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All Elk... All The time => General Elk Hunting => Topic started by: trautman on March 25, 2020, 07:45:49 AM

Title: New to it all...
Post by: trautman on March 25, 2020, 07:45:49 AM
Good morning folks!

Don't really know where to start just wanted to get started. Putting the first DIY Elk hunt together. Avid hunter. South Dakota every year, Whitetails and long beards here at home in Ohio, UP michigan grouse twice a year, predator year round, and now that life long dream of chasing Elk. Have watched every video on youtube... (prolly twice) took 101 course. Working on learning how to e-scout. Use this alot in the UP. Work out with a 40lb Mystery Ranch pack almost every day. My friends who do this say ...good start...lol. We are planning a 14 day hunt, 10 solid days to actually hunt. I was planning to hunt the SW units that have now gone to draw in CO ...so change of plan. However, I hear we should try and put in anyhow and use OTC units as a backup as a friend who usually hunts around Wilson mtn. says all will probably draw. Any thoughts or ideas on this? Any advise on units to at least look over? I know that is a broad ask and I certainly remember Coreys advise about broad questions. However, if you were to ask me the same type of question in regards to Ohio I would say...The SE counties that border the river are good trophy counties. They have good public access and rugged country. Much of the ground is Wayne Nat forest and has plenty of road access. I would like maybe something like that if possible. I think I can figure out some spots I just am looking for a little help with the needle.


Title: Re: New to it all...
Post by: Wyo67 on March 25, 2020, 12:00:03 PM
Welcome Brian.

I've never hunted Colorado, so I can't help you with where to hunt there.  Sounds like you're well on your way with regards to preparation.  I'd encourage you to watch and re-watch module 6 and still be prepared to be frustrated by the wind/thermals.  Randy Newberg has an excellent e-scouting series on YouTube if you haven't checked it out.

Good luck,
Title: Re: New to it all...
Post by: cohunter14 on March 25, 2020, 01:27:41 PM
Welcome to the site! As far as the SW units go, it sounds like it shouldn't be difficult at all to draw a bull tag. Cow tags might be a little harder to come by. I personally am not too familiar with that area, so can't really help on that. Keep up the good work and good luck to you! Jump on and let us know if any questions come up!
Title: Re: New to it all...
Post by: trautman on March 26, 2020, 08:00:59 AM
Thanks! Appreciate the encouragement! We have been getting together once a week to game plan and discuss options. But now with the state on lock down we are trying to conference call to discuss. Nowhere near as fun. Anyhow, I think since we are super green we may try and go for a either sex unit and hope that just one of us can take meat home for the 3. But the bigger more real picture is getting our feet wet. I know that blind squirrels find nuts but the reality is I hunt coyote at night and am pretty good at it. Call some in almost every weekend...but we have only killed a few this year of the dozens we have worked. I get the odds on this hunt. BUT its the challenge of this hunt that is appealing to me. If we end up with icing on this cake well...all the better. If you had to pick a section of the state of CO. if it were divided into 4 equal squares, which would you focus on?
Title: Re: New to it all...
Post by: wapiti_will on March 26, 2020, 11:06:14 PM
Welcome.  I would say you're just looking at just the western half, and you'd be dividing it into north, central, and southern.  I can only speak to my experience of hunting certain areas all over the state.  Southern CO is, like you said, now mostly draw only now due to calf survival rates.  Southern units used to be really fantastic, but experienced more and more pressure over the last couple decades and have declined quiet a bit.  Success can still be had for sure, and I wouldn't say any other OTC areas are significantly better or worse.  Central CO (specifically the Grand Mesa) has lots of access and a lot of atv/road based hunters, so if you can find pockets to get a few miles from the road it will serve you well.  In Northern CO, you've got lots of national forest and wilderness, and the largest elk herds in CO...but also some of the most heavily pressured elk.  Also, there are a decent amount of outfitters operating numerous miles back into the wilderness areas, so don't think hiking 6 miles into wilderness will get you away from all the hunters.  Like others have said, having multiple game plans and covering a lot of ground a few miles from the road until you get into fresh sign will serve you well. 
Also, remember that Colorado OTC elk are also the most call shy, so don't be surprised if you're in fresh sign and none of your calling tactics are producing much.  Spot and stalk or setting up on water/trails between bedding and water has produced many more opportunities and elk in the freezer for me.
All that said, I've had success/opportunities across the state and I would just keep sticking with your planning meetings and find a unit/area that is going to allow you guys to have as many areas to check out within relatively close proximity. 
Once you settle on a unit, shoot me a message and if I've hunted the area I'll give you whatever info I've got (unless it's my secret spot...haha).
Title: Re: New to it all...
Post by: trautman on March 30, 2020, 11:30:56 AM
Thank you! Very helpful info to start. I will shoot you a PM when we get closer to knowing where.

Title: Re: New to it all...
Post by: AJHURD on May 09, 2020, 02:23:58 PM
Welcome Trautman,

Piggy backing off of what wapiti_will said. I live is southern Michigan and I have traveled to Colorado half dozen times hunting in hunts 33, 24, 25, 26, and 65. The one thing I can't stress enough is, get your legs and lungs in shape! The second thing is to be ready to run into other hunters. Last time I hunted in unit 25, we were about 13 miles away from the trail head, and just about every day we bumped into someone or an outfitter. Myself and handful of buddies are going back this archery season. I love Colorado and can't wait to be back in the mountains chasing elk and mule deer.