Contributors to this thread:
Hunting Wilderness Areas
How many of you hunt wilderness areas? I spent a weekend getting familiar with a wilderness area in Northern Colorado. Ran into a couple trail cameras while I was climbing through some seriously thick deadfall and it got me thinking, how many people put themselves through that hell for elk hunting? I'm yet to harvest an elk since moving to CO, so I'm not afraid to push myself to the limits to pop my cherry. I've got a good feeling deep in my bones about this year... come next Friday I'll have 10 days to make it happen. Can't wait!
I usually don't hunt wilderness for elk since I usually run into them a lot closer to roads. Some are really close, just overlooked by most hunters. I also don't like hiking past elk to hunt elk!
I hope you left them some moon shots.........
Been hunting Wilderness area for many Years.
No need for me to go more than 2 or 3 miles in to find elk, however, the trick is getting to know the area, and finding the easiest around, or through that deadfall. Most of the "honeyholes" where the elk go, you've got no choice, you've got to navigate deadfall at some point. The real trick, is getting the loads out. In the dark, it can be a real bitch!
Best of Luck, Jeff
Most of the people that are willing to pack in away from roads head to wilderness areas. I prefer to pack in a few miles in units that have more roads. Lazy hunters stick to the roads, the wilderness athletes go to the wilderness and I hit the area in between the two.
I'm with wildwilderness and Link. Way too many hunters in "wilderness".
Go far, go deep, hunt hard all day so the elk come down close to the roads for me to hunt!
Biggest bull I was hunting last season was an honest 360 doing his evening feeding 1/4 mile from a main road. There were at least 15 bowhunters -maybe more - prowling that section of wilderness several miles above his hangout. My friend back in there told me that every morning they would glass the open ridges and spot other bowhunters doing the same thing. I never saw another hunter in the woods the whole season.
So I wholeheartly support all the Wilderness Athletes and the warriors in the Sitka Army. Go get 'em, boys!
I hunted one my first time elk hunting out of fear of ATVs interrupting my hunt. Instead I encountered a steady stream of horses and quite a few other hikers on foot. Most of them did not venture more than a 1/4 mile from the established hiking trails and I used that to my advantage and found some elk. It was certainly busier than I expected and since I have found some other formulas for seclusion.
I know of some CO wilderness areas that the boundary is right next to a road.
But my goal anymore is to see how close to my truck I can shoot elk. Been pretty successful so far.
Go deep boys, go deep
Hey I'm young still, 27, so I don't mind pushing a few elk to you seasoned vets ;)
Mostly wilderness, but really it is just to keep the vehicles away from us. Most of the spots we hunt are pretty close to the boundary. Rarely get more than 3 or 4 miles back. We also hunt non-wilderness really rough crap. that keeps the people out too. My brother hates deadfall. I don't mind it. Just have to be careful.
The wilderness areas in Wyoming say it's illegal to hang trail cameras. Don't know if it's that way everywhere or not.
There is a wilderness area about 10 miles from where I live, but would never venture into it because the number of tags give out for the unit I hunt are so few that I have only seen one other hunter and that was after I had an elk down. The wilderness area has no roads, just trails, the rest of the unit has lots of logging roads and I have been able to get a truck within 30 yds. on one occasion, and 3/4 of a mile on the other. On the last elk there was a road about 1/4 away, but it was uphill. Much easier to go the 3/4 on the level.
If you travel out west to hunt Elk from say, the Midwest. The LAST thing you want to see is a bunch of hunters. I ONLY hunt a Wilderness area when hunting Elk and Mulies...if I connect I connect....if not no big deal. At least I had the hunt I WANTED. Not many want to pay the expense to get a camp in off the beaten track and in a area that is only foot or hoof. My opinion only.
Wilderness only for me. When I hear a bugle it's an elk... I live to pack in on horses and get away from the world. No people, no cell phones, just me and elk.
If you hunt a wilderness area in the northern half of CO, you'll have lots of company. Not unusual to see 30-40 rigs at trailheads, plus horse and llama trailers. I stay out of them to avoid other hunters. If I was on a laptop I would post some trailhead parking lot pictures from last year that are amazing.
I bet most wilderness areas have went up 10X in difficulty with the beetle kill and blow downs to navigate
Lou it was the same way in the unit in southern Co we hunted last year. Lots of vehicles and trailers at the trailheads for the wilderness. We hunted a half mile from the road in an area that everyone said only held elk when they migrated threw. We were into elk every day.
A full-on assault by a Sitka Army division is a good way to get the migration started early!