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Archery ?

Im from Wisconsin and headed out to Colorado for the first time for an elk hunt. I have been told 100 times im crazy for going out there with my bow for my first time elk hunt, but I love bow hunting and would rather do that then rifle. Any input would help, i have been west for mule deer many time but knowing elk is much different I have a few questions. One is a have read not to use expandable broadheads. I use Rage broadheads aroung hime on whitetails and have never found a better one but have heard not for elk?
Another is when you pack your elk out and store it how do a lot of people do it as far as keeping it cool and packaged. Coolers or chest freezers? We will be parked in a campground but will have a camp a couple miles into the wilderness. Any thoughts or tips would help. Thanks

exbiologist's picture
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Re: Archery ?

Welcome to BGH. A lot of out of staters bring small chest freezers with them for the ride home. A block of dry ice will last quite a while in there or a large cooler.
I mostly used cut on contact broadhead designs when I bowhunted. Suppposed to be better when hitting bone and getting through the hide.
As for being crazy to bowhunt for your first elk hunt, just don't be disappointed by going home empty handed. Odds are you won't kill an elk, but you couldn't pick a better time of the year to run around the mountains.

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Joined: 02/02/2010
Posts: 28
Re: Archery ?

I agree with exbiologist. Huntin is huntin. cannot beat the time of year to be doing it. Take your time be patient and enjoy the trip. You will not be dissapointed. If you do kill, be sure to get your animal opened up and split into quarters quickly. Elk hold alot of heat in the neck and around the bone, especially in the hams. For broadheads use what you are comfortable with and have faith in. Their are tons on the market today, that work real well. Bascially comes down to preference.

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Re: Archery ?

I read the comments on a block of dry ice in a large cooler, how big of a block of dry ice are you talking about and how long will it last? My son has an early hunt this year in a warm unit. We will be back in the wilderness area away from camp, and if we are planning on being out for a week (worse case scenerio) will it last that long in a very large cooler?

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: Archery ?
bigalwapiti wrote:
I read the comments on a block of dry ice in a large cooler, how big of a block of dry ice are you talking about and how long will it last? My son has an early hunt this year in a warm unit. We will be back in the wilderness area away from camp, and if we are planning on being out for a week (worse case scenerio) will it last that long in a very large cooler?

IMHO if you kill an elk on day 1 of a week long hunt I would get the elk to town and hung in a meat locker with a local butcher or game processor while you finish out the hunt. Many offer a daily fee to hang meat. The term "warm" is subjective and can mean different things to different folks, same thing with using a cooler (size and how well its thermal properties work) and ice (dry or blocked) so as you can imagine time frames for success and failure can vary depending on individual circumstances.

To make it simple the rule I live by is if you can quarter, hang, and protect your elk from bugs it will last 2 days max in warm temps before you start to lose meat. I would trust it 4 or 5 days in coolers with ice. Any longer time frames I would make sure I got it somewhere to hang in a professional meat locker until I could put in my ice chests for the ride home. To me that's part of the scouting....finding the nearest meat locker just in case. Going against conventional wisdom I only like to skin my elk quarters before putting on ice or putting in a locker, I leave the hide on while they hang. The hide does make the cool down process slower and hanging quickly in shade is critical but once the meat cools the hide has the opposite effect and keeps the meat cooler after the night cool has been traded for the daytime warmth. With the hide on and the meat hung it will take a few hours to cool but will keep the meat cooler than a skinned elk for several dozen hours after that.

Again just my 2 cents.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: Archery ?
mathews70 wrote:
Im from Wisconsin and headed out to Colorado for the first time for an elk hunt. I have been told 100 times im crazy for going out there with my bow for my first time elk hunt, but I love bow hunting and would rather do that then rifle. Any input would help, i have been west for mule deer many time but knowing elk is much different I have a few questions. One is a have read not to use expandable broadheads. I use Rage broadheads aroung hime on whitetails and have never found a better one but have heard not for elk?
Another is when you pack your elk out and store it how do a lot of people do it as far as keeping it cool and packaged. Coolers or chest freezers? We will be parked in a campground but will have a camp a couple miles into the wilderness. Any thoughts or tips would help. Thanks

No you aren't crazy....that just means you are a real bowhunter. Chances are you won't bag an elk your first time out but your friends will view you as an epic bowhunter if you do on your first hunt. I think it's cool you are doing it this way.

I personally have always used and liked fixed broadheads for elk like a muzzy but quite honestly I've had friends shoot elk with Rage's and had no problems.

Good luck and be sure to come back and let us know how it goes.

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