First Time Colorado Elk Hunt - Looking for advice

11boo

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
83
Location
Grand Jct, CO
Nothing wrong with a cow hunt, I get either sex bow tags, and would happily stick a cow. So far, 0 for 4 years bow.

It’s a whole lot different from rifle for sure. That bull in my pic only went 20 yds and laid down and died quick.

I don’t think anyone touched on your vehicle. Not sure what the roads are like in your unit, but In 61/62 they are a mess once they get wet. Really gummy mud, I have had to chain up even with good mud/snow tires on my Jeep. Definitely take a shovel, tow strap and any extrication gear you have.
Good M/S tires are needed and fine most of the time. If you have tire chains and are knowledgeable in their use take them for insurance .
 
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SesnDC

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
32
I don’t think anyone touched on your vehicle. Not sure what the roads are like in your unit, but In 61/62 they are a mess once they get wet. Really gummy mud, I have had to chain up even with good mud/snow tires on my Jeep. Definitely take a shovel, tow strap and any extrication gear you have.
Good M/S tires are needed and fine most of the time. If you have tire chains and are knowledgeable in their use take them for insurance .
Thanks for bringing this up. I will be driving out there with my parents and leaving them in Denver so they can have a vacation of their own. I was worried about driving home exhausted after a week out there so it seemed like the safe choice.

I don't necessarily want to put all the miles on my truck so my plan was to rent a truck in Denver. I'm sure the rental truck will be on some really crappy street A/S tires. I do have concerns about getting anywhere with it. Sounds like it would be smart to buy some tire chains and bring them along as well as a shovel and tow strap. Do you guys have any recommendations for tire chains?

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11boo

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Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
83
Location
Grand Jct, CO
You probably don’t want to buy chains without knowing the tire size. In your case, bring a tow strap, shovel and keep an eye on the weather. If it looks like we have storms coming in you can hit up a NAPA type store along I 70 and buy some chains on the way.
 

Ebayollis

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Aug 24, 2019
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16
I'm wanting to do this in sept 2020. Very interested in what's going to be posted here
 

JordanH

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Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Messages
91
Location
CO
If you are driving to Denver with your own truck then you ain't looking at putting too many more miles on it to go hunt. I don't see any reason to rent a truck if you have a truck out here. Different story if you were flying in......and a rental will say it doesn't allow you off road.....
 
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SesnDC

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Jan 9, 2019
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If you are driving to Denver with your own truck then you ain't looking at putting too many more miles on it to go hunt. I don't see any reason to rent a truck if you have a truck out here. Different story if you were flying in......and a rental will say it doesn't allow you off road.....
My parents are renting a minivan to drive out there. I'm on my own from Denver. I was going to leave my truck at home

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Bowman1989

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Aug 16, 2019
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My parents are renting a minivan to drive out there. I'm on my own from Denver. I was going to leave my truck at home

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My advice is don’t rent from a big place like Enterprise. The truck will be 2 wheel drive and won’t be allowed off-road. Read the fine print of what you’d be responsible for if damaged, because it includes not only damage but loss of time as well.

I’m flying in this year because 2.000 miles one way is just not fun lol. But I am renting a Tacoma TRD 4x4 from a Toyota dealership for cheaper than any rental place and it is allowed on F/S roads. Just want to throw it out there for you and anyone else who is reading.
 

Ebayollis

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Aug 24, 2019
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My advice is don’t rent from a big place like Enterprise. The truck will be 2 wheel drive and won’t be allowed off-road. Read the fine print of what you’d be responsible for if damaged, because it includes not only damage but loss of time as well.

I’m flying in this year because 2.000 miles one way is just not fun lol. But I am renting a Tacoma TRD 4x4 from a Toyota dealership for cheaper than any rental place and it is allowed on F/S roads. Just want to throw it out there for you and anyone else who is reading.
Did not know you could rent tacomas from a dealership...thanks for that tidbit
 

Jqualls

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Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
174
Location
Colorado
There is some good info here but dont think you need to buy a bunch of new crap. If you have the money great get nice equipment. If not spend the money getting into the mountains not on equipment. Yes synthetic and merino are great and might make some situations of the hunt more enjoyable but it is not necessary. You just have to be smart about your decisions. I grew up hunting Colorado in jeans, t shirts, hoodies, cotton socks and tennis shoes. Layering meant adding an extra hoodie, or long sleeve shirt and a pair of sweats under your Jeans, and if it was real cold your winter jacket.
 

rgrmike

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
213
Location
Colorado
My first 2 years hunting Colorado I rifle hunted. My last 2 have been archery. I don’t think I’ll ever rifle Hunt Colorado again. Colorado has a lot of roads, trails, and access for hunters. I’ve hiked miles and miles and ran into guys on ATVs. It was just maddening to me. Just be prepared to see other hunters. The areas you think look good on Google Earth....other guys do too. I’ve had guys see me and sit 75yds from me twice. I’ve had a guy check me out looking through his rifle scope. Unfortunately CO sells WAY to many tags. Enjoy the scenery and the experience of just being there. If you harvest an Elk even better.
 

txhunter581

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Jul 21, 2019
Messages
126
Location
Texas
Several people have said to avoid cotton. Not entirely true in my book. You don't have to buy a whole new wardrobe and spend a ton of cash on this first trip. The layer you absolutely have to avoid cotton for is a base layer. Never use cotton there. But I routinely use cotton shirts and jeans as a second layer. Yes, synthetics will work better in some situations, but in 35 years of hunting the mountains, I have not had a problem with a layer of cotton.

As long as you have Merino wool socks, and a base layer of synthetic or wool, and you have a good set of packable raingear to stay dry, you can use some cotton in between.
 
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SesnDC

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
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I have been acquiring gear for this trip for the past year. I have merino base layers and socks along with mid layers and puffy outer layers. For rain gear I have a nice Carhartt shell which keeps the water out but isn't very quiet. I have both corrugate guide pants as well as timberline pants to choose from.

Here is a list of the main items I have acquired to this point. I will have to narrow down what exactly I will bring. A lot of the gear I got second hand here so thanks to everyone for the great deals!

Kuiu Icon Pro 5200 system - also 1850 bag if needed

Mountain Hardware vision 3 tent

BA Yock 0deg bag

Xtherm sleeping pad

Minus33 baselayers

Swiftwick socks

Corrugate guide and timberline pants

Kiln goody

FL Cirrus and Uncompaghre puffy

Kuiu and FL gloves

FL gaiters and neck gaiter

Carhartt rain shell and pants

Salomon GTX boots

Esee 3 knife and Gerber Vital with replacement blades

Vortex diamondback 10x42 and tripod

Black Diamond trekking poles and headlamp

Jetboil

Surely more items I am forgetting at the moment. My brother will also contribute to this. I do not have a rangefinder or spotting scope currently.


-Sean

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ltnic

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Aug 19, 2019
Messages
4
I'd recommend MTNTOUGH to get tuned up physically. https://mtntough.com/. I work out with them here in Bozeman and they've got a great digital product that a lot of guys use. It's a smokefest but if you stick to it you'll be ready for it. They focus a lot on mental toughness too, which is key.
 

cshire

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Michigan
Sean and Bob,

I am another MI guy heading out for my first ever elk hunt.
Going to the multi GMU unit near Meeker CO for first rifle.

Was out in CO the first week of July - more of a general vacation with the wife than actual scouting.
We flew into Denver and rented a truck. Truck was a Chevy Silverado, V6, 4WD, crew cab.
Worked well for us on FS roads with the mostly street tires. Definitely not a mud or rock climber though. We just respected the limitations.

Altitude.
I am 56, did a lot of fast paced walking prior to trip Not bad shape for an office guy, but not any kind of athlete either.
We stayed first 2 nights at around 7000 feet. No real physical issues, no headaches, just breathe harder when hiking, etc.
Stayed a few nights around 9000 feet (after the earlier days at lower elevation) . No headaches or sickness, but definitely out of breath walking up hills, etc.
Hiked up to 11,000 feet once just to cross that milestone.
I am sure it will hit everybody differently, but pace yourself to your limitations and you should be fine.

Hydrate -
do this. Drink before you are thirsty. This was a constant effort for me. I wasn't sweating or didn't feel hot or thirsty, but was always peeing darker than normal.

Good Luck to both of you - hopefully we see some elk in October
 

TNHunter

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Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
151
Location
Nashville, TN
Go to your doctor and get a prescription for Diamox for altitude sickness... it helped me tremendously after my first hunt in Colorado... good luck


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SesnDC

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
32
Hydrate -
do this. Drink before you are thirsty. This was a constant effort for me. I wasn't sweating or didn't feel hot or thirsty, but was always peeing darker than normal.
How much water is too much water to carry? I have a 32oz Nalgene that I will be taking. I also have a couple Platypus 2L bladders. On a normal day I finish my Nalgene on my commute to work and fill it a couple more times throughout the day. Not that I am terribly thirsty, I just know it's good to drink water so I do so. I have heard so many stories about leaking bladders etc. Also water is heavy. I have Aqua Mira as well as a Steripen Ultra. I should have water available near camp. Would you recommend just hiking out every morning with the Nalgene and rationing it until I get to a water source? Or fill a bladder as well?

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cshire

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Aug 9, 2019
Messages
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Location
Michigan
How much water is too much water to carry? I have a 32oz Nalgene that I will be taking. I also have a couple Platypus 2L bladders. On a normal day I finish my Nalgene on my commute to work and fill it a couple more times throughout the day. Not that I am terribly thirsty, I just know it's good to drink water so I do so. I have heard so many stories about leaking bladders etc. Also water is heavy. I have Aqua Mira as well as a Steripen Ultra. I should have water available near camp. Would you recommend just hiking out every morning with the Nalgene and rationing it until I get to a water source? Or fill a bladder as well?

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Not sure on this. In July we just did day hikes. Took either 1.5 or 3 liters in daypack. Using 1.5 liter camelback bottles

For hunting I am planning to take 3 for all day and a filter setup to refill if needed

Will be watching this with you to see what the experienced hands have to say
 
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