View Full Version : Got a new rifle and need some hunting help.
Went last night and put a Remington 700 sps buckmaster 30-06 on layaway, hoping to do some elk hunting next year before I move out of Colorado. Anybody here hunt elk in colorado that can give me some pointers on anything to make my first season easier. Things like preparing for next year with regards to equipment and decent units would be helpfull. I used to hunt back in IL. for dear but that was 14 years ago so Im not new to hunting but its been a long time and I only bow hunted there which I plan on doin here also but not sure if it will be next year or not.
You might start by telling what kind of hunt you want, what your goals are and what you're willing and able to spend. Do you want to do it all on your own as cheaply as possible or with help from an outfitter (like with a drop camp, or a fully guided hunt) where your odds of success might increase? Public land or private access? Is your primary interest in the meat, a trophy bull, or simply a rich and diverse hunting experience regardless of outcome? All the above, right? :wavey:
Are you a fair weather hunter only or are you prepared to brave the snow and extreme cold to be successful? Are you in good physical condition or will trudging a quarter mile up a mountain in knee deep snow kill you off?
What habitat do you like, lowland sage with Gambel oak, open Ponderosa pine forest, mixed aspen and subalpine spruce-fir forest, or the alpine-Krumholtz country? Take weekend trips to the prospective areas to get familiar with what you'll encounter during season.
Where will you stay, camp in a tent, in a camp trailer or a camper shell on a pickup, rent a cabin or motel room? How will you keep yourself warm, fed, and clean? Do you have a 4WD with tire chains for all four? An atv or access to a horse and riding experience? A horse is a great asset for elk hunting, and they can be rented.
Start preparing now by planning, acquiring good gear, and conditioning. Practice finding and stalking big game once the current seasons are over.
I suggest you get a copy of the big game brochure and read through it thoroughly now. Read all the material on the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website including all the Elk Hunting University articles which are very good. Also, familiarize yourself with the game management unit map and the latest elk harvest statistics (2010) to identify where the elk are harvested and where you'll have the greatest chance of success. Study the bull-cow ratios for the various units. With only one season to hunt you'll want to pick a unit where you have good odds of getting a license the first year in the limited license draw.
Plan to apply next March for limited licenses for elk and deer, either in the combined 2nd or 3rd deer-elk seasons, or the elk only 1st season and a separate deer season. Consider getting cow elk and doe deer licenses which will increase your chance of success. As a resident, I get a limited cow license and also buy an over the counter bull license which helps me bring home an elk every year.
Go to the public library and check out any and all books on elk and deer hunting. Besides being fun reading it can help you tremendously to develop strategies and avoid mistakes. I can't emphasize this enough. It's useful for both beginner and seasoned hunters.
Put a good scope on the rifle soon, sight it in at 200 yds and practice once a month with it in four position shooting, not just from the bench. Get good binoculars, practice with them and use them constantly while hunting. They will help you find many more animals than you would otherwise see.
These are some suggestions and things to think about. Your previous hunting experience is an advantage but hunting elk is a whole different number where being well prepared will go a long way toward success. And by the way, nothing is more shocking to a white-tail hunter than being faced with a 700 lb. bull elk on the ground. You'll want to have a plan for field dressing and dealing with the meat.
I plan on doining it on my own and as far as what sex it doesnt really matter to me ,I am in it for the meat and experience of it all. I think my biggest fear is like you said at the end having a 700 pound animal down and getting it out of the hills. All of the white tail I shot I was able to get my truck with in 50yds of the animal and draggin a white tail is well not the same as draggin an elk thats for sure. Hopefully I will not be going at it alone. I was thinking about doin over the counter either sex tag for rifle and possibly getting an archery tag for whatever. Im still trying to figure out all the regulations and tags at this point cause it seems like they make it as difficult as possible to under stand all that . Hopefully the hunters safety course will explain it alittle. My thoughts were to find a unit in the hills somewhere. I also have a few friends the usually go up for a week at a time and was thinking about talking to them to find out what unit they hunt and ask if I could tag along with them. Thanks for the pointers ,I will definately look into all of what you suggested ,thats kinda why I decided not to go this year cause I got my bow a week before season opened so now I have some time to get prepared for the challenge ahead.
Several years ago my brother that lives in Nevada shot a cow elk while hunting by himself.
Took him a day and a half to pack it out, and that was with a four wheeler. He said he would never do it again by himself.
I have the same rifle. It's a great gun. I use mine to hunt whitetails. A guide should be able to help you with the tags and lottery procedures. I lived in NM for 6 years and always wanted to hunt elk. I just never got around to it.
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