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Joined: 02/21/2008
Posts: 2
HELP! / FIRST TIME DO IT MYSELF ELK

HI, NAME IS JAMES. IT MY FIRST TIME HUNTING COLORADO, 2ND RIFLE SEASON. FOUR OF US, ONE PERSON IS SOMEWHAT FAMILIAR WITH GMU 24. WE HAVE HORSES AND PACK ANIMALS. BE THERE 4 OR 5 DAYS BEFORE SEASON OPENS AND CAN STAY TIL SEASON CLOSES. COMING FROM ALABAMA. ANY ADVICE, AND I MEAN "ANY" WILL BE APRECIATED. HOW ABOUT "24" AND SURROUNDING AREAS? WOULD WE BE BETTER OFF GOING TO SOMEOTHER UNITS, IF AVAILABLE. HAVEN'T QUITE GRASPED ALL "UNIT" TALK YET. ONE POST SAID TO STAY IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE STATE. MANY THANKS TO WHOEVER REPLIES!

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Location: santa clara ny
Joined: 12/26/2007
Posts: 38
HELP! / FIRST TIME DO IT MYSELF ELK

I am sure the CO guys are going to get to your post, for now I am trying to digest it...there is alot of stuff going on in that post of yours...

you are asking is one over the counter (OTC) elk unit better than another...yes and no, if you dont know any units I call them all the same, OTC units are OTC units, I have never seen a big difference in elk seen in one national forest vs another, it was more dependent on what the weather was like , that determines where the elk are .

There is enough to be packing in for what sounds like 14 days total and brining your own stock that that kinda has my first attention, worry about the elk later lets make sure we can get in and out of mountains real ones with this stock, we have the approved feeds, etc etc.

You are bringing pack stock and saddle stock, I am guessing, the early arrival will help everyone and everything get used to Bama elevation and top of the world elevation, you are talking hell and gone 2 miles up and better you know that right?

stock, gear and how we get in and out...that is going to be the limiting factor, start there...where can we go with our stock, what units can we make use of the horses, where are we getting approved feeds, etc. etc.
that's what I would be starting with then looking at which of those areas on the list do we think has the best chance at elk.

I dont know as there is any reason to be there 5 days early, there is a season going on then and maybe folks wheere you are heading in?, your season is 9 days long, there's alot of gear to hump in for 9 days, I dont think I'd add more days to that than I had to, you might burn 2 days on each end getting in and getting out with all that stuff.
Plus you are going to be maybe getting elk out too.

unless you need to get hunter ed cards and courses done, then get there that early, what are you going to do with the stock for 5 extra days way back and hell and gone in there? how much can you really carry in is my first thought?

at least one of you guys has packed into mountains before withthese particular animals?
I have the displeasure fo having grown up in the guiding business and done it professinally for over 30 years , never in Colorado, I hire it done, that is what a local wrangler is for, his stock, his worries.

I want to hunt, not wrangle .

I dont want my answers and questions to seem rough , hey I'm all for you guys going, god bless you, you are braver men than I am, but for me personally I cant even imagine piling 4 guys and gear for two weeks and what? 8 horses ? and feed for all ger for all into the trucks and heading to a place we have never been before...

wha ha...as we say...god bless you, I am a chicken when it comes to that approach, I'd have an outfitter bring us in with his stock and pay him to use his tents and have him check in on us every other day to get out any game taken and then once my feet were wet Ithen maybe 'd say hell with it, we'll bring all our own gear and horses next year.

I have not said that in 7 years yet but that's me.

likely it was someone that hunts 24 suggested you stay south, LOl. well i hunt 80 OTC and I am saying stay in 24, that is where all the big numbers and big 6x6's are!
on the other hand , and dont take this the wrong way I am your hunting friend, maybe you should hunt 80 where we go, it might be worth the price of admission to watch 4 Bama boys and their stock and gear coming and going at 13,000 ....
Thumbs up

I guess not knowing you fellas and your backgrounds I'd say my suggestion is go and hire an unguided outfitted hunt, forget the stock home, and start to learn 24 by hunting it. move on and up from there.

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Joined: 02/21/2008
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HELP! / FIRST TIME DO IT MYSELF ELK

I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR REPLY, NOTHING ROUGH ABOUT IT. TWO OF OUR PARTY ARE HORSE PEOPLE SO THEY KNOW ABOUT THE FEED AND SUCH. THEY HAVE ALSO PACKED FOLKS INTO HUNT IN THE PAST, BUT HAVE NEVER ACTUALLY HUNTED. THIRD PERSON MAY NOT EVEN HUNT, JUST GO FOR THE TRIP. WE DO KNOW ABOUT THE ELEVATION DIFFERENCE AND I'M SURE IT'S WORSE THAN I IMAGINE, I'M ALREADY WORKING ON THAT . GETTING THEIR EARLY TO ACCLIMATE HORSES AND MEN AND GIVE US A LITTLE TIME TO SETUP CAMP AND SCOUT. THESE GUYS WERE GOING ALREADY AND WERE KIND ENOUGH TO INVITE ME TO GO WITH THEM. I'M JUST TRYING TO FIND OUT ANYTHING I NEED TO KNOW TO BE AS PREPARED AS I CAN BEFORE I GET THERE.
ASKING ABOUT THE UNIT 24 AND SURROUNDING AREA IS TO SEE IF IT IS WORTH THE TIME TO GO THERE, ELK POPULATION WISE. SOME PARTS OF OUR STATE DOESN'T HAVE AS MANY DEER IN IT AS OTHERS. I'M SURE COLORADO IS THE SAME.
I'M SURE YOU WOULD GET A GOOD LAUGH IF YOU COULD WATCH US , BUT REST ASSURED THAT I'D BE LAUGHING RIGHT ALONG WITH YOU! THANKS Laugh

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
24

James,

Good luck on your adventure! I don't hunt 24 but I have hunted 12 and 23 and there are plenty of elk in that area. I assume you'll be hunting the Flat Tops Wilderness area. Since you're planning on packing in with stock I would recommend hunting well into the wilderness area boundary. That will get you away from some of the walk-in day hunters. Take a look at some of the maps that are available and figure out some different places to look for animals. You should have pretty good luck if you watch the wind, dress properly and don't spend the day chasing horses. If the other guys have some experience with horses you 'should" be OK. Sounds like you might already have a camp cook and dishwasher.

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Location: northern Wisconsin
Joined: 06/19/2008
Posts: 4
HELP! / FIRST TIME DO IT MYSELF ELK

We hunted 24 about 8-9 years ago. We went up Fawn Creek trail just east of Buford. Saw several bulls by "Little Lost Park" about halfway up to Lost Park. There were a quite a few camps up at Lost Park waiting for the opener. Talked to guys that went off at the trail head between Fawn Creek Trail and Long Park. They packed up above Lost Park and backed up to the private land to the north. They said they had a lot of shooting chances right away. seems like when the camps assaulted lost Park the kicked a bunch north and these guys were there to stop them. Thats the only year we were there. It was 1st or 2nd rifle season. I remember we were there on October 14 if that helps.

CH

Location: colorado
Joined: 07/13/2008
Posts: 1
HELP! / FIRST TIME DO IT MYSELF ELK

There are a lot of elk in the flat tops. I however would'nt hunt there to many out of staters, to many hunters. Not to mention I don't appreciate the landowners anywhere in that region of the state. I use to live in Steamboat I got sick of all the rich yuppy know nothing ranch owners who are greedy and don't usually even live on their million dollar ranch. They hire a real cowvboy to run there ranch because they could'nt even dream of running a ranch. They might get dirty! All the out of staters hunt the northwest region of the state yes their are a lot of elk up there. They really advertise the hell out of the area. The truth is the elk are overpopulated in that region of the state. Because of the large number of elk there are very few big elk, very few. Disformed raghorns is most likely what you'll see. If you just want to shoot an elk it's a great place to do it. But don't be disapointed if your flat lander lungs don't work and all you see is other hunters.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
HELP! / FIRST TIME DO IT MYSELF ELK

If you have maps, I would work the Quads called:

Trappers Lake
Big Marvine
Deep Lake

These are toward the east and south side of 24, Buford is on the west side.

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