Colorado Archery Elk Harvest

Sherman

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Joined
Jul 15, 2021
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298
Spoke with the local game warden. He asked about our OTC Elk success this year. I told him it was a tough year and he reaffirmed that this was one of the absolute worst years for harvest rates. He stated the full moon coinciding with the start of the rut keeping cows and bulls active all night along with extreme pressure.

Thoughts?
 

Gerbdog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
494
Location
CO Springs
Hard to say, even the official statistics they release arent completely accurate and a game warden can only be in one place at one time like anyone else. I saw three harvested elk and 1 dead elk someone gut shot this year in my hunting spots, and that aint bad given the high pressure this year. I cant say if the elk were acting any weirder than normal... i did find it odd i got onto a big bull that was hunkered down in 1 area for at-least 3 days when i arrived.... no cows around at all that i could see, not even sign.... and this was already the 27th of Sept, ida figured that even if he was a satellite he would be tailing a herd of cows at that point in Sept.
 

LongWayAround

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Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
1,423
I didn't get to spend a lot of time bowhunting elk this year because I killed a small bull by happenstance. In the following days/weeks I had a few bulls that were plenty killable. Either in their location or behavior.

I know you (OP) previously posted that this was your first year of big game hunting. So how do you measure if it was a tough year? Hunting partner said it was tough? Didn't see/hear them?

Genuine question, not trying to be rude.

Every year guys say it was "weird", "tough", "elk aren't talking", etc. I had a guy tell me the moon made the rut late...

September fourth I took my elk to the locker so I could keep hunting. The guys there already had 30+ animals brought in. They said from opening day on, your knife better be sharp because it's game time.
 

William Sublette

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Joined
Aug 6, 2017
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392
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On the Road my Friend
Increasing numbers of podcast/social media groupies probably drive success rates down. Meaning injecting a large number of incompetent people is going to equate to a lower success rate overall.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk


Exactly.


The outdoor marketing machine fills the woods with knuckle heads.


These forums have destroyed more hunting than they've helped.


Outdoor whores will kill the outdoors.
 

Gerbdog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
494
Location
CO Springs
Exactly.


The outdoor marketing machine fills the woods with knuckle heads.


These forums have destroyed more hunting than they've helped.


Outdoor whores will kill the outdoors.
Seems a bit bleak.... more folks enjoying the outdoors i hope will lead to more public land being preserved permanently or as permanently as anything can be.... so that generations from now people can still get outside and enjoy the outdoors without paying a trespassing / lease fee. I mean dont get me wrong... im a selfish hunter, but i cant be angry (or at least not seriously angry) at someone enjoying the same things i do....
 

bnsafe

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
285
I dunno why, not even gonna speculate. But this is the first time I have ever elk hunted and never saw a elk. Im guessing a combo of several things.
 
OP
Sherman

Sherman

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
298
I didn't get to spend a lot of time bowhunting elk this year because I killed a small bull by happenstance. In the following days/weeks I had a few bulls that were plenty killable. Either in their location or behavior.

I know you (OP) previously posted that this was your first year of big game hunting. So how do you measure if it was a tough year? Hunting partner said it was tough? Didn't see/hear them?

Genuine question, not trying to be rude.

Every year guys say it was "weird", "tough", "elk aren't talking", etc. I had a guy tell me the moon made the rut late...

September fourth I took my elk to the locker so I could keep hunting. The guys there already had 30+ animals brought in. They said from opening day on, your knife better be sharp because it's game time.
Guys I hunted with are extremely seasoned elk hunters. Learned a lot from them thus far. Very humbled and appreciative that they have taken me under their wing to teach me the ropes. Very lucky to have this group of guys as mentors. They know where the elk are and how to get on them, OTC & draw units. Their success rate over the last ten years is 100%, until this year.
 

sndmn11

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
4,938
Location
Morrison, Colorado
I ran into two herds of rutting elk on Friday, Oct 1st in spot I had been watching pronghorn at in the summer and into August.

I think sometimes people want to fit elk behavior into a small little box, especially when the rut and archery season is talked about. I do it too and forget that they do what they feel like when they feel like it, and don't care what hunters think they should be doing.
 

KyleR1985

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
327
I spent time in four different units. Two OTC and Two draw. Hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, scouting. I saw elk in all four. I killed my first bull. I saw as many or more people as years past in some units and less people in others. I was in bow range of elk on two occasions, and within striking distance several different times. I saw them near people, far from people. I saw them before during and after the full moon.
 

Jbenson

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
120
I'll say this...I traveled about 11 hours from Nebraska to Colorado to hunt/scout elk for labor day weekend, and then a longer trip from the 19th to the 25th. I typically see a bunch of elk or racks in the backs of trucks on the way down/back or both. In making 2 trips this year, one trip during the rut, I didn't see a single harvested elk anywhere. And I'm usually looking pretty hard. Take that for what it's worth 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

Fullfan

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Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
669
Location
Nw/Pa
Not only Colorado, hunted Idaho for 17 days. Encountered mature bulls that walked away from cows. Mature bulls with cows that would not respond to a challenge form 60 yds. Had 6-7 other bulls worked for several hours each. None of them would commit under 60 yds. Still hunted and found solo mature bulls that would not come to a cow call, or even respond to calling.
Always had the thermals and wind on my side, covered 118 miles the first 9 days.
Yes it was a odd Sept.
 

Laramie

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
1,740
90% of elk are killed by 10% of the hunters. It's hard. Game wardens will kind of tell you what you want to hear in general.

Every year is extremely difficult... Until it comes together for you. Be persistent. Embrace the difficulty.
 

BullsDeep

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
179
I hunted the week of the full moon in a crowded unit as a first time elk hunter and worked 5 bulls and 2 spikes in 3 days.... I wasn't succeful but was satisfied in every way other than punching a tag. Seen a ton of elk.. most of my knowledge came from the content that's provided by YouTube, elk101 and elknut app. Not too mention just plain hunting knowledge and putting everything together. I guess it just depends on what area u fall into and the elk activity in that particular area.
 

PaBone

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
86
Location
Western Pa.
My two sons and I hunted Montana and camped on a mountain that had some access roads. We saw lots of people either walking these roads or driving ATV's bugling to locate a bull. Never once did we hear a bull answer these hunters and they would move on. Since we spent 10 days camped in the area we heard random bugling day and night and worked bulls everyday. On September 11th we heard bugling everywhere, after that you had to be really close to a bull 60 yards or so before he would challenge back.
 

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