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Joined: 10/13/2008
Posts: 5
First Elk hunt

I'm goin on my first elk hunt this year in area 54 and looking for some tips on how to hunt these animals.. Any advice would be great/

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Joined: 01/22/2007
Posts: 120
First Elk hunt

If it stays warm like it has been they will be in the timber in the shade and you'll probably have to go in and get them. If the storms get here and you get some snow, you should be able to start seeing them out on the sunny south facing hillsides near the timber.

The most important part is to too get out on the hills. very few people shoot their elk from their campsite or their truck.

Use your optics effectively. You can cover a lot more ground with glasses than you ever could walk. That may mean looking at hillsides 2 miles away. If you spot elk, you may have to move a considerable distance.

Remember that elk that are pushed can and will cover large distances. They may be here today and gone tomorrow. I easily ride 7 miles into my hunting area on my horses, Often making several trips a day when I need to pack in or pack out camp. If my horses can travel 28 miles in one day with heavy loads on their back, It's not big deal for free roaming elk to move the same 28 miles in a day's time if motivated. The area I hunt rarely has any elk the 1st weekend. Just a few resident elk that spend the summer there. But by the 2nd weekend, I'm seeing 100-200 elk a day. These animals moved into this canyon as hunting pressure in the surrounding areas pushed them to get up and leave where they called home for the summer and move to a remote area with less pressure.

If you are successful. remember they are large animals. A hank of rope is handy to tie legs out of the way while you work on butchering. Very few people are lucky enough to shoot an elk close to a road where they can haul it out whole. Be prepared to at least quarter and possible even bone out the meat. I consider essential a back pack to haul quarters and meat bags to put meat in. I use horses to pack mine, but if you have to carry it out on your back, bring the calories to fuel your body. If you hunt like I do and are 7 miles from the truck, That means multiple trips ( probably at least 4) to get the 4 quarters and back strap out. If you are bringing the head and antlers. that at least 5 trips. You will be tired.

Either carry a 2nd knife or bring a stone to resharpen your knife. It's a lot easier to bone out an elk with a sharpe knife.

Don't forget your ivories.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
First Elk hunt

Everything Painted horse said is true he summed it up nicely. Elk hunting and being successful is work, work just to get a shot. And, if you're lucky enough to get a shot and you knock an animal down that's when the toughest work starts. They are huge and if you're alone without an experienced person to teach and help you all that meat can spoil in a hurry if it's not cold.

Once that animal is down get em open as soon as possible. Rope like Painted horse said to tie legs apart, good knives, game bags enough for lots of meat, light in case you kill your animal near dark. Water, pack food for energy.

Good luck!

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Joined: 10/13/2008
Posts: 5
First Elk hunt

Appreciate it guys.. Yeah I'm goin with a buddy and I'm in really good shape being on the Wrestling team at Western State so I dont think I'll have a problem walking in after the animals but I just gotta try and find a spot like you said where they south facing hills by the dark timber..

Are you saying that you see more elk during second season or the second weekend of the second season?

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Never assume!

Hello Texasboy,
A little fair warning and in no way am I doubting your conditioning ...I just would like to place emphisis that just because you are a wrestler, does not mean you can hang in the high or back country. Actually, it is quite the opposite! Being that you are so lean and mean, also means that you have less reserves and also require more intake to sustain these activities. Therefore due to this combination, you are required to carry more water and nutrition to consume than the rest of us. Now being a wrestler, you are undoudedly a beast so carrying it all in or the game out will not be a problem. It is simply remembering that you require more sustenance that the rest of us old fat guys, and have much less reserves to take from.

Again, I am not doubting your abilities, just wanted to provide a little constructive advice to you. I have seen many a wrestler assume they could go further and higher than the rest of the folks, only to forget the intake they require to sustain these activities.

Also, just using as an example of another Texasboy and not meant to scare you by any means, but we recently lost MMA star Evan Tanner when he succumbed to exposure while on a personal excurison in California. Basically he tried to walk out for more gas for his motor bike, and never made it.

Please, ensure that you take all you need with you, you can never underestimate these wilderness areas and the weather, so please be prepared. Even the best and most experianced outdoorsman can get caught in the weather or become lost! Be safe and be over prepared!

...and I will look for you at the duals and such, as I frequent many of them in this region since I have a nephew that wrestles Div I too! Best of luck on your hunt and in your upcoming season! BTW... What weight are you at?

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Joined: 01/22/2007
Posts: 120
First Elk hunt

I'm hunting in Utah and our season are different that Colorado. Our Bow season is in late Aug early September, Limited Entry season is mid September for 10 days. And general Elk is the 1st Saturday of October for 10 days. General Deer opens the 3rd weekend of October

The later into October I get the more Elk I see. There are several reason. The earlier hunts the trees still have leaves. The farther into October, I get, the more trees that are bare. Weather. The later in the season, the more chance that some storms have forced the elk to start to bunch up. Pressure. The later in the season. The more pressure the elk have had and the farther they have moved to get away from it. By mid October I find the elk congragating in bowls and drainages that are away from any roads. Away from where any ATV can legally drive. And if you don't take a long hike or ride a horse, no people.

I have been up the last 3 weekends. And once I park my truck and start riding my horses, I have not seen another human in the 8 mile long canyon that I hunt. I have not seen another human within the vistas that I can glass. I have not heard a truck or ATV engine, I have not heard a gunshot other than someone in my group. This is why the elk move into these remote areas. I don't see many elk in this area around Labor Day weekend. Just the the few that summer'd in the drainage. But I will see 300-400 elk a weekend by the end of October. Because they have moved in.

If you are hunting elk ( regardless of the state) This late in the year, you need to look for the areas they seek out to get away from the fall weather and hunting pressure.

If you hunt areas that are more easily accessed. Sometimes the other hunters actually help you by moving the animals. When there are lots of hunters, sooner or later, somebody will stumble onto the hidding area and kick the animals out. Once in flee mode, you have just as good of a chance of being in the right spot to get a shot .

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Joined: 10/13/2008
Posts: 5
First Elk hunt

I went out this weekend and didnt see a single elk.. We hiked hard for 3 days looking and looking but couldnt find em.. We got on a trail where we found some really fresh sign but couldnt catch up to him before dark and when we hunted the next day he was nowhere to be found..

HeavyC,
Yeah I completely understand what you're sayin I didnt mean to sound like a tough guy becuase I'm not ignorant and I know what can happen if I don't come prepared so I always have gear and food to supply me.. Where does your nephew wrestle at? I'm at 165 this year

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
First Elk hunt

Keep looking, you will find them...and usually when you least expect it. Are you still hunting through this weekend?

165 huh, tough weight! Good luck Thumbs up

My nephew is at 141 at Nebraska, we all hate Nebraska Shame on You! but we sure love the 141 pound wrestler! LOL! Oh well, we still love him, just hate the Huskers around here neener!

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Joined: 10/13/2008
Posts: 5
First Elk hunt

thats cool.. i was gonna hunt this weekend but kinda had a change in plans yesterday when i broke my arm at wrestling practice so i dont think i'll be doin any hiking around now

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
First Elk hunt

OUCH! ... getting after it huh? Clean break? Gonna be back quick?

...and besides, what does breakin one arm have to do with being able to hike & hunt?

neener! GWS! I'll try and get one for you when I head up in a couple of weeks. Thumbs up

... though it will be my list "b" license and a nice fat & juicy calf or cow Duh I am getting the big fat bully for myself actually. Yes

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Joined: 10/13/2008
Posts: 5
First Elk hunt

yeah i think it was a clean break i gotta go back to the hospital monday to see if i need surgery..

I drove around today but i dont want to hike out and fall and hurt it more and since it's only been a day i figured that it prolly wouldnt be too smart

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