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Old 03-18-2017, 03:02 PM   #1
CRM_95
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So I've been kicking it around, and I think I'm going to book my first ever out of state hunt. Not for this year, but probably for fall of 2018. Anybody have any ideas for Colorado elk guides who have a history of success with trad hunters? I had thought about a DIY hunt, but I don't know jack about hunting elk and I don't want to go bumble around for a week and then drive home empty handed since I don't know what I'm doing. So I'm planning to use an outfitter. With that said I'm not interested in a monster bull as much as I am just hunting elk. Honestly I'd probably shoot a cow elk as quick as she turned broadside...
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:00 PM   #2
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Colorado wouldn't be my go to state.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:09 PM   #3
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Yeah...I'm just thinking the drives not horrible, and I wouldn't have to pay to have my elk shipped back and all the hassle of flying, rental cars, all that.


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Old 03-18-2017, 05:29 PM   #4
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If you're just interested in getting an elk. Colorado will give you your best chance at harvesting an elk. They have the largest herd and the most over the counter units.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:36 PM   #5
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They also have the most hunters. Archery success rates are low. An outfitter helps. Private land helps more. I've done 4 DIY elk hunts. All in Colorado. 3 rifle and 1 archery. Should have had a full tag on each trip. But that's when I was young and could cover a lot of ground. A drop camp is something I would like to do. Have chatted some with an outfitter. We were going to book for this year but buying the land sucked up all our money.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:41 PM   #6
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Do your research if your doing a drop camp. Lots of guys circling through some of those outfits
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:01 PM   #7
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They also have the most hunters. Archery success rates are low. An outfitter helps. Private land helps more. I've done 4 DIY elk hunts. All in Colorado. 3 rifle and 1 archery. Should have had a full tag on each trip. But that's when I was young and could cover a lot of ground. A drop camp is something I would like to do. Have chatted some with an outfitter. We were going to book for this year but buying the land sucked up all our money.
You're correct. But, Colorado and Idaho, are about the only states that a non-resident can get an over-the counter tag without drawing. I've done 2 elk hunts in Colorado, 1 rifle and 1 archery, and 1 in Wyoming with a rifle and am still elkless.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:17 PM   #8
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I really want to hunt elk as well. I think however that I will do the DIY route with OTC tags. Archery success rates are indeed low, and I figure paying 4x-6x the amount for an outfitter where I can't be flexible on dates would be alot to put on the line.

I will not do back country either. I will trailhead camp instead and will move miles in truck to increase odds. I have no problems killing an elk a mile from a road.... in fact, I would prefer it.

It is colorado, I will find time to fly fish in the down times to make it worth the trip!

I just don't think I would learn much from an outfitter either... in fact, ideally, I would like to do a DIY with an experienced DIYer.

These of course are musings of ignorant non-elk hunter.



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Old 03-18-2017, 06:20 PM   #9
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I did a guided hunt last year in Montana but had bad weather the whole week. Guided is more expensive but going to an unfamiliar area would be a waste of time for me without a guide. I did book the hunt again this year .The camp there was very nice all meals included , the hunt was rough a lot of walking up and down and felt worse because of the rain and mud. I was the only trad hunter there so some people were interested in what bow I was shooting. I spoke with some of the hunters there one of them said this is their 18th trip one showed me some pictures of the elks and bear he had shot over the years.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:21 PM   #10
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Texas panhandle

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Old 03-18-2017, 06:23 PM   #11
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:29 PM   #12
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Look at Fishtail Ranch out of Chama NM. They hunt private land in NM and public in Colorado. Did a hunt with them few years back and a top notch group.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:35 PM   #13
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I just realized my post was pretty pointless to the real topic. Sorry bout that.

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Old 03-18-2017, 07:18 PM   #14
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DIY , OTC elk in Colorado can be done and done successfully. I have done it the last two years and taken a bull both years ( 5x5 and a 4x4 ) and have seen some really nice bulls but I'm not one on passing shots. I go to have fun and kill an elk , just go to a foot traffic only area and get several miles in and hunt. I have done a total of 5 DIY - OTC elk hunts and killed 3 bulls with a recurve , with a little research and good gear and boots on the ground anyone can do it.

,,,Sam,,,
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:20 PM   #15
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I'm not 100% opposed to a DIY hunt. I just don't have ANY elk hunting experience. And I'd have time to save up the cash for a guided hunt by the 2018 season. For you guys that have done a DIY hunt, did you go up and scout before the hunt? Or do elk move around too much for that to even be possible?


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Old 03-18-2017, 08:54 PM   #16
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I went with guys who had gone before and was in elk every trip. You have to cover some ground and you need to be able to go probably 7 to 10 miles a day. We hunted between 9600 and 12000 feet. As long as you allow yourself enough time you will have a chance. But no way I'd take my recurve. It would be carbon spyder time.

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Old 03-18-2017, 10:07 PM   #17
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Your most likely going bumble around for a week and come back empty handed even if you pay a Guide that's hunting
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:11 PM   #18
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A week isn't enough on a diy.

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Old 03-18-2017, 10:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Your most likely going bumble around for a week and come back empty handed even if you pay a Guide that's hunting


Haha yeah that possibility is always there!! I'm good with that I guess. It may end up being a DIY hunt after all. We'll see how things turn out!!


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Old 03-18-2017, 11:40 PM   #20
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Be interested to see what you decide, CRM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:02 AM   #21
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I am not against guides or outfitters by any stretch. If I were going solo, then that would be the way to go. If I were going on a very limited draw hunt for a monster, that is how I would go too.

But for a week of fun, chasing elk, I would rather DIY much much cheaper with a bunch if friends.

I look at it like the Javi hunts I have been on. You can pay $1500 to go on a 2 day guided hunt to kill a javi and a hog on a ranch that has a lodge, etc. But the $450 TBH group hunt that is 4 days, and we sleep in ranch hand style quarters, cooking for ourselves and finding the critters ourselves really can't be beat.

Just look at the writeups from DIY elk hunts vs Outfitter hunts on here and you will see a striking difference. Even the guys that fail have plenty to share and talk about.

Again, nothing wrong with outfitter/guided hunts. It really boils down to cost/benefit and your personal comfort zones.

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Old 03-19-2017, 11:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRM_95 View Post
I'm not 100% opposed to a DIY hunt. I just don't have ANY elk hunting experience. And I'd have time to save up the cash for a guided hunt by the 2018 season. For you guys that have done a DIY hunt, did you go up and scout before the hunt? Or do elk move around too much for that to even be possible?


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I have been the last four years in a row DIY. I have shot every year. Missed twice and killed two bulls. Note: they are farther than they appear lol
I like to make a trip in July to scout but can't always make it. You don't have to know how to call or even know how to hunt Elk.
I just hunt like I would if I was deer hunting. Find heavy trails, water sources and wallows and wait down wind. You should go this year and find a good area with Elk and learn all you can. Each year you will learn more.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:38 AM   #23
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I have been the last four years in a row DIY. I have shot every year. Missed twice and killed two bulls. Note: they are farther than they appear lol
I like to make a trip in July to scout but can't always make it. You don't have to know how to call or even know how to hunt Elk.
I just hunt like I would if I was deer hunting. Find heavy trails, water sources and wallows and wait down wind. You should go this year and find a good area with Elk and learn all you can. Each year you will learn more.
Thanks Corey!! I was hoping you'd chime in, I know you've done pretty good. It looks like something may possibly be coming together. I might holler at you in the next few days to ask a few questions if you don't mind.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:54 AM   #24
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I've never been on a guided hunt and probably never will. I just prefer to experience and learn things For myself.
Fwiw, if you want to ever kill an elk ( or anything else) with your recurve then leave the other weapons at home.
No way I'd take anything but my longbow. But that's me
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #25
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Randy when I'm on a hunt like that my priorities are different. I've killed two with a rifle and missed one with a compound bow. I kill a couple with my compound I would feel differently but it's still going to cost a lot of money and time. It is tough getting a bull within 40 yards. I would need it 20 or less with my recurve.

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Old 03-19-2017, 01:14 PM   #26
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Hey Gary, I wasn't bashing anyone or anything. Sorry if it came across that way.
I just meant that I have different goals and feel differently about it than some. I've been on several hunts that were pretty costly without killing an animal. But it's more about the hunt and the time spent alone or with others. I've never been concerned about the time or money involved or viewed it as a waste if I didn't kill anything. There are several animals on my list of must haves. And every one of them will be with a bow that I make or nothing at all. It's all about what your own goals are.
I.e... I once hunted a huge hog for long time with my bow, the one time I took a rifle I killed him. I've regretted it ever since.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:27 PM   #27
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I wouldn't fault anybody for taking a compound on a hunt like that...but after putting pen to paper..if I go the DIY route, which I'm pretty sure I will now, I won't have a whole lot more money tied up than what I spend for a week at First Point, or a hunt at Big Oak where I kill an exotic. And I have no problem doing that with trad gear. So I'll be taking my recurve for sure. I don't have to kill an elk for it to be a success, I just want to elk hunt. I'd be stoked with any legal elk, and still ok with coming home empty handed. But I usually have good luck for some reason, so I feel good about it!!
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:45 PM   #28
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Nah Randy it's not your fault I waited too late in life to take this quest and my inexperience limits my confidence.

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Old 03-19-2017, 01:49 PM   #29
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$500 for tag. $300 in fuel. $200 in food. Money for gear you don't have like a camp stove or big tent, quality sleeping bag etc. There's a lot going into it. For example, how are you getting that animal out if it dies 5 miles from camp? When I hunted in a group of 4 we packed it out. In my 20s I could carry an elk hind quarter for miles. Today . . . I would want to hire it out it it were far from the road.

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Old 03-19-2017, 01:50 PM   #30
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Ryan if you want to go DIY I can can get you some gear and areas to check out.

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Old 03-19-2017, 01:51 PM   #31
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Or tag along . . .

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Old 03-19-2017, 01:58 PM   #32
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$500 for tag. $300 in fuel. $200 in food. Money for gear you don't have like a camp stove or big tent, quality sleeping bag etc. There's a lot going into it. For example, how are you getting that animal out if it dies 5 miles from camp? When I hunted in a group of 4 we packed it out. In my 20s I could carry an elk hind quarter for miles. Today . . . I would want to hire it out it it were far from the road.

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Oh yeah it'd be tough by yourself!! I've been talking to few folks though and I think I have a few buddies that will go. A group of 3-4 would be perfect for splitting expenses and helping pack meat out. We'll just see how it goes.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:01 PM   #33
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Yep. That's how we did it. Good times.

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Old 03-19-2017, 02:06 PM   #34
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Burro Mountain in the White River National Forest is swoll with elk year round...except when the Rifle Season Opening Day Parade of ATVs comes buzzing up the mountain.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:50 PM   #35
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Some people just have different priorities! 99% of the time, if I can't kill it with my longbow, I really don't care if I kill it or not. There is nothing wrong with being all trad, or part trad and part compound, or all rifle for that matter. Just do whatever floats your boat, and let the next guy do the same!

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Old 03-19-2017, 06:53 PM   #36
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Don't get me wrong Busch, with a trad bow would be great. I'm just not there yet. There's two years of meat for my family in an elk.

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Old 03-19-2017, 09:58 PM   #37
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Quote:
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$500 for tag. $300 in fuel. $200 in food. Money for gear you don't have like a camp stove or big tent, quality sleeping bag etc. There's a lot going into it. For example, how are you getting that animal out if it dies 5 miles from camp? When I hunted in a group of 4 we packed it out. In my 20s I could carry an elk hind quarter for miles. Today . . . I would want to hire it out it it were far from the road.

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Split gas with a buddy and its half that. You have to eat no matter where you are so you cant count that. Gear costs something but its an investment. All in besides gear you can do Colorado for less than $800. Plenty of guys spending more to sit over a feeder for a weekend in Texas.

If you debone, two guys can pack out an elk in one trip then go back and get camp.

OP I cant recommend a guide but I feel like you will put yourself waay ahead of the pack by hiring one or finding someone to go with who you could donate a little cash to. Its just hard to figure out backpacking and elk hunting at the same time and only have a week to get it done.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:36 PM   #38
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Better be two helluva men to be able to pack out the meat of a bull in one trip. I've packed out three and it was not a two man job. If you are packing in dehydrated meals work best. They are pricey but will do the trick. I've only done that once on an elk trip and it was tough. The other three we camped in a location near the road and made daily hikes into the hunting area. Averaged e to 5 miles from camp daily. If you can call in turkeys, ducks or grunt in a deer you can learn to call elk. Cow calling is more important that bugling. Get a call with a CD and practice. It's great on your own but it's work and there is a learning curve. Use the wind. Learn to use the thermals. Elk graze in meadows at night and bed in timber in the day. Glass them and ambush them. Funnels between rock chutes and open areas are good ambush points. That's where prescouting or having someone with knowledge of the area pays off.

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