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Location: Golden
Joined: 07/22/2009
Posts: 7
James Peak Wilderness Area-Archery Elk

I was up scouting James peak yesterday for archery elk and went above Crater Lake looking for sign. It is about 11,500 feet with nice scenery. I didn't see any sign at all. There was lots of runoff and the ground is wet everywhere but again no sign at all. Has anyone been up there hunting in the last few years?

There is a Elk population there but who knows where. I did also see that rollinsville pass dirt road over the divide is open. Could that be a place to scout?

Lots of questions, but does anyone know when the Elk start bugling?

Any help would be appreciated.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
James Peak Wilderness Area-Archery Elk

That's always disappointing not seeing any sign when out scouting. Exactly what kind of sign were you not seeing? There are lots of signs of big game that aren't tracks or scat (although elk do leave a lot of both if you get in on them).
Usually elk will start bugling after the first good cold snap in September, which also pretty much ends our dove season. They are bugling, but not as heavily as the do in the following weeks.

You may want to check BreckenridgePeak also, it's more typical of summer range for the elk. However, they probably won't be above timberline much once archery season rolls around. One of the important things in scouting is to envision where the elk will be at the time you will be there. I am often scouting vacated areas where the elk aren't. I want to see elk, but I am confident they will be where I am scouting. Honestly, it doesn't do you much good to find the elk right now, because they won't likely be there during the season.
Don't sweat it too much, try to find areas that you can hunt. Find the hidden water holes, the small patches of open ground, the flat benches where they will bed, stuff like that.

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Joined: 08/17/2009
Posts: 1
James Peak Wilderness Area-Archery Elk

I saw a few good bulls
. I sent you a pm

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