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wallter

Inexpensive Elk Hunt

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I am looking into going on an Elk hunt (first time) and don't have a clue where to start gathering info.

Cost is a concern. Any states that are better than others? Is there a such thing as a do it yourself hunt? Or are there reasonably priced guides out there?

Any good forums, websites or contacts will help.

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Actually, I am leaving next Wednesday for our annual elk hunt bin Colorado.

Colorado is probably your best bet for an inexpensive hunt. Bull tags run 475, and cow tags about 250. Colorado has a very high population of elk right now. Check out the Colorado DOW HSOforum. Lots of info if you dig. Cow tags are mostly draw only, but many units have left overs that you can purchase after the draw.

This year there are 9 of us going. This group has been going for years, so we have the routine down to a science.

We hunt/camp on national forest lands (White River). We use a big army surplus tent, but there are plenty of spots to park conventional campers. We use no horses and no guides. We will bring one quad to retrieve downed animals if permitted. Food costs run roughly 40 bucks per person for a week. Add in your fuel there and back, and propane for cooking and heating the tent. Tack on meat processing if you connect. When we get back home, we split up the costs equally. Including the price of the cow tag, my hunt this year will run about 450 to 500 shims.

Good Luck!

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Hey that's a good start.

Do you have to apply for tags ahead of time or do you buy them out there?

It sounds like people can camp wherever they want on the state land???

wallter

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Walter

You can buy bull tags most zones over the counter, and in many areas there are left over cow tags.

I get mine in the spring, and leave nothing to chance.

We are on federal land, no charge for camping in most cases.

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gissert,
Please be patient w/my odd ?'s...

Can you camp wherever you want?

Are there tons of people? In other words is it like hunting state land in MN?

Are you hiking large distances(any atv access) or is there good potential close to where you camp?

Are certain dates better than others?
Thanks again you are helping me fulfill a dream of hunting out west,
wallter

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Walter -

Sorry for the delay, as I just returned from my Colorado hunt. (I did get a cow!)

Where we hunt, you can camp a few paces of the marked roads.

Hunting pressure on roads and motorized trails can be quite heavy, but these trails do offer good access to excellent hunting.

Hiking is a must. I try to get about a half mile off the road for hunting, however, a cow and a calf caught us unprepared in camp on Sunday afternoon, LOL.

If you have more questions, I'll try and help.

Good Luck!

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Walter -

The range was 30 feet. Not yards, feet, LOL.

The other two animals I have shot out there were 155 and 120 yards.

Your chance of drawing as a group depends on what zone you choose. Some zones never fill up and have left over tags. Some zones will take a dozen years to get drawn. This information is available on the Colorado DOW HSOforum. There is a wealth of harvest info per zone and season.

Be prepared to go home empty your first few times, or get a mulie tag and hunt deer the first time or two while you learn. Avoid areas that have been grazed by sheep that fall. This really moves the elk and deer out.

I would expect a success rate of 10% to be about average. Some zones are better that others, as are season choices. The success ratios can also be found on the DOW site as well. Personally, I have taken three animals in five trips. Luck has a great deal to do with this, as does going with an experienced group and learning the ropes from them.

Ours is public land hunting, for sure, but we put others to good use. The cow this year was a result of taking advantage of other hunters moving critters. Get up early, and sit on a likly escape route. You will run into other hunters, but I don't view this as a negative in most cases. Often times, outfitters will scare animals out of stuff that can't be accessed by regular joes, and they will run right up you area.

A range finder is a great idea. Distances can be tough to judge on up and down hill views. I would not use it to judge the range to an animal, there will probably not enough time. Range a rock, a tree, etc so you know the perimiter that you feel you can accurately shoot.

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Congrats on the cow. How far of a shot?

If I were to put together a group could we all expect to buy/put in for tags or do some guys not get drawn?

What is your success rate (%)?

If you can't tell, I've hunted public land in MN and am nervous. Are you constantly bumping into people?

Do you use a rangefinder? What distances will my rangefinder need to work at?

wallter


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Gissert,
I owe you big time!

Can you suggest a GOOD map for public land?
Which websites do you recommend (Colorado DNR?)?

You mentioned starting with mulies. I assume mulies and elk travel the same terrain? Can I buy both licences?

Which zones do you recommend?
Any suggestions for books, video, mags, etc. or any other resources?

Thanks a ton I truely do appreciate the info.

wallter

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Walter -

The Colorado DNR is the site I am talking about. There is excellent information there.

I happen to hunt area 34.

Deer and elk share terratories, but the deer work edges similar to white tails, and elk often get into the tangly stuff. You can buy tags for both at the same time.

Any USGS topo map is fine. If you are in the twin Cities area, check out Latitudes in St. Louis Park. They have them in stock.

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