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elk hunt?


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If you are going with a guide then they will have a list of all the items needed. Some outfitters will also post on thier web page what you will need to go.

When I went to Montana a few years ago, I did all the research myself and talked to some outfitters to see what they had to offer. It is a bigger job to do this hunt on your own. Depending on the area your are planning on hunting you may need to line up pack horses and a cooler to keep the meat.

As far as the bow equipment goes, I used my regular bow and also called Easton and asked them what weight arrow and broadhead weight I needed to have the correct grains of weight. They were very helpfull.

You will also need to find land access well in advance. Ther is much more for small tips and I will let others chime in and help. If this trip is well planned, you will have a great hunt.

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First off congratulations. But be warned once you have a big 6x6 screamin at you from 30 heck 20 yrds. Whitetail hunting just isnt the same.I went to colorado 2 falls ago on a self guided hunt we were hunting large chunks of public land .I would suggest a few critical things, First off I dont know how high your hunting but we were camping at about 9500 and hunting up to 12000 we had to days before the season and my body needed it to get fully acclimated takes up to a year but the more time you give youreself the better. 2nd a good gps and topo maps, good binocs and pack light. The first day i would put everything in my pack by the 2nd day just water, calls,knife and some more water.If you have more questions feel free to ask. I could write a lot more but Im sure other guys will help you out to.

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Don't even go down that path! Way to addictive. But if you feel you must, I will list just a snibit of things to think of.

Guided or non-guided. If you think this will be your one and only dream hunt (snicker, snicker) than I would spend lots of time choosing a reputable guide in an area that produce a class animal you are after. Lots of states to choose from. Some states are better than others. Some areas in states are better than others. Tag prices and drawing odds basically increase proportionally to the quality of big bulls in the unit. If you want to go unguided and think you can do it every year or every few years, then I would start with a cheaper hunt or a cow hunt. Go do it and learn.

Logistics..How you going to get you and all your equip there. drive or fly? By yourself or multiple party?

Start applying for bonus/preference points. If you are after that monster, it may take you 15-20 years to get those primo tags out there. I have 11 points this year in some states and still do not have a chance of drawing.

Do your research to fing out what you can afford and what is possible for a guy just starting out. Research areas by calling local biologists, forest service, Game and fish, and Big game forums. Ask specific questions that can help answer your questions.

Equipment...your basic whitetail equipment (bow) should do fine. I would recommend a draw weight and heaviest arrow it can shoot. Speed does not kill when it comes to elk. Good cut on impact or sharp replacable blade type broadheads. Leave the cut on impact BHs at home. Get a good set of binos, a dayback you can get necessary items into, but still RUN in without it bangin around. Necessary items will include..survival gear (Compass, maps, water, fire starter, safety blanket, gps if you got one, pain reliever, emergency food, knife, safety kit, flashlight, extra batteries etc. Your pack will also need to fit you calls, extra release/tabs, broadheads....you get my drift.

IF you plan a do it yourself (DIY) type hunt you need to decide how you want to hunt/camp. Big base camp or Bivy style hunt. You can do both on the same trip. but if you decide to go out and Bivy hunt you will need some more specific items.

If you are fortunate to kill. Think how you will get the elk out of the woods, processed and home without spoilage. Some states will allow you to drive up to the animal with a quad, others will not. Learn the gutless cleaning technique if you have to pack the animal out.

Get in shape before you go. You wil have a much more enjoyable hunt if you are in shape. Altitude will kick you but for the first few days so take it easy the first few days.

Be patient and persistant. You may not see elk everyday. don't get down, keep moving till you find elk or elk sign. Keep your camp somewhat mobile and have several spots picked out before you go. You may have to pick up camp and move.

Get all the maps you can get your hands on. You must know how to read topo maps. Look for feeding areas, bedding areas, benches, saddles, areas that might have wallows etc. Make note of sign when you see it and reference it on your map or GPS whenever you can.

Log onto all the G$F websites of the states that offer archery elk hunting and pick ones that have options you can afford or have a chance at drawing based on what you want out of you hunt.

Be prepared to live without coming back without an elk. Most newbies do. I was 0 for 3 my first elk bowhunts. I have learned and am 5 for 6 in the last 6 years.

Study techniques. Glass spot and stalk, still hunt, call, tree stand, etc.. some units are better for each type of hunt.

I could go on and on but there is alot of information out there to help you decide what type of hunt you want. I would be happy to answer more specific questions once you get some basic research done.

But you can always get out and say NO before you become possessed. tongue.gif

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I'd go with a good internal frame pack, topo maps, compass, water purifier pen and pump, space blankets(take up 4x5"x 1/8th", good sleeping bag and pad, daypack able to carry food water, maps compass, firestarter, rain poncho, extra clothing, knife and or leatherman, needle thread or waxed dental floss, small first aid kit, if you are hunting an area where bears are common pepper spray. 50' parachute cord, and all of the other things for whitetails. Self guided is alot tougher then guided. I'd suggest you hunt with someone that has done it before so you can get an idea of the lay of the land and the techniques and signs to look for. Read everything you can get your hands on! Practice your shooting every chance you get and do it on slopes if possible. Good optics are a must! Oh, man, I'm getting pumped up just thinking about it! I've been out to Colorado x2 on self guided with a friend that lives out there and he showed me the ropes. 2/2 so far on cows, haven't had the oppurtunity at a big bull yet but am hoping for an opp. Get in shape, lift weights work you legs, hike with a fully loaded back pack. Cardio is most important as you will be putting on the miles each day!

Tunrevir~ cool.gif

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Before you kill yourself on a wieghts and cardio boot camp program, I would say for sure you want to go with a guide for your first time elk hunting. I elk hunt in West Central Colorado by Gunnison and even without the guide fee you are going to spend a fair amount of cash on a trip. The hunts I have gone on were base camp semi-guided hunts. That has worked out great for me so far (two hunts 1 bull 1 cow). Your guide will give you specific instructions as to what to bring, wear, ect.. Not only that, they know the area so you don't have to worry about getting lost (you have no idea how big the woods are out there). Most guides will have the area scouted out which will give you the best opertunity. The place I go it costs about $1500 for a 6 day hunt (3 guided, 3 unguided). That includes cabin, dinners, guide, and if you kill and animal the guide will pack it out (Which is a huge perk). I have friends who started out unguided had an area picked out, had all the gear and when they got to that area spent 10 days walking and calling only to not find so much as a track. If your first experience is a positive one you will be hooked for life.

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Thanks guys for the insight. I am quite deep into the process as I like to be prepared. I have picked an outfitter and have things worked out with him. We will be hunting on a ranch near Meeker, CO. This will be my second elk hunt, first with archery so I am looking forward to that.

Any little tips or tricks to offer for the archery side of it. Broadhead choice is still in the air. I shoot a 30 inch arrow and 100 gr tips... Should I get a larger peep or stick with the smaller one I currently use. Any other essential equipment that I may need aside from the things mentioned in the previous posts?

This site is great with so much input from so many sources with different viewpoints all with the same goal. I appreciate the help from everyone.


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Unit, I shoot Easton ACC's and I love them. They have a high price tag (150 ish for 12). They have an aluminum shaft inside the carbon shaft. You need to have a fixed blade broadhead and as far as that goes it is what ever you feel confident with. What I would suggest is to spin balance your shafts with the broadhead. Practice shooting out to 50 yards. Get to feel confident at that range. If you don't have one get a range finder!

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