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xcooper23x's picture
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elk!

Well I did my scouting last weekend for my unit 50 elk hunt! I found a couple of old sheds, and a ton of sign but most was really old. I definitely found their wintering grounds when they migrate out of Colorado across the New Mexican border. Because of bad weather I wasn't able to leave today to get a head start on my hunt which starts tomorrow. Hopefully I can leave early tomorrow and be able to hunt the morning and rest of the weekend. When I scouted last weekend it was in the 60's and just last night it snowed an inch right in the middle of where I'm hunting. Tonight it is supposed to snow more Huh? does anyone think the elk will stay in the higher elevations(the mountain I'm hunting is 7000-9600ft)? what would you expect their movement to be when it suddenly turns cold and this is the first snow of the year??

 

buckykm1's picture
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Weather

with the little bit of snow that you will get it wont efect the Elk at all. jmo

Kevin

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I agree, the weather change

I agree, the weather change and a little bit of snow may get them moving around and stirred up a bit but it sure isn't enough to get them headed down the mountain. But after all the heat the cooler weather sure is a nice change.

SGM
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The elk will not move until

The elk will not move until there is 2 feet or more of snow and I would guess they are still high. As long as they can eat they will stay. Now if you can get to the area due to the weather is more of the question. If anything, I think the elk will move a bit more in the cooler weather and not get into the dark timber as much unless pushed there. Very cool about finding the sheds on your scouting trip. It is always cool to find them. Good luck and let us know how you do. 

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I'm starting to see more

I'm starting to see more bulls at lower altitudes now. Even before the snow started. Our summer range here is 12,000ft, and the winter range is 8,000ft. We have elk on the winter range already. Strange year. I'm sort of confused on what season to hunt next year if it repeats what's happening this year.

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Any good guesses why?

From first hand experience I've had this year, as well as that of good friends, it doesn't seem like the elk are in the "normal" spots this year.  Any guesses why?

I've heard comments about the huge snowpack and run off keeping elk from moving back into the summer range until pretty late, like July in some places.  I've also heard the wet spring produced so much forage the elk didn't need to migrate back to the summer range.

Good luck finding the elk and pop one when you find them.:D

 

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I agree that the elk won't

I agree that the elk won't move much untill the snow is deep enough to cover up their food sources. Also in my area the past 2 seaseon haven't been "normal". We haven't been seeing elk in their normal ranges and the rut has seemed to be later than normal too. I hope it's just been a fluke thing and thing go back to normal. since I switched to archery hunting I haven't hunted elk in the snow and kind of miss it. Good luck on your hunt and be sure to report back and let us know if you got anything or not.

xcooper23x's picture
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?

 

well I went on my hunt and I agree with some people on here.. The elk that were on the mountain completely disappeared  ::confused2 It snowed about 6 hours before I arrived to hunt the mountain so I was excited about seeing fresh tracks. unfortunately I hunted the from bottom to top of the mountain hiked over 8 miles and saw 3 or 4 single elk tracks in the new snow. this was over a two day period and when I talked to the other hunters they all complained of the same thing... the elk seemed to have vanished?? This is supposed to be their wintering area and since I saw some sign last weekend (not much but some) I expected there to be even more elk due to the cold weather(7-9inches of snow). I guess that’s just how elk hunting goes! still got my deer hunt in November!

 

Critter's picture
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You will find with elk that

You will find with elk that there is usually a resident herd all year long on their so called wintering ground.  The area that I hunt here in Colorado is a wintering ground but it sustains a herd of 30-40 elk on it year round.  If it is dry they can be hard to find and if it snows you have to be lucky to figure out where they are moving from and too. 

Typically a herd of elk will not move into its "wintering area" until all the feed is covered where they are living even as the snows come and go and they can't dig down to it anymore.  I know of a herd that lives around 10,000' but they only winter on a side hill a few miles away at 7,500', that's not too far of a migration.  I have also seen areas that as long as the wind blows and keeps the snow off of the grass on the hill top they will stay right there.  I found a area like this in Utah one year.  The hill top was only about 3-5 acres in size but that is where they would winter instead of heading down to the low lands. 

Sometimes with a elk you just have to be lucky and be in the right spot at the right time. 

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Today I saw a small herd of

Today I saw a small herd of cows and calfs in the general area that I saw the two bulls. I scout everyday, and I know they weren't around two weeks ago. They could be headed for the winter ground. It's about 8 miles away. I've never seen them here this early before.

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I really doubt that they were

I really doubt that they were headed to their winter range with what little snow there is up on the top of the hills right now.  But then if you are talking about the San Juan's then they just may of been headed for it. 

It really takes quite a bit of snow to move a elk.  I have even seen them drop down one week and then head back up the next.