Black Gold Sights - Pure Gold
Colorado DIY,OTC...............
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Whisperingwapiti 04-Feb-20
otcWill 04-Feb-20
Jaquomo 04-Feb-20
Whisperingwapiti 05-Feb-20
JohnMC 05-Feb-20
IdyllwildArcher 05-Feb-20
LINK 05-Feb-20
cnelk 05-Feb-20
bow-hnt 05-Feb-20
bow-hnt 05-Feb-20
grossklw 05-Feb-20
Two Feathers 05-Feb-20
JohnMC 05-Feb-20
Two Feathers 05-Feb-20
Ranger620 05-Feb-20
paul mitchell 05-Feb-20
wildwilderness 05-Feb-20
Jaquomo 05-Feb-20
Whisperingwapiti 05-Feb-20
Jaquomo 05-Feb-20
Mule Power 06-Feb-20
Fatbass 06-Feb-20
Fatbass 06-Feb-20
Grasshopper 06-Feb-20
Whisperingwapiti 06-Feb-20
Whisperingwapiti 06-Feb-20
Whocares 06-Feb-20
Inshart 06-Feb-20
Jaquomo 06-Feb-20
LINK 06-Feb-20
Whisperingwapiti 06-Feb-20
Mule Power 06-Feb-20
Grey Ghost 06-Feb-20
Fatbass 06-Feb-20
wildwilderness 06-Feb-20
Firsty 06-Feb-20
altitude sick 06-Feb-20
Whisperingwapiti 06-Feb-20
Inshart 06-Feb-20
LUNG$HOT 07-Feb-20
Inshart 07-Feb-20
Grey Ghost 07-Feb-20
320 bull 10-Feb-20
Outdoordan 10-Feb-20
04-Feb-20
Ok, I have finally got the courage to ask. I hope I don’t get blown up here, but a guys gotta start somewhere! Ok so a little about myself, I’m 30 yrs old this year, I’ve been hunting elk in northern Idaho for about 10 years, a small group of us are looking into taking the 2020 season off in the state of Idaho, and thinking about giving the DIY,OTC Colorado hunt a swing. My dilemma is as follows: 1) PRESSURE- a lot of my research has been on forums like these and everyone talks about the amount of hunting pressure they face in the state. For a very experienced/successful group of guys this bothers me slightly, because we all know how it is to have a “rook” if you will, come in and blow up our area!! I’m not looking for your honey hole by any means, maybe just a little help on finding areas that seem to have less pressure than others? 2) LOCATION,LOCATION- when e scouting, what kind of tips can you give someone that has never been to the area. Hunt area 211 seems to be similar to the area I hunt at home other than the mess of roads that seem to cover a lot of the unit. What units can offer elk 2-5 miles from most roads, yet still hold off the pressure? We’re not afraid to go further, just using 2-5 as a perspective. 3)WEATHER- we plan on this hunt being in September during the rut, what kind of weather is in the area during this time? The altitude is similar in unit 211 as it is here in north Idaho where we hunt, but I know that altitude isn’t always the answer to precipitation. Should we pack in probability that we are going to be swimming or shoveling snow? Thanks for all the positive input, and negative as well, we all know the truth hurts...... I’m pretty thick skinned though?????

From: otcWill
04-Feb-20
Pick some general areas and I'll be glad to advise you on what I know of that unit from there. It ain't nearly as hard as some make it out to be.

From: Jaquomo
04-Feb-20
Pick a unit and go. Figure out where other hunters are hunting, triangulate, and then guess where the elk will be.

My area has a couple wilderness areas. You can't swing a dead cat in them without hitting two or three flat-brim Sitka Warriors, no matter how far back in you go. Last season I killed my bull about 250 yards from a main county road. The elk were there because nobody was bothering them. I found this spot on the fly during season, because it looked "elky" and I hadn't seen anyone ever parked around there whenever I drove past. Everybody was parked at wilderness trailheads...

05-Feb-20
Sounds like we just need to get our confidence ironed out and make the move. I’d be a liar to say I’ve never ate tag soup, what’s adding some Colorado tag soup to the buffet? ?????

From: JohnMC
05-Feb-20
I think you'd be crazy to pick CO OTC over ID. No one is going to post an area with less pressure and if they do it would soon have more pressure.

05-Feb-20
Your odds of landing on a piece that's going to be sufficiently better than your spot to offset the value of your local knowledge is low.

Why don't you guys stay in ID where you know the land and put in for tags in NM/WY and wait till you can actually have odds of having a better hunt than ID? Or go to Southern ID where there's still some elk...

If you're buying an ID hunting license anyways, you're putting in for the ID elk draw, right? There's tags that aren't too tough to draw...

From: LINK
05-Feb-20
Didn’t you hear, there are no good otc units in Colorado anymore. Seriously though I agree with idyll, unless you can’t find elk In Idaho, your better off staying there.

From: cnelk
05-Feb-20

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Sorry. Couldn’t resist. :)

From: bow-hnt
05-Feb-20
I have hunted Colorado twice, stay on the western side, stay away from I-25 , most eastern hunters coming will be hunting as close to the units 70s and 80 units , its longer to the western side and it reduces how far they want to drive. Believe me it gets crowded. I mean crowded, I rather hunt and see a few elk, than no elk and nothing but hunters! They get pushed.

From: bow-hnt
05-Feb-20
One more thing, I am from New Mexico, and we have a draw like yours in Idaho, there are Some good units here, a little pricey but worth it. If you need info, I would be able to direct you to them. Give you some ideas where you might want to hunt.

From: grossklw
05-Feb-20
You should take will up on his offer...

From: Two Feathers
05-Feb-20
Twice I did OTC diy bowhunt in Colorado. Never launched an arrow but did see elk. I hunted the same unit both times. Forgot the unit number but it borders Rocky Mountain National Park and had a big boy scout camp at it's base.

From: JohnMC
05-Feb-20
Two Feathers that must have been many moons ago. Those units have not been OTC and many years.

From: Two Feathers
05-Feb-20
The second time is when 9/11 happened. I didn't know it happened for two days.

From: Ranger620
05-Feb-20
Having been to both. I would stay in Idaho. JMO. Cannot wait to get back there. Hunted CO the last 3 years both public n private. Lotsa pressure.

05-Feb-20
hunted co every for last 40yr at least 10 different units lots of elk years ago very few now. if you hunt co hunt 5 to 6 miles from road. 3 weeks last year saw one in two weeks 4 in different area good luck.

05-Feb-20
Where do you live? and where does your "group" live? How much do you scout in the summer?

From: Jaquomo
05-Feb-20
"5 to 6 miles from the road" or 500 to 600 yards from the road. Which is where all of the biggest public land bulls I've seen in the past five years have been hanging out during archery season.

05-Feb-20
Unfortunately I’ve found that people don’t post hardly anything positive when it comes to “where is good” I’m looking more into knowledge of an area ex. Altitude, weather during archery season, tips about where and when, and information to prepare for the journey. If I’ve learned anything in the 17 years of hunting, one thing stays true..... don’t ask for a honey hole, and if someone shows you where they hunt, you best keep your mouth shut! I’m willing to tell anyone my latest honey hole, I hunted from sept. 10th 2019- sept 27th and found 11 dead animals, 5 bulls and 6 cows, if anyone tries to convince you the wolves are not the problem, get at me, I’ve got enough proof to justify the new Idaho wolf regulations. I’m just trying to feel for a different approach is all.

From: Jaquomo
05-Feb-20
Ok, here you go:

Altitude - In CO during archery season, elk are found between 5000-12,500'. They are where they are.

Weather: it can be 90, or in the teens. It can be hot and dry, then have 14" of snow fall overnight. It can rain every afternoon, and massive afternoon hailstorms can be life-threatening. Snow is not uncommon. Or it may be dry and pleasant for three weeks straight. There is no "normal".

Where: Wherever hunters aren't bothering them.

When: Where I hunt in NoCo the wind starts swirling hard around 9:30 a.m. and usually doesn't settle until shortly before sunset. Of my partner and my 68 bow-killed elk, it's about 50-50 killed before 9:30 or around sunset. We don't hunt midday, even though we can hear them bugling, because its easier to figure out and hunt bulls you know are there, vs. trying to find new elk every day after blowing them up by hunting in swirling wind.

I can only speak to North Central CO because 43 of our 45 years of bowhunting elk have been in those units. Can't help you in other parts of the state.

From: Mule Power
06-Feb-20
Why would you drive straight through Montana and Wyoming to get to more hunters?

From: Fatbass
06-Feb-20

Fatbass's embedded Photo
Fatbass's embedded Photo
I've hunted Colorado 8 times as a non resident in 5 different units. Shot 5 bulls, 2 cows and last year never killed one but was very close to several mature bulls. Every hunt was on public land and I saw very few hunters once off the road a few miles. Have fun and keep moving until you find them. I I bivouac hunt with a light pack.

From: Fatbass
06-Feb-20

Fatbass's embedded Photo
Fatbass's embedded Photo
I've hunted Colorado 8 times as a non resident in 5 different units. Shot 5 bulls, 2 cows and last year never killed one but was very close to several mature bulls. Every hunt was on public land and I saw very few hunters once off the road a few miles. Have fun and keep moving until you find them. I I bivouac hunt with a light pack.

From: Grasshopper
06-Feb-20
The whole SW part of the state went limited for archery, 16 units. We had 35000 bowhunters before hand, now it will probably be 32000 in a much smaller area.

Can you find elk? Yep. Can you find solitude? Yep. Is it getting more challenging to do both? Yep.

Good luck.

06-Feb-20
Wild wilderness, we scout pretty well, not every weekend like I’d like to be able to but enough to be on them. 4-6 cameras and some serious seat time in the Rzr during the hot months has seemed to work, one issue other than the damn wolves is the logging pressure!! Then again I shot one last year 70yrs from a fella buncher

06-Feb-20

Whisperingwapiti's embedded Photo
Whisperingwapiti's embedded Photo

From: Whocares
06-Feb-20
Beautiful bull, Whispering

From: Inshart
06-Feb-20
Been hunting CO since the early 90's, absolutely more hunters, less elk and I can say with absolute certainty that you will NOT find a bull of that caliber in an OTC area in CO. If you do, I will send you a bottle of "Tin Cup" with a big smiley face. LOL

From: Jaquomo
06-Feb-20
I've been considering hunting in northern Idaho. Not looking for a honeyhole, just an area with less pressure than CO and an opportunity to kill a 340 class bull.. I'll trade with you.

;-)

From: LINK
06-Feb-20
That’s what I’m thinking Jaq. I’ll trade him his Idaho spot for my co spot.

06-Feb-20
Come on up, I don’t have a honey hole by any means, I’d just be prepared to spend a lot of time scouting, this bull scored 347 and by far my biggest to date! Common bull up here is rag horn/spike, and it’s hard to pass anything legal with the pressure anymore, the stories my grandfather had from the 70-80’s were amazing, I wish I was hunting in those times... unfortunately I wasn’t even a tickle in my dads nut!

From: Mule Power
06-Feb-20
Fatbass nice bull man!

From: Grey Ghost
06-Feb-20
"Been hunting CO since the early 90's, absolutely more hunters, less elk and I can say with absolute certainty that you will NOT find a bull of that caliber in an OTC area in CO. If you do, I will send you a bottle of "Tin Cup" with a big smiley face. LOL"

Can I get in on that challenge? I see a bull or two of that caliber on OTC land in CO almost every year. Seeing them and killing them has been totally different stories, though.

That said, I also question why the OP would be considering CO, when he's had obvious success in Idaho. That's a beautiful bull, Whispering.

Matt

From: Fatbass
06-Feb-20
Thank mule power I was tickled. He came in screaming and I whacked him at 18 yards.

06-Feb-20
Fatbass- were those OTC archery units or Draw (LO tag)?

From: Firsty
06-Feb-20
Me and my buddies have been hunting 65 for the last 10 years and are about 60% on legal bulls. We have not killed any monsters but a few close to 300". Get off the roads/trails and you can find your own hotspots.

06-Feb-20
Nice bulls

06-Feb-20
Grey ghost, we are looking into Colorado as a group of 3 of us, kinda wanting to give our own area a rest and we all 3 are hunters, sometimes killers lol Not only do we enjoy hunting and killing but the thought of some high altitude back country camping sounds gorgeous and fun! Our hunt camp up here is a little different. I drag a 42’ toy hauler, warm showers and electricity is nice and all but I’m wanting to do some back country hunting like I did when I was in my early 20’s! I make my self sound so old ??

From: Inshart
06-Feb-20
Hey Matt, hell yeah, you shoot a 147 or better bull in an OTC area in CO and I'll gladly send you a bottle of Tin Cup. Bob

From: LUNG$HOT
07-Feb-20
Hey Bob, I’m in on that challenge too! I think I can pull a 147 or better bull from a Co OTC unit. I love Tin Cup! Ha.

From: Inshart
07-Feb-20
Oh, did I mention the caveat, you have to send me the GPS location so I can verify the kill site. LOL

From: Grey Ghost
07-Feb-20
"Hey Matt, hell yeah, you shoot a 147 or better bull in an OTC area in CO and I'll gladly send you a bottle of Tin Cup. Bob"

147", eh? Pretty sure I can find several of those. In fact, I don't think I've ever killed one smaller than that. ;-)

Matt

From: 320 bull
10-Feb-20
Whispering you can PM me if you want to chat about the OTC area I have been hunting on and off now for a bunch of years. I use it as a backup plan if I don't draw elsewhere. I feel like I know the unit better than most. Pressure can be off the charts but it can also be almost non existent. My crew has taken some elk out of there over the years but they don't come easy. Pressure or not I always have a good hunt there.

From: Outdoordan
10-Feb-20
Whispering - I live in Idaho and have never taken a bull of that caliber (here). I am a little perplexed by your motivations? Do you live in CO (if so the tag cost definitely makes it worthwhile)?

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