amazing adventure it was to the folks back home! It won't ever get better than that........UNTIL THERE ARE ANTLERS IN THE FLICKERING LIGHT!

~Cam

p.s. I'm sorry if I didn't help you at all. And to the others, please don't scold me for what I wrote and I'm sorry if it offended you....but we are not supermen because we hunt elk. We are just men. All of us have learned from mistakes....and we are all still alived. Out of all the out of staters, at least this guy is taking some steps to prepare. We should be ashamed to hold what experience we have from him. A lot of the out of state hunters are intelligent and very good at what they do.......but the minority of them, the ones that get lost and the like, give the rest of them a bad name. The reason we don't hear about the smart ones, is because they come and hunt and then leave, never hitting a newspaper or SandR teams board.

http://www.myspace.com/fuzzyballs44

Related Forum Threads You Might Like