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Routt National Forest, CO
A few friends and I are planning a DIY archery elk hunt in 2020 - we are pretty sure based on research that we want to hunt in Routt, does anyone here have experience there - what time of the month to go would be extra helpful information. Our standards aren't very high for quality of bull, this is mostly about getting out there and trying to kill *any* bull. Thanks in advance!
Be prepared to deal with lots of deadfall from the beetle kill.
That's good info - thanks! Do elk prefer to stay near/away from those kinds of areas? I know very little about hunting elk as I've spent my whole life chasing whitetails from treestands, so any little bit helps.
I've hunted the Routt more times than I can count and i like week 3 and 4 the best. Concentrate on North and east facing slopes. Keep covering ground until you locate elk. Don't continually pound the same area if you're not seeing elk.
Many people don't like to bugle very much, but I do.
Just left there a couple of weeks ago. The deadfalls are rough and there are a lot of bears. Saw more bears than elk and bear tags were sold out.
Yeah I was there last year and we also saw a lot of bears. I bugled this one in on a rope.
I was planning to be there this week for my first trip, specifically the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness area, but things changed so I've had to postpone til next year. I'd seen several postings on various sites about the beetle kill, but wasn't sure how widespread it may be. Doing what e-scouting I could, one area I was planning looked pretty barren, other areas not so much, but it can be kind of hard to tell from satellite photos. I wasn't too worried about the bear population, but didn't think about it being very high. Are the numbers of bear large enough to be a concern, especially for back country camping?
Kodiak.....that is a nice elk.
Bears are not an issue as far as human interaction, although we did have a large sow following us down a trail...lol There are a lot of berries in the area.
When we bought our tags and tried to buy a bear tag the guy said at 5:30 am there was a line in the parking lot to buy the OTC bear tags.
I was sitting on a wallow and a big 300 lb'er came in and took a drink broadside at 27 yards....then moved closer and took another drink broadside at 18 yards. Needless to say I was hot I didn`t have a tag.
It is a good place to meet a lot of other bowhunters. Seems like especially from WI, IA, and MO. I’d guess more hunters than any other part of CO. Personally if I was going to travel a long ways to hunt elk in CO, I’d be looking at southern part of state. Less hunting pressure, bigger elk, and a lot more opportunities.
Just got back from spending 10 days in Routt NF.
To put the beetle kill in perspective, in the first 1/4 mi to get to one of our areas, my buddy counted 75 deadfall trees we had to climb over.
I’ve hunted Routt for 30 years. The elk hunting has steadily declined in animals. So much so I’m going to look elsewhere to hunt.
Good luck if you go.
And it`s only going to get worse. As many deadfalls that were on the ground, twice that amount were still standing.
Check out South central Colorado. From Trinidad to San Luis, Fort Garland to Walsenburg
Not nearly as pressured as most of Co.
Mostly private Some good pockets of Federal and state land. Big bulls.
I don’t hunt there any more. So have at it.