Summit Treestands
Colorado elk guru needed
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
DapperDan 08-Feb-18
DapperDan 09-Feb-18
Jaquomo 09-Feb-18
Quinn @work 09-Feb-18
Treeline 09-Feb-18
jims 09-Feb-18
wilbur 09-Feb-18
cnelk 09-Feb-18
Kodiak 09-Feb-18
Treeline 09-Feb-18
txhunter58 09-Feb-18
Kurt 09-Feb-18
Amoebus 09-Feb-18
wildwilderness 09-Feb-18
Ucsdryder 09-Feb-18
Surfbow 09-Feb-18
elkstabber 09-Feb-18
DapperDan 09-Feb-18
DapperDan 09-Feb-18
txhunter58 09-Feb-18
ColoBull 09-Feb-18
Stew1975 09-Feb-18
Buglmin 09-Feb-18
jims 09-Feb-18
At 09-Feb-18
txhunter58 10-Feb-18
splitlimb13 10-Feb-18
painless 10-Feb-18
Treeline 10-Feb-18
Alpha Max 72 21-Feb-18
cnelk 21-Feb-18
LUNG$HOT 21-Feb-18
sisabdulax 21-Feb-18
Huntcell 22-Feb-18
From: DapperDan
08-Feb-18
So the time has finally come. I’m set to head to Colorado this year to chase elk in the mountains and I need some advice. My buddy leased about 1000 acres in southern Colorado, unit 54, about a mile from twin peaks ranch. He’s paying a pretty penny for it but subleasing most of the season so he’s getting most of his money back. I’ve been invited to go with him. He’s hunted this property before but as a subleaser and was always during second rifle. There have been some big bulls taken here and close by. A couple 370+ the past few years. But he’s never hunted archery season.

So here is the question. If you have 8 days, when would you consider going during archery? I know the later in the season usually equates to more vocal but the dominant bulls will usually be with cows and hard to pull off them for two rookie elk callers. We are kinda torn between the first week and second week. The first week of the season will be a full moon and the second will be a waning moon to no moon. Water shouldn’t be an issue as well. Elevation is between 8k and 9500k. Nearest public is at least 15 miles away.

So what day you. Educate me!

From: DapperDan
09-Feb-18
Leaning hard o the second week right now. August 3- thru sep 8.

From: Jaquomo
09-Feb-18
Sounds like a good spot. Every place is different. Some are best the first week before other hunters in there scatter them. Others are better after the first week of outside pressure hits and get better as the season goes on.

That's a good week to call in a big bull in N.CO, don't know about down south.

From: Quinn @work
09-Feb-18
Dapper,

If it's private land in S. Colorado and you are the only one's hunting I would go Sept 10-16 of muzzy week. Right at the beginning of the rut. Not all big bulls are herded up and also usually not too hot temp wise.

Have fun.

From: Treeline
09-Feb-18
I Personally like the second week. Middle bulls are with the cows and fixing to get their butts kicked. Big boys are moving a lot between cow bunches and moving in to check any bugles. The big boys will come in quiet most times and be keyed up to fight. Some great action and calling right then... Good luck and have fun!!

From: jims
09-Feb-18
I would say wait until the 2nd week...especially if your ranch wouldn't be hunted the first week. Is the surrounding property public or private? If it's heavily hunted public land or private that is getting hunted it would likely work in your favor to wait. Hunting pressure will likely push elk right into your lap. There also would be a better chance that weather will cool down and the rut starts kicking in. If you want screaming bulls you may even want to wait until the 3rd week. There would be more chance the muzzy plus archery guys push the elk to the property...but bulls may have their cows gathered by then and be a little tougher to coax into archery range.

1000 acres may be a lot in the Midwest or east but that actually isn't that big a chunk of land. It obviously could be a prime piece of ground depending upon it's location, how it's situated with terrain and vegetation, and hunting pressure on the adjacent property. I would hunt it cautiously because it wouldn't take much to push the elk over to lightly hunted private land.

370 bulls are pretty tough to find in the very top units Colo has to offer! I'm curious if the Twin Peaks Ranch you mentioned is different than the one in the RFW? The reason I ask is because the RFW ranch is in unit 85 on the other side of the mountains?

From: wilbur
09-Feb-18
I my limited experience I would stay away from the full moon. Very little day time activity on the full moon.

From: cnelk
09-Feb-18
1000 acres. It better be damn good

From: Kodiak
09-Feb-18
The first week can be frustrating unless you want to sit water or a wallow. Crunching through the woods chasing off silent elk ain't much fun.

Depending on the ML pressure I think the 3rd week is best...followed by the 2nd and then the 4th. That's just a Very general assessment based on my experience out there starting in the early 90s until the present. Ymmv

From: Treeline
09-Feb-18
There are some very strange sounding components to your description of the property.

1,000 acres is not much land when you are talking elk hunting.

Not sure how that small of a piece of property in Gunnison County is 15 miles from public in any direction - much less "15 miles to the nearest public land".

Don't know of a Twin Peaks ranch in Gunnison County Unit 54.

I did hear of a 360" bull coming out of Unit 54 off of private land that my buddies guide on but that was very unusual. One of the biggest bulls that they have ever killed and they are multi-generation Gunnison County hard-core hunters who have probably tromped and hunted every inch of Gunnison County (private and public).

Sounds like your buddy is blowing a little smoke up your tailpipe...

From: txhunter58
09-Feb-18
Or maybe he just got the game unit wrong...

From: Kurt
09-Feb-18
Bet he is talking about down around Aguilar, Spanish Peaks area.

From: Amoebus
09-Feb-18
Are the elk on the ranch in bow season? Or do they get pushed down there only with the snows?

09-Feb-18
I think the best week is the 3rd week but that doesn't sound like an option?

The first week is only worth it on heavily pressured public land and if you've done your scouting and are going to slip in quietly and kill your bull before they know what's up.

From: Ucsdryder
09-Feb-18
Are you trying to shoot a bull or a 370 bull. Are you going for the experience of bugling bulls or meat in the freezer?

From: Surfbow
09-Feb-18
There's a Twin Peaks Ranch by Aguilar, Unit 85, not much public land in that area, I bet 1000 acres of private land is enough to kill an elk. I'd hunt later in archery season down there. Have a good hunt...

From: elkstabber
09-Feb-18
Obviously your best option is to hunt the second week, right after you let me hunt the first week. I won't shoot many. I promise.

From: DapperDan
09-Feb-18

DapperDan's embedded Photo
DapperDan's embedded Photo
So this property is near Weston Colorado and I have a few pics of bulls that were shot off this property. One was 380 and during rifle season and another 350ish. I may have the ranch name wrong and if so the my apologies. Yes there are elk there during archery bc of the pics from cams during archery and before archery. My buddy has hunted this place twice and his dad 3 times. The last time he hunted it was two years ago and only one person didn’t tag during rifle season. No one ever bow hunted this place and if they did it was only a couple guys at most. My friend decided to lease the whole place for himself as supposed to subleasing from the other guy that had it. It became available so that’s why he did it. He’s been going to Colorado for years and has about 18 pp saved and continues to add them but he’s always gone during rifle and never really during bow. He decided this year he’d like to go during bow and that works for me bc I’d rather have the challenge of a bow hunt. (Not to say rifle is easy by any means). There is no hunting to the north bc it’s small tracts of land with houses. Not much hunting to the east. Very little to the south bc of location and a big ranch to the west. Public land isn’t close by at all. At least 15 miles maybe further from my research so far. Here is a pic from a trail cam either last year or year before.

From: DapperDan
09-Feb-18

DapperDan's embedded Photo
DapperDan's embedded Photo
So this property is near Weston Colorado and I have a few pics of bulls that were shot off this property. One was 380 and during rifle season and another 350ish. I may have the ranch name wrong and if so the my apologies. Yes there are elk there during archery bc of the pics from cams during archery and before archery. My buddy has hunted this place twice and his dad 3 times. The last time he hunted it was two years ago and only one person didn’t tag during rifle season. No one ever bow hunted this place and if they did it was only a couple guys at most. My friend decided to lease the whole place for himself as supposed to subleasing from the other guy that had it. It became available so that’s why he did it. He’s been going to Colorado for years and has about 18 pp saved and continues to add them but he’s always gone during rifle and never really during bow. He decided this year he’d like to go during bow and that works for me bc I’d rather have the challenge of a bow hunt. (Not to say rifle is easy by any means). There is no hunting to the north bc it’s small tracts of land with houses. Not much hunting to the east. Very little to the south bc of location and a big ranch to the west. Public land isn’t close by at all. At least 15 miles maybe further from my research so far. Here is a pic from a trail cam either last year or year before.

From: txhunter58
09-Feb-18
Yep, you probably have the ranch name right, but wrong game unit. Prob 85.

That said, it sounds like you should do well in the archery season, but just because they did well in rifle, doesn't mean it will be the same for archery. Hunting pressure or lack thereof will determine whether any elk move onto the ranch, but with the description you gave, it sounds like they should be there during archery . Plus those game camara pics are prob in August, so they should still be there in September as well. Sounds like a great place to hunt!

Another vote for 2nd or 3rd week. I love to hear them bugle too much to go early

I sent you a private message.

From: ColoBull
09-Feb-18
We archery hunted private down there, 'though it's been many years (our private access was sold to out of state interests.) The elk tended to bed on adjacent no trespass/hunting ranches and move onto or through huntable properties for food & water. 'Pretty much the same as anywhere else in the state. It should be a blast, and the Spanish Peaks are a beautiful backdrop. One of the few places in the state where we actually saw Mountain Lions. Lots of bears, too. The elk were much more vocal than on subsequent OTC public hunting. Be cautious about "rookie calling" - it can be counter-productive. Good luck.

From: Stew1975
09-Feb-18
First 2 weeks can be tough to locate bulls. Muzzy week they tend to be more vocal. I have never hunted private, my impression of private is monster bulls screaming behind every tree.

From: Buglmin
09-Feb-18
If it's private land, it shouldn't be hard to call bulls in no matter when you hunt it. A 1000 acres isn't much when it comes to two guys hunting it hard for a few days. Bump the elk a few times and you'll push them off the ranch. With the pics of the bulls hitting water, sitting over water might be a better option then trying to chase bulls and pushing them off. Don't know what or how your buddy subleased the ranch, but hopefully the ones that subleased it ain't walking the ranch a lot every day!! And if they put cattle on it, I'd be pretty worried about it. Why?? Cause cowboys ride a lot, and pushing elk out of bedding grounds ain't a good idea...

From: jims
09-Feb-18
There is night and day difference between units 54 and 85. The majority of 85 is private land. As mentioned several times above 1000 acres is mighty small. I would certainly tread lightly. I would mirror Buglmin's post above. You may want to get in touch with the landowner to make sure nothing squirrely is going on the ranch before and while you are there. It doesn't take much and elk will move entirely off a ranch that size.

There's likely a reason there are elk at the waterhole in your pics. You may want to use that to your advantage. The likelihood for hot, dry weather may be a little better early in the archery season vs later. That may be a great time to sit in a waterhole blind and not spook the elk off the ranch while attempting stalks. The bulls may not be bugling early but that may not matter since it's such a small place. If it were me I'd set up waterhole blinds about a month prior to the season so the elk get used to it. That would also be a great time to get the lay of the land..access points, waterholes, wallows, rubbed trees, bedding areas, glassing locations, parking, camping, etc. You may want to set up a mock blind and replace it with a portable blind if you don't want to leave your blind sitting for that long.

I would find out if the rancher is flexible in the time you can hunt. Depending upon the ranch scenerio, you may want to hunt early from waterhole. If you don't have success possibly return later when bulls are bugling. They may be wallowing at the same waterholes once they start shedding their velvet. If you can look on google earth you will likely be able to find the waterholes and other important features about the ranch. I would cover as many basics as you can and it will pull things dramatically in your favor!

I would say disturbance of elk could be a nightmare on the 1,000 acres. The adjoining private land may be hunted lightly....so constantly keep that in the back of your mind. Elk always go to where hunting pressure is the least and it doesn't take much to blow them totally out of the county!

From: At
09-Feb-18
I know that country and 1,000 acres, while small in relation to some of the ranches down that way, can be plenty big as long as you limit where you'll hunt there. The elk will be moving quite a bit and it'll be warm during the days (expect highs in the 80's-low 90's)...so water may be at a premium. Fred Eichler's property is somewhere near there so if you have access to some of his video's on You Tube, take a good look at how he's hunting those elk. I certainly wouldn't be traipsing all over the ranch but picking a few places to set up stands on. Good luck...lots of big bulls in that country.

From: txhunter58
10-Feb-18
Hard to say about the acreage without seeing it. I have hunted an 1800 acre ranch in Colorado that feels more like 4000. Acreage is measured "as the crow flies" and doesn't take into account the ups and downs, so if there is a fair amount of steepness, it may feel like more land. Might be tight for more than 2 guys, or it might be plenty for 4. Good luck!

From: splitlimb13
10-Feb-18
It's been years since I've hunted Colorado. In n.m. last years to my surprise the big bulls were hearded up by opening day 9-1. I've hunted 16 for 7 years in a row and the elk being vocal has never been an issue during the early season hunt . I'd get in there the first week of September, the bulls really like those cow calls . Again just speaking from experience here in n.m. My good friend is a guide on a ranch in South Central Colorado that is substantially larger than the one you're talking about and the bulls are screaming as early as the hunt starts. Good luck.

From: painless
10-Feb-18
If this is near Weston you are near the Bosque del Oso. The bulls in there are there early and as soon as the rut starts they head over to where the cows are, i.e., to the Hill Ranch to the south. After the rut they filter back into the Bosque. All this being said, if the lease property is close to the Hill or the Bosque, it may be better to hunt pre-rut. As there may be no bulls in there once the rut starts. Just an opinion from someone whose hunted the Bosque three times.

From: Treeline
10-Feb-18
Sounds like you had the wrong unit. That country in S. Colorado is mostly private, so you could be 15 miles from public on the right property. Based on the moon phase, I would still focus on the second week. Bulls should be moving around looking for cows and should be easier to call in than later when they get with their big cow groups. Water holes will still be effective then as well. Elk may be watering after dark with a full moon that first week.

From: Alpha Max 72
21-Feb-18
What Stew1975 said is right. On public land, not much elk vocalization in the first two weeks. I dont know how your private spot will be, but if it were public land, I'd want to be there later in the season. good luck

From: cnelk
21-Feb-18
"On public land, not much elk vocalization in the first two weeks"

Doesnt mean the elk arent there and killable

From: LUNG$HOT
21-Feb-18
^^^^ this! I love early season, first two weeks before all the KUIU and SITKA warriors come out of the wood work with their fancy bugle tubes! ;-). Many will come in silent.... but will come in none the less.

From: sisabdulax
21-Feb-18
Familiar with that country I PM'd you.

From: Huntcell
22-Feb-18
Research some of those public spots. may need a back up plan B , C, etc. If A goes south. I know lots a guys tout the food and scenery on there hunts but that tends to make a long quiet ride home if ya don’t get into the GAME.

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