4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/20/2007
Posts: 2
Request info - Colorado archery elk

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.
Collegiate Peaks
Eagles Nest
Fossil Ridge
Holy Cross
La Garita
Lizard Head
Maroon Bells-Snowmass
Mount Massive
San De Cristo
West Elk
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

Location: Colorado
Joined: 01/01/2007
Posts: 25
Request info - Colorado archery elk

I have good area for you to check out. It will meet most of your requirements.
You'll be hard pressed to find an area that doesn't overlap with ML season.
But you should be able to distance yourself because of the fact you are willing to hike a bit.
Base camp is about 9500 or so, pretty safe when it comes to ATV's, good fishing close by, and one of the largest elk herds in CO.

Send me a PM if this sounds like what you want.


Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 374
Eagle's Nest

I hunted Eagle's Nest part of one season. Camping was on the Blue River along side Rt 9 north of Dillon. Not my idea of wilderness camping but the river is a "blue ribbon" trout stream. Access was walk-in or horse back only through private land on a small trail, posted on either side. Maybe a mile or two to the public ground. We kicked out some elk on the private land in the dark on our way in most mornings and saw mule deer but no elk up top. It opened up into a nice valley on the other side but I would expect you'd find some outfitters back there. Good looking country, though.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3
Request info - Colorado archery elk

You might look at the Mt Zirkel wilderness north of Steamboat. Awesome flyfishing from steamboat north. Highway runs along the river. Several areas you can access from there. I have hunted archery there during muzzleloader. Numbers of hunters are generally pretty low. You can get away from them as soon as you leave the trails. You do not necessarily have to hit the Wilderness either. There is some great forest service land outside the wilderness.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/05/2004
Posts: 126
Request info - Colorado archery elk

I'll second the Eagles Nest Wilderness. After the Labor day weekend is done and over with, the traffic will really subside from all the day hikers and campers. It's a bit of a hike in, but what good elk area that isn't over run with others? A 4 mile hike in headed west out of Heeney by Green Mt Reservoir will put you into some classic elk country with some respectable bulls.

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