Should I hunt this tag solo?

roosiebull

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Aug 23, 2014
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oregon coast
Ok so the great news is that I drew my 2021 CO 61 archery tag! (yes bragging a bit here) The bad news is that my hunting partner of the last 12 years drew his own LE tag in a different part of the state. (unexpected tag) Good on him but that leaves me on a solo mission for a tag that I have been dreaming of for several years. I have hunted solo in the past but having another caller, another back, eyes, and ears is clearly desirable especially given the point cost of this tag. I honestly don't care about inches but chose this unit for opportunity.

So, what say you roksliders? Especially anyone that has had the opportunity to hunt this tag in the past.

Hunt solo? Find a friend? Wait another year?
I would hunt it solo no matter what, haha. Honestly, you have a good tag, and you have a chance to have a great solo adventure in the mountains... I would way rather hunt it solo vs taking someone else that isn’t on your level (that could go for anything from physical ability to desire to have a good hunt regardless) it’s your tag, you are going to be more excited than someone tagging along not hunting... you have plenty of time to figure out a solo game plan, treat this as a blessing you get to get away by yourself and have a great hunt.

congrats, and don’t fret about going alone, I would see that as a good thing
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
Solo elk hunting isn’t the boogie man it’s made out to be.

Since I killed the bull in the video above (2012), I’ve killed 8 elk. 6 of them were solo.

Think ‘Nike’ - Just do it
Of my 16 roosies, only 2 were killed when hunting with buddies, the rest have all been solo... I still hunt with friends every year, but on those days, I don’t even plan on nocking an arrow... if there is an opportunity, I will let them have it, I enjoy trying to fill my tag on solo hunts.

I don’t understand why some don’t like hunting solo... I feel like I’m more effective solo, and it’s not that big of a deal when you get one killed solo... packing a whole bull out solo has some suck involved, but every time you do it, packing critters out gets easier... the worry and mystery goes away when you proved you can do it several times... and more often than not, there is someone willing to help out when it does happen.

if I ever drew a coveted tag, I would hunt the first week by myself regardless... early season, before those big bulls find cows, they are the most vulnerable... they stick to a pretty tight pattern, and some type of ambush is the way to kill a really big early season bull... I wouldn’t want another person there... less scent/noise/movement, and I wouldn’t expect someone else to want to do that if they didn’t have a tag... after that first week, I would let a friend or two come and hunt with me, but it’s easier to focus on the task at hand rather than trying to keep it entertaining for your buddy.

elk hunting solo is very underrated in my opinion.

being stuck getting an elk off the mountain solo is fun too, it is hard, but when it’s done, it’s pretty satisfying

hunting is largely challenging yourself, hunting solo just highlights that aspect
 

Laramie

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Apr 17, 2020
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I am a huge fan of 2 man teams for elk. If both members know what they are doing, I believe your odds of harvest increase exponentially. That said, hunting solo is way better than hunting with someone who isn't up to the shooters abilities.
 

Rangerpants

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Apr 9, 2020
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Really Northern California
I do a lot of solo hunting, including elk hunts. Packing out an elk solo isn't much fun, but it sounds like that unit is likely to hold elk close enough to the road to make it work. Hunt it and have fun! Ideally you or your friend tag out early and can go help the other.
 
OP
B

brimow

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Dec 6, 2019
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Colorado
Of my 16 roosies, only 2 were killed when hunting with buddies, the rest have all been solo... I still hunt with friends every year, but on those days, I don’t even plan on nocking an arrow... if there is an opportunity, I will let them have it, I enjoy trying to fill my tag on solo hunts.

I don’t understand why some don’t like hunting solo... I feel like I’m more effective solo, and it’s not that big of a deal when you get one killed solo... packing a whole bull out solo has some suck involved, but every time you do it, packing critters out gets easier... the worry and mystery goes away when you proved you can do it several times... and more often than not, there is someone willing to help out when it does happen.

if I ever drew a coveted tag, I would hunt the first week by myself regardless... early season, before those big bulls find cows, they are the most vulnerable... they stick to a pretty tight pattern, and some type of ambush is the way to kill a really big early season bull... I wouldn’t want another person there... less scent/noise/movement, and I wouldn’t expect someone else to want to do that if they didn’t have a tag... after that first week, I would let a friend or two come and hunt with me, but it’s easier to focus on the task at hand rather than trying to keep it entertaining for your buddy.

elk hunting solo is very underrated in my opinion.

being stuck getting an elk off the mountain solo is fun too, it is hard, but when it’s done, it’s pretty satisfying

hunting is largely challenging yourself, hunting solo just highlights that aspect
Roosiebull - Thanks for the your insights and information. I am planning on my 1st hunt being the opener (9/2 - 9/7) then if needed hunting after muzzle until filled or season end. I will only be able to manage 1 trip out later this summer (unit is approx 7 hours from home). Given this information how would you go about "patterning the bulls"? I don't feel I will have enough time on the ground to do this. Thanks. Feel free to pm me if you prefer that route.
 

Ucsdryder

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Jan 24, 2015
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Ucsdryder How'd it look out there this weekend? Assuming it is as dry there as everywhere else is
Crazy dry. Lots of dust. 2” down it was still dusty. Seemed fairly green but I think it was deceiving. The water holes had plenty of water and the seeps were still going. Didn’t see many elk but the ones we did looked great. Blew 2 tires on the divide road. Bring an extra spare!
 

Blockcaver

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BC
Out of over 30 archery elk I only remember 5 where I was hunting with others. I focus better alone. Rest when I should and hunt when I should. No worries about getting back to camp late or meeting up. Not like it’s grizzly country.

Go get a nice one! Whittle him down gutless….pack him out. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done! Good luck.
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
Roosiebull - Thanks for the your insights and information. I am planning on my 1st hunt being the opener (9/2 - 9/7) then if needed hunting after muzzle until filled or season end. I will only be able to manage 1 trip out later this summer (unit is approx 7 hours from home). Given this information how would you go about "patterning the bulls"? I don't feel I will have enough time on the ground to do this. Thanks. Feel free to pm me if you prefer that route.
leaving a couple days before the hunt would be huge if you could pull it off, especially with your scouting trip later this summer. if it's that good of a tag, i would find a way to show up a couple/few days before season, that will be the most valuable and relevant scouting you could do.... if you know the area well enough, a scouting trip this summer and being on scene a couple days early would have me feeling pretty confident i would do the tag justice.
 

300RUM

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Jun 15, 2021
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3
Solo it! I drew a LE elk tag in MT last year and all my regular hunting buddies didn’t draw so they had to hunt general units. I had the time of my life and really learned some valuable tricks and tactics to call elk in solo. Have a buddy on speed dial in case you wack one and need help packing.
 

PNW44

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Jul 8, 2021
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I would hunt it regardless, but would definitely prefer a buddy to go along with!
 

smokewrench

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Mar 26, 2021
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Isn't 61 pretty much a once in a lifetime tag? I see you mentioned you've killed more elk solo than with partners. If those solo kills are from call in's, then heck yes go solo. If you aren't a caller then it would be nice to have a partner who can call. Hard part is finding someone you click with who truely can call.

Never have seen a thread discussing hearing differences between hunters mentioned. I've hunted with three guys who couldn't hear elk answer my location bugles. Always wondered if that's an aberration. Hopefully your hearing is good.
 

crich

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Jul 7, 2018
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Location
Anchorage AK
If you cant turn it in and keep your points then hunt it solo!

Or split the season with your buddy. You guys hunt the first 12 days with his tag then drive to your unit and hunt another 12 if thats an option. A compromise and probably not an option I'd assume but its a thought nonetheless.
 
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