I am planning a DIY archery elk hunt with my son (maybe 2 sons) in Colorado this fall. This would be my son(s) first elk hunt. I've been on a couple similar hunts in the past with friends so know a little what to expect.
My main criteria are:
1. Has to be in a wilderness so we are not bothered by 4-wheelers.
2. I'd like to be able to drive (4WD pickup) to a wilderness boundry, camp there and hunt by foot into the wilderness each day. Were not afraid to walk in 2-4 miles if necessary to hunt, as long as it isn't too strenuous a climb either on the way in - or out. (We are from Wisconsin and our hills and bluffs are considered speed-bumps in Colorado).
3. Would prefer to camp below 10,500 ft if possible. That is about where we were at 2 other trips and it was still comfortable in Sept (and I could still breath).
4. Has to be an area that does not require a draw and does not have an over-lapping muzzle-loader season. I've got a sense of what areas these might be by looking at 2006 regulations.
5. The area should not be one that is very popular for bowhunters or other human traffic during the archery season, and should not be over-run by an outfitter and their clients.
6. Since it would be my son(s) first elk hunt, I'd like to count on seeing and hearing a fair number of elk, including some legal bulls.
7. I would consider about 7-8 days of hunting, during either the first/second week, or during the second/third week in Sept. Any preferences, comments, suggestions???
8. It would be a plus if there was trout fishing available in the area also.
I am currently considering the following wilderness areas, or at least the portions of them that meet criteria #4 above.
San De Cristo
Flat Tops (far eastern units 25, 26, 34, 231 met criteria #4 in 2006)
OK - so there is the challenge. I would deeply appreciate any help, info, suggestions, comments, etc. that will help me plan this trip.
Thank you and God Bless