First Time CO Elk Hunter - Looking For Advice GMU 15

jbuzz229

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
15
Location
CO
Hi Everyone -

New to the forum. I am just getting into elk hunting and pulled unit 15 in the secondary draw for 4th rifle. I am not looking for anyone to tell me where the elk are, but I am hoping some of you folks on here might be willing to share some basic knowledge for your first hunt along with some essential gear outside the obvious (good boots, bag, firearm, good clothing, optics etc.)

If anyone has any recommendations for using ON X for scouting before heading out as well that would be huge. I've been trying to find some good tutorials online but have yet to get lucky.

Thanks everyone. I appreciate all of your help in advance. Looking forward to expanding my knowledge.
 

Jaquomo

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
43
Look at the CPW interactive maps and plop yourself down right in the middle of one of the winter migration route arrows.
 

arock

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
51
You'll want a nice sleeping pad and whatever else you need to get a decent nights rest.

OnX or GoHunt are good for figuring out some of the public \ private stuff and you can get a decent idea of how dense the timber is from the satellite photos. Some water shows up there but it isn't 100% reliable. Winter -> summer ranges are good starting places and you can break it down by elevations which is kind of neat. For getting in and out, I'd be looking more at the Nat Geo hard copy maps and using that to judge the contour lines and plan routes into the back country.

We were out a few weeks ago and looking at an area that seemed doable zoomed in on the internet but after actually getting there - there was in fact a precipitous cliff that prevents getting into the valley unless you go a mile north and another half mile west, down 700ft and up another 500ft and down 1600ft. Even more if you wanted to think about getting up on the other ridge and it would be tough to get down to the main drainage from up there even if you did spot anything.

Clear on the hard copy that you'd need to go around - not so much on the internet. Its not that the internet lied but when you have inconsistent contour values, depending on how zoomed in or not you are, it is very difficult to gauge with consistency how much of a pain in the butt or even possible it will be to go there and back again.
 
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J

jbuzz229

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
15
Location
CO
Jacquomo and arock - thank you for the tips. Much appreciated. Everything i can learn ahead of time is huge.
 

Jaquomo

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
43
This... Recommend Inreach because much of that unit doesn't have cell service, and if you wake up to 2 feet of snow one morning you will be stranded for awhile. Like, maybe until next spring.
 

Ucsdryder

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
2,099
4th season? A winterized camper would be nice. Otherwise a wall tent, stove and lots of wood is a must. Prepare for temps under zero. Might not get there but they have the last couple years! If you’re not ready, you and your buddy will be playing big spoon, little spoon, stick your fingers and toes in warm damp spots if you know what I mean!
 
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jbuzz229

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
15
Location
CO
@jacquomo - do you have much experience in that unit? Looking to understand more about the blend of private to public land and the type of terrain ahead of scouting out there in a few weekends.
 

TAGPUNCHER

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Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
62
Location
THE SIP
Find a high mountain saddle in the migration route, get a glassing point and settle in. Depends ALOT on snow,weather ,etc. If snow is pushing them out of the mountains in My experiences the big dudes wait till they can't wait anymore before coming down to lower elevations. A saddle will be where they come thru most of the time. This surely isnt the only game plan but it would sure be where i started. Again weather is EVERYTHING.
 

GringoBling

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
155
I think it's pretty important to have emergency communication if necessary. I've hunted a long time and there have been some times where I really could have used some help (big bull down, blizzard, brake line snapped, etc). So, I just now purchased the ACR Bivy Stick global satellite communication texting device. I looked at Garmin Inreach Mini, as well. Opted for Bivy because the plans are cheaper and both use the same Iridium satellite. I chatted with an agent online and was able to get the Bivy for $299 with no tax and free shipping. That's about $80 less than the Garmin would cost after taxes.
 
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jbuzz229

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
15
Location
CO
Thank you all, this is extremely helpful. Love the support this community provides.
 
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