View Full Version : Any CO Elk hunters here?

October 20, 2004, 10:26 AM
My gf and I are hiking up into the Elk Mountains GMU54 this weekend in pursuit of a cow. I've hunted deer extensively but this is the first for elk. We've been running and hiking with packs to get in great shape. The Scout is good to go and of course I'm not taking any shots that I can't guarantee, boots are broken in, packs rigged, sleds arrainged, knives and saws sharpened up, maps are waterproofed. We went up and scouted the terrain (awesome mountains) but didn't catch sight of any elk, just deer. This time we're planning to get above 12k for stalking. Any last minute advice you guys would give?

Rich Lucibella
October 21, 2004, 10:56 AM
I'm in the same position. First Elk hunt in CO on Nov 4th...Cow also. Will be using the Blaser .338 for this one. Lessons and reports appreciated.

October 21, 2004, 12:29 PM
Nothing that I can give you specific to Elk. Especially this time in the season. Still some general advice. Plan on bad weather. If its looking good in the morning its probably going to be bad by the evening. Expect some snow, especially above 12,000 ft.

Larry Ashcraft
October 21, 2004, 05:45 PM
Not really advice, but... We went first season, north of Crested Butte in Brush Creek canyon. I didn't have a tag, just went along to do some fishing and blue grouse hunting, and to be with my dad, brothers, son, SILs, nephews.

We saw more animals then ever before. My two nephews (aged 17 & 14) each got cows. My brother saw about 32 head the first day, including 2 nice bulls. My son-in-law, first year hunting, was 15 feet from a bull in the early morning dark. Didn't get a shot, but he was happy.

One thing noticed, The rut was still going on (Oct. 9) which is late. Bulls were bugling all over the place. I hope you guys have as much luck seeing animals.

Rich, where are you hunting?

Larry Ashcraft
October 21, 2004, 05:47 PM
Oh, and taralon is right. On Sunday it was about 60 degrees at noon and by 5:00 it was snowing.

Larry Ashcraft
October 21, 2004, 07:41 PM
OK, thought it over, here is a little advice (although you guys probably already know this stuff).

If there are a lot of hunters around, SIT and let the elk come to you.

Conversely, if there are no hunters in the area, move slowly, stop every few yards and look around. Look for LEGS, they are easier to see.

Hunt downhill if at all possible. Elk usually watch downhill for danger, rarely uphill.

Carry a length of rope with you. You will need it to tie off a leg or two while field dressing. Also, before starting to field dress an animal, strip down to your t-shirt. You'll end up that way anyway, and no sense getting your clothes all bloody in the process.

If you do get an animal down, spot where it goes down. As large as they are, when they are down they are surprisingly hard to find.

Remember that when you are in the roughest, toughest downed timber way in the heck from any roads or trails, if you get an elk, you have to get it out of there. Before dark, if possible. If you have to leave a downed elk overnight, get it off the ground (on some small logs or something), cover it with some of your clothes and urinate around the immediate area. That will usually keep the predators away for one night.

Rich Lucibella
October 22, 2004, 08:54 AM
I'll be up in the northwest section. Flying into Craig, Steamboat Springs as the icing alternative.

Thanks for the tips. I'll use 'em.

October 22, 2004, 09:53 AM
Ain't never been hunting up there, but I've skied at those elevations after living as a flatlander, and so I'll state the obvious - STAY HYDRATED, and get plenty of rest. Good luck and report later. What gun or bow are you using? What part of CO is this - nearest town?

October 23, 2004, 09:20 AM

GMU 54 is bounded to the southeast by Gunnison and to the North by Crested Butte. Outside of those two towns, its pretty much empty.