Archery Elk Unit 20Contributors to this thread:
Cheesehead Mike 09-Mar-21
I have 3 points and would like to get a shot at an elk. Is hunting unit 20 worth burning my points? I am planning to pack in for 3-5 days to hunt wilderness areas. Any opinions would be appreciated.
From: Cheesehead Mike
How many total days do you plan to hunt? How much archery elk hunting experience do you have?
I don’t think 3 points will cut it. Pretty sure it’s been 4-5 the last few years
Some with 2 PP drew last year. My experience with 20 is that it's not a big difference from some of my OTC spots but thats pretty common with a lot of the low point elk units. If it weren't, they wouldn't be low point elk units for long.
Expect lots of hikers, you might check I think they issue like 500 archery deer tags. Wilderness does not necessarily mean less people.
Cheesehead mike, in terms of years, I have archery elk hunted for the last 5 years and gotten into small bulls every year via calling and glassing. I will probably hunt every weekend of september from TR-Sunday, as well as the first 8-10 days of Sept.
My question would be, are there elk where you're packing in? You might find more elk and fewer hiker-recreationalists closer to roads, and you'll also be mobile, which is critical in a brand new area.
There is a migration corridor and some summering elk, but it will be a brand new area for me.
That migration corridor doesn't come into play until the late rifle seasons. That's why I'd recommend staying mobile rather than ratholing yourself several miles back into a wilderness somewhere. You may be hiking past elk and closer to lots of people.
Hi There, I own a log home in Unit 20. Not sure if you realize it or not but the Cameron Peak Fire burned about 90% of the National Forest and Wilderness Areas north of the Thompson Canyon (Hwy 34) up to the Poudre River. It might be a while before the elks come back into that area. Not much to eat there now. Bertrum
Hunt the burn areas immediately. They will be fantastic. Think of all the sun that gets through the canopy now. The grasses will be knee high on the north and west facing slopes. Burn areas are awesome.
Looking forward to getting up there and checking out the fire areas but I won't be hunting there this fall. Sometimes these beetle kill tracts burn really hot and it takes the soil a while before stuff starts coming up and erosion is worse.
Much of the Cameron Peak fire appears to have sterilized the soil, at least on the west and north ends. Can't speak to unit 20 though. It may be decades before anything grows. Where I hunted in WY this year there were teams of scientists studying the situation. Nothing had grown 3 years after the fire. The soil was like gray dust.
Not any sign of green growth up near crystal mountain, looked like the surface of the moon a month ago. Beneficial fires can green up quick, not where I was though