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Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 18
Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

A little Help. I drew a archery tag for Craig this year (an area that has been pretty generous) but unfortunatly my brother in laws are coming out this year and we will all need to go OTC. I guess I will have to forfit the tag but I am looking for a new unit. I have heard good things about the La Veta area. Any advise? Also am looking back to the Gunnison Basin area which I have hunted before. Gonna start scouting soon and am looking for some pointers.

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Location: Colorado
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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

So is your brother in laws are a pain, or it is unfortunate that you have to change units? neener!
So I'm assuming you are more interested in just seeing/getting into the elk than worry about trophy quality. If that's the case, I really wouldn't recommend the Gunnison area. There are lots of elk there, but the success rates are fairly low for a variety of reasons, namely access and the amount of wilderness.
However, unit 70 has pretty high success for an OTC unit, plus a pretty healthy population.
The La Veta area, unit 85 is interesting, but last year there were 499 archery hunters and 100 muzzleloader hunters on only 110 sq miles of public land. If all those guys were out at the same time and on public land, that would be worse hunter density than many 2nd rifle season public land units. Unit 70 has half the hunter density and averaged 18% success the last 5 yrs, vs. 12.5% in 85.

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Joined: 09/19/2008
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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

Ya there a pain. i really dont want to give up that tag but unless i can get three leftovers up there then i will so we can all hunt together. Hmm...i have never hunted down there in 70. Whats the terrain like? Sounds like about average hunting success but what about for archery? Is there alot of public land? I have had mixed success in the 8 years i hunted in gunnison but something about that west elk keeps drawing me back. It is beautiful country and full of critters but you gotta be in shape to see many animals. I am really trying to do alot of home work and scouting this year but the time is approaching fast. Were headed out just after labor day. Just really wanna get these out of town boys a good chance. Thanks for the feedback. BTW nice bull!

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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

The numbers I gave you were for archery, first rifle in 70 is in the mid to high 30% range. 18% five year average is VERY good for archery. Looking over my stats, the average for OTC archery, not the limited units for the past five years has been 12.6%. So that's 50% better than the average OTC unit.
The terrain is a tremendous mix of habitats for SW Colorado. You've got 14ers just outside Telluride, and you've elevation below 6,000 feet in some of the basins and canyons. Some of that BLM country in the basins is juniper, but get a little higher and it turns to oak brush and aspens or ponderosa. The taller mountains will have aspens and pines down low, then doug fir and blue spruce/engelmann spruce/sub alpine fir up higher. There's about 380 sq miles of public land and it's a big unit. There's the Uncompahgre National Forest, Lizard Head Wilderness Area, Mt. Sneffels Wilderness, and below those are units 71 and 711 with the San Juan National Forest.
There's a ton of BLM also, but you need to should stick to the National Forests and the higher elevations during archery season.

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Location: CASTLE ROCK COLORADO
Joined: 10/07/2008
Posts: 21
Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

are all of you doing archery or are you turning in your tag

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Joined: 09/19/2008
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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

Ya, were all going archery season just right after the 1st of september. I absoutly love that season! Ya higher is almost always better for that season. What do you think the winter was like over there EX? I was taken off guard by the numbers that were affected by the winter kill of 07 in craig and I dont want to make that mistake again. We have been getting a ton of rain around the state but how has the summer been in southwest?

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Location: CASTLE ROCK COLORADO
Joined: 10/07/2008
Posts: 21
Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

i think the south west has done ok but tapering of compaired to the frt range
and the north west is starting to dry out (nothing for to weeks)
yeah last year in craig the bucks #'s were definetly down

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Joined: 09/19/2008
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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

Yes they were. Elk numbers were down too. Im hopin with all this rain we will see a turn around on the upper front range in the over all health. We need some deffinate improvement up here.

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Joined: 07/16/2009
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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

What should I expect to pay for archery hobby start up? Im interested in starting archery as a hobby.... targets only. I happened to be in the area of a MAJOR sport/hunting outfitter and when I walked in the archery department - all the bows I happened to see were either $70 sets for kids or $500 bows for adults. What should I expect to pay for the start-up things I will need? And, what wil I need exactly?

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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

Hi and welcome to the forum,
It's been a while since i bought my last bow, but if you aren't planning on shooting competitively, you don't need to spend $500. The only gear you need besides the bow and arrows is a target (hay bales work fine for low power bows), an armguard and finger tabs or a release aid. Like I said, it's been a couple of years since my last bow, but I'd be shocked if you couldn't do all that for way under $400.

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Joined: 09/19/2008
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Archery Elk in Southern Colorado

I archery hunt with passion and also shoot competively. Both of my bows were uppwards of $800 and with full set up were well over $1k. I had a friend start a few years ago to just kinda mess around with it and he bought a pretty decent bow and set up on line for real cheap and had a great time. Not saying you have to spend that much but once you start it becomes an addition. At least for me. I would say you can pick up a PSE with set up for under $500 if you look hard enough. Have fun with it!

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