Colorado Archery Elk - best week to go

banded_drake

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Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
119
I was fortunate enough to draw the archery tag for Colorado that I want. I've been doing as much research as I can to prepare myself for the trip as this will be my first elk hunt. As far as when, I can pretty much pick any 7-10 day time frame during the archery season to go, but I'm torn on when.

At first I thought I would get there for the opener and hunt the first 7-10 days of the season, catch the first part before pressure really sets in, but then I may have a very small chance of catching the rut.

More towards the middle of the season would give me a better opportunity at catching the rut, best I can tell, but at this point the muzzleloader season will be open and add another aspect of pressure.

Later in the season I'm not sure what all I would be up against, where the elk would be pushed to besides some of the private land.

For reference, I'll be hunting around the Gunnison area.

So for those of you with experience in Colorado season during archery, which time frame would you choose and what's your thinking behind it. Just want to hear others opinions to help me make a choice.

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mountaingoat6969

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Joined
Aug 8, 2017
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43
Location
SC
I wouldn’t let muzzleloader season discourage you too much but I would go September 15-22. Ive hunted the gunnison area twice and one year we went in on those days and it was hot. I think the moon is supposed to be full towards the end of those dates but not sure how much that will have an impact on the elk. Good luck!


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banded_drake

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Sep 10, 2019
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119

Pretty good info in this article. The moon definitely makes me nervous for the second half.
That was a very good read. Some really good insight to how the rut can be affected. Definitely helps narrow down. So I guess really my only concern would be if the ML season would add a noticeable or unwanted amount of pressure. For the unit I drew, it looks like it would add about 90 extra tags in the woods, assuming all that drew would be present all season.

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IrkedCitizen

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
331
Location
Littleton, CO
Any time in the woods is the best time. Cannot get one from the couch.

Like mentioned above I wouldn't worry much about ML. I hardly see any a mile from their truck.
 

bootyjohnson

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
12
I always hunt the last week of season. Pressure has died off mostly by then in most areas
 

jgreene03

Newbie
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
1
I wouldn’t let muzzleloader season discourage you too much but I would go September 15-22. Ive hunted the gunnison area twice and one year we went in on those days and it was hot. I think the moon is supposed to be full towards the end of those dates but not sure how much that will have an impact on the elk. Good luck!


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Completely off topic but mountaingoat would you text me about the exo k2 pack you have in classifieds? I’m new here so I can’t comment yet. Live in NC & interested. 828-493-3035
 

el_jefe_pescado

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May 8, 2019
Messages
105
My vote is the last week of the season. The fall equinox lands on 9/22 and I gotta believe there will be a lot of cows cycling at that point. Yes, the full moon will certainly effect movement. However, the midday action during those brighter periods of the moon phase can be off the charts...

...Kill your bull while everyone else is back in camp drinking PBRs and eating bologna sandwiches.


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banded_drake

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Sep 10, 2019
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119
My vote is the last week of the season. The fall equinox lands on 9/22 and I gotta believe there will be a lot of cows cycling at that point. Yes, the full moon will certainly effect movement. However, the midday action during those brighter periods of the moon phase can be off the charts...

...Kill your bull while everyone else is back in camp drinking PBRs and eating bologna sandwiches.


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I like your way of thinking. I was definitely considering this route

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NCSU_Lewis

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Joined
Sep 27, 2016
Messages
246
Location
NC Piedmont
Completely off topic but mountaingoat would you text me about the exo k2 pack you have in classifieds? I’m new here so I can’t comment yet. Live in NC & interested. 828-493-3035
Where you at in NC? I just moved back to Greensboro area. From around Raleigh originally
 

mlgc20

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
933
Location
DFW, TX
Here is how I prioritize what week I go archery hunting:
  1. Whatever week I can get away.
  2. Peak of the rut.
  3. Last week of the season.
  4. Whatever’s left.
 
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banded_drake

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Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
119
I’m going opening day and every day after that until i get one. Living a few miles from elk hunting and being retired is great.
Have to admit I'm slightly jealous. I told my wife I may just take off all of September next year and just live in the high country

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trdhtr

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
12
I was fortunate enough to draw the archery tag for Colorado that I want. I've been doing as much research as I can to prepare myself for the trip as this will be my first elk hunt. As far as when, I can pretty much pick any 7-10 day time frame during the archery season to go, but I'm torn on when.

At first I thought I would get there for the opener and hunt the first 7-10 days of the season, catch the first part before pressure really sets in, but then I may have a very small chance of catching the rut.

More towards the middle of the season would give me a better opportunity at catching the rut, best I can tell, but at this point the muzzleloader season will be open and add another aspect of pressure.

Later in the season I'm not sure what all I would be up against, where the elk would be pushed to besides some of the private land.

For reference, I'll be hunting around the Gunnison area.

So for those of you with experience in Colorado season during archery, which time frame would you choose and what's your thinking behind it. Just want to hear others opinions to help me make a choice.

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I too have drawn a archery tag near Gunnison. I am planning to be there for the opener!
 

ndforbes

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
49
Location
Colorado
I don't know about the rest of you, but I seem to find that the bulls talk less and less each year as Colorado gets more overcrowded and hunting pressure increases. Every year I see people in places that I used to have to myself. Last year I had more close encounters in the first week than I did later in the season. Sure, there are a million variables, but I'll probably hunt the first week then go back out for the last 10 days if I haven't already filled my tag.
 

cnelk

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
4,286
Location
N Colorado
I’ve hunted every week of the season. And I’ve killed elk every week of the season.

Where I hunt early, is different than where I hunt later.

You gotta know where the animals are each week of the season and go from there
 

kcm2

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
271
This depends upon where you plan to hunt. If private land, then you may want to wait a bit and let the elk get pushed to private. If you want to hunt the rut, after ML season makes a lot of sense. Some public areas are good early or late. WHere I go on public, typically the first week is good and the last week.
 
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