Colorado Dark Timber Wind Challenges

jjwaldman21

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Dec 27, 2018
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Tennessee
My brother and I went on our first elk trip to Colorado, OTC this year. We were there the 18-29th ish. We ended up hunting some hellacious north facing timber with blowdowns everywhere up at 10400 to 11000 ft. And for a couple days we were on bugles and bulls every day. The problem was that the wind was atrocious. It was always blowing the wrong way. The thermals were never consistent, the prevailing wasn't consistent, and we basically ended up blowing everything off the mountain (and had a blast doing it). We are wondering if anyone has any tips for the wind. We think that because it was somewhat of a bowl that the only way to hunt it properly is in a dead calm....

Any ideas?
 

AaronMColeman

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Joined
Nov 20, 2018
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Wyoming
I have no tips for the wind. It sucks. I get to the spot I want to hunt and see which way the wind seems to be moving the most and work with that. Some days there's nothing you can do about it. Others may have some tips, I'm just here to commiserate.
 

jmez

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Jun 12, 2012
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Piedmont, SD
Welcome to elk hunting. That is normal in the mountains. It seems like the places where the wind is never consistent is where you always find the elk.

Use a wind checker a lot. If it's wrong back out. Eventually it will all come together. Just have to stick with it. I'd say elk would be easy to kill if it weren't for the mountain winds. That's just elk hunting. Far and away the most frustrating part of elk hunting.

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5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
Mountain wind can be impossible at times. At times it seems to swirl and change direction with every step. That's all part of the game and what makes it challenging.

One hot afternoon this year I was hunting a timbered ridgeside. I suddenly had two bulls responding, one in each direction from me parallel to the top of the ridge. I checked the wind and went after the one with wind mostly in my face. 30 seconds later the wind was at my back. So I switched it up and went after the other one. A couple minutes later the wind was at my back going that way. At that point both bulls were gone. Ya, that gets frustrating.
 

backcountryshaffer

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Jul 15, 2017
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340
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Parker, Colorado
Something that I try and employ is coming in from the side. Sometimes it helps when the thermals are switching back and forth from up to down. Of course I've blown elk out from 500 yards sidehill too.
 
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jjwaldman21

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Dec 27, 2018
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Tennessee
And no doubt we are going back. That was the most fun hunting I have ever had, and also toughest.
 

jmez

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Piedmont, SD
You'll run into the same issue every year. Why I chuckle every time one of the WT scent freaks tells me I just don't understand you can't always hunt the wind. You will never beat an elk's nose. Statistics continually prove it is only done about 10% of the time with archery equipment.
 

Mn Sawtooth

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Sep 29, 2019
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Sounds normal. I know how you feel I had 5 bulls in archery range the brush. blowdown, and swirling wind was not my friend. I was inch's away 2 of those times but still exciting.
 
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jjwaldman21

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Dec 27, 2018
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Tennessee
Do I change locations to try to find a topography with a more consistent wind? I feel like I would have gotten it done if they wind would have just been relatively consistent.
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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Location
N Colorado
The wind can be weather dependent. If a front comes in, or any other unstable weather pattern, you will get inconsistent winds.

Knowing the typical geographical weather patterns can help alot - i.e. it RARELY rains or storms in the mornings in Colorado.

Where I hunt, the thermals [not to be confused with wind] are consistent until about 930am, then they mix and switch. That when I have to back out.

Anywhere from 1-3pm is when a daily weather front will blow in. Strong winds for 30-45mins and then subside, maybe lingering gusts until 6pm and then die down.

Topography affects thermals moreso than wind.

If you dont like wind, I suggest you not hunt Wyoming. Ever.
 

Wrench

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Aug 23, 2018
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WA
I'm sure the often misquoted saying came from elk hunting, "you can't WIND if you don't play."

What you experiencedis 100% normal.
 

feanor

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Aug 15, 2018
Messages
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Location
Colorado
We patterned a draw with a water source for a couple days and found out when the thermals switched (around 5pm). We also knew the elk were bedding in the aspen just above the water source. We went WAY around and came to the the water source where they couldnt wind us and waited to ambush them when they came to drink or cool off mid day. We waited 2-3 hours- nothing. Finally, we heard them all get up and move around. 5pm. The winds started to shift and swirl, and they winded us. They are smart animals, and use the winds to their advantage.
Welcome to elk hunting. That is normal in the mountains. It seems like the places where the wind is never consistent is where you always find the elk.

Use a wind checker a lot. If it's wrong back out. Eventually it will all come together. Just have to stick with it. I'd say elk would be easy to kill if it weren't for the mountain winds. That's just elk hunting. Far and away the most frustrating part of elk hunting.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
 

jmez

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Jun 12, 2012
Messages
4,383
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Piedmont, SD
You aren't going to find "consistent" wind in the mountains. If you found elk you are far better off staying there and learning how the wind/thermals work in that area the best you can.

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jog

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Sep 14, 2019
Messages
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... The problem was that the wind was atrocious. It was always blowing the wrong way. The thermals were never consistent, the prevailing wasn't consistent, and we basically ended up blowing everything off the mountain...
Any ideas?
Any ideas?

Sure. Be more patient and don't run the elk off the mountain.

Its very hard to pull out when they are right there and you wonder if they will be there tomorrow. But it is the answer to your question given your description of the winds. Either find a time/way to make it happen or pull out of the timber until you have a plan that does more than hope. Sorry, but sometimes thats the way it is and when the elk move out because they winded you a few times you are done anyway for that area so what did you gain by pushing it? They are very good at safe flight distance- you see them they see/smell you and thats all that happens, they move off you never get a shot. Been there.
 

Still Hunter

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Aug 25, 2016
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Texas
Wind has prevented me from harvesting a bull the last three seasons hunting ... good luck
 

AaronMColeman

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Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
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Location
Wyoming
i hunt a lot of the same ridges regularly (I live on one of them). Wind is still inconsistent. You're never going to find a mountain with extremely consistent wind. You're better off learning tendencies and working with what you got. Wind is always going to be a problem for elk hunters.
 
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