First OTC Archery Elk Hunt

Kinger016

Newbie
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
1
Hello All. I'm planning a trip to CO next September for my first elk hunt. I've been talking about going for years and decided that if I don't plan it, it will just never end up happening so I'm going. There's a couple other guys going with that have never elk hunted before either. It will be a good experience for all of us.

Over the last quite a few months I have spent hours and hours doing all of the research that I can to come up with a game plan. We have came up with what we thing are a handful of solid plans. We will all be buying either sex OTC tags to give us the best opportunity at an elk.

My question is: a hypothetical situation. Lets say we are on our first day and we decided to break up into 2 groups of 2. We are on our first mile into the first day of the hunt. We come upon a meadow with a few cows feeding. We stop to watch them for a while. We realize that they are working their way to one end of the meadow so we work our way around to cut them off and maybe get them in range. Do you take a shot at a cow on day 1 of a 5-7 day hunt? Or do you pass on the opportunity knowing you will be there for another 4-6 days? Just curious what other people opinions are.

I'm from PA and have learned from Whitetail hunting not to pass on an opportunity because you never know when you will get another. Taking care of a 110 pound doe is pretty easy and can be done in a few hours. Taking care of a 400 pound cow is going to take a while longer than that.
 

Ucsdryder

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
1,288
Otc? Shoot the hell out of a cow, calf, bull, anything that looks like an elk. That might be the only thing you see.
 

waitforit

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
79
We are on our first mile into the first day of the hunt. We come upon a meadow with a few cows feeding. We stop to watch them for a while. We realize that they are working their way to one end of the meadow so we work our way around to cut them off and maybe get them in range. Do you take a shot at a cow on day 1 of a 5-7 day hunt?

Answer: Yes. When you are new (any probably even after that) you take any good shot you have at a legal elk. From my experience though, here is a more realistic scenario:

We are on our 4th of 7 days. We have hiked all over the place, have not located any elk yet but have found some sign. At first we were excited about it but have come to realize it was old. We spent 2 days hunting the same area that looked promising but no elk were there. Sitting waterholes that weren't being used. Bugles aren't being answered. Seeing other hunters hiking in/out on the trails, dude tracks everywhere.. Every trailhead we hiked in from had 8 pickups and 6 ATVs. I'm hoping my hunting buddy doesn't hear his alarm tomorrow morning. This seems pointless. So much pressure, the elk aren't talking, how can we hunt them?

On the 5th day, we abandoned our previous plans and while driving to try a new spot noticed a steep north facing ridge rising right off the highway. There was no parking lot or trail but we pulled over and hiked up 1200 feet through deadfall and heard bugling that evening. We called in a bull to 40 yards but didn't take the wind into account and spooked him - didn't get a shot. The next day, we were calling from heavy cover and didn't get any responses. We were feeling bored and defeated and let down our guard.. meanwhile, a group of cows made their way over to us silently and we were lucky to hear them before they were on top of us and get a shot off and get my first elk!
 

WoodrowCall

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
85
Shoot the cow. Just wrote up my hunt in another thread with this same scenario. Passed on a cow day 3. Never had an opportunity after that. Shoot the cow and be happy with that on first trip!
 

GunsAreFun

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
701
Shoot. Shoot. SHOOT!

Just got back from my first elk hunt (OTC Colorado Archery). We got into elk I think five of seven days, narrowly missing a cow on the second to last day, but I think that’s more of the exception than what one should expect. I did a stupid amount of research, scouting, and preparation to get those encounters. You also have to think outside the box to not end up doing the same thing in the same area as everyone else.

You’ll quickly realize when you get there how daunting of a task it is to kill an elk with a bow. Hard to explain. I heard it many times before our trip, but until you’re there, you can’t understand. Even if you find elk, there is a very high chance something will happen to blow the setup. It gets crazy in those moments. Mistakes are made, time is short, and/or things outside your control will happen.
 

live4him

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
16
Location
fargo, nd
“Never pass on an animal the first day that you’d be happy with the last day”. This saying changed my whole outlook on hunting. More stalks, more mistakes, more success and have learned more as a result. Instead of just sitting behind my glass or bugling from the ridge, I’ll go stalk that doe/cow. Nothing to lose everything to gain. especially given you’re saying there’s 4 of you. Someone needs to tag out first and get the monkey off your back! Elk hunting is contagious, exhausting, miserable, and the most rewarding hunting IMO. It will probably ruin you for life... or hunting career. Chasing whitetail and waterfowl just doesn’t do it anymore for this guy
 
Top