Colorado archery elk, first hunt

Hondo0925

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May 8, 2022
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Got to be careful how I say things around these parts but yes I had initially planned on packing in for the 12 days. I think that plan has scaled back to maybe packing food for 7 days and then going from there. With the obvious of being flexible. Definitely seems from the maps some units and some parts of units have more ATV paths that we’d like to stay away from. Initially we had considered just packing in far as we could and getting away. After reading some advice around it seems like we should probably not overlook the area we may be coming in through closer to the truck. So maybe a day or two scouting our way further in so to speak. Making sure we pay close attention in the stuff closer to access as well.

I appreciate the reasonable discourse. You’re the second person to tell me bring a fishing pole too. Is that not a hassle to keep from getting jacked up in your pack/on your pack? I like the idea of maybe catching a few fish for the experience for sure.
Sounds like you’re on the right path. Good luck on your hunt. I know what it’s like going on new hunts in exciting new locations and it’s hard to think of anything else. I’m going on one myself.
Shoot straight or shoot often!!!
 
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Crjones8

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Feb 12, 2022
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Sounds like you’re on the right path. Good luck on your hunt. I know what it’s like going on new hunts in exciting new locations and it’s hard to think of anything else. I’m going on one myself.
Shoot straight or shoot often!!!
Good luck to you as well
 

sndmn11

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Oh I gathered that already. Mostly bc I don’t have my internet badge of wisdom yet. I still got a lot more posts so it will say “we’ll known rokslider” then I’ll have the right idea.

Seriously though, y’all sitting here trying to be smart asses is great. Mostly bc you’re just babbling dumb shit trying to sound cool.

It was genuine advice, open your eyes.
 

fatlander

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Feb 11, 2016
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Got to be careful how I say things around these parts but yes I had initially planned on packing in for the 12 days. I think that plan has scaled back to maybe packing food for 7 days and then going from there.

You need to have a serious reality check. Based off the questions you’ve asked here, followed up by this statement, you’re in for an absolute suck fest. I couldn’t imagine doing 7+ days for elk in one specific place I know there’s elk. You’re talking about 12 in a place where you’ve never been. What happens when you lug 65 pounds of gear 5 miles in and don’t find elk in a day or two?


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Crjones8

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You need to have a serious reality check. Based off the questions you’ve asked here, followed up by this statement, you’re in for an absolute suck fest. I couldn’t imagine doing 7+ days for elk in one specific place I know there’s elk. You’re talking about 12 in a place where you’ve never been. What happens when you lug 65 pounds of gear 5 miles in and don’t find elk in a day or two?


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We’ll if keep walking around and looking for elk for the next 10 days lol. You act like you’re the only person only the planet who can actually carry a pack…
 

fatlander

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We’ll if keep walking around and looking for elk for the next 10 days lol. You act like you’re the only person only the planet who can actually carry a pack…

You already know it all. Why are you even here?

Good luck man. You’ve got a lot to learn, 12 days of humble pie might help you with that.


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Crjones8

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You already know it all. Why are you even here?

Good luck man. You’ve got a lot to learn, 12 days of humble pie might help you with that.


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You asked a dumb question and got a dumb response. I’ve never claimed to know it all. The only people that have made assumptions are the people wanting to chime in which a dck response to seem like a cool guy on the internet.
 

3forks

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To the OP - have you got your gear list pulled together for your hunt?

12 days is a big trip.

What are you bringing and how have you been training for this trip?
 

hunt1up

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Mar 2, 2012
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Central Illinois
I think I've now done 6 DIY elk hunts many other hunts for antelope and stuff and here's my novice $.02:

1. The land will be far bigger than you thought it would be. It'll be huge. 500 acres here in flat land is very different than 500 acres with incline.
2. Getting around on foot takes way long than you'd expect. Add some up/down terrain and fill it with deadfall and it's slow miserable work. (Deadfall is the devil)
3. You'll see a lot less animals than you expected you would. You'll walk all over and wonder if elk even live there on some days, even in some good units.
4. When you see elk they'll be bigger than you expected.
5. Once you find the big elk, with that big kill zone, he'll conveniently skirt around you, come in at the wrong angle, or wind you. Ya gotta love when a bull is 5 yards away and you can't get a shot.
6. Packing an elk through crappy terrain is tough. It's one of those things that you hate while you're doing it but will look back on fondly.

I'd definitely never steer someone away from going elk hunting as a first trip but it'll be a crash course in Western hunting. I did several archery javelina hunts in the Arizona with some lifelong resident friends and several antelope and deer hunts before I "graduated" to elk. Those hunts were greatly beneficial in understanding maps, getting used to Western distances, getting good at glassing, and hiking rough terrain.

Who knows though. You might go out and kill a nice 6x6 on day 2 and everything I just typed was BS. It certainly happens. :cool:
 
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Crjones8

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To the OP - have you got your gear list pulled together for your hunt?

12 days is a big trip.

What are you bringing and how have you been training for this trip?
Yes, I have a detailed gear list accounting for every ounce of gear and food counting every calorie for every day. Contrary to what most of these folks have said, I have been spending a lot of time preparing for this. But asking if I’m doing it right is clearly a cause of consternation.

Preparation I am doing kettle bell exercises and just hiking with my pack at least once a week. Some long and light (55lbs) some short and heavy (80lbs). This is actually the one part of this event I do have experience with. I have my shit kicked in hiking with a heavy pack at 10k-11k feet. That part I feel like I do know how to put in the work to get the results.

I’ve said it at least twice but I’ll say it again. Maybe I asked my question(s) wrong. I specifically tried to word it to prevent people thinking I’d want a hand out and tried to say it where I could talk to people about what I’m researching and see if my mind is thinking on the right things for stuff like E scouting and planning for shit like water. It’s just clearly much easier to blow it out of proportion than to engage in an actual productive conversation. And yes I will meet smart ass with smart ass. But if you ask me something like you did, I’ll be glad to discuss things with humility.

My number one goal is to learn. There’s a million and 1 things on the forum, much less the internet. You’re not an asshole for asking someone if you can talk to them about what you’re learning and seeing how that compares to their experience in similar hunts.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. While I do believe training wise I am good I will definitely hear out any advice you have as well as gear. You can find again a million and 1 gear lists online. Hard to sift through what you actually need and what you don’t if you don’t know so my ears are open for anything you may be willing to share.
 
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Crjones8

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I think I've now done 6 DIY elk hunts many other hunts for antelope and stuff and here's my novice $.02:

1. The land will be far bigger than you thought it would be. It'll be huge. 500 acres here in flat land is very different than 500 acres with incline.
2. Getting around on foot takes way long than you'd expect. Add some up/down terrain and fill it with deadfall and it's slow miserable work. (Deadfall is the devil)
3. You'll see a lot less animals than you expected you would. You'll walk all over and wonder if elk even live there on some days, even in some good units.
4. When you see elk they'll be bigger than you expected.
5. Once you find the big elk, with that big kill zone, he'll conveniently skirt around you, come in at the wrong angle, or wind you. Ya gotta love when a bull is 5 yards away and you can't get a shot.
6. Packing an elk through crappy terrain is tough. It's one of those things that you hate while you're doing it but will look back on fondly.

I'd definitely never steer someone away from going elk hunting as a first trip but it'll be a crash course in Western hunting. I did several archery javelina hunts in the Arizona with some lifelong resident friends and several antelope and deer hunts before I "graduated" to elk. Those hunts were greatly beneficial in understanding maps, getting used to Western distances, getting good at glassing, and hiking rough terrain.

Who knows though. You might go out and kill a nice 6x6 on day 2 and everything I just typed was BS. It certainly happens. :cool:
Thanks for the advice! Definitely trying to go get on some antelope next year, which I know seems ass backwards for learning the west. But trying to talk your friends into antelope over elk can be a hard sell. I appreciate your insight. Looking forward to getting out there and learning. It is always the most miserable times you look back on as good times. I’ve got quite a few of those I look back on often.
 
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Crjones8

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Feb 12, 2022
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Wait what?

Yeah I saw that one.
The dumb question was, bc I know reading is hard, what are you going to do on day 2 of 12 when you’re hiking around with a 65lb pack.?Obviously the answer is keep hunting. It’s a dumb question. You’re even dumber if you don’t realize that. I know you can talk shit better than that? At least talk shit better than you can read lol
 

GSPHUNTER

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Hey everyone...if you're looking for a good spot to go in Colorado for an OTC tag you should look at the area SW of Vail. Looks like some great area...everyone should look really closely at it and hit it hard this season!

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NICE:)
 

fatlander

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Feb 11, 2016
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Here’s some learning:


Lesson number 1: you’re not going to find 12 days worth of elk hunting in one spot. You or someone else will blow them well before you get to day 12.

Lesson number 2: building off of lesson number one, you don’t need to carry 12 days worth of gear on your back.

Lesson number 3: because you’re not going to be hunting the same drainage for 12 days, you need lots of plans and places to check out. See lesson 2 so you don’t carry more than you need while applying lesson number 3.


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Crjones8

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Here’s some learning:


Lesson number 1: you’re not going to find 12 days worth of elk hunting in one spot. You or someone else will blow them well before you get to day 12.

Lesson number 2: building off of lesson number one, you don’t need to carry 12 days worth of gear on your back.

Lesson number 3: because you’re not going to be hunting the same drainage for 12 days, you need lots of plans and places to check out. See lesson 2 so you don’t carry more than you need while applying lesson number 3.


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Thanks, discussed this yesterday with another forum member about that prob not being realistic. This is the exact stuff I’m trying to learn before the hunt.

Working on E-scouting several units to the best of our ability. Obviously we’ll scout every place we can hunt in the area and mark potential places and form a plan of attack. But if you’re willing to answer: what is a decent frame of reference, not a hard a fast rule, that we could expect to spend in a particular drainage before knowing it’s time to move on? I understand this is going to be a boots on ground judgement call based off what you see, sign, maybe even gut feeling. Just for reference trying to get maybe an average time looking back on your trips you spend hunting a drainage before deciding to move to the next spot?
 

3forks

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Flatlander’s post about about hunting for 12 days in one area, and carrying 12 days of gear is why I asked.
 
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fatlander

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Thanks, discussed this yesterday with another forum member about that prob not being realistic. This is the exact stuff I’m trying to learn before the hunt.

Working on E-scouting several units to the best of our ability. Obviously we’ll scout every place we can hunt in the area and mark potential places and form a plan of attack. But if you’re willing to answer: what is a decent frame of reference, not a hard a fast rule, that we could expect to spend in a particular drainage before knowing it’s time to move on? I understand this is going to be a boots on ground judgement call based off what you see, sign, maybe even gut feeling. Just for reference trying to get maybe an average time looking back on your trips you spend hunting a drainage before deciding to move to the next spot?

It depends on how long it takes to cover it. If it’s open country, you can glass it relatively quickly. If it’s dark timber you’ve gotta actually move through it. If you’re not hearing, seeing, and or smelling elk you need to move.


One more thing that I really think will help you is to understand that you know nothing at this point. Be a student. Some of the guys you’ve piped off at so far in this thread have forgotten more about elk hunting than I’ll ever know, and I’ve forgotten more about elk hunting than you know as of today. Be humble. Take the criticism and learn. You’ll be better in the long run for it. Good luck.


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Crjones8

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This post is why I was asking about you‘re gear and training.
About the 12 days? Yeah with 12 days my pack weight would be around 65lbs. While I can carry that, I’d prefer to be lighter. My goal has been 50 is. Think I’m at 55 now bow and food. I have a 65mm spotting scope and tripod in that too. My thoughts with that have been probably won’t help for elk for archery (assuming they will mostly be in thicker timer) but we have planned on maybe having a recover day maybe day 5 to 8, some where in that range and I’d like to look for bear. I don’t know how realistic that is but I killed a black bear last year out of pure luck and now I just really want to kill another. My partner, elk is like his dream harvest. Id just assume kill a bear lol. Elk are awesome, don’t get me wrong. I just think taking a bear is cool too.
 
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Crjones8

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It depends on how long it takes to cover it. If it’s open country, you can glass it relatively quickly. If it’s dark timber you’ve gotta actually move through it. If you’re not hearing, seeing, and or smelling elk you need to move.


One more thing that I really think will help you is to understand that you know nothing at this point. Be a student. Some of the guys you’ve piped off at so far in this thread have forgotten more about elk hunting than I’ll ever know, and I’ve forgotten more about elk hunting than you know as of today. Be humble. Take the criticism and learn. You’ll be better in the long run for it. Good luck.


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I appreciate it, and I promise you if there’s one thing I know it’s that I don’t know anything about elk and people here do. That’s after all why I came here. But I reciprocate respect based off the here and now and not past accomplishments. I’d rather talk to someone who has 5 years of elk hunting experience that is also humble and cares about helping the guys that are in his/her position when they started that talk to a guy who’s elk hunted 30 years with a massive trophy wall but is an absolute prick about everything. Just bc they know more doesn’t mean you can always learn more from them.
 
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