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Old 11-27-2011, 10:51 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by ladrones View Post
Here in NM the Game and Fish release some late season archery elk tags for a few units. After all the draws are complete. First come first served basis. The odds are very low.

Unit 34 gets 200 tags. Last season 14 bulls were taken out of those 200 tags.
I hunted this hunt 5 years ago, got to burn a ton of boot leather and then just get lucky and get into the them. I did and sailed an express package over a 5x5 by a good foot or more. First time I had ever drawn on an elk...and well, I got a little goofy.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:42 PM   #102
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This is something I'd like to do and is on my bucket list, along with a DIY in Oklahoma for whitetail, a DIY in KS for whitetail, and a DIY in Wyoming for elk.

So, how much am I looking to invest right off the bat in gear...I figure 700-800 bucks for a good pack, quality pair of boots (maybe two), and some new camo. Most of that is gonna be spent on the pack and boots, if worse comes to worse I could always use my camo that I do in East Texas, or is that a bad idea?

What are you guys doing for getting in shape?

What are you guys doing for shooting? I'm good to about 60 yards now, but I don't know what kind of range I'd be shooting at in a real life situation.

I know I want my first hunt to be in CO, with a OTC either-sex tag during archery season, so I could go to a lot of different units. How do I determine what unit to go with for my first hunt, and how long should I plan on trying to hunt a unit?
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:53 AM   #103
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Good questions rhendrix. I am also planning a DIY KS Whitetail hunt and WY is great for Elk. You will need a point in WY to assure a you draw the General tag which gets you access to a ton of units(some good some not so good). WY and CO are what I call my opportunity states. I know I can hunt them every year or every other year.

As far as gear you will need good boots($210), good pack($350), Good sleep system($200), Good Tent($150), Stove($80), GPS($150)

For Clothes, use non-cotton stuff and don't focus on camo if you find dark colors of high quality stuff for a steal. Trust me, camo makes very little difference to an elk. The best camo in the world won't fool his nose and being motionless if he spots you is far better than camo. I say that but I use camo because it makes me feel like I'm hunting...funny how the human mind works. I think you could put together 2 very nice quality sets of clothes for about $250.

If you are willing to get used stuff and troll the internet for bargains...I think you could get to your $700-$800. If you catch the Elk hunting bug you will always be upgrading from there.

To get in shape do the best you can. It is my opinion that you don't have to be Cameron Hanes to hunt Elk in the backcountry. Focus your efforts on leg strength, your core and cardio. Altitude (10K ft +)will be a big hurdle for the first 3 or so days. Arrive early if you can to acclimate and go slow till you get your lungs.

Mental toughness is as important as physical. You will be sore, you will be uncomfortable, it will suck at times and there is a very good chance you will come home empty handed but believe me putting your hands around those hard earned antlers is worth it!

60 yards is great. I would say most Bulls are shot under 40. I shot mine this year at a whopping 15 yards and my buddy killed his at a hair over 30. The hunts you are considering will likely be thick timber which means close encounters. I am not sure I would shoot a bull at more than 50 but I practice longer for the confidence it gives me at shorter range.

With a CO OTC tag you can hunt a bunch of units...narrowing down to a unit and an area in that unit may seem undaunting but it's not. First familiarize yourself with the CO Wildlife website and start sorting thru the info. Use herd estimates, # archers in a unit, amount of public land, and historical hunter success. Wilderness areas are great places for the DIY backpack hunter as well. Lastly when you narrow it down to one unit the general rule is to find benches on north facing slopes in drainages as far from trails and roads as you think you can handle. Do this and be mobile and you'll find Elk.

Start your search in SW CO...units in the 70s and I would plan for 6-7 full days of hunting if you can swing it.

Last edited by drthornton; 11-29-2011 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:01 PM   #104
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How are you looking to hunt? Bivy? Spike camp? Haul a trailer? Decide that one first and then you can decide on what kind of gear you are going to need...or not need. This will also be a HUGE reason for which unit/area you hunt.

As said above, mental toughness is key. I had hunted elk before several times doing truck camping and it is TOTALLY different then Bivy hunting. By the third day I was trying to figure out what I was doing and had to talk my buddy out of walking back to the truck. ha ha ha And we were in elk! Our mistake was to push too hard and got worn down.

Decide how you want ot hunt and we can help you with specific gear and units.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:19 PM   #105
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What do you guys recommend for a first time elk hunter with no experience in the mountains? I wouldn't mind setting up a spike camp, but don't think I could last hunting 6 to 7 days out of one. Then again, I might enjoy myself so much that I don't even notice. I plan on going up there by myself, I can't afford an outfitter, and hunting out of the truck just doesn't appeal to me, there's a certain degree of difficulty that appeals to me with bivy and spike camp hunting.

Ultimately I want to learn as much as possible on my first elk hunt, and maybe have the chance to bag a cow...of course if I got a 330" 6x6 I'd be happy as a pig in mud, but I'd rather learn and get some meat in the freezer more than anything. So whatever unit and style of camp puts me in the best situation to do so, that's where I want to be.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:36 PM   #106
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With no points you really have no choice but to go to CO OTC although MT had leftover combo tags last year. From what I know about CO OTC units is you will either have to spike on top or base camp and be subject to several miles of hinking every morning and evening. I'll take the spike camp any day. Spiking is not that bad as long as your system is good. Tylenol or Excedrin PM is great for spike hunting. Sounds like you want the real deal high country Elk hunt and you will get it in CO OTC units.

In today's age learning can be done at home. Check out Elknut's videos and instruction manuals. There is more than enough info to get you started. As far as bagging a cow don't fool yourself into thinking taking a cow is like taking a whitetail doe. Cows are as hard or even harder than young bulls to harvest with a bow on purpose. I have not had a single cow opportunity but you are on the right track. Any legal bull, or animal is the right frame of mind. Save the 330's for UT, NV, AZ and the Gila and harvest anything you can. Any DIY archery Elk with a bow is a trophy!
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:36 PM   #107
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Oh boy! Sound like my kind of guy!!! I suggest Wilderness Areas. Start there, and see what units you would like to learn more about. Then call all the biologists and game wardens that work that area and take notes. Then use Google Earth and the Colorado Game maps to cross check access points, drainages, and migration routes. Don't worry about draws, just OTC units in Colorado.

Start training now, I'm serious. You can never be in too good of shape. However, you don't have to be able to do an IronMan to kill elk. If you can, buy used equipment or non hunting brand gear. Camo makes everything more expensive.

Check out CamoFire for deals as well.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:38 PM   #108
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Also, I saw a good 300+ 6x6 last year in an OTC unit and had a buddy kill a BIG 6x6 in an OTC unit as well. They are out there, just not very many of them. Kind of like winning the lottery.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:01 PM   #109
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:11 PM   #110
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More questions...haha.

Aight...I've been looking at units that I can get an OTC either-sex tag in...I'm a little confused though, I see that there is land that is owned by the NFS, then there's land that is owned by the BLM, can I hunt both of these with an OTC tag? I'm assuming so since I haven't found any information that says you have to have a permit for BLM on the DOW website, but I want to be 100%.

The amount information that's out there and trying to sift through it all is mind boggling right now, I don't even know where to begin really because I don't know where exactly I can hunt with just a nature stamp and OTC either-sex tag.

Any guidance would be appreciated, gents.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:30 AM   #111
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Yes, you are able to hunt national forest and BLM land with the OTC tag, as long as you are in the hunting unit. In fact, I believe you can hunt across units as long as both are OTC units.

If you are really trying to get away from people and usually into more elk, check out the Wilderness areas and where they are located. I only hunt Wilderness areas anymore...unless I draw. Which never happens.

Side note, think about which area/unit you wouldn't mind hunting every year or drive to every year. The BEST way to hunt a unit is to hunt one you are familiar with. Only get familiar with an area once you have spent some time in it. That is why the locals usually have the advantage.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:11 AM   #112
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Your public land is colored green(National Forest), Orange(BLM) and Blue(State) and you can hunt any of it within the bounds of your tag(White is private and off limits unless it is on a public easement Rd thru the private). You can also hunt any of the OTC units and cross unit boundries as long it is also an OTC unit. As a general rule NF land is higher, more rugged land and usually where the Elk are in Sept. BLM and State land is usually lower stuff. This is not always the case though. Wilderness is great for the Backpack hunter as no motorized vehicles can go in there. It is also more rugged so the fair weather hunters usually don't have the fortitude to go in there.

Wilderness areas I would look at:
Weminuche
Lizard Head
Fossil Ridge
West Elk
Flat Tops(biggest heard but also the most hunters)

Last edited by drthornton; 12-01-2011 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:01 AM   #113
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Scouting from home for the newbie...For someone that has never been Elk hunting or even in the high country finding Elk may seem like an enormous hurdle. I am no expert and really not too far from a newbie myself but here is how I approach scouting CO OTC units.

1. Don't just post "I want to go Elk hunting...tell me where to go". You won't get any help that way. Get educated and ask specific questions about specific areas and ask to do it via email or PM.
2. Go to the CO hunting website and familiarize yourself with its resources.
3. Download the OTC Either Sex map http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteColl...lkArchery1.pdf anything east of I-25 is not Elk country and mostly private.
4. Go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/...ingGuides.aspx and download the NW and SW Hunt Guides and try to get an idea of where the Elk herd is good and healthy
5. Should be able to get an idea of units which may fit your needs.
6. Go to http://www.mytopo.com/products/hunt-...e.cfm?state=CO and find the unit you are interested in based on Stats. Just eyeball it for the amount of public land it has and also look for possible access issues.
7. Go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/...tatistics.aspx. In here you can find how many elk are in an area. how many archers hunt it and their success. Be careful not to use just success as that number can be off for the DIY hunter. Some units have a lot of private and outfitted hunters which up the success rate while the DIY hunter's success is dismal in comparison.
8. So now you have a handful of OTC units where there is a healthy heard, where the # of hunters/ elk is low, where there is a lot of public land and what the general success rate for those archers is.

Now use Google Earth or other mapping software with aerial and topo layers to find places that look Elky. High north facing benches and benches at the heads of drainages in timber off major trails is generally what you are looking for. Next find a way to get in there while keeping in mind that you have to get 200# out of there as well. Be ready to change your plan and have maps to with you to do so.

This year in Wyoming we no more than a 1/2 mile from camp, bugled and got on a bull. My buddy shot him. This guy was about mid way down the mountain on a creek drainage bench. I had a close call with a bull in the same area the same day. I had in my mind the Bulls were on top at the heads of the drainages so we hunted up there only to find old sign. I finally got it thru my skull to get the map out and scout areas with the same dynamic as the bulls we encountered on the first day. Yes it worked. Point is to use guidelines but let the Elk tell you where they want to be.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:24 PM   #114
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Thanks gents, knowing what I know now...here's what I've come up with.

GMU's 44, 444 are very attractive to me, 44 has alot of access roads so that I could get from one area to the other in my truck, then spike camp from there, same thing in 444. A large majority of both units is the White River National Forest and there's also Holy Cross Wilderness area as well. The success rates are in the 20's, but a lot of that I'm sure has to do with hunting pressure. It's alot what I have in mind when I think colorado, lots of peaks and valleys which should give me alot of opportunity to find elk if the weather doesn't cooperate in one way or another and I have a feeling with the easy roads a lot of elk will be pushed up into the high country where most people won't want to pack in at.

I'm also interested in GMU's 25, 26 and 34 which are all part of the Flat Tops like you mentioned drthornton, I've read a bunch up on the Flat Tops and while it's not what I would consider typical Colorado terrain (EDIT: I just realized how stupid this sounds...I live in Houston, anything taller than Big Bend is gonna be a cool experience to me!) it might be a good place to get my feet wet, since I'm gonna be wet behind the ears and green as the grass on the plains. Statistically speaking these areas and 44 and 444 have about the same amount of pressure and success rates, despite the fact that 44 and 444 have a smaller elk population.

Guess it's time for me to start digging deeper and looking at access points and north facing benches and other elk habitat.

May sound like a stupid question, but where can you find maps of the wilderness areas? The NFS? Tried looking online but all I've gotten is a list with some background. Thanks!

And thanks for the tips drthornton and TWP, I wouldn't have known where to even start without you guys helping me out.

Last edited by rhendrix; 12-01-2011 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:12 PM   #115
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Best maps that I have found are National Geographic maps. Units 44 and 444 are for guys who wear their big boy pants when they go hunting. Lots of elk killed right off of I-70 in that part of the world, but it is plenty high and rugged. Also LOTS of elk and not as much pressure as most spots. I usually hunt a little further east in a small wilderness area, I can see town from treeline, but we never come across other hunters.

Be in as good a shape as you can be, and then be smart about what you can and can't do physically and you will be fine.

As Dr Thornton has said, you really NEED to buy the Elknuts stuff. Lets you understand a little more about elk and how they work.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:14 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drthornton View Post
Scouting from home for the newbie...For someone that has never been Elk hunting or even in the high country finding Elk may seem like an enormous hurdle. I am no expert and really not too far from a newbie myself but here is how I approach scouting CO OTC units.

1. Don't just post "I want to go Elk hunting...tell me where to go". You won't get any help that way. Get educated and ask specific questions about specific areas and ask to do it via email or PM.
2. Go to the CO hunting website and familiarize yourself with its resources.
3. Download the OTC Either Sex map http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteColl...lkArchery1.pdf anything east of I-25 is not Elk country and mostly private.
4. Go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/...ingGuides.aspx and download the NW and SW Hunt Guides and try to get an idea of where the Elk herd is good and healthy
5. Should be able to get an idea of units which may fit your needs.
6. Go to http://www.mytopo.com/products/hunt-...e.cfm?state=CO and find the unit you are interested in based on Stats. Just eyeball it for the amount of public land it has and also look for possible access issues.
7. Go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/...tatistics.aspx. In here you can find how many elk are in an area. how many archers hunt it and their success. Be careful not to use just success as that number can be off for the DIY hunter. Some units have a lot of private and outfitted hunters which up the success rate while the DIY hunter's success is dismal in comparison.
8. So now you have a handful of OTC units where there is a healthy heard, where the # of hunters/ elk is low, where there is a lot of public land and what the general success rate for those archers is.

Now use Google Earth or other mapping software with aerial and topo layers to find places that look Elky. High north facing benches and benches at the heads of drainages in timber off major trails is generally what you are looking for. Next find a way to get in there while keeping in mind that you have to get 200# out of there as well. Be ready to change your plan and have maps to with you to do so.

This year in Wyoming we no more than a 1/2 mile from camp, bugled and got on a bull. My buddy shot him. This guy was about mid way down the mountain on a creek drainage bench. I had a close call with a bull in the same area the same day. I had in my mind the Bulls were on top at the heads of the drainages so we hunted up there only to find old sign. I finally got it thru my skull to get the map out and scout areas with the same dynamic as the bulls we encountered on the first day. Yes it worked. Point is to use guidelines but let the Elk tell you where they want to be.
Great post right here. ^^^^^
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:14 PM   #117
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"44 has alot of access roads so that I could get from one area to the other in my truck, then spike camp from there, same thing in 444." I smile...when you get back you'll understand why. You can't comprehend the magnitude of effort it takes to get into the mountains until you actually do it.

First off, the 20% success rate in 44/444 is for all weapons. If you look at just archery it is 8% and less than 6% on Bulls. That's not awful and about middle of the pack for OTC success. The heard size is small for a fairly large area. Your Elk/Archer ratio in that DAU about 4/1...In SW CO and the Flat Tops the ratio is 9/1 or more. No one stat will give you the entire picture.

Next step is go email or PM anyone online that has mentioned 44/444 online. There are a lot of folks that make posts about info on a specific unit then never come back a give their success.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:17 PM   #118
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:12 AM   #119
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Several States have released their 2012 Hunting Guides

New Mexico- As discussed odds for Non-res DIY will be lower this year. No Cow Elk for non-res. $65 refundable app fee for non-res. Undrawn Outfitter pool tags go to Residents.
http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/publ...012BIgGame.pdf

Utah(Draft)- Very Similar to 2011. $65 non-refundable License required to Apply but is valid for 1 year from the day you buy so you can usually get 2 years of Apps from one License. Added several good Elk units to the non-resident Premium entry if anyone has a lot of points. UT's dates for Archery Elk are early and end middle of Sept before the rut really kicks in. For this reason UT is not really known for archery Elk. The ML and early Rifle dates are in the heat of the rut but the odds are horrible unless you are at max points.
http://wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks/...eapp_draft.pdf

Arizona- Archery dates are fantastic this year. If you have max points this would be a good year to apply and pray for a wet spring. Also note that if you are NOT in the max point pool you have no chance to draw in the historically "Top" units. AZ Elk is a long term investment. AZ requires a $151.25 hunting license to apply plus $7.50 per app/bonus point. The rumor is AZ will finally have their online app system up this year.
http://www.azgfd.gov/regs/elkregs.pdf

Wyoming- Very similar to 2011. WY is a great Elk State. When you draw a tag in WY you draw for all seasons which is different from all other western states. This gives you the ability to archery hunt and if unsuccessful, return to chase them with a rifle. The draw system is relatively young and has not had enough time to shake out all those guys that got in on the ground floor. WY does have a random draw which allows for even 0 point folks a shot at a lot of the best units. WY Elk app period is from 1/1-1/31.
http://gf.state.wy.us/wildlife/hunti...dent/index.asp

MT, NV, ID & CO are still pending.

If anyone has questions on any of the state app processes I would be happy to help.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:00 PM   #120
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Well I got a few 5k and 10k trails marked out by the house. Time to break out the trekking poles and start getting ready.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:19 PM   #121
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Has anyone hunted elk around Pinedale, WY? I've got a contact up that way and am considering applying in that area this year or next, depending on the guys in my party.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:22 PM   #122
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I have not but you need to be careful applying up there. Non-Residents cannot hunt a wilderness in WY without a guide. The area around Pinedale (96 & 97) has quite a bit of Wilderness and I suspect that's where the Elk are during archery. A way around the wilderness thing is to of course hire a guide or your contact(assuming he is a WY resident) can go with you but he must apply for a guide license with the state. Gonna take a point in the regular draw to assure you draw in either of those units.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:50 PM   #123
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Looks like I am doing an Idaho trip this year, all OTC and doing points in WY and AZ.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:08 PM   #124
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Hope you got a good spot in ID. The Wolves have really punished the population. My buddy has hunted Dworshak and Lolo for many years and it it has gone steadily downhill. There are still Elk in there but far fewer he said. They are moving units this year or may not go at all.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:12 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWP View Post
Well, just got done putting all of my bivy pack gear in new spot in the garage, and got the feeling that is is getting into application time and it is always physical prep time of the year. Figured I would start a thread concerning anything and everything with the ol wapiti.

Always see LOTS of folks who chime in on the elk live hunts each year, and they always say that they would LOVE to hunt elk, but don't know how, who, what, where, or when. Well, hopefully this can build over the winter months and we can help each other out and learn a thing or two from the more seasoned elk hunters on here.
Starting my 2 a days on Tuesday!
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drthornton View Post
Hope you got a good spot in ID. The Wolves have really punished the population. My buddy has hunted Dworshak and Lolo for many years and it it has gone steadily downhill. There are still Elk in there but far fewer he said. They are moving units this year or may not go at all.
Yes sir, got a semi inside track on private and public land that hasn't had the same problems as most. They shot a lot of elk and deer out of it last year. But a lot can happen in a year, especially if they have another bad snow year.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:24 PM   #127
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If you've got a spot where predators aren't an issue you will be good. Weather doesn't hurt Elk much. Deer on the other hand.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:58 PM   #128
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Unless the elk are getting chased by the wolves in the snow! Ha ha ha
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:10 PM   #129
marshrat
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When do they start selling the OTC licenses in CO? Is it the same day that they start taking draw apps or is it the OPEN date of 7/10/12? I can't believe that they would wait that late. I'm going to take the plunge this year and stop wishing and just get out there.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:26 PM   #130
marshrat
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Is there no other time to archery hunt elk than during the run from late Sept-early Oct.? If I get a rifle OTC tag, I can't use my bow instead?
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:02 PM   #131
marshrat
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How difficult will it be to try the DIY hunt on my own without anyone else? I really don't know anyone else that will want to do this with me.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:31 PM   #132
ladrones
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How difficult will it be to try the DIY hunt on my own without anyone else? I really don't know anyone else that will want to do this with me.
There was a thread last season looking for hunters that might be interested in doing a small group DIY archery hunt in CO. It would be better if you can find someone to go with. It is easier to scout, call, haul game and camp as a group than as an individual.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:11 PM   #133
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How difficult will it be to try the DIY hunt on my own without anyone else? I really don't know anyone else that will want to do this with me.
Marsh, how do you want to hunt? High mountain passes and nasty nasty canyons with black timber? More open country and not so high, and has lots of sage but not as many elk? Do you want to pack into a Wilderness area where only foot or horse travel is permitted or camp at the truck? Let us know that first, and then we can give you more info. There are no dumb questions.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:34 AM   #134
drthornton
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Plenty of guys hunt Elk by themselves. I hunt deer and Antelope by myself but Elk is different. Archery Elk hunting really lends itself to a partner and if you down one in a remote area you'll wish you had 4 partners. A small bull will yield about 200# of deboned meat plus the head. Few guys can comprehend the effort it takes to get that out of a steep, high altitude area.

I would take Ladrones advice and find someone looking for a partner as well. Do your homework, get the right gear and get after it.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:42 AM   #135
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There is a new Elk Hunting Magazine out. A couple of guys that left Eastmans', Ryan Hatfield and Nate Simmons are a part of it. Initial reviews are very good and it sounds like it is allot like Eastmans' only better. It will contain how to articles, gear reviews, Stories and just like Eastmans', a research section in the back that will give you advise on where and how to apply for Elk in Western States.

For guys just starting out these magazines can really jump start your knowledge level on Elk hunting the west. Huntinfool, Eastman's and now Elk Hunter are really good investments.

http://www.elkhuntermagazine.com/index.html
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #136
TGW
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Fun thread no doubt! Elk hunting is a blast even if you don't bring one home.
Also don't discount taking your kiddos. Here are a couple of pictures of my boys. The first one is of my middle son in 2010 on a cow elk hunt in unit 61; It will by my youngest son's turn next year. This year I took my oldest for his senior year gift to the San Juans on a backpack hunt during archery season. Lots of fun camping in that country, but it is defintely work as well. No elk, but we were in them, just couldn't connect. The nice thing was where we parked there were a ton of people, but after packing in a few miles and gaining considerable elevation we didn't see a soul.

My son's first elk; I didn't think she'd ever stop sliding down that mountain!



Packing out the last quarters




Camp below in the saddle; not a soul was seen or heard.




Working for your water!



My advice if you do the backcountry is to invest in a good pack and boots. Kifaru has served me well and I just purchased the new T2 pack. Here's a link: http://www.kifaru.net

Also, boots will make or break your trip and it can be expensive trying to find the right pair that work for your feet. I think I finally found the brand (Crispi boots) that works well for my narrow heal; I had heck with heal blisters on steep ascents in the past.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:43 AM   #137
Special K
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I've been wanting to go elk hunting in the mountains. How would I go about trying to get a tag what do you have to do I know there is a draw.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:47 AM   #138
marshrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWP View Post
Marsh, how do you want to hunt? High mountain passes and nasty nasty canyons with black timber? More open country and not so high, and has lots of sage but not as many elk? Do you want to pack into a Wilderness area where only foot or horse travel is permitted or camp at the truck? Let us know that first, and then we can give you more info. There are no dumb questions.
I've envisioned elk hunting as packing into a wilderness area and camping. I don't want to find elk and then have to walk back mile after mile at dark maybe never seeing them again. I just want to park my truck and go until I find them and kill one or until I determine that I need to move to another area. I was going to go not as high this first time around as I don't really know what to expect, but I think for me, I just need to jump in.

Do y'all know of any groups wanting to go?
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:52 AM   #139
backbone
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I wouldn't hunt around pinedale. I just got home from working in big piney and we were staying in pinedale. I had a cow tag for area 94 and seen about 6 elk in three months. Word is the state feeds them on private land so they won't come down to the public part where you can hunt.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:54 AM   #140
Special K
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I'm willing to go with you I've never been though so we will have to learn the hard way.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:58 AM   #141
TGW
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Originally Posted by Kody The Great View Post
I've been wanting to go elk hunting in the mountains. How would I go about trying to get a tag what do you have to do I know there is a draw.
Eastman's magazine is a decent place to get you headed in the right direction. Colorado has plenty of OTC opportunities and you can start building points for a decent draw area. Purchase Mike Eastman's book "Elk Hunting" and you can set up a 3 to 5 year plan where you will hunt OTC units most years and draw a better unit every 3 to 5 years. Some will hold out for the coveted units that take anywhere from 7 to 15 or more years to draw in Colorado; you can try other states as well, but most are going to take time for selection.

Also, many from Texas who are used to hunting private land are a little apprehensive with public land pressure, of which, there is, but you can use that pressure to your advantage like I did this year. The elk were being pressured from other hunters hunting close to the road system, so we went in far enough where they would bump them to us. Lastly, for early season elk hunting you pretty much need to go where your body doesn't want to go; steep country!
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #142
marshrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kody The Great View Post
I'm willing to go with you I've never been though so we will have to learn the hard way.
I'm the same way. This will be my first trip out. I'm not even sure when I can go. I want to go badly during the rut, but I teach, and that is at the beginning of the school year. I was thinking about doing a rifle hunt the first time around that way I can go a little later in the school year and it won't look so bad. However, I may just say to heck with it, and go during the rut so I can get one with my bow. Either way, I'm going and if you're interested, you are more than welcome. This is going to be a big learning experience for me.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:07 PM   #143
Chris Martin
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I have not but you need to be careful applying up there. Non-Residents cannot hunt a wilderness in WY without a guide. The area around Pinedale (96 & 97) has quite a bit of Wilderness and I suspect that's where the Elk are during archery. A way around the wilderness thing is to of course hire a guide or your contact(assuming he is a WY resident) can go with you but he must apply for a guide license with the state. Gonna take a point in the regular draw to assure you draw in either of those units.
Thanks, I am Familiar with the Non-Res wilderness and guide law. I'm looking more into unit 98 than any other. My contact up there is a registered guide and can take us in if we want, but I'd prefer to not half to drag him out there. We have the points to draw, I'm just not sure if I want to hold out for a better unit and build more points for WY. I know I can draw some other Mulie and elk tags in Colorado, possibly Utah Mulies as well. Really just depends on what my party is able to swing this year. Wy deadline is coming up soon and wanted to put a feeler out in case someone had some advice on the area.

Good luck in the draws this year.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:22 PM   #144
Chris Martin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backbone View Post
I wouldn't hunt around pinedale. I just got home from working in big piney and we were staying in pinedale. I had a cow tag for area 94 and seen about 6 elk in three months. Word is the state feeds them on private land so they won't come down to the public part where you can hunt.
Thanks for the heads up, I'll ask my buddy and see if he knows anything about that and unit 94. Good Luck this year.

drthornton,

Thanks for the heads up on Elk hunter magazine. Huntin Fool and Eastmans have given me a ton of useful info for the Western Hunts I've done.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:33 PM   #145
TWP
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Have you seen the UL packs from Kifaru??? I really really want to try one of these. 2.7lbs for a 5000 cu pack?! Nice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TGW View Post
Fun thread no doubt! Elk hunting is a blast even if you don't bring one home.
Also don't discount taking your kiddos. Here are a couple of pictures of my boys. The first one is of my middle son in 2010 on a cow elk hunt in unit 61; It will by my youngest son's turn next year. This year I took my oldest for his senior year gift to the San Juans on a backpack hunt during archery season. Lots of fun camping in that country, but it is defintely work as well. No elk, but we were in them, just couldn't connect. The nice thing was where we parked there were a ton of people, but after packing in a few miles and gaining considerable elevation we didn't see a soul.

My son's first elk; I didn't think she'd ever stop sliding down that mountain!



Packing out the last quarters




Camp below in the saddle; not a soul was seen or heard.




Working for your water!



My advice if you do the backcountry is to invest in a good pack and boots. Kifaru has served me well and I just purchased the new T2 pack. Here's a link: http://www.kifaru.net

Also, boots will make or break your trip and it can be expensive trying to find the right pair that work for your feet. I think I finally found the brand (Crispi boots) that works well for my narrow heal; I had heck with heal blisters on steep ascents in the past.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:40 PM   #146
TGW
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The UL Packs from Kifaru are a breakthrough indeed, but I'm a bit of an organization freak so I opted for the New Timberline series. The Longhunter I'm wearing in the pictures is a heck of a pack as well; very versatile and can carry more weight than I want to stick in it.

Also, for those new to elk hunting MyTopo.com is a great place to get maps cheap once you've nailed down a specific area you want to hunt. They can do private land overlays, unit boundary, etc.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:10 PM   #147
TWP
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Yeah, was thinking UL or go the total other route and do a Longhunter, MR Crew Cab or maybe the KUIU Icon. Lots of decisions, lots of good ones, no perfect pack though. Guess I will need four of them.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:51 PM   #148
drthornton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWP View Post
Yeah, was thinking UL or go the total other route and do a Longhunter, MR Crew Cab or maybe the KUIU Icon. Lots of decisions, lots of good ones, no perfect pack though. Guess I will need four of them.
We are a little stuck here in TX with packs. We just don't have dealers we can go check them out with. All the packs you are considering are top notch and if they don't work out you can sell them for close to what you paid.

I got the ICON 6000 a couple months ago but have not done much with it. I do have a 40# sack of fertilizer set aside to stick in and train with but have not done it yet.

I think that Kifaru has a superior suspension but I just like more pockets plus I got my KUIU for half of the cost of a Kifaru. I know the Kifarus can do 100# loads but I just can't 60-70 is about my limit. The trick to heavy loads is load lifters that are above your shoulders. They get the weight on your waist and off your shoulders. If they are not above your shoulders all they do is suck the weight up against you.

Another great day pack/3 day bivy pack is the Badlands 2200. I used one last year and it was great. It's heavy for a day pack but it fits so well you don't realize it's on. It carried 2x60# loads of Elk out of a semi-nasty hole without even blinking. Carrying a day pack that can get a load out saves a trip back to the truck in base camp style hunts. One thing about the 2200 is it is made for long Torso folks,which I am.

My buddy has an Eberlestock Blue Widow and he used it as a day pack as well. It too carried the above load out without any problem.

Last edited by drthornton; 12-31-2011 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:59 PM   #149
marshrat
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For the back country and wilderness areas, I am interested in going in and camping rather than going back and forth to my truck each evening. I don't know if that is a good strategy for a first timer, but if I am going to find the elk, I don't want to leave them to get back to my truck. So I'm guessing I need a bivy type pack. I don't even know what that consists of. Is there an essential gear list somewhere that could help me out? What strategies as far as going into an area will help out a beginner? I know to stay away from roads and trails that anyone can get to. I have gathered that, and I know obviously to venture further into an area than the other hunters, but other than that, I'm lost. Should I be going back to my truck each evening to camp? If I camp out somewhere away from my truck and I kill an elk, that is gonna be some really, really long packs to get the meat out. What is everyone's experience with this scenario? I think I'm gonna mainly try wilderness area because it seems that these places offer chances at elk with minimal pressure from "the crowd."
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:07 PM   #150
TWP
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Love my Gregory 65, for a 4-5 day pack!!! But looking to get something a bit beefier this year for an 8-10 day hunt. The UL models look deadly, but I called and talked to Jason about the Icon before he released it...just not sure about the pack vs the heavy duty MR and Kifarus.
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