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Early Sept. or late Sept. elk
Doing an OTC in Colorado for Elk, would you rather do an Early Sept. or Late Sept. hunt? Trying to Decide, early I am hoping the Elk are not pushed as much, But Late they will be more in the rut. Then I am wondering do the Guides take in Clients early or Late.... Are most Hunters thinking the same thing?... Am I over analyzing this?........
It a personal choice. I like to hunt 10 days before the eniuox. Which means same amount of day light and night light. Which usually starts the rut.that falls sept 22. The best days would be sept 9 - thru 18.
Will has it right. Hard call and you can hunt either way.
I have found the elk are often not in the same place the last week of archery season that they were in the first 3 weeks of the season. I presume because they have moved to breeding grounds from the rutting grounds.
If you're not experienced at elk hunting I would recommend going sometime after about the 10th. There's a better chance of them being more vocal then and they will be easier to find. Sometimes finding them is the hardest part.
Ive killed them every week of season. Go when you can take the most time
If you know the area and the elk, probably doesn't matter. If you don't know the area and have limited time to hunt....go later when the bulls are talking and easier to find.
I’m with Mike. The elk are a lot more vocal towards the tail end of the season. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can kill them, but at least you stand a better chance of not wandering around for a week wondering where the hell they are. Lots of out of staters do exactly that.
I'll choose late every time. I just like the entire experience better.
Early and it seems like I'm crashing around chasing every elk into the next county. If you go early, I'd suggest sitting on water or an active wallow. Tread lightly.
Simple answer in two parts. What is the temperature and when are they bugling. Nothing you can do about either so as someone said, flip a coin.
Early can be hot as BALLS. Hunt the shade. But then late can be cold and heavy snow, like I enjoyed in 34 the last weekend of archery in 2016. 20" in 6 hours or so.....wet, heavy, nearly enough to collapse my tent.
“Vocal” elk is a relative term based on pressure I’ve found. In heavily hunted OTC good luck calling in any elk even if that the time they are supposed to be vocal. Remember, They’ve been called to constantly for 3-4 weeks so....
Depends a lot on tactics and hunting style. On one extreme sitting water or ambushing food-bedding patterns early can be straight deadly. Heavy rut hunting has an appeal of its own and arguably is easier if you can't scout or devote a lot of time, or in places elk are more nomadic or less visible and hard to pattern.
Late hands down for me.
I want screaming bulls for me to chase. There are more factors that need to be considered, but all being equal I like the latter part of the month. For moose too!!