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Joined: 02/25/2011
Posts: 34
Where did the elk go and why are they not buigling

I hunted unit 78 by chromo Colorado last week of September with a bow and seen 2 small bulls and some  cows in five days of are hunt There was some muzzleloaders that hunted before us and I heard they didn't do anygood either theTempature was 38 at night and 70 during the day locals said they should be bugling but they weren't out of ten different camps I seen 0 elk come from the mountain  I did see a 6+6 come from v rock but that was it   everyone said go high but they weren't there either the weird part is I seen ten bear last year and this year didn't see one or even sign from one it's was like they vanished I know there are a lot of elk in that area so what could of happen to them that is the million dollar question I guess did anyone else have that problem or was I the only lucky one that traveled eight hundred miles to find out the hard way  we did finally pack up and moved to unit 81 for a two day hunt that we had know info on and some how we did get a cow on the last morning but that unit was the same way a lot of old sign and alot of tracks by the hundreds going over the mountain y I don't know all i do know is that i ate five years of tag sandwiches and I'm trying to learn atleast something out of this trip to apply to the next I guess that where it would be nice to know someone that you could call ahead of time to get a heads up on them in that area like a local or someone that hunts that area any takers on that Would be appreciated to 

 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
Good question. I haven't

Good question. I haven't heard a bugle in my area since July.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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After talking to a lot of

After talking to a lot of hunters this year I came to the conclusion that the elk were a lot lower this year than in years past.  Perhaps that was due to the dry conditions or who know what but they were low this year. 

As for the bugling they may of just decided to keep their mouths shut this year for some reason.  A few hunters that I talked to heard some but who knows if it was elk or another hunter trying to get one to answer back. 

But then that is why they call it hunting instead of killing. 

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Joined: 02/25/2011
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I know it's just hunting and

I know it's just hunting and not killing I just thought somebody might of had the same problem you can't go to Colorado and have a bad expirance just getting to see the mountains is worth the drive I did see a couple of herds next to the highway and almost hit a bull with are truck but they were in Mexico in some oak brush everyone I talked to said there wasn't enough rain to produce acorns so I don't know why they were low

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Location: Western Colorado
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Elk don't eat acorns, at

Elk don't eat acorns, at least a steady diet of them. They are a grass eater and the lower areas is where the water concentrates and you will get more grass to grow there.

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I have also heard from

I have also heard from friends who hunted the archery and muzzleloader seaons that the elk were lower than they expected.  They didn't make a correlation between the elevation and the water supply, but did say lots more elk in the 8000-9000 elevation than above 9000.  As far as the bugling, only 1 friend hunting during the muzzle season got any responses with bugles and cow calls.  Kind of a slow year on that part of the hunt too.  All of these friends were hunting in NW to North Central Colorado.

 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
In July I was hearing quite a

In July I was hearing quite a few bugles from 8000-12,000ft. By early Aug up until now. It went silent. saw bulls at 12,000ft in ML season, but they were quiet.

I see the mountains everyday. I like hearing bugles. Disappointing year, but I have one more shot at elk in 2nd season. Long shot, but i'll try it.

buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 365
No Idea

I have no idea where they are, but i hope they all went to Montana Big smile , because that is where i will be in about 3 weeks Dancing .

Kevin

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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1789
One word

Pressure! Elk are extremelly sensitive to pressure. I hunted high the opener of archery and bulls were there, practically only bulls as I didn't see one cow. Bad thing is they were still grouped up and not rutting really. I had two bugle back to me in that week one of which came in but then backed off. I went back to that area the first couple days of my second week of hunting with high hopes, but didn't see or hear one elk in that time. This was the last weekend of muzzle hunting and I could tell they had been in there (the muzzleloaders and anchers) hard in that time. Boot tracks found a couple of deer carcasses hunters took. The pressure of gun shots and human activity probably human elk calling to a high degree moved em on out. There were some sizable atv and horse camps all along the road up there. I then moved low and after a few days of hitting the country down there and glassing we found em. There was no one else hunting this area and the elk were rutting up a storm. Elk that aren't jacked with are a whole nother animal. There can be elk in a hard hunted area but they will shut up and go nocturnal with human pressure. You gotta be willing to move sometimes long long distances to find em if you're not finding fresh sign or seeing anything. Elk can cover over ten miles like us walking the distance of our front lawn. In the day and age on public land it can be extremelly hard for hunters to get the action going but if you continue looking until you find em instead of patrolling the same few miles (not saying you did that) after they've moved out you increase your odds. Out of state is also very tough as you don't know the country like us locals do. I've been hunting the same areas for a few years now and have ideas of where to look and my hunting partners do to.

Good luck and keep learning and trying you will feel great when you get it done. The hard work makes it so much more rewarding when you finally succeed as compared to paying 10,000 grand and killing an assured animal.

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Joined: 02/25/2011
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Thank you for responding

Thank you for responding that's kind of what I thought when they were pressured before we got there they just turned nocturnal on us last year we went to the same place but we hunted opening day of bow season and we seen elk every where pressure is what I was really leaning to  

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Location: CO
Joined: 04/01/2010
Posts: 95
They went where the water is.

They went where the water is. Where I hunt they were bugling the second week of september and went quiet the last week. We did have some weather the second week that helped keep them vocal all day. The bull I killed was with at least 1 cow (I got a picture of him with her a hour before I stuck him) I saw a few big bulls without cows the last week but also saw a big bull herded up early. The best advise I have for you on a year like this is to sit on a good water source all day or try still hunting if they go quiet. good luck in the future!