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Just had my hunting partner back out this fall for Colorado archery hunt. Thinking of a solo hunt, any advice. This will be my third time going, probably doing a base camp to keep backpack weight down. Plan to do 5-7 miles loops/out and back.
If the alternative is to not hunt elk then it's a no-brainer. Go solo.
Definitely go. You'll learn a lot about yourself hunting alone and may even learn that you prefer the flexibility of hunting alone VS worrying about your partner. Before you shoot a bull just make sure he is in a spot that wont kill you getting him out. Don't overlook looking into outfitters that offer packing services. Many of them do it for a pretty low cost and it'll give you piece of mind to just hunt.
If you are comfortable hunting and navigating the mountains alone you will likely have a ball out there. Depending on how much time you have, consider being set up for one or two day spike outs. You can travel light for 2 or 3 days. And those short trips will allow you to find out how you like it and learn a few things on how to do it. You can still have a base camp to go back to after a couple days. Many guys do solo...alone! :)
I've done a few of them. I like it that way better. The only time I've ever wished for a partner is at pack out time. Keep that in mind and you will be fine. Don't kill one where you can't get it out. Have a plan to do it.
I've done a few solo, and have never had an issue. My longest was 13 days alone and it was pretty awesome. Get an InReach and have some fun. I've found that having even sporadic contact with home really really helps me mentally on the solo hunts.
I really haven't found it too much different from hunting with others. I always have a bunch of books downloaded on my Kindle, and I can entertain myself pretty well.
Love hunting alone. Seem to be more effective too. Only one theory on what to do next. Agree that an occasional call or text home from a high spot is nice. My personal limit is 5 to 6 miles back in. It hurts, but I can get one out that far.
Do it most years love hunting that way. got my bull 2 miles in 2 days getting it out and i'm 65yo.
Best advantage of going solo is you always get to call the shots. I tend to hunt all day when solo where as if there is a camp of people or even one other I tend to hunt less. It is different mentally and of course physically if you kill so be realistic with your distances. Enjoy!!!
When hunting solo and decisions need to be made, the only person you have to convince is yourself! Making the decision to hunt solo opens opportunities. You don't have to be concerned about finding someone to hunt with...or if that person will leave you hanging. Personally, I love the freedom solo hunting provides. My first solo western hunt in 2009 (CO mule deer) only lasted three days...as I got called home for a medical emergency. Hunting solo meant that emergency didn't ruin a hunting partner's trip. Second solo hunt (UT elk) was a year later and lasted three weeks. Since then, the majority of my western hunts have been solo. Agree with those posts above when it comes to packing out an elk solo...be smart about it. While I've never hired a packer... YET, that would definitely open up more windows of opportunity.
If you already have a couple hunts in the past you should be just fine going Solo.
Hunt smart vs hunting distance and you should be just fine.
Good luck, Robb
I used to love being solo in the woods, but any more I prefer company at the very least a camp to share in the evenings. Since my kids have been hunting with me I am seldom solo...
However if I was faced with not going or going solo, I would still go solo especially now that I have a satellite GPS etc.
I do a fair amount of solo hunts as my handle implies. As said above you get to call the shots and do things your way which also helps when you need change things up quickly. The down fall is you have no one to celebrate with when you have success and no one to pump you up when you return to camp after a tough day. The latter becomes more of a factor the longer you stay in the mountains and especially if your having a difficult time getting into animals. When you have those days were you might feel like giving up remember that tomorrow could be the day that it all comes together.! That said whether your successful in tagging an animal or not there is no better feeling in the end that you accomplished this on your own so don't hesitate to go it alone just be prepared for all possible emergency scenarios. I advise carrying an inreach or similar device. Good luck! Solo
I definitely learned the hard way that going solo is MUCH better than joining forces with someone who is poorly mismatched with you. That may seem obvious, but if you are trying really hard to find a hunting partner it's easy to delude yourself into thinking a pairing will work.
I agree with the above posts but I have missed the personal contacts and comrodery at the end of the day when solo. Sometimes I have found myself talking to the trees and squirrels after a couple days. I've thought that a dog in camp would be great but certainly not practical for obvious reasons. You have experience so you probably know how you will feel about an extended period of time alone. I would not go solo anymore myself because of my age. Solo hunter19 gives good advice with obviously a lot of good experience. Good hunting to you......Badbull
Biggest concern is how far you can pack an elk all by yourself, especially if the weather is warm.
Many years of Solo hunts has taught me to have a First Aid Kit with me and a good cleaning kit with Butcher Gloves for not cutting my self accident
Good luck, Robb
I can't believe how many times after boning off the meat I've had knick's in my Butcher glove.
Be safe and enjoy,
I hunt solo every day. I have a partner but I only see him in camp. Maybe see if you can find someone to lease a horse but only after you have an elk on the ground.
That's probably the best of both worlds if you can find the right hunting buddy. Share camp and pack out, hunt solo.
Drew my long awaited WY tag in 2011, Rickm came out and helped me for a week. Unfortunately he had to head home and it took me until day 17 to get one on the ground. Very gratifying to do it alone but it’s always better to have someone share in the experience. I would suggest carrying a PLB, Spot or something similar. I’m not headed out west this year, you’re welcome to borrow my PLB if you have good references. Good luck.
Love hunting solo! After you do it once, you realize the only person you need, is you.
Do it right and get something like a mini inreach. A first aid kit is mandatory but it won’t do you any good when you’re solo, on the side of a mountain with multiple broken bones...been there, done that.
I definitely like hunting alone. But that being said I like being on a hunt with others. Just like heading into the woods by myself. I did a 13 days solo elk hunt 7 years ago at 60 and I was ready to get back to civilization in the end. Plan on a drive from Maryland to WY for a combo antelope and fly fishing trip. Lonely drive but the hunt and fishing will be great.
I always see and shoot more when hunting alone. Especially elk.
I do most of my hunting solo. It's great to hang out with folks, but bowhunting is not a team sport. Only one person can draw the arrow. If you want to hunt, go hunt.
But consider hunting from the truck. It's a lot easier on a solo guy. You can go out for a shower or a burger whenever you want which really takes the edge off of the grind when you go several days with no action. A hunt from a VRBO is really comfortable and makes waking up at O'Dark 30 that much easier.
Staying mobile and going from spot to spot till you find elk is a great way to not get skunked instead of committing yourself to one pack in spot where there are no elk within 5 miles of you. One of the big mistakes that white tail hunters make while hunting elk, is assuming that because you're in elk country, that there's elk there. You can be in the elkiest spot with old sign and there might not be an elk within 5 miles of you and there might not be one within 5 miles of you for weeks.
Instead, look at 5-7 spots and try a different one every day till you find elk. Remember, if it looks good to you, it looks good to everyone else too. The trailhead is never better than 1/2 mile earlier where you have to walk straight up because the guys on the trailhead have pushed the elk in to the spot that's straight up from the road.