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Question by wisconhandf123. Uploaded on December 05, 2012
Find places well off the roads. The more miles you put between the road hunters and yourself the better off you will be.
Yes, get yourself into great physical shape so you are prepared to hike into the mountains, and be prepared to pack out an animal. Spend some time researching areas to hunt. There are some good resources on line from the Colo. division of wildlife and other sources. The Colorado Hunting Atlas is a nice tool, providing topo maps and satellite images of the entire state, with overlays for public lands, elk range etc. I tried to post a link but this site thinks the URL is an obscene word apparently, so you’ll have to google it.
Topo maps and google earth will help you scout from home. Be prepared for a lot of hiking and highly variable weather.
First you probably can't do it alone. Find a buddy or buddies. I killed a 30 inch mule deer on National Forest without a guide in Colorado in 1987. I had a couple of friends that had been hunting in that area before. We hiked 7 miles into the mountain and set up camp. That got us away from the road hunters. Topo maps helped too. We went 3 days before the season and scouted and observed the movement of the animals. All 4 of us killed nice mule deer. We only saw 2 hunters being led by their outfitter on horseback to the other side of the mountain we were hunting. We were told by the game warden that the area we hunted wasn't known as prime mule deer hunting in numbers so that was why there wasn't very many hunters. Stay away from the popular hunting spots because that is where the people are.
I live in Colorado and elk hunting is hard work and the elevation is going to be the hardest to overcome. Altitude sickness can be a problem to some people. And the weather can change in five minutes. Also like Sarge said get here early in the week. I see lots of hunters coming in the day before the season and Iwonder how they are going to be ready the next day. When the rifle season starts the elk know it and start to move as far back in the mountains as they can get. If the hunting pressure is lite usually the elk move to higher bedding grounds in the morning and move down during the evening to feed in the parks. Be there before they are. I would be interested in knowing what area you will be hunting.
I would be hunting in area 64 and 65
Curious as to why you chose those GMU.
Elk is a two man job bare minimum.
Get into shape.
Good quality bullets with a good 30 cal will do.
Learn to quarter or bone out meat. This will allow you to hunt farther. If not, dragging out an elk is tire some and harms the meat.
I have always hunted around known water holes and always find elk. They drink everyday and lots of it. Then its easy to follow the trails to the bedding areas and feeding areas.
GPS is quite handy as well to mark water, trails and espsically camp. Good luck once you hunt elk everything else will not be that much fun
I am 7 for 7 seasons on public land in colorado.I have been lucky but I have also put alot of time in. Start to get in shape now and be prepared for the best and toughest hunt you have probably been on. Its a 5 day dawn to dusk hunt. As above, a partner helps out 100%. The farther back in you are the better your chances. Try White River National Forest.
I agree with Drover1,
Be in your best physical condition because the air is thin in those steep Rocky mountains. I walked up and down the steps everyday, on the high school football bleachers, a year before the hunt.
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