Too steep for elk?

bmf0713

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Going on my first elk hunt this fall. I have a tag for 1st rifle unit 65 colorado. Spent a ton of hours with onx and on google earth and the little bit of info i can find on the unit sounds like its pretty nasty steep. I was just wondering from other peoples experiences is there terrain that is too steep for elk? I want to try and find some crazy nasty stuff so i can get away from other hunters but i dont wanna kill myself going into stuff that is so steep even elk will avoid it. I Have like 100 waypoints marked on my onx that look interesting to me (food, water, benches, etc...) and i need to narrow it down a little bit. My onx map is starting to look like a bowl of fruity pebbles.
 
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bmf0713

bmf0713

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Ok. Cool. Thanks. I kinda figured that’d be the answers I’d get. I figured they would handle anything steeper than I’d ever wanna tackle. Just wasn’t sure if they would avoid really steep as their “normal hangout” area. I’m looking at the steep timber and foraging looking areas.
 

OFFHNTN

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Unless you're using climbing gear, it's probably not too steep for them. But are you talking the steep rocky open stuff or steep timber? I love steep timber, and so do elk.
Agreed. If it's rock cliffs, then it's probably too steep. If not, the elk probably don't mind.
 
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bmf0713

bmf0713

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I was also trying to plan some escape routes from other areas where hunter’s might push them from. Will they take the path of least resistance like a ridge or valley or will they just fly up or come barrelling down the side of these steep mountains?
 

Ross

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As noted never too steep for elk they are safer in those areas if some feed and water can pretend to be mountain goats if one can live here they can live anywhere this guy was hold up late November in cliffs and I shot cliff to cliff let’s just say took awhile for all things elk on this remote canyon👍 He is a speck in the 2nd photo piled up71ABFB61-0639-4E19-9DA9-9B31C75CA802.jpeg232B0152-2DA1-41E0-A085-8960B511F5A2.jpeg
 
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elkguide

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Just because you can't go there, doesn't mean that the elk can't.

Way to many times I've had to peel off and try and find a different way up or down when tracking an elk. They definitely have some goat bred into them. Even if you can get where they are going and if you're lucky enough to harvest one, many times you're going to question your sanity when you try and break one down while it is tied to a tree to stop it from rolling into the deep, dark abyss below. Then when you're totally beat after getting it into game bags, you realize that you now have to pack it out!

Don't you just love elk hunting?!?!?
 
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bmf0713

bmf0713

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Don’t forget, on the off chance you kill something you have to get it back to the truck..
Yeah. I’ve been marking routes that look good for me in and out on my onX map. A lot of the parking in that area in at the bottom of the mountains so I shouldn’t have to carry meat up hill too far. I should be able to take it down hill and follow a creek bottom back to the truck. Route might be a little farther but not as hard as straight up hill and over 2 ridges. I am going with a buddy so we can split load and split up to move truck where we need it. And hopefully it’s cold enough so I can take my time. I emphasize on the “ifs” and “shoulds” because this is all new to me. Maybe if it’s steep enough that if I do shoot an elk it will roll all the way down the mountain towards the truck! 🤔 haha!
 

Coulee Kid

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I was mountain goat hunting and to my surprise, I saw 5 bulls in on top of a mountain in huge cliffs and rock slides. I would have never guessed anything would live there but a goat but I was wrong. Pretty cool to see though.
 
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bmf0713

bmf0713

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Just because you can't go there, doesn't mean that the elk can't.

Way to many times I've had to peel off and try and find a different way up or down when tracking an elk. They definitely have some goat bred into them. Even if you can get where they are going and if you're lucky enough to harvest one, many times you're going to question your sanity when you try and break one down while it is tied to a tree to stop it from rolling into the deep, dark abyss below. Then when you're totally beat after getting it into game bags, you realize that you now have to pack it out!

Don't you just love elk hunting?!?!?
Yeah. I kinda had second thoughts after applying for that area because how steep it is. If it doesn’t kill me I’ll probably wish I was dead! It’s gonna be awesome! Haha.
 

Axlrod

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I was working in Yellowstone a few years ago, and came around a corner to see a cow elk standing in my lane. I braked but was very close to her, when she ran up a near vertical shale slope that was several hundred feet to some timber. I was very impressed as i thought for sure she was going to come tumbling back down.
 

Poser

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Definitely encountered elk and elk sign in terrain that is 5th class climbing for humans. Also, don’t buy into the idea of elk using the path of least resistance as they’ll go where they want to go when they want to go even if there is a comparatively mellow path just a few yards away.
 

GunsAreFun

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Can’t speak to elk but I’ve seen white tails in the Ozarks literally climb up bluffs along highways...you know those cutouts where the road goes through the hill instead of over it. And just think, the deer aren’t even adapted to alpine terrain like an elk is.
 

lyle_destroys

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Can’t speak to elk but I’ve seen white tails in the Ozarks literally climb up bluffs along highways...you know those cutouts where the road goes through the hill instead of over it. And just think, the deer aren’t even adapted to alpine terrain like an elk is.
I second that. Just 3 weeks ago we were camping and a young buck came down a cliff then back up when he saw us. A cliff. Nothing would even grow on it. If a whitetail can do it then so can an elk.
 

njdoxie

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I love to watch elk in super steep terrain, just amazing how it’s a walk in the park for them, seems like with long legs they would topple over but of course they don’t.


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