Advice to archery elk hunters in CO.

elkyinco

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So, when you read about OTC archery elk tags in CO many would look for another state to hunt, or perhaps you agree from your experience and think that the excuses of "there are too many hunters", or "all the elk move to private with pressure" , etc and agree with the "doom and gloom" posters, and move on.
1) Watching the outdoor channel or any of the action packed elk videos with screaming bulls in every patch of timber should to be the first thing you stop doing for any reason other than entertainment. Most of those filming's are on private ranches, or are captured over countless hours of filming and more failed opportunities than can be counted on 10 peoples toes and fingers.
2) Learn how to cow call VERY, VERY softly and use your bugle less than 5% of the time and ONlY as a last ditch effort to locate, and maybe to finish a raging bull inside 50 yards. Even then the cow call will suffice 99% of the time.
3) Learn elk habits and the terrain they like to use keeping in mind Security, water and food and in that order. Security is first as the elk know they can always get water and food after dark.
4) Move very slowly through prime elk areas. It is not about how much ground you cover, but is about how well you cover it. It takes me nothing less than 4 hours to cover a mile in the timber, or any area that I believe elk will be in.
This was my first season hunting CO as I'm new to the state and killed the attached bull on Sept 24 in one of the so called "high pressure units" I could have at minimum killed a cow everyday while hunting and passed 2 bulls before killing this one on day 4. All of my scouting was done on ONX with 0 familiarity of the area. MY past elk hunting was done in MT since 2014 in which I killed elk every year but 1 and two of those are P&Y entries. The bull below is just shy at 258 1/2" net.
 

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5MilesBack

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Glad that worked for you. Those of you who knew Big Dan know that he never used a cow call. He killed a ton of big bulls by being another bull trying to steal cows from herd bulls. Different strokes for different folks. Congratulations.
Yep, just depends on what you're looking for and what you want out of a hunt. That's why I hunt the way I do. And when that stops working, I'll stop hunting.
 

Ucsdryder

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2) Learn how to cow call VERY, VERY softly and use your bugle less than 5% of the time and ONlY as a last ditch effort to locate, and maybe to finish a raging bull inside 50 yards. Even then the cow call will suffice 99% of the time.


this is very sound advice. It might keep you from getting shot by some dumbass ML hunter from Minnesota!
 
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elkyinco

elkyinco

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I'm a big supporter of the shot as it is as deadly as any if done correctly . This bull was slight quartering to me in a secluded meadow and at 35 yards. I put the arrow on the front edge of the shoulder closest to me and just above the top of his briquet. It took out both lungs and the top of his heart. He went 70 yards and dropped dead in his tracks without a single kick on the ground as there was no disturbed ground where he went down.
I would not suggest this shot for the new hunter that has not killed several animals and, or is not rock solid with skill and nerves and knows the anatomy of an elk really well.
 
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elkyinco

elkyinco

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Glad that worked for you. Those of you who knew Big Dan know that he never used a cow call. He killed a ton of big bulls by being another bull trying to steal cows from herd bulls. Different strokes for different folks. Congratulations.
Thank you,
Yes that tactic works well for some and I do not disagree, but can see how my wording may have come across that way, sorry about that ! I would be willing to bet he would close the distance to inside the 75 yards I mentioned and then proceed to bugle in the elk when in his living room.
What I see while I'm out hunting is many hunters walking the edge of the timber at a marathon pace blowing there elk flute and expecting the elk to respond and come a running. This may happen, but it will be far and few between when it does on public land with pressured, or I believe, more importantly very intelligent elk that have played the game for many years.
When I have a screaming bull, I do nothing but 2 things. Get the wind in my favor and go to him without a single call. This bull I shot in MT was located with a soft cow call that started his bugling frenzy over 400 yards away. I called 2 times while moving in on him, but did nothing after I was inside 100 yards and moved off to the side of him about what I figured was 30 yards, as I knew from his bugling location change that he was coming to me. He was walking past me at 23 yards when I put the arrow through both lungs. MT bull.jpg
 

crazyhawksfan

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A lot of ways to skin a cat. We've hunted Colorado otc public land units as non residents for the last 5 or 6 years. In that time We've harvested 12 bulls. All of them either came screaming in after we got in and challenged them or came in quiet after using both bull and cow sounds. Bull sounds are very effective, more then cow sounds when used in the right scenario imo. Screenshot_20211005-230045_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20211005-225751_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20211005-225731_Chrome.jpg

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elkyinco

elkyinco

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A lot of ways to skin a cat. We've hunted Colorado otc public land units as non residents for the last 5 or 6 years. In that time We've harvested 12 bulls. All of them either came screaming in after we got in and challenged them or came in quiet after using both bull and cow sounds. Bull sounds are very effective, more then cow sounds when used in the right scenario imo. View attachment 333489 View attachment 333490 View attachment 333491

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I would totally agree with the "walking in Quiet" . 75% of the time I find that is the case. However, 95% of that time they pop a stick or 2. Very nice bulls Sir !!!
 
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elkyinco

elkyinco

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To all that have responded,
You all are obviously very accomplished elk hunters and I in no way was trying to offend or discount your methods.
I can see by my writing that it may have, or did come across that way and for that I apologize !!!

I'm actually glad to see the marathon hunters in the timber using tactics that I have fail so many hunter and then they move on to another area based off of the excuses that I listed originally instead of looking at what they are doing wrong.

The unit I hunted has an 8 and I can't recall the last number - haha. was bashed up and down for "too many hunters pushing the elk onto private". first of all, the private where I hunt would put the elk on the road and based off of the amount of elk I came across while hunting, about a 1 1/2 mile radius from my camp, would put hundreds of them on the road. We all know that 6-7 elk per square mile is a good elk population and based off of all my marking on my OnX, with actual eyes on elk, the number far exceeded 6-7.
One thing I can't figure out is when people see fresh sign regardless of sightings, why people move out of an area and write it off ? 1 thing I learned, or heard my first year elk hunting, from a guy in MT, and it has stuck with me since the day I heard it is "Don't leave elk to find elk" but time and time again I see it happen. I prefer to stick with the quote as it makes a whole lot of sense and has served me well.
After killing this bull and having until noon the next day for the packer to get into me the 6.5 miles I was in, I scouted in a different location out of my camp and came across just as much sign in the 4 hours I spent that morning of the 25th. Yes, with less than a week left in the season I was covered up with elk in an area that was supposedly hopeless to find elk let alone kill one.
My suggestion to those that are not successful is to look at what you are doing that is not working for you and talk to and use tactics that people who consistently kill elk.
It is fact that 10% of the hunter kill 90% of the elk year after year.
I also believe that those 10% don't hunt like the other 90%. Luck comes into every kill to some degree, but you also make your own luck be it good or bad !
 

5MilesBack

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In my experience it's pretty rare that I've heard bulls out there screaming on their own, except at night. I ALWAYS have to get them going first it seems.........and THEN the game is on. I've never had cow calls do that, those always seem to bring them in silently. That's not my game.
 
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elkyinco

elkyinco

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Maybe that was an over statement on my part. "Screaming" which I have experienced many times, or just bugling consistently, "I do nothing but go at him" paying very close attention to the wind direction and current. My thought is why would I tell him, or tip him off to my presence, even though he thinks I'm another elk, when I can just slide in and kill him !
Outside of 1 minor mistake on my part, he zigged when I zagged, I would have killed this bull in the photo of my original post, 2 night's earlier doing exactly as I said. He first bugled at 5:45 out of his bed and proceeded to bugle while traveling for the next 45 minutes until he busted me. That was at 20 yards.
The bull I attached a pic of was killed by me doing nothing other than locating him with a bugle hundreds of yards away. He kept talking and I did nothing but go to him and shot him at 20 yards below the ridge he was traveling. You can see the ridge about 50 yards over my right shoulder. After I shot him he bolted down the ridge at me and passed within 10 feet of me.
If they stop talking I will cow call and very occasionally bugle to make sure they are still interested, or have not left the area, but once confirmed, I shut up and move. If I was the one that initiated his bugling I find 9 times out of 10 they are moving in my direction. Sometimes in a very slow, nonchalant manner and others in a very direct and relatively fast paced. MT bull 2.jpg
 
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elkyinco

elkyinco

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What a true master! Thank you for joining and gracing us with your presence and knowledge. Please let me know your OnlyFans. My body (and credit card) are ready.
ah and here comes the insecure one that feels the need to insult others in order to feel good about themselves.
Grow up young man !
 
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