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Joined: 11/23/2003
Posts: 8
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

Howdy!
I'm from Minnesota and am an AVID bowhunter. I have self-appointed myself as "Head of Research" for a SW CO elk bowhunt that my group is working on for mid September 2004. We are looking to go inexpensive on our trip and our main concern is getting elk out of the backcountry. Does anyone here have information on pack services or excellent drop-camp providers in the SW area? We are new to the elk game but understand that the hunt is about being in darn-good shape, not like hunting "flatlands" whitetail and being as prepared as possible. Any information that you can provide, such as good areas to hunt, good places to chow before and after trekking into the wilderness, what to bring, etc. Would be sincerely and greatly appreciated. I hope that all your hunts are everything you hoped they'd be and more! Relax and have some fun! Thanks in advance!!

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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

Hello,

Check out our featured guide list for Colorado. Most outfitters offer drop camp services and you will want to review the Durango/Cortez, Montrose/Norwood, and Gunnison areas.

We also have an article about drop camps here.

Good Luck!

[ This Message was edited by: moderator on 2003-11-24 12:25 ]

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Joined: 11/23/2003
Posts: 8
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

Thanks for the information, much appreciated!!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

Welcome TomBow,

The biggest suggestion I have is try to come out early and get in the area you will be hunting before hand to scout, especially if this is your first time and you will not be using a guide. This will have the added benefit of giving a few days before hand to get at least a little used to the altitude change before charging off into the sunset.

Also if you are set on coming out next year you may want to limit your research to over-the-counter units or units you stand a good chance of drawing in with no preference points (I'm assuming you haven't already been putting in for certain units). Some of the units in the SW will not be easy to draw in right off the bat for a group.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

I'll second the suggestion to come out early. Lot's of people, even people who are in remarkably good physical condition, take a while to adjust to the altitude change. I know a guy who runs marathons, yet a couple of years ago he drove straight from his home in Iowa to Leadville, CO and woke up the next morning with SEVERE altitude sickness. He had to cancel his plans and head back down to the low country.

Beyond that, unless you're planning to make this an annual thing, I would recommend getting a guide for a hunt like this one. Hunting elk is not the same as hunting deer and I spent a couple of years un-learning my habits from deer hunting in Iowa before I finally got an elk. The first year I hunted I didn't even SEE an elk!

Good luck!

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Joined: 11/23/2003
Posts: 8
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

Thanks for the replies. One tip I picked up concerning altitude sickness stated that we should start taking Ginko Biloba about a month before we come out. It is supposed to help with the acclimation process and reduce the effects of A.S. We are going to give that a shot and plan to all be in excellent cardio-vascular shape. We will likely arrive a few days early just to get more acclimated prior to getting out into the wilderness. Thanks again!

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Joined: 01/10/2003
Posts: 274
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

One other thing I suggest is this. read as much as you can about elk hunting. Everything you can read. It all has little things to pick up on. Also get rid of the whitetail mentallity. I have seen here in Idaho guys from back east coming here to hunt elk and go home with nothing but bad memories. They hike in with flashlights. Sit on ridges outlined. Go back out for lunch and a nap. I have seen so many things they do wrong it really makes me wonder why spend the money to hunt them. It is just a suggestion. I am not the greatest hunter out there but I wouldn't expect to go back east and hunt Whitetail like I do mule deer. I would read everything I can about them. I am doing that now so in a couple years i am going to go to northern idaho on some of them hunts for them so i can get a mount for my wall.
good luck on your hunt in Colo. and be safe out there.

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Joined: 11/23/2003
Posts: 8
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

Goot tip Super! Oh yeah, I am a STRONG believer in doing the advance research, in fact, I've been researching since about May of 2003 after one of the guys brought up the elk hunt. I have been bowhunting for along time and am a serious researcher when it comes to bowhunting, equipment, anatomy, shot angles, set-up. I have made my mistakes and learned from them. The experience of a Rocky Mountain Elk hunt is going to be awesome but we are there to bring home the venison. I need to compare our midwestern whitetail tenderloins cooked in butter and garlic to some elk tenders!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
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SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

I ran across this talking about Ginko Biloba (sounds like a lizard :smile:) and altitude sickness. It looks like it does help, but not for everybody. It is good that you guys are going to get in good cardio shape, if not to prevent altitude sickness then just to be able to deal with the reduced oxygen.

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Location: Powderhorn, Colorado
Joined: 04/07/2003
Posts: 167
SW CO 2004 Bow Elk

from experience I know that calcium supplements such as calcium tablets will combat high altitude sickness since it makes your blood carry more oxygen to your vital parts. Also plenty of water everyday for sure. They now have a prescription medicine for high altitude sickness. Consult your doctor on this. If you arrive in camp and the next day you have a headache when you get up, and the next few days it gets worse and won't go away, it is high altitude sickness. The only way to get rid of it is to go down in elevation. sometimes with folks it only takes a 1000'. some it takes 4000' of elevation. The best solution is to take calcium a week before you arrive and arrive a few days early to get used to the higher elevations. High altitude sickness can be fatal to some folks if not taken care of right away. I pack a hunter or two out early, every year with it. It is like they are having a heart attack and symtoms of a heart attack. Good luck on your hunt.

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