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Old 06-10-2021, 10:49 AM   #1
deerslayer94
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Moved to Colorado back in January and will be taking off a full week in September to go chase some elk. Been researching and studying my a** off. My only question for you vets is simple. What week of September would you say is best on average as far as the rut goes? Reading mixed reviews online so was hoping to hear some first hand experience here. Thanks all!
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:50 AM   #2
Traildust
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Originally Posted by deerslayer94 View Post
Moved to Colorado back in January and will be taking off a full week in September to go chase some elk. Been researching and studying my a** off. My only question for you vets is simple. What week of September would you say is best on average as far as the rut goes? Reading mixed reviews online so was hoping to hear some first hand experience here. Thanks all!
Won't matter, you'll always miss the best week! Just go hunt!
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:00 AM   #3
kerrbow
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I like the last 10 days because temps are usually lower(though not always). Higher temps usually means less vocal elk, earlier to bed and later to rise. Herd bulls are cowed up, but satellites are frustrated and tend to come to cow calls. Use a decoy if you can lay your hands on one. DON'T PASS UP A LEGAL BULL-- if this is your first elk hunt. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:07 AM   #4
deerslayer94
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I like the last 10 days because temps are usually lower(though not always). Higher temps usually means less vocal elk, earlier to bed and later to rise. Herd bulls are cowed up, but satellites are frustrated and tend to come to cow calls. Use a decoy if you can lay your hands on one. DON'T PASS UP A LEGAL BULL-- if this is your first elk hunt. Good luck.
Oh Iím definitely not planning on trophy hunting for my first go at this lol I have very realistic expectations. My tag will be either sex so even if I get a shot at a cow Iíll take it, would just love to fill the freezer. If I get lucky and cross a legal bull thatíll just be a bonus.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:45 PM   #5
RattlesnakeDan
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A family member of mine was the Montana State Pathologist in Bozeman for many decades and said that the highest percentage of elk were bred on the 17th of September. Don't ask me how they figure that out, but we always used that as a guide for hunting whether in Colorado or Montana.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:07 PM   #6
Trumpkin
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The rut will always peak around the third week of September. Weather events might make it happen at night, or quietly. And human pressure can do the same.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:46 PM   #7
wytex
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Full moon is Sept 20.
They'll be rutting, just might be at night though.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:46 PM   #8
cbrown
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The rut will always peak around the third week of September. Weather events might make it happen at night, or quietly. And human pressure can do the same.
I agree with this. However, last year I was in 54 for first rifle and the bulls were buggling and chasing cows hard.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:31 PM   #9
MadHatter
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I always time it with the fall equinox.
Several days each side of it.
I don't know that I've ever been and the haven't heard them bugling.
It's for sure the most scientific approach you could take, everything else is a guess.
The amount of daylight hitting a cow elks pupil is what triggers her to go into estrous.
Essentially as the nights get longer and longer in the fall, and less and less daylight hits her pupil, she triggers.
The equinox is when we hit 12/12.
Nothing is guaranteed and they can and do get thrown off for different reasons.
Regardless you'll still have some cows in estrous and some bulls rutting around that time.
My friends in Colorado said last year all the smoke in some areas set em off early, and the cows were in estrous in late August.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:44 PM   #10
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In addition to the biological rut, I'd strongly consider the effect of pressure too. Especially if you're hunting public. It doesn't take much to push animals onto private. Of course, that varies considerably unit to unit.
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:05 PM   #11
chillymac
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if your on public land I would avoid muzzleloader season
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:18 AM   #12
deerslayer94
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Really appreciate all the feedback fellas
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:04 AM   #13
sticknstring
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if you are hunting public-them CO elk wise up quick! They'll move to private and run at night as season progresses-unless it is the peak of the rut. Then it really doesn't matter Lol. Snowy "weather" is your friend too, you most likely wont see that till late second rifle.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:23 PM   #14
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The rut will always peak around the third week of September. Weather events might make it happen at night, or quietly. And human pressure can do the same.
This. 3rd week of September has always been kind of the standard up here for the elk rut.
Lots of variables that could push it one side or the other but that is what I have always gone by.

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Old 06-11-2021, 03:58 PM   #15
WItoTX
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Originally Posted by WyoBull View Post
This. 3rd week of September has always been kind of the standard up here for the elk rut.
Lots of variables that could push it one side or the other but that is what I have always gone by.

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I agree, as long as you aren't in Colorado. Every state I have hunted elk apart from CO, third week is an absolute blast! But in CO, so many units the rut occurs during or just before rut, and the elk shut up real fast.

OP, I would go first week of Sept. We've gotten bulls going with bugles and cow calls first week no problem in CO. We've hunted 3rd week, and the woods is a ghost town. We have also had some good luck getting responses in mid October as well, during first rifle.

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:22 PM   #16
deerslayer94
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I agree, as long as you aren't in Colorado. Every state I have hunted elk apart from CO, third week is an absolute blast! But in CO, so many units the rut occurs during or just before rut, and the elk shut up real fast.

OP, I would go first week of Sept. We've gotten bulls going with bugles and cow calls first week no problem in CO. We've hunted 3rd week, and the woods is a ghost town. We have also had some good luck getting responses in mid October as well, during first rifle.

Good luck!
Thanks! Everyone has been super helpful. I was leaning towards first week mainly just to get in there before theyíve been heavily pressured for 2 weeks by other hunters. Iím in my late 20s and stay in pretty good shape so planning on getting a good ways in to try and distance myself from a percentage of the others. Just looking forward to being out there and having some fun in the woods!
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