Back to back hunt logistics

TexanSam

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Nov 28, 2016
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Hey guys,

So my original plan for this year (my first year hunting elk) was going to be to go to SW Colorado on a "easy to draw" first rifle tag. Well, out of a random stroke of luck, I had also drawn a second rifle tag in 16C for New Mexico this fall. There is about 3 or 4 days in between those two seasons and was going to see what y'all recommend I do.

In theory I would go to Colorado, utilize the fact that it's an either sex tag and just get a freezer filler, then go to New Mexico and hunt for a nice bull. The thing that concerns me is that I have some questions about that. For one, I am in good shape but how much will the Colorado trip wear me down to where it hinders my ability in New Mexico. Also if I were to get an elk in Colorado, what would I do with it while hunting New Mexico? Granted I plan on living in the Texas panhandle after I graduate so that would make both places only a 9 hour drive.

Some other things I wonder is how do I pack for a trip like that where I could encounter different weather in different climates. What about scouting? Do I camp or motel hunt?

Anyways there's more experience on this site than I could ever attain in a lifetime, and I'm sure these are just amateur newbie concerns, but if anyone has some words of wisdom about anything I mentioned, please feel free to share.

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brn2hnt

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Do you have access to a generator? I've typically used a chest freezer and one of those 2k watt Honda generators in place of fancy coolers. How much you wear down is dependent on how the hunt goes. That long of a trip would likely be extremely tough mentally. For me, so is more mentally tiring as I am always more focused and on edge, both due to safety and the fact that you have to be the one doing everything.


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5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
Colorado's 1st rifle is only 5 days, so I wouldn't worry about getting too worn down. And then you have a couple days to recover as well before the NM hunt starts. You could always start looking now for a locker somewhere close to your NM location that you could leave the meat at from CO.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing yet, but I will most likely hunt CO for two weeks during early archery before I even get to NM for 2nd archery, without any time in between.......unless I tag out early in CO......and I'm old. LOL.
 

DEHusker

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Jul 5, 2014
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Colorado, US of A
The tag in CO is easy to get and you can do it year in and year out. The NM tag is much harder to get (presumably) and therefore what I would do is concentrate solely on the NM hunt. Put all your effort in maps, google, scouting, preparing for that hunt. My experience with this type of thing is that if I have 2 hunts lined up back to back, invariably they both get short changed and I end up not fully satisfied with either hunt. Of course, your job and logistics with that play into the equation as well so take that for what it's worth to you. The alternative is to go on both hunts but go to Colorado just to "get your feet wet" etc. Good luck and have fun!
DEH
 
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TexanSam

TexanSam

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The tag in CO is easy to get and you can do it year in and year out. The NM tag is much harder to get (presumably) and therefore what I would do is concentrate solely on the NM hunt. Put all your effort in maps, google, scouting, preparing for that hunt. My experience with this type of thing is that if I have 2 hunts lined up back to back, invariably they both get short changed and I end up not fully satisfied with either hunt. Of course, your job and logistics with that play into the equation as well so take that for what it's worth to you. The alternative is to go on both hunts but go to Colorado just to "get your feet wet" etc. Good luck and have fun!
DEH
I have the same mentality about Colorado as a "get your feet wet" type of ordeal. I won't discriminate, just shoot something to fill a tag and put some elk meat in the freezer.

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WyoElk

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Mar 11, 2014
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I would look for a meatlocker to store your Elk while in NM and plan on getting a hotel between seasons. You will rest and recover well, get stuff cleaned up, and hit the laundry mat before NM along with having internet.
 
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TexanSam

TexanSam

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Thanks guys. I'm planning a preliminary scouting trip to the gila in may. Looking at the maps, I'm about as lost as can be and don't know where to start.

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Jtelarkin08

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Jul 23, 2013
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Why not just give your tag back in colorado?? If it was an easy to draw tag I would assume you didnt have points?? or if you did only 1-2?? so you could always forfeit the 1-2 points you had and get your money back??

Or if you can make it work go kill the first elk you see in Colorado and then go kill a Bull in New Mexico.

I just know my success in even finding elk in Colorado has sucked. So I would be giving the Colorado tag back and turning all my focus to NM
 

Jimss

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Most quality elk tags are pretty tough to come by and often take years to draw. I'm not exactly sure what season and draw odds you had for your NM elk tag but if it is a good one you may want to put your time and energy into that hunt rather than burning yourself out trying to do both hunts. When I draw a quality tag I usually try to scout prior to the season. If I'm close enough I will venture there in the summer to figure out access and get a feel for what I'm up against. I then arrive several days before the season to locate animals so I take full advantage of opening day rather than spinning my wheels.

I'm not sure what unit and what quality hunt you can expect with your Colo tag but you can hunt Colo every year...and it doesn't sound like you burned many pts for the tag? If you turn in your tag you may be better off doing both tags justice rather than being in a hurry to fill your tags? You also have a better chance of harvesting 2 better bulls if you take your time and concentrate on each tag in separate years. I've drawn too many tags in a single year several years and it's a lot of work..and not nearly as enjoyable. Elk are also giant critters...and there is a lot of logistics hunting and packing them out! I've harvested a lot of elk over the years and really don't enjoy hunting them that much any more because they are so much work hunting and packing them out of ungodly places on public land.
 
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TexanSam

TexanSam

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Do you have access to a generator? I've typically used a chest freezer and one of those 2k watt Honda generators in place of fancy coolers. How much you wear down is dependent on how the hunt goes. That long of a trip would likely be extremely tough mentally. For me, so is more mentally tiring as I am always more focused and on edge, both due to safety and the fact that you have to be the one doing everything.


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What about a setup like this? That way my truck could act as a base camp and keep some good food frozen to cook fresh while camping.


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brn2hnt

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What about a setup like this? That way my truck could act as a base camp and keep some good food frozen to cook fresh while camping.


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As long as the specs worked out for each part of the system I don't see why not. Not knowing the wattage of my freezer off the top of my head I don't know how well it would work though. In theory, yes. Is it feasible? I don't know. I only ran my freezer for a day to freeze then about 3 hrs a day to maintain. At 20hrs/gal of fuel it wasn't bad at all.


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elkyinzer

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If my recollection of NM tag stats is correct, you drew a very high demand practically once in a lifetime tag in NM. I'd scout and hunt that and forget about CO this year, there are other hunts you can pick that will guarantee meat and not mess up a great opportunity at a primo elk area. Just my take on it obviously.
 
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TexanSam

TexanSam

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If my recollection of NM tag stats is correct, you drew a very high demand practically once in a lifetime tag in NM. I'd scout and hunt that and forget about CO this year, there are other hunts you can pick that will guarantee meat and not mess up a great opportunity at a primo elk area. Just my take on it obviously.
Yeah I may just do that. I'll have whitetails and mulies here in Texas plus ducks, geese and cranes starting literally the last day of this elk season so I may just do that.

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fng4life

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I believe you get a refund in Colorado for turning in a tag? As a non resident that's $$$ money could be better used for NM. Even if it's just gas money to scout it.
 

Graindrain

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Jun 3, 2015
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Texas
Drop the CO hunt and get to NM during that time and get to know your area.

The odds of drawing that tag again are very little. I would get to your unit early and skip the Colorado hunt.
 

rayporter

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arkansas or ohio
dry ice is easy to get in most towns during season and will keep stuff frozen quite well in your freezer or cooler. with nothing to be stolen which is a bonus.

i would like to know if the solar panel worked- i got my doubts if it can support the freezer.
 

njdoxie

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Apr 1, 2014
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If you do both hunts, would like to hear how it went, should be interesting 1st and 2nd elk hunt ever. How quickly do you recover? It's different for everyone, I'm still feeling tired until 6 or 7 days after an elk hunt, I know others that can lap me though. I work out year around to stay in my best shape. Not knowing you, your shape and how fast you recover, it's impossible to say how you'll fare, especially if you get an elk in CO in a bad spot.
 

Jason Snyder

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Somewhere between here and there
Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth. I personally would do both trips so long as it isn't creating a financial burden or going to pinch you for time. If either of those are true, then return the CO tag and do the NM hunt. Otherwise, go hunt CO, and just make it a have fun, relaxing hunt.

If you kill an elk, take the stuff to process in camp and pack it in coolers with dry ice, or pay to have it processed in NM and pick it up when you head home.

Tent vs. Motel? Largely depends on the situation. I very seldom stay at motels (i.e. almost never) when I'm hunting. I'd camp personally. Freeze a bunch of meals before hand so you can eat good food.

As to recovery? Again, largely depends on you. If I did a really taxing hunt for a week, I'd probably want 5 days or so recovery and I'd be ready to roll again. With a really good tag, I'd just suck it up and go with whatever. Just make sure you take care of yourself, don't eat a bunch of shitty fast food, and get in the best shape you can going into it.

Hit a laundromat in between. Take lots of pictures and have fun.
 

dble07

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Jul 19, 2014
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NW North Dakota
My girlfriend and I both drew random archery tags in AZ and Wyoming. Living in ND I knew it would be difficult but we made it work. We used all of over vacation time and ended up with 17 days to work with. After she shot her bull in AZ we drove to Wyoming and dropped it off at the closest processor that could guarantee it would be packaged and ready within a week. She made meals for the first part of the trip that we froze then put in a cooler full of frozen milk jugs. I think those milk jugs lasted about 6 days before we had to refill with blocks of ice. That food lasted about 10 days and after that we just ate freeze dried or dehydrated food.
You can make both hunts happen with some planning. If you were to try running a freezer on a separate battery and inverter I would recommend getting a bigger inverter and hardwiring it to the battery/charging system of your vehicle. Another option might be to just skip the extra battery and run the freezer off of your battery when your vehicle is running.

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justinspicher

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Dec 27, 2012
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Colorado
You have an opportunity to hunt more this season than most folks do in several years. I say do both and have a blast doing it. Worry about what to do with an elk after you get one. Hell, if you get one in SW Colorado, you can keep it at my place until your done in New Mexico.
 
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