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Elevation of Elk in Aug

It has been extremely warm here in Co this summer.  I have been out scouting multiple weekends for elk and have found little sign so far.  I managed to get off the beaten path this past weekend and found a few decent areas.  Are the Elk going to be up high over tree line this time of year? 

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The ones that I have been

The ones that I have been watching all summer are hanging around 8000-9000 feet.  Well below timberline

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depends on what's available

I find that elevation really depends on what is available in the surrounding area.  In some places, 8 or 9,000 feet might be the highest an elk can get, and be just high enough to offer real tree cover and a little bit cooler temps.  At that same elevation, there might also be irrigated croplands nearby or some other feature that keeps them in the neighborhood.  In other places, such as 371, like the OP is talking about, you have a vast region of thick timber offering very little decent forage until you get above timberline.  So YES, in a unit like 371, many, but certainly not all of the elk will be up over tree line.  In the next week or two they will start coming down, especially as the bowhunters start showing up and the elk rut starts to kick into gear.

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I am also interested in

I am also interested in elevation to find elk.  I have read in several places that the elk are not going higher this year due to all the preciptation and plant growth this year.  Have any of the Colorado natives on here noticed this?

I am planning on hunting a unit with a large, high altitude wilderness, should I hunt the lower altitudes that surrond the wilderness this year or plan on the hunting wilderness itself?  Are elk more likely to hang out in the Aspen forest on a wet year like this or in clearings higher up in the spruce-fir forest?

tim
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an elk hunter who had killed

an elk hunter who had killed alot of elk told me this, when i asked him the same basic question. 

elk are where you find them.  at the time i thought it was a chicken shet answer.  now i have learned how true that statement was or is.  They are where you find them.  and typically i find them from the river bottoms to the ridgetops.

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all too true

tim wrote:

an elk hunter who had killed alot of elk told me this, when i asked him the same basic question. 

elk are where you find them.  at the time i thought it was a chicken shet answer.  now i have learned how true that statement was or is.  They are where you find them.  and typically i find them from the river bottoms to the ridgetops.

When hunting fair chase (as we should strive to preserve here in the west) it's been my experience over the years that this statement is as true as you can get, and it applies across the board for most all game, big and small.  You gotta go where the game wants to be, not nessesarily where you want to be.

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Western Hunter and Tim, I am

Western Hunter and Tim, I am not even for sure what "hunt where the elk are" means?  Elk have to eat, drink, and avoid predators with as little effort and most comfort as possible. As wild animals of course there behavior has elements of unpredictabilty and there are always exceptions to generalizations, I can accept that.

In general, however, animals use their habitat in a predictable manner year after year. Patterns of habitat usage do not change in the time scale of our lifetimes. What I am gathering is that elk, always widely dispersed mobile in their summer range will even be more so with the options the abubdant precipitation has left them with.  In other words don't make assumptions about what altitude/vegetation type elk will be using when all altitudes/vegetation types are fulfilling elk eating,drinking, and cover requirements this year.

I am inferring that I should not go into my hunt with a pre-conceived notion about where the elk will be and be open minded about where to look for them when I get there.  That being said, I still would like to identify 'most likely' areas of elk concentration keeping in mind that 'most likely' doesn't mean definitely.

 

Any pointers?

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hunt where the elk are

BuckSmasher wrote:

Western Hunter and Tim, I am not even for sure what "hunt where the elk are" means?  In general, however, animals use their habitat in a predictable manner year after year. Patterns of habitat usage do not change in the time scale of our lifetimes. What I am gathering is that elk, always widely dispersed mobile in their summer range will even be more so with the options the abubdant precipitation has left them with.  In other words don't make assumptions about what altitude/vegetation type elk will be using when all altitudes/vegetation types are fulfilling elk eating,drinking, and cover requirements this year.

That's what we mean by "Elk are where you find them".  True they may use their habitat in a relatively predictable manner, but that habitat isn't generally the size of your backyard, or even the size of an area of 3x3 miles square.  Habitat is generally pretty wide range and vast.  I have found that an area that's good is generally good most years. Some areas I recall hutning as a kid just are not as good as they once were, many factor have influenced that too.

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