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Joined: 09/04/2011
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Finally coming together..DIY backpack Elk hunt

After a few years of no-go's, I'm finally making my virgin elk hunting trip to CO this year. There are two of us backpacking in for 9 days of hunting. Neither of us have hunted elk, however my partner is a CO native and has had lots of experience climbing in the alpines. I am sure his experience will be vitle to the trip. 

I've been building my gear stash for 5 years and have all the big stuff covered. My challenge now is going through everything and thinking through the consumables to take for 9 days out in the wilderness.

We have nailed down our hunting area and have a pretty detail plan of how to get in. Finding a camp sight shouldn't be difficult.

What I do have a question about is placement relative to where we are hunting. The specific drainage is about isn't very big by Colorado standards (10 square miles 2.5x4.25) with the main stream running down the center. From my vantage point, google earth, it all looks good for hunting. I feel like putting camp anywhere would be within a mile or two of good hunting.

I hate to do a cold camp, but is that what I am left with or stink up the area a camp fire?

I appreciate any input or advice...

 

 

Striker's picture
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Location: Kuna, ID
Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 187
drop camp

I don't think your allowed any campfires right now in CO. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong. As far as placement, I try to select a place that offers the best position to access several hunting areas like the base of two drainages or draws. A crossroads kinda of thing. You don't want to camp right in the elk either so take that into consideration. Give priority to the areas you want to hunt and place accordingly.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3921
Fire and smoke is a part of

Fire and smoke is a part of nature and doesn't spook animals like a lot of people think. I have actually seen deer come to investigate the smoke from a campfire and I have seen both deer and elk in a burn area after a fire has gone through just milling around in the ash.

But as Striker said you need to check out the fire restrictions for the area that you are planning on camping in. Some restrictions have been lifted but others are still in place.

BleuBijou's picture
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Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
Posts: 453
Fire ban

Gunnison and Uncompahgre national forests lifted their bans on the 22nd of July. I don't know where you are headed, so just check the county and the forest for fire ban info. Good luck!!

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Joined: 09/04/2011
Posts: 11
I checked with the local

I checked with the local forestry officials in the area I am going. The fire bans have been lifted.

If you had the opportunity to camp at or very near treeline (10-11K) or down in the valley, which would you do and why?

SGM
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 919
Defiantly camp in the trees

Defiantly camp in the trees and not in the open or above timber line. Big reason is the high winds that can occur with little to no warning. Rain is very possible and with these storms can come a lot lightning. You do not want to be the tallest thing in a lightning storm. Also at timber line you could easily have snow in early September so that is also something to keep in mind. As for where to camp, I like to say about 1 mile from my main focus area. This is due to the fact most folks are pretty noisy and lots of new odors in camp and that mile is a nice buffer zone. Yes we have seen critters right in camp from time to time but...... It would still be a good idea to check the local fire restrictions again before you leave as they can change. Any way’s good luck and hope you have a good time on your rookie elk hunt. 

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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I agree, down in the trees

I agree, down in the trees would be alot better than above them with no other shelter other than your tent.

One thing that you haven't mentioned is where you are coming from. Hunting at 10,000' can be quite the experience if you haven't done it before. I suggest that you do a search on "altitude sickness" and read up on it. It is no joking matter if you get it, and if you do you need to get down to lower elevations as quickly as possible.

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Joined: 09/04/2011
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To answer your question

To answer your question Critter, I am a flat lander. I've never been climbing in these types of mountains before. My plan is to come out and do some fishing at 7-8k a couple days before hand to get help get acclimated to the elevation. I've read up on altitude sickness like you mentioned. I would kill me to lose the week because I didn't spend a day or two ahead getting used to it. I realize there is a big difference between 7k and 10k, but from what found, going from sea level to 10k in 24hours can turn into a really bad idea.

 

Thanks for the tips fellas, keep them coming. If we hear them, how do you guys pin point where they are coming from?

SGM
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
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Great point Critter about the

Great point Critter about the altitude sickness. Also make sure you have plenty of water as you will find yourself more thirsty than normal in the higher elevations. Don't take short cuts on meals either as you will be burning some serious calories hiking the hills.

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Joined: 09/04/2011
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3 weeks away and I can't sit still

After I reviewed my current pack list and it looks pretty complete. At this point it's a matter of filling a few holes and picking up bag liners, trekking poles, etc.

My bag is packed with everything but food so I supplemented with a 500ct of 44 mag cast bullets for additional weight.
There are a couple of decent sized levies that I am hiking to see how to balance the pack effectively and break in the new boots.

BoneCollector's picture
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Location: Ohio woods
Joined: 02/01/2011
Posts: 277
great

Sounds like things are coming together. Cant wait to hear the stories and see the pics!

Good luck.

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