6 replies [Last post]
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Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/19/2009
Posts: 30
First Season

Hey guys,

New to the forum. I'm a student in Denver, have been shooting for awhile, excited for my first season at the ripe old age of 21. Any recommendations on units to apply for for Elk? I like to hike when i hunt (no horses, atv, etc). At this point I'm not looking for a trophy bull, I just want to have a good time and come home with some meat and a decent animal! I know new people probably come on all the time and ask for unit recommendations but I'd really appreciate any advice!

Thanks!

Greg

I shoot a savage 110 30 06 (student budget).

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/05/2004
Posts: 126
First Season

I'm gathering you don't have any preference points, then? If you're primarily interested in the first rifle (elk only) season and don't have a point or two, it could be a crap shoot. Do you have a camp on this student budget or are you looking for a day hunt close to town? What season are you interested in?

Boob

exbiologist's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
First Season

Welcome!,

Boobzilla has some good first questions for you. Next I'd ask whether you want to get into an area with a lot of animals, and a lot of hunters, or whether you'd prefer see very few people and very few animals. Also, some of the units have no cow hunters during first season, which makes for even fewer hunters in the woods. But those also tend to be units with very low elk density.
Map out EXACTLY what you want, and we can try to steer you towards a unit that suits you.

Offline
Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/19/2009
Posts: 30
First Season

Thanks for the responses guys! I should have mentioned that I have not accumulated any preference points.

Preferably, I'd like a day hunt (drive up early from Denver, return that evening). I would also like a unit with less hunters (although it does come with a lower density) as long as there are enough elk to hunt in a reasonable fashion.

exbiologist's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
First Season

Greg, that leaves you fairly limited in your options, and driving back and forth makes for some long days.
But, that doesn't mean you can't go hunting. I've never hunted it, but I would put in for Unit 500 1st season. It is east of the Continental Divide, has only 75 tags, no preference point requited to draw, but just under 50% draw success. Also there are no cow hunters. In case you haven't figured out how to read hunt codes, it is EM-500-O1R.
Since you might not draw, the only other unit I could recommend would be 19, and that's still a bit of a drive to Poudre Canyon. You can normally pick those tags up as a leftover. Units 7,8 also have no cow hunters during first season, but that could be even farther.
Day hunting severely limits you and isn't as much fun. Plus, you won't believe how hard it will be to get up for day 2, drive 2 hours, then hike another 30 minutes to an hour (or more). So you will be working with way less sleep, won't acclimate to the elevation as well, and will spend a lot more money in fuel, when at the very least you could sleep in your car.
That being said, hunting locally gives you more opportunities to learn the country.
I hope you've taken your hunter safety course, because I don't think you can put in for the drawing without it. You've still got more than a month, so if you haven't, it's not too late. But I'm glad you've decided to give hunting a try. You might also consider putting in for second season deer in that unit (actually 50, 500, 501=DM050O2R), just in case your scouting uncovers a good deer spot too. And one other option would be to apply for a cow tag with your second choice, so if you did draw the deer tag (65% draw), but not your first season elk tag, you might increase your odds of harvesting something. And if you still wanted to bull hunt, you could pick up a 3rd season OTC tag for somewhere else, as cow tags in units 50, 500, 501 are list B (meaning you can have two elk tags, if at least one is a list B). Those second season cow tags draw out with 1st choice normally, but you never know if there will be fewer applicants this year compared to last. And it couldn't hurt, because you could still put in for unit 19 bull tags and draw with 3rd or 4th choice or pick up leftovers. Lastly, if you don't draw your first choice tag, you'll get a preference point for next year, which would either gaurantee you a unit 500 tag or would give you a chance at drawing unit 20.
And good luck to you.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/05/2004
Posts: 126
First Season

I think exBio is right about your limits. You'll be driving like a man possessed to get to an area and then spend precious time trying to get into an area that you're not familiar with. You might want to consider units 28 and 371 just on the other side of the pass. Lots of fairly good access and depending on what season you hunt, fairly decent numbners of animals (and hunters). It's not rocket science, but it's going to take some homework and boot leather on your part. Usually, there are a few leftovers available if you decide on hunting for cows.
Hope this helps some.

Boob

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Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/19/2009
Posts: 30
First Season

Thanks for the detailed response! Sorry, I've been away for a few days. I have taken my hunter's safety course, and am very excited for next season. I think the sleeping in the car thing will most likely happen, as gas is expensive and all that driving wouldn't be fun.

The unit #'s suggested help a lot, also the advice about the 2nd deer season. I'm going to go to our DOW office and try to sort everything out

thanks

Greg

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