First week of September too early?

Chaser96

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Jun 20, 2022
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I am planning my first elk hunt this year in colorado. I can only go the first week of archery. Is it too early to expect bulls to be responding to calls or will they be very vocal this time of year? My buddy hunts this area during second rifle pretty much every year and finds elk. Are they likely to be in the same areas that he finds them in October? Thanks in advance


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EJDXT21

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Chaser96, I'm new at this so I may not be the best source of info but since I'm here, my opinion would be that the first week is not necessarily too early. Depending on weather, forage and other factors, the cows in that area may be ready and thus the bulls may be too. I've only seen videos and read articles, posts, etc.. detailing bugling bulls the first week of archery, so it's definitely possible. I did hear bugling in Yellowstone two years ago in July so there's that. What is the elevation where your buddy finds elk in second rifle? I'd expect them to be higher in archery then in second rifle, again, weather depending. Second rifle is essentially post rut, so they will be heading towards cover until the weather pushes them down. I may be completely wrong on all that, but that is at least my understanding. I'm trying to figure out where to hunt this year OTC archery so I hope I have at least somewhat of a decent understanding haha!
 

camelcluch

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Not too early. Maybe no the best but I have done well in the early season. Hunt when you can.
 
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Chaser96

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Thanks for the feedback. The area is anywhere from about 10,000 ft to around 8,500. Quite a bit of water in the area so not sure I’ll be able to focus on water and wallows. Just trying to work on a game plan. As a general rule I assume higher elevation and north facing slopes are the areas to target?


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Still Hunter

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ANY TIME available for someone to elk hunt one should take. Time doesn't wait. You can never get lost time back. Take every opportunity you have. Who knows what could happen to you the next year! Catch a new strain of COVID and die? Get Cancer? Have a car wreck lose a limb? LIVE LIFE!! So now that you are going, let us all know how awesome the trip was! Just get in the woods and figure it out. Whatever you plan, no matter how detailed and planned out you have it, it is going to change. . Rule #1 - YOU HAVE TO FIND ELK! ( inaccessible Private Land does not count). Rule #2- Refer to Rule #1

Good luck GO HUNT! Just get in the woods and do it!
 

George Hamrick

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Could run into either. I’ve ran into bugling bulls on the 5th of September and it be a rut fest and I’ve had it to where I didn’t hear anything until the 25th. About like hunting whitetails in late October. You find the the first cow in heat and you’ll have every bull in the area after her.
 

Mighty Mouse

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Most of my elk hunting has been during the first week of September (or earlier), and bugling has been highly variable year to year in my experience. Case in point: September 1 of 2016 bulls were fired up all around me. I bugled in two different bulls within 12 hours and killed one. Exact same area in 2018, I went the entire first week of September and didn't hear a single bugle.
 

DawnPatrol

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Nunya
My buddy hunts this area during second rifle pretty much every year and finds elk. Are they likely to be in the same areas that he finds them in October?
Ish. By late October, bulls will be pulling away from the cows and the flatter areas where rutting activity typically occurs, heading for more isolated “sanctuary” areas where the can hole up until the snow pushes them on to winter range. Typically, it’s not a huge distance but without knowing your area, it’s hard to say how close the rutting and late season areas are.
 

Dos Perros

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I've hunted the first week of September quite a few times as my son's birthday is the second week of September (didn't plan that very well!). More often than not I have found bulls already with cows, bugling, doing the thing.

For Colorado I think the first week is likely the best week, at least for units that experience lots of pressure. The second week has the muzzy guys, the third week elk might still be messed up from the muzzy guys. Fourth/last week would probably be my second choice, after first week.
 

Hoyt Ag

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Last season we didnt hear a single bugle the first two weeks of archery. second two weeks it was on fire. Season before that was the opposite. season before that it was little to nothing the whole season. You just never know.
 

Gman12

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Aug 27, 2020
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I hunt the opening week of archery every year and we hear bugling every day. Some days we hear more than other days. Some years we hear more than other years. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the bugling. Some mornings we wake up and it is unusually cold and clear with no wind and we think they are going to blow the woods down and we hear very little. Other days they just seem to be fired up more than others.

It seems to me that hunting the first week is similar to hunting pre-rut whitetails. The bulls mostly have broken up the bachelor groups and are in the process of establishing their territory and some are beginning to gather a few cows. IMO, it is a great week to hunt and we have had good success. Mature bulls seem to be up and moving around quite a bit in the mornings and evenings. We have had a few days that you would swear it was Sept 20th with every bull on the mountain screaming but that is not the norm.
 

5MilesBack

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A few years ago I bugled on the evening of Sept 2, and one of the biggest bulls I've ever seen while hunting just about ran me over. He came in hot with no notice he was coming. When the season used to start in August, every opening day that I hunted, I got bugle responses. I like every week of archery, for different reasons.
 

1javelin

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Well I'll be in Colorado first 2 weeks of the season, so I'll let you know how it turns out this year!

1
 

ElkNut1

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Have the right mindset for the time frame you are hunting. We all have to adjust our tactics to meet the needs of the elk, not the other way around. Don't be concerned if elk are bugling or not bugling, no one can predict it 100% -- Be prepared mentally to fit in to the day, one day at a time!

In your preparation for early, mid month or late in month be prepared to consider the Cow Party, Advertising/Display, Slow Play or Full Send Challenge. All have their time & place. Know how & when of their use & you will have zero worries as the time of the month to have a good chance at close encounters. Yes, we all need to do our homework to have All our bases covered. Good Luck!

ElkNut
 

fatlander

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Feb 11, 2016
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During the first week of September last fall, we used [mention]ElkNut1 [/mention]slow play sequence to turn one lazy bedded bugle into an absolute rut fest. 7 bulls had the canyon absolutely rocking before we killed a 6x7 herd bull.


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