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matts's picture
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Location: Dewitt, Michigan
Joined: 02/10/2011
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Need help getting on the right track

Hi, first time Ive posted a topic on here, and am looking to be a first time elk hunter this year. I am looking to do an archery hunt that is over the counter. Ive read a lot on this forum for units to go to. I have been looking through pretty much everything that I can, but am unsure of what unit or units to look into even with all the reading Ive done. I know the San Juan Mountains are a decent place, along with unit 444, but like I said just getting lost towards where I should really go. I also understand this will not be an easy hunt, and noone is going to spoon feed me their honey holes. Just looking for any little input. Thanks guys! 

 

-Matt

exbiologist's picture
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next step

 

Those are pretty different environments that will also dictate different camping styles.  The next thing you need to decide is how you want to hunt.  Are you committed to backcountry camping with horses or by backpack?  Or do you need to be truck based?  Do you want to access areas with an ATV?

Things like that.  Picture what you are trying to do, and realize Colorado is pretty diverse.

 

matts's picture
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Location: Dewitt, Michigan
Joined: 02/10/2011
Posts: 8
  Thanks for the input and I

 

Thanks for the input and I suppose I should have went into how I wanted to hunt a little bit.

I did not want to use a horse, as I am trying to keep a little bit of cost down.

I was planning on setting up a base camp, and then packing from there with a smaller tent for a bivy camp if I needed to. I would be driving there, so the truck would just be parked where it could be parked without being messed with.

 

exbiologist's picture
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ok

Then places like 444 might work well for you where you have a pretty good bit of roadless country, but you can't get more than a few miles from the road, so you won't feel quite as disadvantaged without a horse as if you were hunting the Weminuche Wilderness or another large roadless area.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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I don't know anything about

I don't know anything about the San Juans but 444 would fit your bill pretty good. There are many places you could drive off the main roads to set up and go from there. The key is the going from there part. There is a lot of pressure like most places that keep the elk back in a ways or on private. I hunt 444 all the time but don't kill many elk but I mostly hunt after work and don't take the time to go hard after them.

This year my dad took 2 cows as it is a 2 elk area but I got nothing. Last year I shot one cow but the rest of the family nothing. Year before that my son shot a very good bull and my daughter a small one and I got another cow. So even while we don't work hard at it there are obviously quite a few elk around.

Basalt mountain and the Red Tables are the places we hunt the most because of the large amount of public land.

matts's picture
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Location: Dewitt, Michigan
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Thanks!

Thanks guys, thats what I was looking for just to see if I was on the right track for where I was planning on going.

Topgun 30-06's picture
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I hunted the

I hunted the Weminuche Wilderness area back in 1980 when I was a young whippersnapper of 33!  You can go northwest out of Pagosa Springs and drive to the end of the road in a regular truck, although a 4x4 would be better.  Then set up a base camp there and do your backpack trip for whatever length of time you are comfortable with.  It took us about 2-3 hours backpacking in to get to the actual Wilderness boundary if I recall correctly.  It's some great country and probably would not be overrun with hunters for the type of hunt you are talking about and the weather should be favorable also.

matts's picture
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Location: Dewitt, Michigan
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thanks

Topgun 30-06 wrote:

I hunted the Weminuche Wilderness area back in 1980 when I was a young whippersnapper of 33!  You can go northwest out of Pagosa Springs and drive to the end of the road in a regular truck, although a 4x4 would be better.  Then set up a base camp there and do your backpack trip for whatever length of time you are comfortable with.  It took us about 2-3 hours backpacking in to get to the actual Wilderness boundary if I recall correctly.  It's some great country and probably would not be overrun with hunters for the type of hunt you are talking about and the weather should be favorable also.

 

Wow thanks for letting me know all of that! I will start looking for more information about that area. Thanks for all your help everyone.

groovy mike's picture
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check

You could check for info in the regional section of this forum too.  Good luck and good hunting!

Mike

hunter25's picture
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I never thought to ask before

I never thought to ask before but are you coming alone or with a group? A downed elk can be a very big job, especially the farther you have to carry it out.

matts's picture
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Location: Dewitt, Michigan
Joined: 02/10/2011
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.

 

Groovymike- Thanks, I have looked in there quite a bit, been lurking this site for a couple months reading before I decided to join up and ask my questions. Thanks for the advice though.

Hunter25- Planning on heading out there with a buddy and my uncle. I know what a choir it will be to get an elk packed out. 

Once again thanks everyone for your input.

 

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