Contemplating a First Ever SOLO DIY Elk. Thoughts Welcome

Sabot

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
180
Colorado OTC Elk 2nd Rifle

A little background. I am an Eagle Scout, former Marine, and lifelong hunter. I'm not dumb enough to think that makes me bullet proof in the mountains, but it does make me confident enough to be there alone.

I have all the gear I need (except for a SPOT). I have hunted the area I am contemplating going once before so I have a general idea of the layout. I have a local contact about 2 hours away in the event that I need help, and my brother will be hunting about 4 hours away with a guide.

My plan is to drive up and set camp at a trail head and work a 2 mile by 2 mile box I've scouted on google and seen part of last year. I may or may not bring my ATV for recovery purposes only.

2 Dilemmas:

1) This isn't the best year financially to do this (although I think I can do it for under $1500), but I keep hearing Randy say "you'll run out of health before you run out of money" in my head.

2) Packing Out: I know what it is going to take. Done it with a help before but never solo. I am thinking it will still be pretty warm, and I don't want to lose any meat. I'm thinking I can get a quartered bull out in 4 round trips. Realistic?

What could go wrong?
 

twsnow18

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
1,655
Location
Boise, Idaho
The adventure sounds fun, but I think a solo deer hunt would be more fun. I know the pack out is part of the fun, but not 75% of the fun, IMO. But it would be pretty damn rewarding.
 

buckykm1

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2010
Messages
528
Location
Vicksburg, Michigan
going alone wouldn't bother me, I have hunted the mountains plenty of times, but depending on your age and condition ?, packing a Elk out by yourself, in a reasonable amount of time could be very challenging. IMHO.
I am 63, and a flatlander, and it took 2 of us about 11 hours to get my Bull out last years.

Kevin
 

Sabot

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
180
Yeah, it took 5 of us 4 hours last time. I would REALLY hate to lose any of the meat, but there's just a ton of variables.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,591
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
The risk of losing meat under most field circumstances is greatly overstated, in my opinion. A little common sense, hanging meat in an north facing creek bottom and increasing the surface area by boning out meat (and not making one big blob in a meat sack) is the key.

I archery hunt elk by myself quite often. If it takes you two days to pack out an elk, big deal. Get it on ice and you will be fine.
 

Sabot

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
180
I'm leaning pretty hard toward going. Maybe not for the reasons I initially thought either. I'll explain as it gets closer.
 

ccc23454

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
1,675
Location
Wyoming
GO! life is to short not to, solo hunts are also my most rewarding and memorable hunts.

C
 

HighDesertSage

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Messages
3,285
Location
Sage Brush to Corn Fields
I don't think 2nd rifle will be warm enough for any concern in CO in the mountains. I think JLS is spot on.

One side note, don't commit yourself to that one 2 mile by 2 mile area. If they elk are not there, they are not there, and you'll need to move.
 

8andcounting

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
2,161
I hunt 2nd rifle around meeker a lot - u won't need to worry about it being too warm........
 

Sabot

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
180
Update

It's looking like a "go."

I've really been wrestling with whether or not I could/should do this on the grounds of being as "responsible" as possible to our finances, family, and our business. I've come to the conclusion that getting away from all of the noise for 5-7 days is exactly what I need to regain some perspective on faith, family, and future business decisions.

So, yeah, I'm going to work hard to get a bull, but the ultimate prize is some much needed time away ALONE. I'm reminded that our Lord went into the wilderness alone and went away from his disciples alone to pray. Maybe the whole reason I have hunting in my veins is to be the force that drives me into the wilderness to get what I can only get there: perspective.

I have a strong sense that life is going to throw some unexpected curves in the coming months and years, and that this time alone with myself and God is kind of a "reset" to prepare me for what is coming.

I doubt I'll find myself 10 years from now saying "I shouldn't have taken that trip out west." More likely, I'd really regret it if I didn't.

Stay tuned.
 

Sabot

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
180
Plans are nearly finalized. I can't believe this is really happening! I bought a Delorme InReach to cover the peace of mind base. Other additions are a expedition grade tent and a few extra base layers.
 

deer_shooter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
1,822
Location
Southwest Pa.
I go solo all the time and enjoy the challenge and solitude. Last year I killed a nice cow and packed her out myself. It took 10 hours but was tremendously rewarding. Have fun and be safe!
 

1_pointer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Messages
18,125
Location
Indiana
Good luck! I'm glad others were able to convince you of the idea to go. I faced a similar dilemma last year regarding finances as I was expecting to draw a limited entry tag...let alone two! We made it work. While I'm not saying $1500 is chump change, but I would guess for most that is far from a budget breaker. The time away will make you more productive when you get back. It does for me.

I'm more of a take more per trip and fewer trips kind of guy, but I'd say yes to you being able to get it out in 4 trips. Though they weren't big bulls, a pard and I have done it in one trip each. Gutless and boning them out is your friend in these cases.

Again good luck!!!
 

NoWiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,789
Location
Minnesota
Good luck! I'm looking forward to my first solo hunt, but right now I have no shortage of great hunting partners willing to join me on my adventures. Still, there is something very appealing to me about spending a week alone in the mountains chasing elk.

As far as the meat goes, use a little common sense and you won't need to worry about spoilage. Sure, if you throw it all on the ground in a big heap you will have trouble. It sounds like you've got your head on straight so I have no doubt you can take care of your elk meat when the time comes.

Good luck, I'm jealous!!
 

Sabot

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
180
Thanks guys! I've made contact with a local outfitter who has been a tremendous resource already. He's agreed to be an emergency contact for my wife and offers a pack out service to hunters in the area if he is not packing out clients. Depending on the situation, I may opt to call in help versus attempting it alone.
 
Top