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Planning a last minute diy elk hunt in Colorado

CTELK83

Active member
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
236
Location
Rochester, NY
After not drawing a pronghorn tag my buddy and I were told should be “ no problem” I am now trying to plan an elk hunt. I have some experience, but by no means an expert. I think I have my units down to 421,521 or 52. I have never hunted colorado and my biggest area of weakness is escouting. I could definitely use a few tips. Not looking for a waypoint of anyones honey hole haha. I’m just more curious about things like when I’m looking at onX, what should I be looking for in terms of places or roads to camp off of? Appreciate any pointers from people who have hunted those areas or if one area is “better”. By better I mean more public land and access. I have made a few calls to biologists and will most likely make another one with some more ?s that come up. Also, I’ll be going with a bow and looking to just have fun and hopefully see some elk. I wouldn’t pass a legal elk on day 1 morning 1. Thanks! Good luck everyone this fall
 

CTELK83

Active member
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
236
Location
Rochester, NY
Haha! Ya. The more I think about it, the more I realize no chance I get the answers I was thinking I might All good. I’ll figure it out
 

Benfromalbuquerque

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
718
After not drawing a pronghorn tag my buddy and I were told should be “ no problem” I am now trying to plan an elk hunt. I have some experience, but by no means an expert. I think I have my units down to 421,521 or 52. I have never hunted colorado and my biggest area of weakness is escouting. I could definitely use a few tips. Not looking for a waypoint of anyones honey hole haha. I’m just more curious about things like when I’m looking at onX, what should I be looking for in terms of places or roads to camp off of? Appreciate any pointers from people who have hunted those areas or if one area is “better”. By better I mean more public land and access. I have made a few calls to biologists and will most likely make another one with some more ?s that come up. Also, I’ll be going with a bow and looking to just have fun and hopefully see some elk. I wouldn’t pass a legal elk on day 1 morning 1. Thanks! Good luck everyone this fall
Thread 'Colorado GMU 52 - 4th Rifle Season'
https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/colorado-gmu-52-4th-rifle-season.285986/
 

Gellar

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
4,467
Location
The Driftless Area
When I e scout a unit for hunting in September I look for steep northeast facing slopes, if it has a bench on it, even better. Like Randy recommends I find 10-12 spots in my area I want to hunt. Once I’m in the unit I check them off one at a time. Some spots I might be able to do that from the road but some spots I might have to hunt a few days to know if it’s worth it o not. In archery most likely the season will have already started when you arrive so there are no “scouting days”. Everything I do is slow, whether it’s driving or hiking, constantly looking for sign. Everyday try to learn something new, putting the puzzle pieces together, going further, pushing closer to where you think they bed. If you hear an elk bugle in an otc unit be ready to pounce, or someone else will.
 

JAG

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
271
Location
Alabama
Just remember when scouting: the harder it is to get there, the more likely an elk will be there. You need to find a few places that people haven’t been in a few days. Trails are almost the same as roads, elk avoid them.

This rule of thumb is starting to cut both ways:

'the harder it is to get there, the more likely [people are there].

RyGuy's advice is still applicable in that the elk go where people are not. At this stage of the information age, many more hunters are getting in as deep as they can to hit the roadless parts, gravitating to the same burn, hunting the same deep dark nasty drainage, etc.

Look for places where the path skirts away from a stretch of cliff edge or even skips a basin so that it isn't seen from the road. If a cliff is next to a road or trail in two places and the middle section isn't glass-able from the road, then get off the trail and peek inside that little seam.

I'm e-scouting a heavy ATV-use unit right now. I looked more closely at a drainage that I know holds post-rut bulls that were harvested in the past. It is inside 0.5 miles to the closest road, but blocked by a finger ridge on the lower end and a sharp bend on the upper end.

It is too close to get the 'super-fitness hunters' interested but is just far enough to work as a barrier against lazy hunters. It has all the other elements of a sanctuary; steepness, water, and food.
 

Benfromalbuquerque

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
718
To piggyback on the newest new plan to get where other hunters aren’t: 🛶. Or float tube, Zodiac, whatever gets a man to a place that’s difficult to hike and can’t drive to, smart elk will be.
 
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jbseamus83

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
319
Location
UT
This is not specific to your hunt, but I have been learning the whole escouting thing for the last couple of years, and have found myself finding that the land looks a lot more like I'm expecting now, than when I started 2 years ago with escouting.

The thing that has helped me the most is to pick apart areas that I have been to and know really well. For instance, I spent hours looking at and learning what my wife's family ranch looked like on google earth because it was an area I knew like the back of my hand. Things just look different until you get the hang of looking at them through satellite images. Then, I started looking at areas near where I live that I have been to and hiked.

The first several times that I went to an area based solely on escouting, I felt lost. The actual land was not what I was expecting. However, this year, each of the scouting trips I have taken over the last couple months, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that the land looked fairly similar to what I was expecting based solely on escouting.

There is a learning curve for sure. I am in no way awesome at it, but I can see my own progress in this area. Good luck to you. It's going to be tough to get there and kill an animal, but hopefully the experience is awesome.
 

Benfromalbuquerque

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
718
This is not specific to your hunt, but I have been learning the whole escouting thing for the last couple of years, and have found myself finding that the land looks a lot more like I'm expecting now, than when I started 2 years ago with escouting.

The thing that has helped me the most is to pick apart areas that I have been to and know really well. For instance, I spent hours looking at and learning what my wife's family ranch looked like on google earth because it was an area I knew like the back of my hand. Things just look different until you get the hang of looking at them through satellite images. Then, I started looking at areas near where I live that I have been to and hiked.

The first several times that I went to an area based solely on escouting, I felt lost. The actual land was not what I was expecting. However, this year, each of the scouting trips I have taken over the last couple months, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that the land looked fairly similar to what I was expecting based solely on escouting.

There is a learning curve for sure. I am in no way awesome at it, but I can see my own progress in this area. Good luck to you. It's going to be tough to get there and kill an animal, but hopefully the experience is awesome.
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razorrt5

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
4
I archery hunted Unit 421 last year... I can give you a few tips if you want to PM me, I also went into it only having escouted and learned some very valuable things
 
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