13 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/16/2011
Posts: 7
New to the forum and hunting...

Hey all-

Just wanted to say 'Hello' to everyone and introduce myself... and ask a few questions.

First off-I have been lurking around the site for a while, getting ideas and trying to start planning my first elk hunt for next year.  I'm a long way off from having the gear I need but figure a year should be enough time to get the more important items... I've lived in Colorado my whole life (well 24.5 of the 25 years I've been around) except for some time away while in the Marine Corps.

I'm picking up the Marlin XL7 in 30-06 and will top it with a Nikon Prostaff scope, have lots of camping gear already and have a lot of the basic camp gear (not elk camp gear like I see some of you have) but enough to stay in the field for an extended time in relative comfort.  

As far as gear goes, I'm open to suggestions on what you all deem necessary, and what is a luxury.  I know I need the following and any tips would be great...
*Pack (think I might get a frame for hauling and a separate day pack)
*Boots (have some hiking boots and my combat boots-dont think either will be great for lots of snow if I run into it)
*Knives/field dressing equipment
*I'm sure there is more, but its escaping me right now...

I am planning on trying for a cow tag next year along with my brother.  This will be both of our first trip.  I have gone out with guys before as another set of eyes and a body for hauling meat, just never had to worry about applying for tags or anything else. That brings me to my biggest question...

1. What do I need to do to get a tag?  I have checked out the DOW website and tried to figure out preference points, but dont think I have a total grasp on it.  Anyone have any other website or reading suggestions to help clear it up?

2. Any reccomended reading as far as actually hunting goes?  Your favorite books and authors would be great.

I hope this was the right place to post this, if not, sorry and I'll do better next time!


Cory (aka bones)

buckykm1's picture
Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 366

Welcome to the site, getting a tag in CO is really pretty easy, there are a lot of over the counter units where you can just buy a tag, i like to get the DOW big game rule book to read, it has all the basic info in it, then go to the web site for more info.


groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539

I'll leave teh advice to guys with experience in Co and just say - Welcome! and good luck!

Are you new to hunting entirely or just new to elk hunting?

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4423
Here are a few things to get

Here are a few things to get you going.  First off you will need a hunter safety card if you haven't obtained one yet.  The DOW should be putting on on in your area that you can attend and without the card you can't get a tag.  http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/CourseCalendar/

  Your rifle in 30-06 is a grand old caliber and will get the job done for you, so you are set there along with the scope.  The other gear the main one is binoculars, they are not a luxury item but a necessary item.  Buy the best that you can afford and they will last you a long time until you decide that you can afford to upgrade them.  A decent pair will start in the $200.00 range, but if you are on a tight budget cheaper ones work but just not as well I personally  like a 10x42 size.  As for a pack I would suggest a external frame pack such as Cablea's Alaskan pack and frame.  I have packed a lot of elk out with the meat in the pack and if you like you can pull the pack off and just use the frame.  I use just a fanny pack for my day trips and it will hold a lot of items to get you started when you have a animal down.  As for knifes you will need either a good fixed blade between 4-6" long or a locking folder that the blade is at least 4" long and something to sharpen it in the field.  A take a part meat/bone saw is also nice such as a Wyoming saw.  Your boot are going to be a personal preference.  I like a 8" high tops with vibram soles and 400 grams of insulation. 

As for reading, check out the Colorado Elk Hunting University.  It has a ton of good information for the novice elk hunter. 


Joined: 07/16/2011
Posts: 7
Thanks guys

For the info!

Critter-I have actually printed out the DOW Elk Hunter U, LOTS OF GOOD INFO THERE!  I have my hunter safety already, just never had to get a tag.

Mike-I am new I guess.  Have gone squirrel and rabbit hungint, been on someone elses elk hunt, and 'hunted' Africa... Was stationed there and had to keep the feral dogs away, and hunt goats during an extended desert survival training.

Bucky-Thanks for the welcome!


hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Welcome to BGH. All I can say

Welcome to BGH. All I can say is read as much info here as you can as there is a lot of it that is specific to Colorado. Narrow it down to a specific unit or two and then ask again and you should get some info more in your general area and how hard or easy it is to get a tag. Most units getting a cow tag is no problem even without points, not like the old days.

It actually sounds like you are a lot better prepared than you think you are. You have the basics and have hun ted a little even if not in the normal sense. You've even been out there after them just without your own tag. Just a few extra supplies and some good maps and you should be good to go.

WishIWasHunting's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 700
Sounds like you are well on

Sounds like you are well on your way.  As you have discovered, this website contains tons of very useful information.  Having been on this site for a while, I am still finding useful information all the time.  

If you have a basic understanding of how Colorado's preference point system works, I think the easiest way to really grasp the preference point situation in Colorado is to look at a specific situation.  Since I am feeling lazy, I will simply suggest that Exbiologist has some good examples if you check through his posts.  If you want clarification on a specific license, ask and we can help you out.  

Since you asked for books, one elk hunting book that I have and enjoy is "Elk Tactics" by Don Laubach and Mark Henckel.  I do not think I have found any information in that book that you will not find on this website, but it is easy to read, contains a ton of good information, and it is nice to have it all in one location.  Also, Don is the founder of E.L.K. Inc., which makes several calls as well as other hunting accessories.  I only mention it because I like several of their calls better than some of the more common brands you find.  A call is not a necessity, but it is something you will likely add to your arsenal.  

As you continue your research and come up with new questions, be sure to ask, and you will likely get the answers you need.  

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Welcome to the site, and most

Welcome to the site, and most of all, welcome to hunting! It's a frustrating, expensive, neverending hobby, that I don't think any of us could do without. lol

WishIWasHunting's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 700
Here is a forum topic that

Here is a forum topic that does a very good job of going through the preference point system in detail in Colorado.



Joined: 07/16/2011
Posts: 7
THanks again

Thanks again for the warm welcome everyone.  Really looking forward to getting out there! May be tagging along on another hunters trip this year, just have to see if our schedules mesh.

WishIWashunting-Thanks for the link! that cleared a lot of questions up.  I did find a post on here talking about how to speed up preference point accumulation, but I seemed to get from that thread that its not that big a deal.  One day I would love to get a trophy, but for now I'm gonna be happy just getting out there.  Also, thanks for the book recommendation-I'll definatly be looking into it.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3748
You picked a great timer to

You picked a great timer to join the forum as elk season for archery begins here in a few weeks and with rifle starting not far off there will be all sort of elk talk going on.  A book I would suggest is Elk hunting the West, by Mike Eastman.  I have been elk hunting since I was 12 and there is alot of great info in there.

One piece of gear I would not go out withoput is a handheld GPS with some TOPO software on it.  No matter what you always wanna make it back to camp.

Keep asking questions and on here you will get alot of great information back.