Planning first hunt...research and questions.

iowawhitetailnut

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
13
I had the same debate. Archery, shotgun, and muzzie hunted whitetails in iowa for years. Archery is my passion but decided to rifle hunt for my first elk hunt just to take advantage of the longer range. I actually would have chosen muzzie to increase chances of favorable weather, but my hunting buddy didnt like colorado’s muzzie restrictions.
 

Eric Bailey

Senior Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
130
Location
Denver, Colorado, United States
I second the archery drop camp recommendation. Especially if you’re solo.

You’ll be able to pick practically anywhere in CO to hunt with an OTC archery tag. You won’t be able to draw a muzzy tag for very many places w/o pts.
 

sticknstringer

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
18
Theres tons of research a guy can do about otc units. Colorado has alot of information and statistics. I'm 3 years into this obsession and I still feel like I'm lost. I'm starting to think that scouting early and having someone who knows where the elk are is very important. But then theres the guy that buys a bow, a camera, and a tag and just picks a spot that's on elk right away and has a 15 minute video on YouTube showing how easy it can be. Good luck to you
 

HunterJoeMI

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
27
Location
MI
Five days is the only thing that I see is a real problem. You can search packing lists, boots, clothing, and equipment in a few hours on this site and others. Everything else is just hunting. Watch every youtube video you can to see all the different styles of elk hunting and different terrain in the same general geography you plan to hunt. However, remember most videos either sugar coat things or over dramatize the difficulty and effort required. Biggest hurdle to overcome when out west hunting is frustration, fatigue, and loss of your own determination. Most guys head out with big plans, but end up spending more time in camp or backpacking around on nice marked trials. They do this for a few days and then drive or fly home. Do not be that guy and you will likely hear, see, smell, and with a little luck taste Elk.
 

Indian Summer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
339
I am going for 5 days also I hope that's enough for success
Not even close. Minimum 3 days to get acclimated familiar with getting around in the mountains. On day 4 you’ll be walking around panicking thinking damn tomorrow is my last day and on day 5 you’ll be saying to yourself that was like the blink of an eye.... I’m finally in the groove and I’m done.

With 35 years of experience and knowing my area really well I still plan for 2 weeks to get it done. Time is a HUGE factor.
 

Roughwater

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
86
Location
Oxford NC
Goose,

A couple thoughts. It's clear you prefer Archery. As some have already said, 5 days isn't enough unless you just happen to be extremely lucky. If you go with a buddy be sure he has the same dedication as you or you will regret it. That said it's very, very helpful to have someone along that can call elk and help with packing an animal out.
It's hard to know exactly when the rut will start but mid September is probably as good a bet as any.

As to your son's going, only take them or one of them if they are as eager to go as you. If they are reluctant at all don't push them the least. If one of them or more happens to be dying to go consider going on a youth hunt with them if possible. I'm not sure how it works these days but a youth used to qualify to hunt in units that normally require many points to go into and their tags are less expensive as well. It could be the hunt of a life time for a young hunter assuming they still run the youth hunts the way they used to in Colorado. It would be fun for you as well just being able to see your son/sons have much larger than average chance at a bull.

But thinking about it, you would probably be more helpful to them if you had at least one season under your belt.

Whether you are successful or not it's still often a very exciting time. But if you take the wrong people with you and they want to come back before you're ready it will definitely spoil the hunt.
 

Bull_n_heat

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
51
Location
Wyoming
Goose,

A couple thoughts. It's clear you prefer Archery. As some have already said, 5 days isn't enough unless you just happen to be extremely lucky. If you go with a buddy be sure he has the same dedication as you or you will regret it. That said it's very, very helpful to have someone along that can call elk and help with packing an animal out.
It's hard to know exactly when the rut will start but mid September is probably as good a bet as any.

As to your son's going, only take them or one of them if they are as eager to go as you. If they are reluctant at all don't push them the least. If one of them or more happens to be dying to go consider going on a youth hunt with them if possible. I'm not sure how it works these days but a youth used to qualify to hunt in units that normally require many points to go into and their tags are less expensive as well. It could be the hunt of a life time for a young hunter assuming they still run the youth hunts the way they used to in Colorado. It would be fun for you as well just being able to see your son/sons have much larger than average chance at a bull.

But thinking about it, you would probably be more helpful to them if you had at least one season under your belt.

Whether you are successful or not it's still often a very exciting time. But if you take the wrong people with you and they want to come back before you're ready it will definitely spoil the hunt.
Agreed here. Elk hunting requires a burning determination that can torch a friendship or relationship. Tread lightly with bringing along others that might not have the flame.

If you are looking for youth options specifically, New Mexico might be a good place to throw your son's name in the hat. They issue a ton of really good tags only for youth.
 
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