Sitka Mountain Gear
New to Elk, planning first archery hunt
Contributors to this thread:
Backus 05-Nov-18
Stick 05-Nov-18
Treeline 05-Nov-18
Franklin 05-Nov-18
cnelk 05-Nov-18
Treeline 05-Nov-18
Treeline 05-Nov-18
JohnMC 05-Nov-18
Glunt@work 05-Nov-18
Inshart 06-Nov-18
fatbass 22-Nov-18
Mule Power 23-Nov-18
From: Backus
My buddy and I are new to elk hunting and just starting to plan our first archery hunt. (We have 0 preference points) Looking for recommendations on which Colorado Unit? Spoke with a friend who's hunted them many times and he said to look into the White River National Forest area. I've been looking up as much info and looking at as many maps as I can and was thinking about Units 231, 25, 26, 34. Any advice for newbies like us? Thanks in advance!

From: Stick
White river can get abit crowded and there are alot of good OTC units...take the time and research kill ratios, number of hunters, and talk to the game biologist for several of the units with best kill percentages. Don't know your age, condition, etc., but get in shape, if its hot the elk will usually be high, by that I mean above 10,000 ft. and in steep, rough places once season opens.

From: Treeline
Apply for draws.

There are elk in Colorado but this otc unlimited hunting sucks unless you have private land or some kind of edge.

Many states have better elk hunting in their crappy units than the best units in Colorado.

From: Franklin
Definitely start out with OTC tags to get your feet wet. Then if you`re serious start applying for premier tags if you want. Nothing beats real life experience. Don`t discount units that don`t have a ton of elk in them. I will take less elk and no pressure over a ton of elk and piles of hunters.

From: cnelk
Plenty of units that take 0 PPs to draw and at least you're not hunting OTC.

Research, research, research

From: Treeline
Double post

From: Treeline
Not sure why that posed 3 times.

From: JohnMC
I’d look at WY or MT if I was going elk hunting from SD. Hell I live in CO and considering start hunting in those state. CO OTC is terrible

From: Glunt@work
OTC can be crowded but I've also spent a week and never seen anyone except for on the main trail and at the camps where the road ends. You can have drastically different experiences just being over one drainage or a couple miles one way or the other. No, its not like a good limited draw tag or private ground but its a blast and worth going. The units you listed hold elk and are in beautiful country. I killed my first elk in 34. They are also about most well known units so you will have plenty of company but its big country and some boot leather should get you plenty of space to get into elk without conflicts.

Pick a spot and have a plan B and C. Don't be afraid to move if nothing is happening. Stay out all day when looking for elk to hunt. I would suggest truck camping with the option of packing in for a night or two if you find some elk back in a ways. Leave early if there is pressure. Spend an hour hiking and listening before sunrise. Look for pockets that are overlooked. Plenty of elk are within a few hundred yards of the road in spots. I was pinned down for 45 minutes this year next to a bedded herd with a fantastic bull under 100 yards from a well-used county road.

From: Inshart
Also, try to "hunt" (not including travel time) at least 8 days.

Even when not seeing elk, keep after it, as there will most likely be someone in the next drainage that spooks some elk and now they are in your lap.

very much agree with Glunt. Way back away from the roads and the crowds is pretty overrated. It might make you feel mentally good......but Elk are where they are. Find them first then hunt them. Stay mobile don't commit to an area until you know there are elk there.

From: fatbass
Every year, put in for Wyoming and Arizona, both offer world class elk hunting in most units. I harvested 7 bulls in southwestern Colorado as a non resident. The key for me was packing in at least 3 miles, and I would take a full two weeks. One more thing, learn how to call.

From: Mule Power
Out of curiosity I’d like to know the percentage of first ever elk hunts that are planned in Colorado

Also the percentage of those people who eventually moved on to hunt other states.

To me elk hunting is a long term thing. So similar to buying a house it’s wise to pick the location with care. Invest your time and money into a place you know you will not want to relocate from.

I think it’s safe to say that the number of people who switch from states like Montana and Wyoming over to Colorado is slim to none. Colorado resident hunters alone outnumber the total elk hunters in those states.

  • Sitka Gear