When will elk migrate?

flatlanderhuffandpuff

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Mar 15, 2017
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I'm looking over the Colorado Hunt Atlas and am trying to figure out what the time line is like for transitioning from summer area to winter.

I know this will depend on early deep snow. I would imagine they will be in summer ranges pre rut and mostly retreat to higher elevations after the rut ends. Once the snow hits they will start moving towards their winter range.

Is that pretty much the gist of it?
 

theleo91386

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Apr 1, 2016
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Eastern Washington
The rut doesn't play into the elevation very much. They follow the feed up the mountains and get pushed down by the weather in the fall. As the snow receeds fresh green grass in only a few weeks behind it and the elk are directly behind that following the food source. Bulls are in the high country well before the rut and will only go higher after the rut if hunters push them up there.
 

ericF

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Oct 4, 2016
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It's Colorado, so it can happen anytime between September-December. I know that is not the answer you are looking for, but there is no way to time the migration. Every year it is different and can even be off by months depending on which part of the state you are in and snowfall. We had a very warm fall and the harvest rate is down by 10%.
 

KMT

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Aug 3, 2012
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I agree with ericF. Elk migrate whenever they feel like it.
 
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flatlanderhuffandpuff

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Thanks for the response.

I assumed it went like that. I guess I'll just plan on putting on the miles until I find them.
 

elkduds

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Jun 22, 2016
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CO Springs
Thanks for the response.

I assumed it went like that. I guess I'll just plan on putting on the miles until I find them.
Yes. Have a plan that can put you in summer, winter and migratory ranges. Start w the most likely given current conditions, go from there. If possible, "put on the miles" w glassing early and late.
 
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