2013 Colorado Archery Elk Hunt


Senior Member
Feb 27, 2012
West Salem, WI
I had to cancel my elk hunting trip last year at the last minute and this year I'm going to make it happen. Due to the furlough coming up my boss wanted to know what vacation days I want from now thru September so that he can do the schedule. This sent me into a search to pin point the best ten days to hunt elk in Colorado. This subject comes up every year and there are many variables, I understand that. I am basically breaking the month of sept into four hunting options starting on sunday the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd respectively.
The week starting on the 15th is also the muzzleloader season and I would rather not hunt during that time.

The new moon is on the 5th and the full moon is on the 19th.

I've also heard that since there are 5 Saturdays in Aug this yr the season is pushed an extra week into Sept. I guess to some people this is a big deal.

I've only hunted elk one other time and it was a muzzleloader hunt in WA 15 years ago that was not a back country experience. I want to avoid other hunters more than anything and I would also like to be in the mountains when the leaves are turning yellow. Getting into elk would be a plus too.

What are you guys thinking the pressure will be like in each of the weeks I'm looking at going. Being a deer hunter in WI leads me to want to hunt the new moon around the 5th. Ive been told that the 10-17 is the time for rutting bulls in CO, but now I'm also hearing that the last few years the elk are bugling later in the season toward the end of Sept. I would like to go the 22-29 but now I'm kind of scared that there will be lots of other guys around at that time due to the late in the month closing.

If you want to pm me feel free.


Senior Member
Feb 24, 2012
Rochester Hills, MI
Don't be afraid to go whenever you want. I'll be going the 18th-29th this year. Don't worry about the muzzleloader guys, its not like back home when they sit in box blinds with scopes. These guys are shooting iron sights and some guys can shoot their bow just as far as some of these guys with muzzleloaders. Just pick a day and get after it. All the weeks are going to be good if you work hard enough.

Swamp Buck

Junior Member
Jun 20, 2012
Take a look at the stats on the CDOW website. First you need to look at how many Muzzy tags are issued for your unit, then look at how many are Resident vs Non (typically 2/3 will go to residents). I would guess that most resident hunters hunt the weekends on both ends of the muzzy season, with little muzzy pressure durring the week days. Most will say that the best RUT activity will be the 15-25.


Senior Member
Mar 2, 2013
Lakewood, CO
I think the week after muzzy is normally the peak rut and the time that all my bowhunting buddies like best. Always exceptions but that'd be what I'd plan for if you had a choice.

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