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locating elk

how do you go about locating elk on public land on a diy hunt. it would be on the 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons. when are the season. like what months are they in.

hellomcfly's picture
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Location: Denver Colorado
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Re: locating elk

2nd season is the end of october and 3rd is the first part of november

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Joined: 08/08/2009
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locating elk

so how would you be hunting them at that time of year. like what techniques would you use

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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locating elk

First would be to get out to where you are going to hunt and do some scouting. Check to see if there is any sign such as tracks or fresh scat. If there is none then you need to check another area. The elk hunt in the third season can be entirely different than the first couple of seasons depending on how much pressure is put on them. If they haven't been pushed they may not of headed into the deep dark canyons yet. As for the fourth season you may need to start to check out the winter grounds in the area depending on the snow totals if they have started to migrate.

Now if I am in an area that I know what their patterns are I'll usually find a good vantage spot and get out the binoculars and start to glass. If I know that that area produces elk then I may stay in the general area all day just trying to locate them. If I am new to the area I'll do a lot of glassing and moving to find them.

The big things that you need to know is that they need water and they need feed. The water can come from a mud puddle in the middle of a road or from the stream in the bottom of the canyon. The feed is grass, either in a meadow or on the edge of it or in a stand of aspens. If they have had a lot of pressure they will feed all night and hold up in the dark timber during the day and may move a couple of miles a day just to get water. The area that I hunt the water is in the bottom, way down in the bottom yet they will move up the hill 2000" and a couple of miles to feed and bed down.

So now that I have you totaly confused good luck on your hunt.

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locating elk

what about if im from wisconsin so i cant scout

Critter's picture
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locating elk

What area are you planning on hunting? Or have you ever hunted here in Colorado before? If you are a first time person with no experience coming out west you really need to make some decisions. A lot of time you can just go into an area where there are other hunters get up early on opening morning and head up to the highest spot around and start to glass and go from there. I have shot elk in places that you would never expect them to be and at times that they shouldn't be there a lot of times it is just a guessing game.

So let us know a little bit about your plans and we may be able to help you a little more.

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locating elk

i probably be goin on the trip for a couple of years but i just wantedc to start lookin into it. i have never been to colorado hunting before

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locating elk

The Colorado DOW has a lot of information on their website that you can use to determine where to go and what to expect in the area that you are going into. One of the links is http://wildlife.state.co.us/NR/rdonlyres/F14B7F6B-BC09-4EDA-AE34-4B73920BFFBF/0/2009BigGameNW2.pdf It has a lot of information in it. If after you look at it and decide that you want a bull or a cow tag in a limited entry area then you may want to put in for a preference point this next year just to start the ball rolling. There are cow tags that do not require any points and then there are areas that do. Just be aware that if you want a cow tag in a general bull area you need to put in for the draw. A lot of times there are left over tags but other times there are not.
Good luck[/url]

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locating elk

i heard that otc tags go on sale and you can get them off the internet. is that correct. also i emailed a guy on the internet and he suggested unit 19. he said thats an otc unit during the 2nd and trd seasons. and what would you suggest for my first elk hunt. should i get a cow tag a bull tag or what do you think.

Critter's picture
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locating elk

Unit 19 is not an over the counter permit for elk during any of the elk seasons it is a draw only. Now he may think that it is an OTC area since the three combined hunts are under subscribed witch means they have tags left over after the first draw for each season and if there are any left after the second draw they go to the public sale. I have never hunted on that side of the divide but I would be willing to bet that most of it is private land witch you will need to acquire permission to hunt on. There may be public but I doubt that there is that much. As far as a bull or a cow it is up to you. The bull tag is $546.00 and the cow tag is $251.00. If you do go it is more likely that you will run into more cow's than bulls. You may want to contact exbiologist on the forums here. He is quite knowledgeable and may have a lot more information on that area for you.

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locating elk

Unit 19 isn't OTC, like Critter said, and there are almost always leftover tags. However, there is a lot of public land and some wilderness areas(if you don't know what that is, it means no roads, no wheeled vehicles of any sort, not even bicycles and game carts). BUT, there aren't many elk. There are some big ones, but the density is very low. It is now in a recovery stage after the DOW used it as an experimental herd and reduced the population drastically. The herd should double in the next 5 or so years and the hunting will be a lot better. However, I'd suggest you leave the Front Range units to the locals as the hunting in most of them isn't very good. Go west of the continental divide for much larger herds.

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