First timer here posting but have been lurking in the shadows for a while before registering. Been years since I've hunted and last fall got a wild hair and decided I wasn't much on genetically modified, 5000 animal per acre industrial sized cattle/pig farms, etc. Went and bought a Browning XBolt .300WM and set my sights on finding an elk to fill the freezer.
I drew GMU 59 for first season rifle, cow tag. All the guys I know that hunt hunt bow. So I might be a little out of luck there for having a hunting party. I've been looking over the maps and overlays, etc and have heard of good hunting around the Crags and behind NORAD. Seems some rough country but not too horrible. Wanting to bivy hunt instead of spike hunting. Maybe it's just me but I just can't get the idea of waking up at 2AM, walking for 3 hours, setting up to glass an area hoping to find an elk, and then, if unlucky, having to walk back and repeat this process for 4 more days. Seems staying light and moving to different areas allow for much more ground to be covered and increases the chance of finding something. I realize it also limits campfire time, etc.
Any thoughts on general areas? Not wanting anyone to come right out and say, "here they are", because that takes the fun out of it and with them being the unpredictable creatures they are it would be a little hard to nail that down, anyway.
Anyone out there spike hunt? Advantages? Disadvantages? I've been hiking with a 72# ruck to get ready for miles on the ground and am planning to work up to 100# or so to be ready to haul anything out. Right now, my ruck, gear, and rifle are weighing in at about 40#. Need to add in the weight for my cold weather gear and food. Still planning on keeping the ruck with gear to less than 50# with my 7# rifle slung. So even getting an average bull that's quartered and deboned coming in around 250# I should be able to haul that out in 3 trips. Less if I'm lucky enough to be able to get someone on the phone to help pack it out. Thoughts on me going out there by myself? This is what my initial plan was, going alone, but there's the risk if no one is around and God forbid something happens and there's no cell phone coverage, etc. I'm well versed in land nav, map reading, first aid, basic survival, etc. from my Army days so not too concerned about getting lost. But there's that 1 in a million chance of catching a stray round, having a boulder fall on my head, twisting an ankle or breaking a nail.
Okay, long, rambling first post and not so much of a long story short.
Thanks for any advice!