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Joined: 05/28/2015
Posts: 2
CO Unit 27 1st solo hunt

I have hunted two previous years and this year will be my first solo hunt. I'm pretty nervous/excited on being on my own and would love some words of advice.
The two previous years hunting, were with a small group where I learned a lot, but due to a falling out with that group, I am now determined to hunt solo this 3rd rifle season.

The fortunate thing about this unit and the public lands, is that I don't have to hike backcountry for miles and I am not camping in the backcountry. The bull elk I got last year was at most, a mile from the road and any mule deer we got, were able to be dragged to the trucks. I am planning to get a good packing-out backpack in case I get lucky again this year with a bull or cow. That is one of the pieces of equipment that I did not have the last two years. But is there anything else that would be desirable? Anything game I do get, will be transported to the processor down in Kremmling, so even that aspect is easy.

Any words of advice or suggestions? The big worry I have is solo field dressing and transporting of deer and elk, since before it was with two other guys who could help.

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Joined: 10/08/2009
Posts: 110
Processing an elk on the

Processing an elk on the ground solo is rough. I have become proficient at it, but I have processed dozens of animals (Mine and Others), half of which were solo. Bring paracord. When you can tie an leg or antler to this tree or that bush to keep him in the right position, it really makes a difference; especially on uneven ground which is where elk typically are.

Learn the gutless method of quartering or even learn to debone. Gutting an animal that you cannot carry out whole is pointless. It only presents a risk of releasing digestive tract fluids that will taint your meat. If you can get it out whole it serves the purpose of protecting the meat better and allowing you to age the whole carcass. Deboning is the only way to go for long distances with heavy game solo. 5 trips to get an elk out will become 2 if you know how to debone and have a good pack. I once packed out a 320" bull solo after only quartering him and each trip was 3+ miles round trip. If I could have cut that down to 2 or 3 heavier, but still manageable trips by deboning, I would have been much better off. 

I use Kifaru packs and they are as good as you can get in my opinon. Eberlestock, Mystery Ranch, and Tenzing are other good brands but I prefer the Kifaru suspension to all of them. I can carry 100+ pound loads without back or shoulder pain. They literally weld the weight to your hips and all you feel is the soreness in your leg muscles from the added weight. 

Good Luck!

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Joined: 05/28/2015
Posts: 2
Thank you for the

Thank you for the suggestions. I will definitely look into those Kifaru packs. I know they are on the higher end of price, but I'd rather spend more and get a better product. Anything is better than last year, when we did not have packs to carry the elk in...my shoulders and back are still ticked at me for that.
I will look more into the gutless method. Thankfully, there are videos all over Youtube on that method and plenty of time before 3rd season to watch them multiple times.

For the past two years, I've learned enough to really love big-game hunting and actually getting a bull last year, just reinforced that desire to keep hunting. So now I'm hooked!

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Joined: 08/23/2013
Posts: 24
Solo

this will be my second year going solo, archery elk. learmed alot from this site and the guys on here are real helpful. 

Last year was a real eye opener, learned alot and was fairly well equiped. One thing i learned going into this next season was to watch the weather;  the monsoons were a but kicker - torential!

have tag in hand again this year and cant wait to hit the aspens. 

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Joined: 10/08/2009
Posts: 110
Solo in storms

Sea 2'er wrote:

this will be my second year going solo, archery elk. learmed alot from this site and the guys on here are real helpful. 

Last year was a real eye opener, learned alot and was fairly well equiped. One thing i learned going into this next season was to watch the weather;  the monsoons were a but kicker - torential!

have tag in hand again this year and cant wait to hit the aspens. 

 

That is when being solo isnt fun. I get stir crazy hiding in my tarp alone and end up putting on the rain gear and hunting anyways. It's hard to hide and wait out storms when you dont have anyone to talk to. When i am hunting prongers solo archery season, it is inevitable that I will get caught in the afternoon thunderstorms. I used to hide in my truck, but lately I have been setting up a tarp shelter on a high ridge and glassing. its kind of surprising how much movement the speed goats make during a storm sometimes.

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