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Old December 22nd, 2017, 08:40 AM #21
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thx for ideas etc, and please keep them coming. will check out the various websites.

here in VA i can go out back or drive an hour or two and be deer hunting, and if i get skunked it's no big deal. i know nothing is guaranteed, but if i'm going to head to colo for a week or two would like to have the best odds i can get.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 10:20 AM #22
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If anyone is serious about coming out here to hunt I'll volunteer to go scout out the land you are interested in and post pictures and drone video of it, and let you know where the good free campsites are located in that area.

Make sure you are in good shape if you come out here. The Colorado terrain is no joke. It's all steep with a capital S and the elevation sucks all the air out of you. I live at 5700' and when I spend a weekend camping at 9 or 10,000' I'm breathing heavy the entire time. At elevation there is less atmosphere, which means less oxygen. Your body will compensate by reducing the fluid in your blood, which thickens it and increases the number of red blood cells available to carry oxygen. This dehydrates you very quickly. You'll get headaches from it and will have to carry a lot of extra water, which weighs you down and makes the hiking that much harder.

It's kind of amazing just how little atmosphere there is up there. Here is a thick plastic Nalgene water bottle that I used on a hike around 12,000'. I last opened it at that elevation so it was pressurized inside at the air pressure around 12,500'. By the time I got to my house at 5,700' the air pressure at lower elevation crushed in the Nalgene bottle.



I saw a question about drones. Drones are illegal to use to scout when hunting in Colorado. It is also illegal to fly a drone over or near wildlife as the tree huggers say it puts too much stress on the animals.
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Old December 26th, 2017, 12:25 PM #23
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If anyone is serious about coming out here to hunt I'll volunteer to go scout out the land you are interested in and post pictures and drone video of it, and let you know where the good free campsites are located in that area.
that's an awesome offer! no idea yet on a good place to hunt. but if you are out and about hiking and camping and happen upon a spot that is or should be awesome for elk, i would greatly appreciate you letting me (us) know!
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Old January 8th, 2018, 10:31 AM #24
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fyi i'm also looking at northern New Mexico (n central and nw). appreciate any info there as well. looks like it's a draw process unless hunting on private land. units 50, 52, 5b all in and around the carson nat'l forest.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 11:07 AM #25
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I did a Colorado archery hunt in 2009. It was considered a semi-guided hunt however in reality it was self guided, we paid a guy a trespassing fee to hunt his 28,000 acres and he provided a place to sleep (essentially a 1 room cabin with cots around) and breakfast and dinner. He showed us the corners of his property and the rest was left to us. There were six of us that went. Highly recommend training and training hard. Only 2 of us trained for the hunt (myself and another guy). We both connected on animals. Of the other 4, only 1 guy was successful.

My training regime was to walk/jog on the treadmill in the morning on a 10% to 13% grade for 2 miles. Then when I got home from work I put my boots on and my hiking pack (filled with 40 to 60 lbs of dumbbells) and walked another 3 miles. I did this 5-6 days a week for 5 months prior to my hunt. One thing I screwed up, I should have carried my bow with me on my hikes, or at least a weighted stick. FWIW, for all the training I did prior, I still lost 4 lbs the week of the hunt. We began our hunts at about 4:30 a.m. and didn't end until about 9 p.m. for our entire week of hunting.

I would do it again tomorrow if I had the money and time (have 2 kids now). It was the most exhilarating hunting I have ever done.

My advice:

Buy good socks
Buy a very good hiking pack
Train early and hard (stick with it)
Shoot a lot (hate to screw up a shot after all that work)
Watch a lot of elk shows and practice calling at home until its perfect

And one other thing that nobody told me to do: Practice crapping in the woods. It's not as easy as you might think, especially when its 25 degrees outside and you are wearing layers.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 03:20 PM #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davsco View Post
fyi i'm also looking at northern New Mexico (n central and nw). appreciate any info there as well. looks like it's a draw process unless hunting on private land. units 50, 52, 5b all in and around the carson nat'l forest.
I've got some buddies that hunt 52 and 6A (and I think one other - maybe 50 - I know they thought they hit the lotto when the drew that tag). They have killed some nice bulls.

One showed me where he planned to hunt two years ago and all I could think was 'good god that's steep'. The previous two years each shot a bull in that area. One year they got lucky and a guy who had a string of horses on the way out packed it out for $100. The second year, they packed it out and on the second trip had to run off a bear that had claimed it.

Their pics and stories are what got me interested in doing this. I haven't looked into it, but I understand tags are hard to come by for them and I have no idea what it might be like for a non-resident.

As stated in one of my previous posts, I'm trying to learn how to do this for the long haul, so I've been focusing on Colorado because I want to learn how to hunt a unit that I can be sure to return to every year and build on knowledge year over year.

If you want more particulars, I can try to poll one of them.

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Old January 8th, 2018, 07:10 PM #27
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I've got some buddies that hunt 52 and 6A (and I think one other - maybe 50 - I know they thought they hit the lotto when the drew that tag).
yeah in NM, nonresidents generally get allocated 6% of the allotted tags for each unit/area. but because a lot of nonresidents apply for that 6% piece of the pie, nonresident have (based on recent draws) from 1% to 33% chances of getting tags, depending on the popularity of each unit.

definitely if any of your buddies have any advice, suggestions or just stories, i'd certainly appreciate hearing them. thanks!
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Old January 9th, 2018, 08:55 AM #28
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Tell you what -

PM me if you draw a tag, and I'll put you i touch with some of them.

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Old January 11th, 2018, 07:20 PM #29
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Dang, Dave, why you going out west when we have elk here in Virginia?
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Old January 11th, 2018, 07:55 PM #30
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Random Thoughts on Colorado Elk Hunting.
We hunted near Meeker, Colorado for about 10 years starting in 2002. Our hunting party of 10-12 drove in from SoCal, Arizona and Oklahoma. We had a sheep ranching with about 12,000 acres (private land tags) and they gave us self-guided free reign. Trespass fees went from $600 to $900 during that time, which included staying in a cabin on the ranch. Probably higher trespass fees now.
We hunted near Bumblebee Pass close the National Forest. Opening morning in the National Forest sounded like WWIII. That usually got the elk headed in our direction by dusk or earlier. We'd see elk in groups of 3-4 to 250+. I harvested 9 elk in 10 years, with kills at 200 to 675 yards. Shots ranged from 75 yards in the timber to 700+ yards in the flatlands. Use a good rangefinder and know your holdovers. Or write them on your flip-up scope caps.
I'm a cheapskate meat hunter and shot more cow elk than bulls. We usually shot the first Wednesday to Saturday season and temps could vary from 70 degrees to snow and freezing rain. Got my first elk at 525 yards and it took 3 guys six hours to get it down to the truck. Eventually took shots based on access, except during the last hours of the last day.
The National Forest and other Public Lands anywhere close to access looked like parking lots, with people from all over the country. It took a lot of doing to get away from the crowds.
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