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folks to hunt with
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
jbrownlow 08-Jan-19
Destroyer350 08-Jan-19
jbrownlow 09-Jan-19
kentuckbowhnter 09-Jan-19
BULELK1 09-Jan-19
Tennhunter 09-Jan-19
Scoot 09-Jan-19
elkmtngear 09-Jan-19
ground hunter 09-Jan-19
Jeff Holchin 09-Jan-19
SixLomaz 09-Jan-19
SixLomaz 09-Jan-19
From: jbrownlow
08-Jan-19
I live in East Tennessee and do most of my bow hunting in Kentucky where we are able to walk very short distances to stands and blinds. I am looking into going elk hunting in colorado, but certainly don't want to go alone. I typically hunt with my dad, but he is unable to handle the physicality of a western OTC, DIY hunt. If there's anyone willing, i'd love to tag along to learn the ropes...

disclaimer - I've never elk hunted and beyond some watching of videos a research, i have 0 experience. I would love to change that. I'm not looking for a handout, just a hand up.

From: Destroyer350
08-Jan-19
While it might seem daunting to plan a hunt totally different than what you're used to, just do it! You wont regret it. 90% of the time I hunt solo and absolutely love it. I moved from Missouri to Colorado to hunt out west. I had to learn everything on my own and I have been able to kill 3 elk in the last 5 years. Just research as much as you can and get in shape. Is there something preventing you from wanting to do it solo?

From: jbrownlow
09-Jan-19
I think you hit the nail on the head... it is incredibly daunting. I also feel like there’s a sense of security having other folks around in the event that something doesnt go right.

I’m not counting out the idea of going solo at some point, I’m just not sure i want to start there,

Convince me other wise if you think I’m totally off base.

09-Jan-19
maybe go on a guided hunt once to get some experience. there are some reasonably priced non trophy hunts out there where you can have a good time and get some confidence to go solo next time.

From: BULELK1
09-Jan-19
This may sound weird to you guys but I had never hunted Whitetail deer before this year.

I had never been in a Tree Stand and very lil time in a Ground blind.

I just hunted how I knew, and how I had years of experience hunting Boo-Coo species out here in our Rocky Mnt. states.

So I Spot-n-Stalked my Iowa Whitetail tag with my old school Recurve. I had a blast.

Like stated Above---------> Go For It!!

Good luck, Robb

From: Tennhunter
09-Jan-19
I also live in east Tenn Kingsport to be exact, about 6 yrs ago I was finally able to convince 2 other college buddies to hit the road and head out west, I was the more point your finger on a map type and the other two loved doing the research first trip we got a bull down, now since one of the fellows is eat up with the elk bug and in some cases has been three times in a yr and has spent over a month out west, in my case I’ve been to Colorado twice Idaho once and Alaska three yrs in a row and plan on being in a western state to hunt at least a week a yr. for the rest of my life lol, but I do enjoy the company of other friends but all our hunts have been diy and over the counter have been putting in now for 6 yrs preference points for those hard to draw tags which you better get a jump on so by the time your ready to retire you’ll have some great options.

From: Scoot
09-Jan-19
Good luck finding a good person to hunt with- maybe someone with experience will let you join in. Regarding going guided- that's certainly an option. However, everything a person needs to know and much more is available for free on the internet. Read, read, and read from the different hunting forums. You'll need some gear- read some more. There are a million threads on sleep systems, water filtration, food, headlamps, boots, clothing, and on and on. Read it all and become an internet elk info junkie. Then, just go do it! Learning is part of the fun. You don't need to pay someone thousands of dollars to do it- just go! Apply in a few states and if you don't draw, go OTC in CO or ID. It'll be busy and there will be plenty of people in an OTC unit, but it'll be fun. I did exactly as I described above in 2007 and I've never regretted it.

From: elkmtngear
09-Jan-19
Initially going with a seasoned guide, can speed up your elk learning curve exponentially.

You could get lucky Solo (OTC), but odds are higher, you would spend the first week just trying to find elk. Tagging along with somebody with 20+ Years experience, you'd be right into elk encounters, and start learning how to deal with them. The internet is great, but there's no better way to learn how to elk hunt, than to be in the middle of them on a regular basis.

Just a thought

09-Jan-19
When I was 30 years old, I never hunted out west.... one day I watched a video by Dwight Schuh and Larry Jones on stalking mule deer.... tags were otc in 1980. I told my friend, I am going to do that.......

I rented all the stuff needed from a back pack shop in Wisconsin for 60.00 for 2 weeks. I jumped in my truck, gave up my vacation day for deer hunting at home, back than I only got 10 days, and drove out.....................

I had a blast. I talked to locals, wandered around, camped and hiked, and saw mule deer, at ridiculous distances, not much pressure, in the high country, at least where I went in Colorado,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

The following year, I went bought a elk tag, and shot a cow,,,, I was off an running,,,,, my advice, just go,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, bring the same bow for deer, you have at home, and stuff your truck and just go.....................

more crowded today, that is for sure, but you can have fun..... today at my age, I look at Nebraska and South Dakota for my western adventures, I love to chase open country deer,,,,,, not much good at it, but I have fun,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I could have moved out there easily if I wanted too, but not enough lakes to fish or other things to do, and not as trapping friendly,,,,, easy drive anyway, with our hwy system......... the drive is part of the fun

09-Jan-19
You can definitely go solo the first time, it really isn't that scary. Just accept it as a learning experience and keep your expectations low. There is more than enough info here and on other web sites to prepare yourself. I did just that, after more than a decade of not going because of my fear of failure. And guess what, I arrowed a cow elk on that first hunt and was hooked for life! The hunting wasn't that much different that eastern whitetail hunting, and cutting up a horse-sized animal by myself wasn't easy but wasn't that hard either. I was truck-camping at a NF campground. I recommend a cow/spike unit in UT, but CO would be good too.

There is another option that could be perfect for somebody in your situation - the PBS has membership hunts for elk (and other animals) every year, where elk rookies can learn from experienced elk hunters. We've done them in UT, CO and I am hosting one in WY for cows only this fall (that one is already full though). I helped pack out a Newbie's first spike on one of the UT elk hunts.

(Robb, you probably don't remember, but you and BB helped point me in the right direction on my first elk hunt, in UT)

From: SixLomaz
09-Jan-19

SixLomaz's embedded Photo
My first Colorado elk - luck and hard work
SixLomaz's embedded Photo
My first Colorado elk - luck and hard work
SixLomaz's embedded Photo
My local guide - he actually triggered my stalk by alerting me
SixLomaz's embedded Photo
My local guide - he actually triggered my stalk by alerting me
$2800 total price for a drive in/out, three weeks, 2018 CO elk DIY archery hunting trip at 53. I spent 6+ months researching the elk OTC tag units, talked to local CO rangers on the phone (solid advice from them), made some simple adjustments to my gear, did not hammer on physical training, and just went for it with ZERO prior experience. I slept in tent 5 days on the mountain eating healthy bars and nuts - Alpine Aire dry food - OvaEasy egg powder, all reconstituted with filtered / UV sterilized water from nearby streams boiled using a tiny butane stove ($15 on eBay). Woke up early in 35F temperature, dressed in thin clothing layers because by 11am it was already 70F outside and I had to strip down to a long sleeve T-shirt. Then I spent 2 days in town on Saturday and Sunday when the mountain was full of hikers and hunters. All together I put more than 80 miles on my new pair of boots (important item do not skimp - Irish Setter Men's 880 Elk Tracker Waterproof 200 Gram 12") without a single foot problem. The only issue I had was the constant nose bleeding first week due to below 25% daily humidity, but that went away eventually. First week sucked with 2 missed opportunities, then attempting to call in elk when they were not talking only to scare them away; lot of daily miles in new terrain from 9000 to 11000 feet. Up in the morning, easy going midday, down in the evening helped seeing fresh elk sign and some elk. Most importantly I relied less and less on the OnX application to navigate as the area became familiar. The second week brought more missed opportunities (but getting closer) and a lot more elk hunters as the 1 week muzzleloader season overlaps the 4 weeks archery elk season. I put more miles on the boots and I fine tuned my hunts. I also called in a beautiful Shiras moose from about 300 yards to 11 yards and enjoyed the interaction for 20 minutes. What a confidence boost that was along with seeing black bear and deer in the range of 40 to 60 yards. On the early early Monday morning of the 3rd week, while walking in from the trailhead, the whole mountain lit up with elk calls and continued for the next 3-4 days. Night and day, elk and coyote calls, increased elk sightings and only 6 hunters on the mountain. It was an unforgettable time to experience the magic of elk rut. Long story short I took home a 7 x 7 bull, after a 900 yards stalk, finalized with a 30 yards shot. I went in on this trip happy to take a cow and I was gifted with a really nice bull elk. Two days after my kill, another hunter from WI, also posting here on Bowsite, killed a beautiful 6 x 6 bull elk in the same area after 3 hard empty days in a different unit. He helped me with the 2 mile off the mountain pack out trip in exchange for local area info and I returned the favor helping him pack out. His bull pack out was an easy walk, only 0.5 mile in flat terrain from trailhead parking.

To summarize, treat such trip as HARD WORK not camping. Prepare in detail, equipment, local unit info, water and food. It is hard to get an elk in 7 days when you are new to the area and game type (different hunt than deer and moose). If you can, allocate the last 3 weeks during the 4 week archery season. Stay Mo thru Fr on the mountain, pull out to recharge, relax on Sa thru Su. You will get an elk in 15 hunting days. Set expectations low. An elk cow with the bow is a trophy. The rut is short and intense and you must be there to capitalize in on the advantage. The animals are there. I have seen elk from 20 yards to 120 yards every day, except 4 days, in 3 weeks time I roamed the area.

From: SixLomaz
09-Jan-19

SixLomaz's embedded Photo
6 x 6 @ 20 yards - not a clue I was there
SixLomaz's embedded Photo
6 x 6 @ 20 yards - not a clue I was there
SixLomaz's embedded Photo
Shiras Moose called in from 300 yards.
SixLomaz's embedded Photo
Shiras Moose called in from 300 yards.
This 6 x 6 elk bull in the picture above came in to 20 yards, looking for cows, the evening I went back on the mountain to get my tent and the rest of the gear. He somehow knew I did not have another tag and the bow with me. To be honest, even if I had a second OTC elk tag I would have thought long and hard before deciding to take a shot. The pack out for the first elk was not a walk in the park. The second picture shows the Shiras moose I called in from 300 yards.

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