Drop Hunt

PassThruArchery

New member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
2
Location
York Springs, Pa USA
I have a question and I hope mot to catch too much hassment over this, but I am an Eastern Whitetail hunter. Once you guys stop laughing, I am hoping that you will be able to provide me with some helpful hints. I am looking into booking a Drop Camp hunt for Elk and Mulies. Although I am a "city-slicker" I am well versed on survival skills and can handle myself in the wild. I found an outfitter, about 2 hours west of Colorado Springs that will pack us into an area for $900 and we can hunt for about 14 days. With the exception of a very videos, I have zero expereince Elk hunting. This trip would be a "Dream Hunt" for me and I was hoping that you would be able to point me in the direction of some useful information. For example, books to read, calls to use, is scent a factor, is it worth it to try to hunt archery (which is my prefered method), etc...
I know that i am green when it comes to all this "Big Sky Country Hunting" but that is only because I was born in the East. Try not to hold that against me. :D :D But honestly, the folks I see on this forum seem to be the knowledgeable around. So, go ahead, hit with the information and THANKS in advance!!!!
 

Ridge Runner

New member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Messages
2,142
Location
On the ridge
Pass ThruArchery. Welcome to the house of
For one of the best intros to elk hunting and what to expect go to any one of Elkhunters post on this site and click on the link at the bottom of his signature. It reads Elk hunting 101. This will give you a good look into elk hunting.
Good luck :D
 

A-con

New member
Joined
Dec 23, 2000
Messages
2,926
Location
Fresno,Ca.
Welcome to "Moosies"
We got pleanty of whitetail hunters around here, so feel at home.
Most hunters who come from the east to hunt the rockies find that the altitude really kicks there butt, be prepared for hard work in thin air.
I'm no expert, but I think elk have a lot of the same defences as whitetails. Very good sense of smell, always hunt INTO the wind. They hang out in thick timber a lot of the time. The big difference is that they live way back in the boonies, in steep rugged mountains. If this outfitter packs you into an area that dosn't hold many elk, you'll be stuck, so do some research. Find out where (generally) he's going to pack you into, then call the local Colorado DOW, and ask about the elk population their. Ask if the elk use that area during the rut, if your going for archey ( mid September ) Try to contact some of his referances, thoses who used his drop camps.
Most of the books that I've read about elk hunting were very basic, and didn't help much beyond common sense. You'll get a lot more information hanging out on internet talk boards like this one.
Two VERY important pieces of equipment, a pair of good boots, made for hikeing, that are broken in. You'll very likely hike three to ten miles a day ( in rough country ). The other is a decent pair of binoulars, the best you can afford.
In my limiteed experince, the most importante thing is you attitude, don't give up or get discouraged. Hunt hard every day, from before dawn till dark, keep your eyes open and try to learn.
Another thing, be ready for weather, even in Sept., it can snow, and if you go anytime after mid Oct. you can just about count on it.
Finally, think about how your going to get that elk from wherever it dies to someplace where the outfitter can load it on to a horse. Thoses dang things are a lot bigger than a whitetail.
 

KC

New member
Joined
Jun 3, 2002
Messages
328
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
PassThru:

I'm not an archery hunter. So no help there. But I have hunted elk, with a rifle, in CO since 1978 and been reasonably successful. There's some info on my old web page that might be useful.

http://members.aol.com/keenkc/page7/CampKC.html

I have hunted elk two hours west of Colorado Springs and unless you have preference points, you won't get a tag. Over-the-counter bull tags are not valid in many units east of the Continental Divide. You need to go west of the Divide to get a tag.

Send me an e-mail for more info.

KC
 

pa mt man

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Messages
809
I rifle hunted unit 481 in Colorado in 98. If you want info on my hunt let me know and its good to have another Pa hunter on board. don
 

PassThruArchery

New member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
2
Location
York Springs, Pa USA
Thanks for the feedback guys. BTW, Tom, yes, he will be packing us out as well. The guy that we talked to did give us references that have used his drop camps, but what I really found to be impressive is the fact that in the reference sheet he also gave us the phone number for DOW, local chamber of congress, and local sherrifs department. I have to assume since he is willing to give you that kind of info, he can't have too much to hide.

I am already getting prepared for the beating that my body is going to take. I have started a rigouris work-out schedule even though we will not likely be booking anything until the 05 season.

Also, according to the fellow that we spoke with, if we want to book a hunt with them, they will do all the leg-work on the tags. If we can't get 'em, we don't have to pay.

BTW, Ridgerunner, I will check out ElkHunter's page. And pa mt man, I will be sending you an email to pick your brain as well. Thanks again guys. I realy appreciate it.
 

TheHunt

New member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Messages
25
Location
Washington State
Please provide the group on your description of a successful elk hunt and a successful deer hunt. What will you settle for? If you will not shoot anything under a 300 inch P&Y Bull then the answers could change. If you would kill anything in the species of elk then the answers will definitely change. I have taken friends hunting why shot a calf and was really elated with their harvest.

What about your deer? How big a mule deer is your minimum size rack? We can help with the basics of the location and equipment. But strategy get different when we know your goals.
 

Iron Buck

New member
Joined
Dec 27, 2003
Messages
127
Location
Pittsburgh ,PA
Pass Through Archery

Welcome to HT from a fellow PA hunter. I hunt Colorado for elk during the archery season every year. I always go self guided and have usualy taken my own camp in on my back but due to airline weight restrictions I have stated to use an outfitter to pack me in. I use his tent and basic gear. He sets it up in the area I chose. For me it is the best of both worlds. I get a base camp where I want it to be. And I do not get killed with overweight or extra bagage fees either. I also have it worked out that the outfitter will come in and pick up my boned meat. All I need to do is get it a trail that a horse can reach. He picks it up, and takes it to a processor. Good deal.

Lots of guys here and on other sites that may be able to help you pin point a location or area to hunt. Everyone is pretty helpful but do not expect anyone to reveal their secret "honey holes" LOL.

The single best thing you can do to prepare is start running. Now. Building up your wind and legs can not be overetimated as a requirement. You can't hunt the elk until you get to them. And if you are out of shape..........you will not get to them. You can't train for elevation. But the better shape your cardiovascular is in the better you will perform. My base camp is at 10.500'. The elk I hunt are typically at 11,550' and better. Leaving Pittsburgh (1200') one day and waking up 24 hours later at 10,500' can be a shock to your system if you are unprepared. Remember..........it is more "elk hiking" than elk hunting until you find them.

The weather is also something to be prepared for. This past September I found mself in the middle of a white out that dumped 8+ inches of snow on us. And this was the first week of September!! My buddy and I had th egear we needed so it was no big deal. But lots of guys are thinking shorts at this time of year. Not so at higher elevations. Even when the average temps have been in th emid 60s in Durango, wher I hunt it seldom went above 50. It mostly stayed in the low 40s. And at night it went into the teens. A good bag is a must.

As far as the elk go. Rule number one.........They are not whitetails. Do not try to hunt them like they are. Forget stand hunting. If you want to get a bull be ready to go after them. To me this is the joy of elk hunting. It is very proactive. Remember.....you are not a local. You may have a week or 10 days to hunt. BE aggresive. Take chances. It is not like you can go home and come back the following weekend. Play to win....do not play "not to loose". The guy I hunted with last year was this way. He was so paranoid about pushing elk out of the area that he never even got close to one.

Lots of videos are out there. I like the primos truth series the best. But remember.......these guys are trying to sell calls. Take there tactics with a grain of salt. On public land you would be hard pressed to bring in a bull with a bugle (Fom my experince they mostly run the other way). And use cow calling as minimumally as possible. If you can spot and stalk without calling you will be better off in teh long run. That said...when calling works it is a pure adrenalin rush when these boys come in!

Good luck!
 

Elkhunter

New member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Messages
11,273
Location
Jackson, Wyoming
Welcome to Hunt Talk PassThruArchery. I think the most important thing is to be in shape. I have seen a lot of hunts ruined because one only thought they were in shape, believe me, I found out the hard way. Be prepared for any kind of weather, from single digits at night to 70 during the day. Give yourself a day to adjust to the altitude. AMS is no laughing matter.
 

supersider34

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Messages
451
Location
Idaho
I think where to start is everything these guys have said. But I would watch every video you can find on elk hunting. Just watching them will give you hints and tips. Primos puts out awesome video's. Just seeing them calling or whatever. You can get any info from any source. Ask questions online in all elk forums. If you get a bad response there is always someone that will give you advice. Getting critisized for asking a question will make you want it more as I am sure you will get alot from some of the "Great Hunters" Just blow them off and keep looking for help. At least you are asking. Better than most that dont think they do. Anyways.
As for if there are elk in the area where you are hunting the best thing is you will be off the beaten path. You will be back in off the road. Hopefully you will be hunting the last 2 weeks of September as this is probably the best time to be hunting them. There is a ton of info and could write on this all day.
Let assume this is a decent area for elk and you have found out all the info for the hunt. I would say once in there I would the first night after being there I would go out around 1 a.m. and bugle. When I get a response I would try to find where the bugle came from. Then on a map I would look for where it is. Once located then I would mark the map where he was. If several them mark them. Then you have a basic of where the elk are. Hunt for them in the morning. If you go out right at daybreak when it is light enough to see bugle again. Find how close them bulls where to the last place from the night before. Mark them spots. Now you will have a general area where they are feeding from the night before and where they are heading threw in the morning. They will now be heading to there bedding areas also. They will be heading up to there bedding areas. In areas where I have hunted they bedded on east facing slopes almost to the top of the ridge in the timber. I have found them bedded on the ridges themselves. In little saddles. Just make sure you are not moving to fast one them when locating them as they are apt to get out of dodge when spooked. I bugle till I am close up on them and turn to cow calls. But in my opinion you do not need to be the greatest bugler in the world to get responses for bulls as they all have different sounds. Say you have one located that you want to try to work. Go after him moving in. Dont give off you are a huge bull. Work him with a single bugle not drawn out. This is what they will respond to. If watching videos you will hear this and learn it. Just one call just to locate him. Once you feel you get close about 150-200 yds from him use a cow call. You will learn each bull will be different this is why watch alot of elk hunting videos. Some will come from along ways away and some will just round up there cows and go. I use a hoochie mama from Primos and a mouth reed. I call from both and once they get in close I just use my mouth reed. This is if I am hunting alone. If a partner is with me we both call and when the bull comes in close then the one behind does the calling. But blowing hunts is very easy to do as I said each one will be different. I have a friend in Northern Idaho that I talk to all the time that has taken 28 elk with his bow and I met him online and have met him in person as well and we talk all the time on the phone that is very able in terms of knowing behaviors and knowing tricks of the trade. He gives out advice freely on hunts. His advice to me is to ask for help will make you more of a hunter and more successful than one who puts down others for asking questions or one that thinks he knows it all.
There are some great knowledgeable hunters here on this site so give it a go on advice from them. I am sure each person here has a ton of knowledge in areas they have hunted.
One thing to remember is this not every situation is going to work for you in the area's you hunt compared to the area's I hunt.
Feel free to email me if you like and I will answer all your emails. As I believe any on here will also.
Good luck on your quest.
 
Top