OK. So It happened. My buddy and I who are from Texas drew our 1st season rifle tag for area 54 in Colorado Oct 16-20. We are both established hunters who both rifle and bow hunt everything east texas has to offer. We have stand hunted as well as still hunted whitetails, but have ZERO experience Elk hunting, and ZERO experience hunting the mountains. We are going to backpack in and camp for the season. We have been gathering backpacking gear all year and are almost done in that department. I have most of the clothing I need as well as socks and boots. We have both been training with our packs for a few months now, and I feel we are well on our way to being as prepared as possible on the gear, safety, and health side of things.
My biggest worry now is.....how the heck do you hunt elk? My thoughts thus far are that we will show up a day or two before season and get camp set up and go out scouting for elk. I have maps and have been marking likely areas as well as been on CODW's map showing the areas where elk use both in summer, migration, and winter. I guess what we will do is get high and do some glassing. We have good binos. Is this the right strategy?
I am hoping to make it up in Aug to look around a bit. I have a friend who spends 2 weeks fishing at blue mesa and he told me to come along and he would go hike with me a few days.
I guess my real question is. What tips could you experienced successful elk hunters give us that would help improve our chances?
On a side note. Do we need to be especially careful as far as the bears go? i.e. bring air tight bear bags, etc. I know we need to hang the elk well out on a limb if we were to get one and have a small lightweight pulley system and lots of paracord for this.
Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks