2013 Colorado DIY???

ddavis_1313

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Moved this thread from general discussion.


Hello to everyone. I was fortunate to be directed to this site by a few of the members here in regards to a Colorado DIY hunt for next year. So far the site is pretty amazing with alot of interesting threads! I am new to the western hunting world and elk. I live down in Texas so call me a flat lander if you like, I don't mind! I have been doing plenty of research for a while now and getting serious with my efforts. I have always wanted to do this type of hunt and will most certainly get addicted for sure. It will be a success just being in God's country but at the same time I'd love to burn a tag like everyone here.

At the moment I am looking into some wilderness areas. Weiminuche, San Juan, Snowmass, and maybe West Elk. Havn't quite made my mind up yet so I am turning to you guys that are experts (compared to me) for some advice and guidance. I am looking for units that are less crowded and don't allow vehicles. I don't have an atv so being in a unit that has one would probably put me at a disadvantage. I will most likely be doing a solo backpack hunt and spike/bivy camp. Hoping to do 7 days of actual hunting. I have even considered getting packed in and out but havnt made my mind up. will depend on cost.

I have been pouring through the dow website, looking at aerial photos, topo maps, and just about all other info piecing it together. I know that some of the areas i mentioned are rugged terrain. Thats why I have started working out 6 days a week already. I also have been studying up on the climate at high altitudes and aware of what to prepare for. I have a great idea of what gear I may need and been narrowing down that category. Any input there would be appreciated though. I know how to quarter an animal in the field using the gutless method as i have done it on whitetail several times. The anatomy is basically the same but the size is all thats really different.

I do plan on learning to use elk calls. Will try to learn as much as I can as far as when to use what calls and be able to recognize what the elk are "saying" if i am lucky enough to hear them. Hopefully this will give me a better idea of what to reply in return if a reply is needed. I WILL NOT be a newbie that blows a bugle every 20 mins and cow calls in between. There is a place for everything and hunting public animals that are already educated is not one of them. I hunt with a philosophy that I usually always call at what I can see/hear. And I am more subtle than aggressive. But I am new to calling elk so all advice there would be great. Any ideas of good cow calls, bugles, bugle tubes, instructional videos, ect.

If anyone has any great input then please feel free to add to the post. If you would like to answer with more specifics then feel free to pm. I do have some questions about certain areas that i would like to ask.

Thanks for your time, Dan
 

Shrek

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Dan , I'm planning my first western hunt for next year. I have already decided on an area. There is a wealth of knowlege to be found here. I'll be following your progress and will share anything I have learned. Good luck !
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Update..... I now have seemed to narrow my areas down to the weiminuche and San Juan areas. Anyone else have some input?
 

Solitude

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If you can afford it, get packed in and dropped off assuming you are going with another hunter. The number of elk you should see will jump significantly.
 

In God We Trust

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Fitness and then more fitness. I live in Colorado and work out at least 5 days a week as well as train for 10k's and the back country still kicks my butt. Make sure you have a great experience by being in shape.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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If you can afford it, get packed in and dropped off assuming you are going with another hunter. The number of elk you should see will jump significantly.

Are you saying that going with another hunter will increase the number of elk I see.
 

Nick Muche

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"If you can afford it, get packed in and dropped off"


He was referring to that comment, nothing to do with you bringing another hunter... Although; four eyes are better than two...
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Thanks for clarification nick. Will prolly get packed in due to the rough country that i am planning to hunt. I could hike in but its several miles all up hill with a gain of 3000'.
 

fire arrow

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Not to bust your bubble, but 1000 ft of gain for ever mile in is very do-able. That's actually normal. I assume you will be going archery? If so try and plan for better rutting weather. I usually try and have boot on the hill the middle of muzzle loader season. You miss the rush of muzzle loader opener, and should have better rutting weather. Look at your whole hunt as a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, be patient and aggressive when needed, and keep the wind right.

A few things to bring

1. Good topo, and know how to use it.
2. Back up release, a few Allen wrenches.
3. Advil PM. Helps ya sleep.
4. A never give up attitude
5. Stay well hydrated. Elevation sickness will hit ya like a bomb the first few days. Bad headaches, low energy, might feel sick to your stomach.


Everything else you will make up your own mind on. Good luck.
 

G Posik

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Getting packed in has a few advantages; faster, not as much wear and tear on your body and hopefully they put you where the animals are.

there has been some good information posted already. Do your research and if you can make a summer trip and get boots on the ground that is even better. the topo maps are great and so are things like Google Earth, but boots on the ground is best. Really look at your pack and pack list. Do not take things that are not necessary. when you think your in good shape train even harder, because you are not in good enough shape. Take some good glass as you will need it.

Glenn
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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I appreciate the info that's been given. I plan on bare essentials only. I do plan on training hard and pushing my body harder than i have before. Havn't worked out in a while so I'm going an 1 1/2 hrs 5-6 days a week. Once I feel like I'm back to pretty good shape I will increase the difficulty level higher and higher over time.
 

ckleeves

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I may have missed it somewhere but are you wanting to do a backpack hunt for the experience or to increase you chances of success?
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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I may have missed it somewhere but are you wanting to do a backpack hunt for the experience or to increase you chances of success?

Both.... Well the experience of course first. I have always wanted to do this type of hunt and make it an annual event. I know it's going to be tough and I won't know whaat it's like till I get there but that's all part of the experience. As far as increasing my chances at success, I believe backpacking may increase my chances in finding elk due to being mobile, bur not so much in the killing aspect. Cause I think that finding them and killing them are two different tasks. But I'm new to this so maybe I have the wrong idea.

Yes the "experience" will be nice, but I am there to hunt first. If I wanted a camping trip I could do that here at home!!! I will hunt hard from the time I step into the area until the time I step out. but if you have any advice or suggestions then please do share them because I am eager to learn.
 

cnelk

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There are lots of huntable elk in areas not so far 'in' as you are wanting to go.
Since you want to hunt more than the experience, I would look into something not quite so rugged.

I used to do that, but now I hunt a whole lot smarter... :)
 

ckleeves

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Both.... Well the experience of course first. I have always wanted to do this type of hunt and make it an annual event. I know it's going to be tough and I won't know whaat it's like till I get there but that's all part of the experience. As far as increasing my chances at success, I believe backpacking may increase my chances in finding elk due to being mobile, bur not so much in the killing aspect. Cause I think that finding them and killing them are two different tasks. But I'm new to this so maybe I have the wrong idea.

Yes the "experience" will be nice, but I am there to hunt first. If I wanted a camping trip I could do that here at home!!! I will hunt hard from the time I step into the area until the time I step out. but if you have any advice or suggestions then please do share them because I am eager to learn.

I guess my thoughts are unless you really want to backpack, which there is absolute nothing wrong with, is that for your first elk hunt you might be better off "truck camping" and staying mobile not only with your legs but also your vehicle.

I have no problems with backpacking, I probably do about 50% of my elk hunting by bivy hunting but you will probably have your hands pretty full without adding the complications that a backpack hunt can add.

One thing that we do quite a bit is have all the backpacking gear in the truck and then day hunt pretty far in and see what's in there before committing to going in there for a 3-5 day hunt. Sleep next to the truck and then load up early and go knowing what's in there or move on to another area. I guess I'm just impatient but I hate hunting them where their not at. I like to jump around until I strike the mother load or a bull I really wanna hunt and then get serious about going in for a multi day hunt.

Nothing worse than going in with the intent of staying a week and then finding the area either full of other hunters or devoid of elk. Both have happened to me in the past. Again, I have nothing against backpack hunting, it's probably the most enjoyable way to hunt but at least for me and my buddies the most successful is a combination of backpacking, day hunting from the truck,glassing huge areas (sometimes from the truck window,I'm not gonna lie!) and just about every other tactic out there.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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I guess my thoughts are unless you really want to backpack, which there is absolute nothing wrong with, is that for your first elk hunt you might be better off "truck camping" and staying mobile not only with your legs but also your vehicle.

I have no problems with backpacking, I probably do about 50% of my elk hunting by bivy hunting but you will probably have your hands pretty full without adding the complications that a backpack hunt can add.

One thing that we do quite a bit is have all the backpacking gear in the truck and then day hunt pretty far in and see what's in there before committing to going in there for a 3-5 day hunt. Sleep next to the truck and then load up early and go knowing what's in there or move on to another area. I guess I'm just impatient but I hate hunting them where their not at. I like to jump around until I strike the mother load or a bull I really wanna hunt and then get serious about going in for a multi day hunt.

Nothing worse than going in with the intent of staying a week and then finding the area either full of other hunters or devoid of elk. Both have happened to me in the past. Again, I have nothing against backpack hunting, it's probably the most enjoyable way to hunt but at least for me and my buddies the most successful is a combination of backpacking, day hunting from the truck,glassing huge areas (sometimes from the truck window,I'm not gonna lie!) and just about every other tactic out there.

You have a valid point ckleeves. And this idea has definitely crossed my mind. Trust me, It will be a huge let down to devote 10 days to an area and not see a single animal. But then again, I'm sure your method is very popular amongst elk hunters. You probably have learned of certain areas though that get over looked or not so well known where glassing from a road can be done or isn't chalk full of hunters. Colorado is a big state with alot of roads and some units full of them!! And a road next to a peak of 11500' sure would make for a great and easy glassing area. I just don't know enough about all the units as to which ones offer this capability. If you would like to pm me some info on something more specific I'd love to learn some thing from you. Hey, if you wanna guide me free of charge on a hunt, I'm sold!!!!! HAHAHAH j/k of course!!
 

In God We Trust

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ckleeves is right. I would bring all of the gear you will need for a back pack hunt. Show up to your unit a couple of days early and do a couple of day hikes into areas to see if they hold elk. Packing in 3-4 miles and finding out the area is empty of elk sucks! That means you have to pack all of your stuff back out and do it again somewhere else.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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ckleeves is right. I would bring all of the gear you will need for a back pack hunt. Show up to your unit a couple of days early and do a couple of day hikes into areas to see if they hold elk. Packing in 3-4 miles and finding out the area is empty of elk sucks! That means you have to pack all of your stuff back out and do it again somewhere else.

That would make great sense and is a good idea as it will allow me to get aclimated to the area as well. So basicaly just take a day pack and my bow. I really think I like that idea!
 
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