How far off the road?

Ralphie

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Feb 18, 2019
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112
For a second season otc colorado tag I would be thinking about hunting smarter not just harder than other folks. You will not leave behind other hunters on this hunt with distance alone. And hunting luckier is even better.
 

mtwarden

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Oct 18, 2016
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Montana
back to the questions at hand, in my experience I think terrain will leave more folks behind than simply miles; also in my experience is that after a little pressure, elk will often seek those areas that folks just don't want to go in- steep/full of blowdown/etc

there is a particular spot that I'm thinking about that is maybe a mile from a rather main Forest Service road, a ton of folks drive by this spot daily during during hunting season; all they see craning their necks is a very steep ass hill above the road- what they don't see is that once you gain that main ridge- there are three or four nice little fingers that branch off the back side- lots of little meadows/openings and several little springs at the head ends of each this little drainages- almost always holds elk :)

BUT conversely, I'll often find myself several miles back from where I'm parked- so yeah it really depends

definitely don't lock yourself into I need to get back x miles, hunt right from the truck- you may or may not, have to go very far
 

Customweld

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Sep 13, 2016
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Idaho
One of my pieces of advice is don’t drive past elk to hike 10 miles in to get away from people. Being 10 miles in sounds good and all but I would venture to say that the urban interface private/ public borders hold just as many or more elk.
 

5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
the "5MilesBack" is just to distract new hunters thinking they have to go way back, his real handle is 1/4MileBack, but that's just not as sexy :)
LOL. There could be some truth to that. On the other hand, a season of elk hunting isn't getting non-stop action from start to finish. Half the fun is exploring. I mean my goodness......if you're going to spend that much time in the most beautiful country around, you might as well see all you can, and get as much out of it as you can.

There have been many times over the years where I just go........and eventually I stop and check my GPS and say to myself "Well, that can't be right.......I'm how many miles from the truck". And that's when the "oh crap" moments come in and I start heading closer to the truck, and I actually hope that I don't run into a big bull back there. Eight years ago I went "exploring" one morning and shot a big bull. I was barely 3.5 hours into my exploration, but I was already 5 miles back. Hunt until you find the one you want to shoot.
 

rayporter

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Jul 3, 2014
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arkansas or ohio
things change year to year. it depends on lots of factors like weather and pressure. i have killed several less than 2 miles from the truck and when packing one out have seen kills that were 500 yd from the truck.

my preference was to be back in a mile or two and wait on them to be pushed to me. which worked often.

many times i had camps near by but still killed elk.
 

dieselchessy

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
283
Very generalized

Truck hunters tend to stay within 2 miles of the road.
Horse pac camp folks tend to be 4 to 7 miles + in.
Day horse hunters tend to hunt 2 mile or more.

I tend toward the 2-4 mile band. Try to get away from most truck guys, but not work real hard just to be in a drop camps lap.
 

elkyinzer

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Sep 9, 2013
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Pennslyvania
Agree with the above but adjust for trail miles and shit factor. 1 trail mile = .25 off trail miles. I make it a big point to avoid trails, except when I don't. Blowdown sucks, reduce in half again. Leg burning steep cuts a lot of the chaff, scary steep is the stuff honey holes are made of.
 

mtwarden

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Oct 18, 2016
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Montana
LOL. There could be some truth to that. On the other hand, a season of elk hunting isn't getting non-stop action from start to finish. Half the fun is exploring. I mean my goodness......if you're going to spend that much time in the most beautiful country around, you might as well see all you can, and get as much out of it as you can.

There have been many times over the years where I just go........and eventually I stop and check my GPS and say to myself "Well, that can't be right.......I'm how many miles from the truck". And that's when the "oh crap" moments come in and I start heading closer to the truck, and I actually hope that I don't run into a big bull back there. Eight years ago I went "exploring" one morning and shot a big bull. I was barely 3.5 hours into my exploration, but I was already 5 miles back. Hunt until you find the one you want to shoot.

:) I’ve found myself “too far” back in several times, a couple of those times in didn’t dawn on me until I was notching a tag - I’ve found it’s a little too late then :D
 

Tradchef

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Aug 30, 2017
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Bozeman, Montana
Last season I was hunting a piece of state land for cow elk. It gets hit crazy hard. I had filled my buck tag with my longbow two nights before. I park, get dressed and I look to the right of my truck on the other side of the fence which is still state land and there’s a stud whitetail laying down with a doe. Could have gave two shits. It was literally 10 feet from my truck. I was hoping someone would have tagged him as he was a brute but no one did. I ended up seeing him after season was over on a walk in the same area. Point being....start hunting when you get out of your truck.
 

5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
This might be groundbreaking info here.....LOL, but here's how I generally make my "where to hunt" decisions. It's not based on "how far"........it's based on specific "habitat types" that I'm looking for......regardless how far they are.
 

WCB

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Jun 12, 2019
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The days of going in deeper than the crowd is in the past. Being where the elk are doesn't always mean you are where people aren't.
 

Mtnboy

1
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Feb 26, 2013
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Location
ID
First elk hunt? I wouldn't go much past 3 miles until you learn first hand how big and physical they are to deal with.

Most the heroes on the internet talking about 5-10-15 mile elk pack outs are greatly over exaggerated.
 

Laramie

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Apr 17, 2020
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There is no wrong or correct answer to this question. Now if a hunter is looking for a specific answer to general elk elevation in a specific region during a specific time of year, he may be able to draw some distance from road conclusions but they won't always be correct. Nothing can replace boots on the ground experience imo.
 

Mosby

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Jan 1, 2015
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I shot my 6x6 bull less than a mile from my truck this past season. That's the third bull killed there in the last 5 years that I know of. It holds elk for some reason. I can drive my truck to within 500 yards of that spot, if I need to. Great place to hunt when I am by myself. They aren't always five miles back in.
 

Hoodie

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Aug 6, 2020
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Oregon Cascades
It´s not so much distance as it is seclusion/security for the elk. Sometimes it´s distance from the road. Sometimes it´s a huge climb up a hill or steep drop into a canyon that people aren´t willing to make. Sometimes it´s just a place that´s overlooked.

The steep drop off into a canyon is a big one on the Oregon Coast. That range is absolutely smothered in roads. If you drop 1/2 a mile off of one into a big, brushy canyon you´ll generally have it to yourself. The elk are plenty aware of that.

I think this stuff is pretty location dependent. The rules of thumb in a place like western Oregon probably wouldn´t hold for Arizona.
 

CorbLand

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Joined
Mar 16, 2016
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2,242
There is no formula. I spent 7 nights hunting elk ~2 miles from a road. One night I was tired so I drove to a spot and glassed until dark. I spent the next 5 night sitting less than 600 yards from a road because that's where the elk were.
 

Timberline001

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Joined
Apr 26, 2019
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417
Location
Pacific North West
You think being a volunteer fireman is an insult? Not Cool man. I ask a question about something I’m literally clueless about. I’m from TN. I know how I hunt whitetail, turkey, and raccoons. I’ve never hunted elk so I don’t know what I’m doing. By the way if you do cardio 3 sets at 10 minute intervals with a 1:1 work rest ratio you’re going to expend more energy due to going a farther distance(provided you try to keep a faster pace the whole ten minutes), but you’re not going to build your aerobic capacity as much as you would going a straight 30 minutes. It would depend on what you were looking to get out of your workout. We all ask questions that other people think are silly don’t we, but we ask because we want to try and find out.


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Bottom line. Don’t ask for advice then start insulting people who give it to you. That’s how other forums work, not rokslide.


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