Comments for Beginner needs your help

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Oct 16, 2010
Beginners Luck!
by: Tim/Ohio

We all need to have some luck when researching and picking a hunting spot out of state. I have 2 suggestions for you: If you are interested in a "late season cow elk hunt", for the meat, near 100% success in getting the lic draw and in bagging a 600 lb cow elk, check out Mule Deer Specialists website in Craig, CO. Mike offers guided elk, mule deer and antelope hunts all on private lands at very reasonable prices. His late season cow hunt is $600, plus lic, lodging, processing, meals and transportation. You can do this hunt for around $1500!
If you are interested in a bull, cow or mule deer hunt on public land, check out Beaver Springs Trespass Hunts in Craig, Co. These are non-guided hunts with private land access to 2 million acres of White River National Forest. "Group" costs are $3000 for up to 8 hunters and lodging is provided.
If you have problems finding these sites or would like more info, you can contact me at tramsey4@frontier.com. Hope this brings "good luck"!, Tim

Feb 15, 2010
Sorry
by: Anonymous

Sorry for the double post...I didn't think my first one went through and the second one was more than 3000 characters so I ommitted some things.

Feb 15, 2010
help for Colorado
by: CO Tim

Nate,
First of all, there is a lot of outstanding information on general elk hunting on this site. The information on equipment, tactics, getting your elk out, etc., is excellent. Pay special attention to the information on Hunting Fitness. If you think you are in good shape for hunting, you probably aren't. Not a criticism, just a reality of western hunting. You cannot be in "too good of shape". Get on the stepper or climb stadium steps; focus on the legs. Work your legs hard enough and the cardiovascular will come with it. Lose as much weight as you can. Forget about buying some rifle that weighs a pound less than your well-used, faithful .270/.30-06. Lose the weight on your belly and butt instead of your gun.

For Colorado-specific information, I would highly suggest diyhunting.com and get the e-book available on that site. There is a wealth of information that you can use over and over again. A lot of it is even relevent to white-tailed deer hunting in the east (navigation skills, reading topographic maps, etc.). Spend a bunch of time on the DOW's website. Download the northwestern and southwestern big game hunting guides. They have excellent unit-by-unit information and statistics. There is information on camping, contacts, and other stuff. Spend some time looking at and utilizing the MapIt map tool. You can identify GMU's, winter range, summer range, breeding range, migration corridors, and other information for big game species.

The biggest populations are in the White River Nation Forest, which includes the famous Flattops Wilderness Area. Lots of elk, lots of hunters, lots of outfitters. However, there are lots of elk in other places as well. One thing about hunting in the west and hunting for elk especially (fitness!)is that your chances of success increase as you put distance between the trailhead or access roads and where you are. Most day hunters on foot will generally hike in a mile or so at the most. The outfitters with horses will take people in 6 miles or more.

Do the math...you need to hike in to that middle band from 2-5 miles from trailheads or access roads to really increase your chances of success (access roads are paved roads, dirt roads, ATV trails...anything that people can walk in on or drive in on). My son and I hike in with our camp on our backs and no longer spend all our time and energy hiking in and out of the mountains every morning and every night. Camping close to elk not only saves energy but allows for more sleep and generally a more satisfying experience in my opinion.

Also remember that Wilderness Areas are absolutely off-limits to any kind of wheels (ATV, truck, mountain bike, game cart) and engines (chainsaws, etc.). Plan accordingly for cutting firewood (although we just use pocket rocket for cooking and headlamps for light. If you're close to elk, trying to stay 1/2 mile or so from them, you don't want to make very much noise) and cooking. Good luck on your planning!

Feb 15, 2010
some helpful information
by: Anonymous

Nate,
I would highly recommend reading everything on this excellent site about general elk hunting. Then, for Colorado-specific information, an excellent resource is diyhunting.com and the e-book "Do It Yourself Elk Hunting". It contains a lot of fantastic general elk hunting information and a lot of Colorado elk hunting information.

I would also utilize the DOW's website as much as you can. Download the northwestern and southwestern big game guides from the website. There is a lot of statistical unit-by-unit information. Also use their website to peruse the MapIt maps; you can view and print maps that show winter range, summer range, migration corridors, etc. for all big game species in Colorado.

The highest populations in Colorado are in the White River National Forest, which includes the famous Flattops Wilderness Area. Loaded with elk, lots of hunters, lots of guides/outfitters. It is also a huge area where you can get away from people but you must be in good shape and be willing to do the work. There are other parts of western Colorado that also have very good elk populations; some have pretty fair hunting pressure, others have lighter pressure.

If you hunt in a wildlerness area, plan on doing things WITHOUT motors, wheels, etc. Wilderness areas are absolutely off-limits to wheeled transportation (ATV's, game carts, mountain bikes, etc.) and motors (chainsaws, etc.) Many guide/outfitters operate in wilderness areas and usually go in from 6 miles upwards. Most day hunters on foot go in a mile or so. Do the math...I recommend going in from 3-5 miles and packing your camp in on your back. You will not believe the amount of wear and tear this will eliminate from the daily up/down of camping at the road side.

Another good resource is Kifaru.com. This is excellent information on western hunting and backpacking in by a Colorado hunter who started the companies Mountainsmith and Kifaru. Read the essays on the site and you'll get psyched for hunting out here this way and you'll pick up a boat-load of helpful information. Good luck!

Nov 19, 2009
Resources
by: Dave

Hey again, Nate. I've done a lot of research on where to go in CO and still haven't settled on any ONE place. I hunted in the Almont area (2007), north of Gunnison. Not a bad area. 2nd to last day we were there, we ran into some guys that had been camped near the base of Round Mountain, south side. Between Almont and Crested Butte, right on the highway. They had taken a few nice mule deer and also 4 or 5 nice elk and were packing out another. They said there was a large herd in the saddle on the east side of the mountain. On my last hunt day, I entered at the only public access off the highway - easy to find. I followed the trail around the north side of the mountain and started climbing up at one point and found a small meadow. I could smell the elk, but didn't know enough to follow my nose. I didn't see anything except beds and thought they were long gone. Had I kept going, I would have found them. In any case, that was a good area, but I didn't find it soon enough. It would be a long hike, but if you got one out there, there are plenty of guys that you can hire to pack it out with horses, $100-$200. Main thing is to do a lot of research and get away from roads, paths, etc.
The DOW website has the harvest stats, by # and % for all of the units for several years up to 2008. Call the CO wildlife biologists also. They're job is to help you out as much as possible. They can tell you what the most recent local reports are and at least help you narrow down your hunting unit much faster. Wish I had known all this BEFORE we went out there. Good luck, and keep us posted:)

Nov 19, 2009
Resources
by: Dave

Hi Nate,

Of course, check out the Co DOW website for elk summer/winter/migration routes. elkheaven.com has A LOT of info on elk up in the NW region. They do a lot of scouting and have some excellent info. I'll give you my experience out there later.

Dave

Nov 19, 2009
Beginner elk hunter
by: Dave, MT

Nate,

I hope someone from CO can help you out. As for tips, read the pages on this site and look through the forum pages. Good luck to you!

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