Serious question from a new comer...

Peaks&Creeks

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
144
Location
Gunnison, CO
In archery season not so much, as temps can be in the high 70s mid day, like it was this last season. Best thing to do is find a good flowing creek ad try to hang it above or near the creek, as there will be cooler temps there. If you can find a nice dark creek to hang meat, and you have killed it closer to evening than morning, I’d say it’s ok to hike out one load and let it sit overnight as temps in CO high country will drop significantly at night, most times to perfect meat curing temps hahah. Remember that there are critters that will go after that meat, so you are also taking a gamble by leaving it overnight.


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WoodrowCall

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
38
Understood.

I have read several articles about "storing" meat by creeks or even submerged in a creek if you have something waterproof like trash bags to keep moisture out and let it cool. Keeping those tactics in the back of my mind.
 

cnelk

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Joined
Mar 1, 2012
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2,741
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N Colorado
I killed my bull last fall 1 mile uphill from my atv. Elevation was 10,000 at the atv, 11,000 at the elk.

It took me almost an hour to get there right at daylight. I killed him at 7am

By the time I took some pics, broke him down, got everything ready for transport it was about 10am.

First load was all the loose meat, and a front shoulder. Pack weighed about 90lbs, including day gear.

Slow stepped it down the steep slope to the atv, loaded up and drove to camp a couple miles away.

By this time it was 1130 or so. Got meat in cooler, changed clothes, ate some food and was ready to make the trip for another load.

Luckily I sent an InReach text to a buddy who happened to be not far away and he said he’d come and help.

I knew that it would take me at least a couple days to get the entire elk back to camp by myself. And I was only 1 mile uphill.


Point of the story is every step, every thought is just a bit slower than the previous one once you start packing meat. Slow and methodical takes time. More time than anticipated.

Do not underestimate the steepness/distance of terrain or overestimate your physical conditioning. You will be quickly humbled.
 

RemiR7

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
140
As a newbie Elk hunter myself with last September being my first and I as well went solo due to necessity like some have mentioned. I can’t stress enough to be methodical in everything you do. Scout water sources and multiple ones and mark them. Im from the Midwest and have been to wyoming several times, but the mountains in Colorado are no joke. I pulled up to the trail head and was amazed at how big they were and after leaving the trailhead at 8500ft only a few hundred yards later going up I started to question what the hell I was even getting myself into. I’m in the military and have had the opportunity to do some rigorous training/schools over the years and none of it came close to what the mountains dished out and I rucked, did stairs, leg workouts for months and months leading up to the hunt and I like to consider myself in phenomenal shape for my age and what body has been through and it quickly humbled my ass. I had 10 days of hunting set aside for my trip and after getting getting up into the area I wanted to hunt i realized ten days is going to be a long time solo on a first trip. It went from 10 down to 8 and on morning six I came down due to the mental aspect of being alone. The 90 degree heat during midday didn’t help either which shut the elk up. Get yourself in the best shape you can get and as mentioned above be slow and methodical. Deadfall is no joke, on top of rocks hidden in the grass the size of softballs which any step could roll an ankle or blow a knee out. Buy an inReach. I have a son and wife at home and at night in the tent it was a reassuring feeling being able to send messages and have some communication with friends and family. As far as packing out an elk, I can’t help help you there, but just the area I was hunting which was straight up from the truck was about 3 hours to 10500ft about 3.5 miles and the elk were above me most the time around 10700-11400ft which would have easily added another hour or two into the ascent. Be realistic with yourself. All that being said, I’m going back this year solo to enjoy the bittersweet suck the mountain dishes out in hopes of arrowing an elk. Good luck 👍🏻
 

Customweld

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Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
184
Location
Idaho
A few years ago, my brother and I had late cow tags. We ended up knocking 2 big cows down on the last day of the season. We were 6 miles in on a closed road. We had them down by 11 in the morning. It was 3 by the time they were worked up with the quarters hung in the trees. The trip back to the truck was loose meat, packs and rifles. We spent the whole next day and had 1 trip left on the following day. We figured out it was only 4 miles and a double 500 foot gain if we went cross country. That was 2 and a half days of the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
 

roosiebull

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Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
577
Location
oregon coast
Let me ask this question to the experienced folks: Can you not get your meat packed up properly, hang it in the shade somewhere cool enough (and out of moisture) so that you can pack it out over say two days? Allowing your body to rest in between the long hauls? There is ignorance in this question so don't throw too many rocks as I am trying to learn lol. If this is not feasible, I want to know now versus in the middle of it.
most likely yes, but you may have to pack the meat a ways to find a good spot so it stays cool. I have heard of people putting meat in contractor bags in a creek.

there is generally a way to make it a non issue to pack it out over 2 days. lots of tricks to get meat cooling faster too, like opening up the quarters with a slice down to the bone.

meat is more resilient than some think, if you have the quarters hanging in the shade all day, that alone will make it pretty safe. if you hang them all night, you can also wrap the quarters up with your sleeping bag or puffy coat to insulate the cold.

there are ways, and I have spread it out in 2 days a few times without issue. if it's only getting into the low 50's at night, then of course it's less ideal, but finding a cool shaded creek could still work fine.

I try to just keep packing anymore unless there is a really good reason not to.... I take advantage of that adrenaline. the times I have broke it up into a couple days, waking up that morning is usually pretty rough.... you'll loosen up after a bit, but I try to skip that step and just get it over with.

hopefully this thread isn't discouraging you, I do 90% of my hunting solo, I like it more, and i'm just more effective solo. it's 100% doable, not trying to scare you out of going solo.... it's so enjoyable just being alone and living life at your pace, you'll love it. there are a couple benefits of hunting with others, but to me, it's way more advantageous hunting alone..... it's not a big deal, you just have to consider your limitations, and work within them, which isn't an issue at all.
 
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WoodrowCall

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Mar 24, 2020
Messages
38
Duly noted points everyone. No doubt the task sounds daunting to take on with others, much less yourself. I appreciate the honestly, as that's what I am looking for.

roosiebull,
This thread is by no means discouraging me! I am actually more excited every comment I read. I love a good challenge to face and it sounds like I will get that come September. I know in the end I will enjoy the ride. I also know I have to keep working hard on fitness and re-evaluate my plans a bit. Thanks for the words of encouragement!
 

roosiebull

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Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
577
Location
oregon coast
Duly noted points everyone. No doubt the task sounds daunting to take on with others, much less yourself. I appreciate the honestly, as that's what I am looking for.

roosiebull,
This thread is by no means discouraging me! I am actually more excited every comment I read. I love a good challenge to face and it sounds like I will get that come September. I know in the end I will enjoy the ride. I also know I have to keep working hard on fitness and re-evaluate my plans a bit. Thanks for the words of encouragement!
you bet man, you have the right attitude. a lot of folks get discouraged and throw in the towel early on a hunt, but it's pretty easy to not become a statistic in that regard.... all you have to do is think of what you'll be doing if you leave the woods, and how it will feel looking back on the hunt.

of course every type of hunting in every region will be different, but hunting is hunting.... you pay attention to the clues and build a strategy and learn from the results. anyone with a good hunting mindset will pick up on elk hunting pretty quick. stay versatile, don't be one dimensional. the beauty of hunting alone is the versatility and lack of pressure. you could sit on a ridge, watch some elk for a couple evenings, then plan an ambush on them if there is a pattern of any type.... you can stalk them, with only one person worth of smell, noise, and movement... and you can take as long as you want on that stalk without your partner getting antsy..... it opens up possibilities for strategy you don't really have hunting with others.

I like calling in bulls as much as the next guy, but often times i'll take advantage of being solo and go about it a different way. sometimes calling isn't the best path to kill an elk.

taking advice from others on strategy, just make sure you consider the source, don't go all in on someone else's techniques, especially if they aren't killing elk on a regular basis.

what I have noticed with elk hunters who kill a lot of elk is they all have their own style, there are similarities between them, but most of the killers aren't one dimensional.... there are some good one dimensional hunters, but they do what they do because that's what they like to do, not because it's necessarily the best path to kill every elk.

it seems many are content just bugling back and forth with bulls, worried they'll mess it up getting more aggressive.... bugling back and forth with elk is just that, sometimes you have to take some chances or you will never kill one.... don't be that guy with the story of calling in 15 bulls but never had a shot, haha..... that's what that means, they had one bugling back and forth, that's not a call in.

if you are having action, you will have to find a way into the red zone, and archery elk season is all about close encounters with elk, be smart but don't be too tentative. you'll learn a lot more messing up situations than you will bugling back and forth with a bull 150yds away..... being solo makes it easier to get within range, but you may have to get creative and stay dynamic.
 

Indian Summer

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Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
473
Can you imagine taking a break... walking 5 steps and needing another break? Or looking only 2 steps ahead and saying to yourself I think I can make it to there.

Remember a mile as the crow flies on Google Earth is two miles on the ground and above 9000 feet 2 miles feels like 4 or 5.
 

xziang

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Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Messages
683
Location
Nebraska
Inreach is a device I use and take when I go out on my own. I no longer go in for 5 days at a time plan for 2 usually now. Reason being you are alone and don't really want to be in 6 miles then have to pack something out. I would just keep weight at around 30-40 lbs while at home. Makes sure pack fits and you get used to it. Be mobile be mobile if sign isn't there relocate.
 

Beendare

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May 6, 2014
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4,837
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In Traffic
My take Wood;

Solo is no problem. Audio books for drive out.
A good GPS app [practice with it] on your phone and a backup battery. You are better off solo than with a shitty hunting partner. [I happen to have a few GOOD hunting partners...and no, I'm not loaning them out- grin]

Why pack in to a spot you don't know holds elk? Better to truck camp until you find them...then spike out if needed.

If you don't find a ton of sign....keep moving.

Hunting skills are just that....yours can be applied in the elk woods....use them.

______
 

Deadfall

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
97
If you staying in the mountains in a tent by yourself. Might consider a electric fence setup. One wire bout knee high keep bears out, and give you a bit of peace of mind. The mountains a night are intimidating by yourself. Especially for first timers. That's for everyone. Is good to have heightened awareness.

I would recommend not staying in mountains for first few nights, just for acclamation purposes. Climb during day, but stay at lower elevation for a few nights. Good chance you'll have headaches and weird body stuff go on.

Would also suggest a couple weeks. That way you not pushing yourself to hard cramming all the activity into tight window.

Highly recommend not watching to many videos. From personal experience I have real close to zero respect for tv hunters. Spend your research and question time on sights like this asking ordinary Joe's for advice. Joe's that have nothing to prove.

Dont overload yourself all at once. This is where a buddy is good. Help with checks and balances.
 
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WoodrowCall

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
38
As for GPS, I already have OnX for all states. Will be buying an Inreach within the next few months.

The "truck camp" hunting idea is new to me, so I am trying to wrap my mind around it and come to terms with making that the plan. Seems to be the common suggestion in this thread. However, it seems to contradict the folks that say "get deeper in the woods away from the road hunters if you want to be successful"...???

I think my plan at this point is to put in for Idaho draw to start earning points but not plan to go. I will plan for a trip into wolf/grizzly territory after I have a better feel for the challenge. I will put in for the CO draw and if I don't pull a draw unit, I will hunt OTC in CO for my first trip in September...

Again, can't thank everyone enough for their replies and thoughts to my questions and plans.
 

Customweld

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Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
184
Location
Idaho
Entry period for Idaho is in May. We don’t have a point system. If you don’t draw, there are OTC tags available.Grizzlies are in SE and North Idaho. Wolves are in every part.
 

TX_Diver

Senior Member
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
314
I'm in same boat. I'm not much for spiking out solo but plan to do some hunts from the truck and sleep at the truck each night solo in WY this year (unless I actually draw a NM tag...). If you're not set on elk for the first time you could try to do a solo antelope or deer hunt first. I hunted antelope solo this year and loved it, but I also didn't have to worry about how to get one out as I never ended up more than a mile from the truck. Was nice to not have that added pressure.
 

deerslayer9000

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
13
Just wanted to drop in and say as someone new to western hunting this thread is fantastic for setting realistic expectations for the first few times out west and alone. Seems to be the most important thing is to prepare as much as you can but have a positive, flexible mindset when you get there.

Question: How many of you went scouting (boots on the ground) prior to your very first hunt in that state/area? Or is it better to think of your first hunt in that area as a scouting experience and less of a hunting experience?
 

Mossy

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Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
347
Location
Eastern Washington
The "truck camp" hunting idea is new to me, so I am trying to wrap my mind around it and come to terms with making that the plan. Seems to be the common suggestion in this thread. However, it seems to contradict the folks that say "get deeper in the woods away from the road hunters if you want to be successful"...???

Truck camp is base camp; doesn’t necessarily mean you are tied to hunting close to it.
 

cnelk

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
2,741
Location
N Colorado
I truck/base camp. Never, and I mean never, do I hunt from camp.

It’s not uncommon for me to put 600-800 miles on my truck in 10 days of elk hunting.
 

trophyhill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Tijeras NM
The pack out is when the fun starts. If you like pain, you'll love hunting solo. Funny how you forget the pain as you're looking at the elkwoods in the rear view mirror wishing you had another 10 days
 
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