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Joined: 07/10/2012
Posts: 13
First Elk Hunt

After having it on my bucket list for decades I have finally decided to hit up Colorado this year for some elk hunting. I plan on going during the second rifle season so I can use a OTC. Have been looking at area to hunt and leaning toward unit 78. Thinking maybe the Chalk Mnt area south of Pagosa Springs. Anyone have any input that could help me out. Heck I am not even sure my choice is a decent one and I can certainly change it if another unit might be better.

exbiologist's picture
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welcome and good luck

Go for it!  Licenses go on sale today.  There are definitely elk in there.  Water might be an issue by September or October though, so keep that in mind.  You may have to hunt somewhere with decent ponds, lakes and streams.  That Chalk Mountain bench area may or may not have enough.  Not sure how that will play out.  Lots of tall peaks for runoff, but not a lot of places for the water to collect outside of Harris Lake

Joined: 07/10/2012
Posts: 13
Hadnt thought about the water

Hadnt thought about the water situation paticularly after the summer you guys are having. Thanks for the advice. Maybe I should think about a unit with more water?

 

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Maybe

It's not so much that you need a different unit, you just may want to be conscious of the water situation

Joined: 07/10/2012
Posts: 13
Thanks for the info though. I

Thanks for the info though. I am not used to having to think about water relative to my hunt. I hadnt thought about the fire's influence either. Doesnt look like 78 has been hit from what I have seen but perhaps hunting a unit near a big burn might have higher concentrations of elk. Of course by late October if those concentrations occur they might be irrelevant. A lot to try and factor in and made more difficult by not being able to see the area and develope a strategy.

Joined: 07/10/2012
Posts: 13
Quick question and it might

Quick question and it might be dumb but I need to ask it. Everyone keeps telling me that I might not want to wait for a bull if I get a cow in front of me. I thought OTC rifle tags were for bulls only. Am I missing something?

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Yes, OTC rifle tags are for

Yes, OTC rifle tags are for bull only but in a lot of areas you can also have a left over cow tag if you want to foot the bucks for it.  The people that are telling you to not wait for a bull might be thinking that you are going to have a either sex archery tag. 

As for the dry conditions, don't worry too much about it.  While there isn't as much water out there as there has been in other years there is still enough to go around for the wildlife and they will know where it is located at if the smaller water holes dry up in the fall. 

Joined: 07/10/2012
Posts: 13
I feel like I am shooting in

I feel like I am shooting in the dark. Hopefully my initial plan doesnt sound to bad does it? I am a little concerned about all the hiking trails and fr663. It doesnt look like I can get very many miles from access thus I will probably be amonst a lot of hunters. Harris and the lake just to its south appear to have roads leading to them with only a couple miles inbetween. Maybe I am reading to much into things. Was trying to stay on the western slope of Chalk Mnt or roll onto the north since nearly everything I have seen written seems to suggest the elk stay on those faces. Sort of like the turkey down home in Virginia spent most all thier time on the north face of the mountains.

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