Contributors to this thread:
Public Elk archery locations
Rookie to the Colorado locations, we are headed to the Rockies and wanted some opinions on the better public areas. Last year we tried the Blue Mesa Reservoir, but were thinking of two other Forest areas. Any one have good/bad experiences they could share? Appreciate any input.
Every OTC unit has elk. Some more than others, some have more hunters than others. Up to you to find the elk.
The CPW website has all the info you need. Summer concentrations, migration corridors, interactive maps, hunter numbers and success rates by units. Do your homework and come back with some specific questions and someone might help you.
Unfortunately, nobody is going to tell you, "There are a ton of elk In Deer Meadow on the back side of Weasel Mountain". This is the World Wide Interweb.
Thanks a lot Jaq you just gave away my honey hole! ;^)
Crap, Mike - sorry. I thought you hunted Moose Draw behind Ferret Ridge....
Unit 2 has some good areas. ;)
The only thing more secretive than an elk, is an elk killer...
Good luck to you
cnelk, thats some true words right there.
I'm pretty sure if you friended my ex on Facebook her or her boyfriend will tell you a few of my places!!! Do like most guys do and look to see where a certain truck is parked several days in a row....
You'll probably end up next to my truck, searching for elk in the wrong spot too!
LOL BackStraps, same here!
Look for trucks with bowhunting stickers in the back window. Stop and glass up hunters from your vehicle. (Shut the truck off as it makes it difficult to view through binocs/spotting scope) Hunters who get out of their vehicles must know something.
Backstraps - LOL!
Just follow the rest of the Texans, anywhere in south/southwest Colorado is about the same, like Jaq said...
This is what I told my brother in law when he asked the same question:
"I spent a decade walking and glassing different units. That's two or three weekends in July, a couple more in August and ALL September looking for elk. So, do you want to ask me that question again, or should we change the subject?"
I always tell people the name of the name of the nearest bigger town, which is only 60 miles and a couple mountain passes away :)
My WIFE doesn't know the name of the little town that's nearest the trail head I use :)
Loose lips sink ships
I got a kick out of this recent event. . .
My buddy and I are prepping for our 4th trip to CO. A guy at my buddy's church had an elk hunt fall through, and casually mentioned to my buddy that he'd just go with us. . . .
My buddy and I had the same thought. We don't care, but he has to be blindfolded. Starting before we turn off I-70 (which is still 4 hours to our spots) . And no GPS for him either :) And we'd probably pull some evasive maneuvers at the turn off so he couldn't even figure out whether we were north or south of I-70 :)
Bake, I had a similiar thing happen several years ago on my last trip to CO. There were 3 of us going(planned), then a co worker of one of the guys suggested he should go as well. I did not like the idea, but didn' want to be the "ahole" so I kept my mouth closed. After the trip was over, I let the other 2 original friends know my feelings and they were like, "we felt the same way but nobody said anything". I vowed I would not make that mistake again! Good luck to ya!!
South Roamer, You've already learned one area. Expand from there. Half the fun is figuring things out. Best of luck!
Four words, White River National Forest... Largest elk herd in the U.S! All ya' got to do is go pull one outa there!
I'm not fully being a smart a$$, if I was coming from out of state I'd start where I was sure that there are a ton of elk.
Years ago a buddy's wife wanted a spot to give to a coworker and some friends. He didn't want to give any of our spots away so he picked a random spot on the map.
Yep, they had the hunt of a lifetime and couldn't thank him enough. We had very little action in our secret spot :^)
Sorry, but there is no secret to Colorado OTC elk. The very best thing to do is pick an area and get to know it. If you started in a spot go back to that spot. There is no single area that is better than the area you know best. As such go back to the same location for many years. Expect it to take 3 to 4 years before you figure out what the elk sort of do, then another 3 years to nail it down. By your 10th year in an area you will have great hunts ever single year.
Or you could randomly wander around and find a spot that is good one eyar and empty the next.
Coelker hit the nail on the head! Either learn or be lucky enough to have someone share their knowledge. There was a guy on here this year looking to sell his knowledge.
"Say hello to my little friend" http://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/Statistics-Elk.aspx Click on 2016 harvest, then look at some date from the bigger areas (E units) and find an area where there are lots of hunters (I. e. lots of elk) and a decent harvest. Then narrow it down to some specific units and go to the raw data for those units and see what the harvest rates were. As stated, there is no shortcut to finding a good area.
South Roamer must have found his spot...
Been go to a OTC unit for 16 years with same few guys A couple years ago a buddy wanted to go who had never been on a elk hunt. We always go the last 10 days of season. That guy now goes with a friend of his the week before we go and hunts the same spot we hunt and showed him He acts like no big deal. But kind of a dick move in my book
BWBOW, nothing "kind of" about it. Total dick move!
2 things will happen with questions like this..
Either people won't tell you anything or they will intentionally give you misleading or false info to keep you far away from their spot.
Human nature is still Hunan nature, even on the internet
Glenn, that is not "kind of" a dick move, it is a full blow "way to screw your buddy!" I am not sure how I would handle that.
There are some who won't go back to a spot you've shown them, even public, without you. At the least, they'll talk it over with you. If you say, "no," or "please wait until I've hunted it" they'll honor it. In our circle, it's also a rule if someone takes you to their private land honey hole you don't go back, even if the landowner invites you "anytime."
And, there's the one guy who expects everyone to do all of the above for his spots, but he'll crash in on anything you tell him or have shown him.
BWBOW - No "buddy" there. Total d-bag.
Two years ago I met a guy from MN in the woods. Same age and we hit it off. He took me to a very cool place in one of "my" spots that I didn't know about and we hunted together for a couple days.
Today I met up with him and his friend in their camp and circled some possibilities on the map since there aren't any elk in "our" spot yet. I know there's risk with this so I showed him good possibilities, but not any of my best spots. I think that's fair.
Obvious scouting tactics clearly are anything with the name elk in it. Elk ridge, elk pass, elk mountain, elk lodge, elk street.
That's the true secret no one tells anyone... until now. I'll be doing a seminar on how you can better identify elk labeled geographical locations. For the small fee of 99.99 you to can learn how to find elk street.