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Wondering if anyone on here could give me some tips and advice. We are new elk hunters heading out for a september DIY elk hunt in colorado unit 14, specifically Mount Zirkel Wilderness. Does anyone have experience hunting in this area and have any tips for where in the unit we could focus our efforts on that would give us a chance of success? Thanks!
Watch the fires. As of today you won't be accessing via HWY 14/Poudre Canyon. May have been your plan all along but from NE you will need to go to Laramie WY and down to get there.
Bring your mask, because you probably won't be able to social distance much up there.
Have a solid plan for how to get one packed out and where to take it. Colorado requires a permit to provide pack services and most permitted packers are busy with clients. And know where and how your going to get it in a cooler or freezer. Do the research now. Not after an animal is going to waste.
I would not hold your breath on someone telling you where to hunt in a unit. If they have a good spot they are going to ruin it by tell someone on the world wide web.
Elk are easy pickins there. With a Hoochie Mama and a Power Bugle, I usually call'em right into camp. You picked the right spot!
Just follow all the Subarus to the trailhead.
Doesn’t Will drive a Subaru? I think he kills all his bulls in 14 too. There must be something to driving a Subaru.
I have always had good luck near Horse theif peak look towards the north lots of water
You don’t live that far from Colorado. If your goal on your very first hunt is to see elk my advice would be to drive down and do some looking around. 2-4 days there will be better than anything you can find out on the internet.
What Mule Power said^^^^^
That would take some effort. Seems tapping a keyboard is the modern way of scouting. Sad.
I wish I could help you but I’m unfamiliar. It’s not surprising you are getting some a$$hole responses. Typical of asking advice here. It’s not like this guy asked you for gps coordinates or to name him a specific drainage to hunt. I understand you western guys are more reluctant to help a newbie cause in general you have a lot less game than we do in the East but I don’t see the point in being a jerk.
Just follow everybody else. The trailheads will all be packed with 30-40 vehicles. So pack in a ways, find a spot to pitch your tent in between the other tents, and get after it!
Good job, blaster! You just told 1.2 million bowhunters about Horsethief Peak and to the north. There's a thing called "private reply". Little tab on the top right of the message. Learn to use it.
This is funny. We just talked about threads like this on my recent podcast on Hunt For Real. And as I predicted, here comes blaster to wreck the spot for everybody else who hunts that area. Perfect!
I bet blaster is changing his handle about now....LOL
Anyone who has had one of their favorite spots ruined because of loose lips has learned a hard lesson especially on these blog sites.
" I understand you western guys are more reluctant to help a newbie cause in general you have a lot less game than we do in the East but I don’t see the point in being a jerk."
Less game? Really? So why does so many easterners flock to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, etc...every year? Does Virginia have over 250.000 elk in it? How many pronghorns, Mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats does Virginia have?
Sorry, but whitetails aren't the only "game" in town. Oh, we have those, too.
Nebhunter, I sent you a pm.
Thank goodness.....I was hurting for a back up spot this year......
JordanAtHome what is your primary spot?
See you all in September at Horse Thief Peak to the North. It is not that easy to get there unless ATV is allowed or you can use a helicopter for drop and pickup.
Got any other spots Blaster? I need a new one.
No need for a private reply. Just post it here.
That north end of Horsethief looks like pretty good access, especially down on that long point. I can see why elk like it there. Now that my CO spot is on fire I may scout it for next year. Thanks a bunch!
Can anybody give me directions to Horsethief peak? I'm looking for a new area this year and I heard it's crawling with elk.
One can see the elk herd in that area in Google maps. This is good. Thank you blaster.
All vehicle roads stop at least 5 miles short of Horse Thief Peak area and unless motorized / electric vehicles are allowed it is a long hike.
Here is a map. Beautiful remote place.
Thanks for slipping in the nice satellite pic, SixL! Helps a lot with that detail and I see a couple good spots to check out. Might even bump into Lou up there and a few of you other guys. I'll pack a few beers in just in case.
Looks like that long point on the north end would be only a couple miles in, and gentle hunting for us older guys. This secret info is golden. I promise not to share it with anyone!
Dude just emailed me this pic of a bull he killed back there last year......WOWOWOW
That's it I'm buying a tag for Co! :)
Here’s a good spot in unit 14. 40.62024, -106.74153
I've spent some time in that unit. There are elk there. I'm sure there are better spots, there are probably also worse ones. I have no plans to go back.
Jaqoumo isn't bullshitting you about the trail heads. You will see more people than elk. Its popular and crowded. Lots of bowhunters. Its hard to get away from them. Once muzzleloader opens you get a bunch of them too. Also early rifle deer and bear guys. Then you got your hikers and nature lovers from steamboat. Also outfitter camps full of Amish dudes. This is probably true of every OTC unit in Colorado, although I can't say for sure because I haven't hunted them all.
All that said, there are elk in that unit somewhere. Go find them. Stay mobile until you do. Dont pack in somewhere for a long term commitment. Odds are the spot you picked looked good to someone else too. Dont hunt unless you are on steaming fresh sign.
Read that paragraph again.
Its steep. Lots of blow down beetlekill. Its tough to get around. But like i said there are elk there. Good luck. Hope you find and kill a big one. Dont hunt elk with bad wind. Its bad most of the day. Hunt early morning and late evening. Swirling wind midday will screw you. Every time. That country around the divide has terrible wind midday. Just the way it is.
Hi SirLomax......I like blm land....everyone drives past it to go high and the elk love that low hot scrubby sage and oak brush. Unfortunately lots of those spots are on fire this year like around Glenwood Springs. :(
Think I will just park along an interstate next to a ski area and see what I can find. That seems popular. YUGE secret.
You can see the elk in Google maps in unit 14 at 40.62024, -106.74153
See you all there, beer in hand, come September 2nd, 2020. I will camp next to the water.
That place sux.....they are only there for the 2nd week of July when the satellites take those pics.
I sent you a pm about that place outside of Threadbare, CO. Just take a left on FS 493 and go about 6 miles to that little trout filled lake on the northside and the spot is 500 steps to the east. Keep it on the down low though.
The Born and Raised Outdoors guys have done fairly well in the Zirkels. The bowhunter traffic increased exponentially after they put up their videos, unfortunately.
OTC 7x7 elk
OTC 7x7 elk
cropped and adjusted
cropped and adjusted
This is the one to aim for. I did the skull myself. The right antler splits at the end just like the left but it is hard to see it from this angle.
But patdel! So many guys say screw the wind and hunt all day! No matter what. :)
How come those coordinates you guys are posting keep popping up as as weed shops and XXX Adult stores?
shhh ... not so loud please ... you will get us in trouble
Cnelk... i know they do. There may be places where it works. Its a waste of energy in that area. You just blow the elk out. Once it gets bad in the morning, I recommend a nap. Try again after it calms down in the afternoon.
Me too Charlie, but he didn't live and hunt in CO. Huge difference between elk hunting in MT with zero nonresident OTC elk tags vs. thousands in CO. With all due respect Charlie, how would IA, IL, KS whitetail hunting look with virtually no limits on NR OTC licenses and open hunting on 80% of the land? I bet you wouldn't be talking about your hot spots. Our elk hunting in CO is largely on public land, not like hunting with your whitetail cronies on their private land.
Elk OTC licenses are not really unlimited for NR hunters at $670.25 per tag compared to resident cost of $55.43. Today, between Internet, OnX Hunt, Colorado Hunting Atlas and other such resources it is difficult if not impossible to keep a hot spot secret. Sharing is caring and helps people become successful hunters rather than frustrated drop-outs. Only few can truly afford to go elk hunting every season. Most are happy with one animal and are willing to wait / pay more for that chance. We go thru this life only one time. Make the best of it.
Easy to say for somebody from CT. I will share hunting tips with friends and relatives. Can you put me on a booner whitetail in CT? Please?
IF you'll read into a guys post over years they'll tell you right where they're hunting. Yet they try to hide it like it's some secret. Lol
Chad, you would be hard pressed to find a better person and hunter than my friend SirLomax. Heart of gold. Shoots straight. It is not about where you are from but who you are.
I'm not disparaging SixLomaz. I don't doubt he is a great guy, if you say so. I'm just disagreeing with his "sharing and caring" on public elk hunting in CO. "Sharing and caring" means being overrun with every Tom, Dick and Harry from CT to CA. If Six is such a great guy I'm sure he will share all of his hot spots with the rest of us.
"Elk OTC licenses are not really unlimited for NR hunters at $670.25 per tag compared to resident cost of $55.43. Today, between Internet, OnX Hunt, Colorado Hunting Atlas and other such resources it is difficult if not impossible to keep a hot spot secret. Sharing is caring and helps people become successful hunters rather than frustrated drop-outs. Only few can truly afford to go elk hunting every season. Most are happy with one animal and are willing to wait / pay more for that chance. We go thru this life only one time. Make the best of it."
No disrespect Six. I just have a different view point on some of your thoughts.
$670 for a NR elk license is dirt cheap. I pay way more than that to hunt whitetails in IA as a NR.
ONX and other services like it are resources that everyone has access to. Most won't even bother to use them as evidenced by posts on this site every day begging for free information.
As far as "sharing and caring" I agree 100% but I'm not interested in sharing and caring with the general population. I'm sharing and caring with my son and two nephews on their first elk hunt this year. I've done my own scouting to help them. I don't plan to share this work with every keyboard cowboy from CT to CA.
I'm also willing to share with others that want to share with me. I've done several trades of information on walleye fishing in MN, deer hunting in MO, and bear hunting in MN and have met some great friends in the process.
Hope you understand my perspective. If not, I'm all ears.
I do. It is a fools errand to share on the interweb. Hell I learned that the hard way being so open in the past sharing my adventures. C'est la vie. But folks who put the time in the to do their own homework, make the effort to build relationships with others, show trust before expecting trust....well I think that is what SirLomax is talking about. God...you think this is bad you should try a duck hunting forum in Missouri. LOLOLOLOL Those dude are royal pricks.
Well, I've shared quite a bit of information with a Colorado transplant from Minnesota, who I've never met in person, because he earned my respect. Not going to happen with a NR internet newbie who asks for areas. to "focus on" 2 weeks before the season starts.
But that's just me.
PigDoc I will gladly put you in my best spots for whitetail in CT. I have done it with others in the past, friends and strangers alike. I will scout for you and send you pictures of what we have on the ground. See attached recent picture. CT whitetail is not on the same par with Kansas or Iowa or other states but whitetail is whitetail regardless. I go hunting mostly on public land for the privilege to reconnect to mother nature and get closer to my true roots. Meat is secondary goal, with antlers coming on a distant 3rd place. Same for fishing or any other outdoor activity.
I agree, given the wealth of available resources, that a determined hunter should research in depth the game he is hunting and the areas where he is going to hunt it. I personally spent close to 6 months in preparation before committing to an DIY OTC elk hunt in CO. I had 5 main areas picked based on forum chatter (guys post info and I follow crumbs putting the puzzle together), phone conversations with local CPW staff, direct conversations with CO native hunters willing to confirm information obtained, OnX Hunt - YouTube - Roe Hunting Resources - Google Maps. In the end it paid out nicely, making the effort and energy spent worthwhile. I encourage any hunter to do the same, yet I am willing to share what I know when I see determination and need in a hunter. I get as much satisfaction seeing another hunter successful as I get when I am successful. I reached that point in life when I am ready to give, share, teach.
Sharing and caring with relatives is nice, but the true measure of a person comes when one shares and cares for total strangers. It is a hard concept to comprehend and exercise as it took myself many many years to understand it. It is part of our purpose in life and most miss the mark.
Good stuff guys. Matt, you have earned my respect as well and I appreciate all you have done for me. I would love to return the favor any way I can. This Bowsite fraternity is pretty cool.
A pic of your son, or nephews, grinning behind their first elk kill will be plenty of reciprocation for me.
I can't wait to share that trophy with you my friend!
You are a class act Six. Would love to share a camp with you anytime.
Amen Matt! Petre...I am not worthy but I share your ideals.
Nicely worded Six,if you wanna hunt Oregon send me a message.
good points here. The world population has doubled in the last 2 decades. I bow hunt to get away from the competition and rat race, but, it's hard. Not enough land, animals to go around. and with crossbows has gotten twice as bad. Many (including me) don't like the crowds. I feel bad for the people that only hunt their own state and get pushed out of their spots by NR. There are many guys that go on multiple out of state huts each year, but, don't like someone coming to their area. Used to be hard work and woodsmanship would win out - now it's the people who are tech savvy and have lots of trail cams have the advantage. These people promoting hunting on TV and products do so because they make lots of money from their products. It would be nice if they hunted public or private that is not exclusive and see how they feel. Technology, money and TV has not been good for hunting as far as i can see. Same with the magazines with "where to go" articles read by thousands or millions. if i were starting today knowing what i know and not having the resources that others do i would not have started hunting (or maybe, just be a meat hunter) and would have chosen other outdoor recreation. Too much demand/not enough supply. I see everybody's points and frustrations.
There are quite a few on here that will help out. A couple in particular that I can't thank enough for helping me find a spot that was going to work out when bringing my son across the country. Having said that, PM's and emails are where the communication should be.
Best spot for elk is north of Horse theif peak. Tons of elk, all public lands open to hunting. Elk are easy pickings up there.