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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 09/21/2011
Posts: 8
CO GMU 59 Elk Hunt Pointers

I am a 22 Year old Colorado Native, I have always enjoyed shooting all types of guns and this year I decided to take it to the next level. I got a Leftover Bull Elk tag for 4th Rifle season in CO GMU 59 which is close to where I live in Colorado Springs. This is going to be my first big game hunt so I originally asked my good buddy who has hunted Elk to come and help me, unfortunatly he was unable to get leave from the Army to come out for the hunt. I need all the help I can get, I have done research about the area with the internet and Topo maps. I am going up to do some on the ground scouting next week once Archery season has ended. What would you guys suggest? Anyone hunt unit 59 in 4th Rifle before? Would you suggest taking such a trip alone? I was considering a guide but don't think my budget will support a $2000-$4000 guide. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5746
Well, first of all, welcome

Well, first of all, welcome to the site!  You picked a great place to get information on Colorado hunting, especially elk.  There should be no shortage of assistance offered up by these guys.  I am planning a combo deer and elk hunt next year, and I am already overloaded with help.

Make sure to stick around the site, ask questions, and look through old threads. A simple Google search should turn up past posts on here about that unit, plus you'll find tons and tons of information.

Make sure to have fun, be safe, and take lots of photos.  Come back and share those photos, and your stories on here.  Be ready to become addicted... Wink

SGM
SGM's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 955
Welcome to the site and

Welcome to the site and congratulations on your first big game hunt. It is an exciting adventure one I am sure you will not soon forget. I will tell you I have not hunted the area but a friend of mine has several times. Although he did not give me an exact spot he said he hunts in the National Forest  on the west side of Pikes Peak and to the east of Mueller State Park. Since it is so close to the Springs it is a fairly heavily hunted area but there are some nice bulls in the area for sure. Down side is allot of the elk will move due to the hunting pressure to private land. Sounds like you have done some homework which is good and I defiantly encourage you to get out and scout the area you plan to hunt on foot. Be sure to take the normal stuff like a compass and water while you scout. Learn the area and look not only for game but sign. In 4th season you could have some serious snow so you need to be prepared for that. Although hunting alone is not the best plan, allot of us have done it due to no other choice. Be sure someone knows where you are going and leave them a map of the area you plan to hunt. Also calling in each night is just another peace of mind.  As for a guide I am not even sure there is a guide service that works the area. There is no such thing as a guarantee  when you elk hunt. If you look at the harvest rates it is about 25% across the board. Get out and enjoy the experience it is allot of fun and once you do it you will be hooked. Remember the real work begins once the elk is on the ground so hope you have done some reading on gutting and packing out in case you do take an animal. I hope this helps some, good luck and let us know how you do.  

flewthecoupe's picture
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Joined: 06/07/2011
Posts: 75
I've a first season rifle tag

I've a first season rifle tag for that unit. I've done some scouting and have seen some nice sign but have not actually seen any elk. I've heard the Crags is a good spot but like was mentioned above, it's close to the Springs but alot of pressure, both from the hunter and the hiker, so you'd have to get in deep. I've been scouting further south than that. I'll be boots on the ground in 3 weeks and with a prayer or two and some luck I won't be empty handed coming back out. I'll let you know how it goes.

exbiologist's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
this may help

page 15 for starters

http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/Hunting/BigGame/DAU/DraftPlans/2011E23DAUPlanDRAFT.pdf

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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 09/21/2011
Posts: 8
Thanks!

Thank you all for the advice. I plan on going up there to scout once Archery season ends on Sunday. I'm not sure if there is a ton of private hay fields and stuff that the Elk will be on that late in the season but if there are hopefully the land owners warm up well to me Big smile

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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 09/21/2011
Posts: 8
DOW Input

I went to the DOW Office here in the Springs and they put me in touch with a Field Biologist who suggested Skagway Reservoir, Beaver Creek SWA, Table Mountain BLM/SWA. What do you think of potential in these areas? The Elk migration and concentration maps I have don't really show any activity in these areas

flewthecoupe's picture
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Joined: 06/07/2011
Posts: 75
Skagway has a lot of no

Skagway has a lot of no hunting and private area. I'm not thinking you'll see anything there that'll be in a place you could shoot it. I can't say about the other 2. I didn't have topo maps of that area so I didn't scout nor get there to hunt. I wanted to as farther north in PNF was pretty futile but like I said, no maps so I didn't even attempt going down there. I tried all over by Emerald Valley Ranch to E. Beaver Creek, Mt Baldy, Mt Rosa, Mt Blanca, Stove Mountain, and the Crags from elevations from 9000' to 11200'. Saw nothing for sign newer than a week I think. If there are any elk in there, just hope the snow pushes them down or to an area that you can hunt.

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Joined: 10/22/2011
Posts: 2
59 3rd season cow

I am miltary and moved here this spring.  I spent the opening week of archery down in Lizard Head and came back empty handed.  No worries, first elk hunt, saw elk and learned a ton.  I am hooked so when I got back home I bought a leftover 3rd rifle cow for 59.  I have done a fair amount of scouting and am finding plenty of old sign but nothing fresh.  I've scouted crags, middle beaver creek, bull park, and around seven lakes.  Of course you can't actually hunt the drainage areas around seven lakes (posted).  Mostly scouting up high and am wondering if the elk have gone down to private due to hunting pressure.  I think I will try some of the public land around the private down at lower elevations.  I'll keep you posted on anything with horns (assuming I see some elk and not snipes like flewthecoupe. :)  They were there this summer, now I just have to find where they go after the pressure is on. 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5746
Welcome to the site!  Thanks

Welcome to the site!  Thanks for jumping in with both feet!

Most importantly, thanks for your service!!!  Be sure to stick around and join in the site!  Lots of good information to be found on here, especially if you are in the Colorado area!

Good luck this fall!

Offline
Joined: 10/22/2011
Posts: 2
Thanks.  I've been lurking

Thanks.  I've been lurking for a bit.  I live in Colorado Springs and am loving Colorado.  Tons of tag soup so far (spring turkey, archery antelope and archery elk) but there is a huge learning curve compared to living back east.  Not to mention a much higher diesel fuel bill.   

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