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Old 04-08-2012, 02:49 PM
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Default Bowhunting Elk

I've sent my application into Colorado for the first archery elk season. If I get drawn, this will be my first ever archery elk hunt. I've been on a couple of gun elk hunts in the past but never have killed one .
So, here's my question. What all do I need for my up and coming hunt? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Greg
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:20 AM
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I can't offer any advice based on experience, but I'm looking to bowhunt elk in CO for the first time this year also. I'm going to buy an Over-the-Counter (OTC) tag, and am looking for someone to go with.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:09 PM
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Well,good luck in the draw.I just hunt a OTC unit and build up preference points.Are you camping at truck or hiking in?You will need a backpack/hydration compatable,good boots,rangefinder,gps,knives and sharpener for starters.Your deer bow will do for elk,may need heavier arrows and quality broadheads.Clothing will include rain gear,fleece,leave cotton at home.You may need stove,water filter,tent,etc.Need more details but this is a start.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:46 PM
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Scoutman has give you a good list to start. Number 1 on my list would be topo maps of your area. 90% of my target areas are found by using the topo maps. Your backpack needs to be comfortable yet strong enough to carry a 90 lb. ham. Your boots should be well broke in with decent tread to hold on side hills. You can get snow even in the early season. Slick bottom boots will bust your butt. We had issues with bugs this past year for the first time in 11 yrs hunting CO. I would take a little deet. Binoculars really pay off, good quality glass in either compact or medium size. I carried compacts for the first 10 yrs but last year went to 10x40 and liked them. You'll need game bags, at least 4, 6 would be better. A saw good enough to cut the horns from the sckull if you do that yourself. Don't forget your calls, a bugle and more important, a cow call. A light weight decoy has come in handy but it's not for everyone. Another item I take is a game cart. Depends on how far back you plan to hunt as well as what access you have to that area. I like a small emergency first aid kit and a light weight space blanket for emergencies in my pack. A lot depends on how you plan to hunt. Close to the road where you are out every night, or back packing in for a few days. There is a big difference in how to pack.

Last edited by weekender; 04-11-2012 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:56 AM
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Thanks for all the info. I will be hunting priv. land that borders BLM land. I will not be camping, I'll be staying in a cabin. We might be doing some traveling by horse. I have a lot of the items that y'all have mentioned, but some that I don't.
Which calls do y'all recommend?
Do y'all recommend any elk scents?
I've been told that a leafy camo suit works great, have y'all got any input on the name brand or where to get a leaf suit?
I have ins. Neoprene boots, are these good for this type of hunting or do I need a good pair of leather boots?
My archery setup, a 375 grain arrow, speed around
300fps., I'm shooting a 3 blade Rage.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:29 AM
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Don't know about Colorado's regs, but some Western states don't allow mechanical broadheads, and require a minimum cutting width for fixed broadheads.

The heavier the arrow the better, IMO.

You'll be able to get a pretty good idea of the weather before you go, but certainly pack for a wide range of temperatures, and an early snowfall isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Hope you get your tag. I've never hunted the archery season out there and am envious! Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:42 AM
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If you are a turkey hunter and use to diaphram calls, that's what I use most for cow calls. I just carry a plain tube to bugle with my diaphram. I like the Primos cow call, you just push on the bubble, it takes a small amount of practice but I consider it very easy. Get a CD or tape, a lot of calls come with one to learn the cow sounds. I wear rubber bottom leather upper boots. You will be walking in wet grass in early morning, maybe some wet areas to cross depending on how wet the year has been. Last year was a record wet summer. I don't use the scents, maybe they work, I wouldn't know. I do know that if you are not down wind, you will be busted. Elk tend to move further than deer when spooked. They can often leave the entire drainage where you bumped them. I don't wear the leafy suite so can't help you there. I like either a face mask or face paint, but there are lots of bulls killed without it. Colorado did have a law against mechanicals for elk but that could have changed. Check it out.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:17 AM
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Ditto on the maps, very important. Know how to use a compass, even if you have a GPS. Make very sure your boots are broken in, get some good QUALITY rain gear. Binoculars are crucial and have a rangefinder and holder where you can mount it on your binocular straps for quick access.

There are plenty of elk killed every year with mechancial heads but personally I would never take the chance on an elk sized animal.

Best of luck.........bowhunting for elk is extremely addicting!
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:09 PM
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google "elk nut video productions" and get his "playbook" He also has a couple dvd's on scouting elk country and calling. Consider if you are packing in or having a packer do it for you. I can give you a list of equipment I bought for our trip.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:27 PM
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I'd consider staying home before wearing neoprene boots elk hunting. Get some good boots and put a bunch of miles on them before you go.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:30 PM
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Ditto on rubber boots,you need very supportive boots and break them in.Regarding mechanical heads,I saw first hand last year,my buddy shot a 5x5 at 25yds with 3 blade rage.Complete passthrough only went 50yds,so you do what you feel is right for you.Probably need to exercise some also,walking with weighted pack,little running,etc.One other thing is be prepared to be hooked for life!I started going in 05 and missed only one year since.You will never see stars so bright and the smell of the mountains is like a drug.An elk bugle in the morning will make the hair on your neck stand up.When you are hauling 75lbs plus of meat on your pack on multiple trips,you think it's gonna kill you but it won't,it's why your there.Take lots of pictures,you will constantly be wishing you were back there.If you aren't successful don't fret because you really were,many will never see elk or elk country and you will leave there better for it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:06 PM
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I recommend Under Aurmor Ridge Reaper boots.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:17 PM
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X2 for ELK NUT'a videos. they are very basic but prolly the best there is. I know that without his videos I wouldn't have gotten my Elk . He is a great guy and will talk to you for hours on the phone and answer any questions you have. As far as gear I would get these in this order boots good pack and then a Good layering set of clothes. Synthetic is the best. If the they get wet you can air them out to dry and they clean the easiest in streams etc. To get your funk smell out of them. Then maps./good gps Google maps are a great tool for scouting. I did all my scouting from the desert I on my last deployment. One thing to remember is that if this ID a hunt your doing on your own make sure to leave yourself enough time at the end of your hunt to get an animal out. If you kill one the day before you leave you will never get it out in time.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:21 PM
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here's the verbage on broadheads from the 2012-13 book :

"Handheld bows, including compound bows, using arrows equipped with a broadhead with an outside diameter or width of at least 7/8ths of an inch with no less than two steel cutting edges. Each cutting edge must be in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface."

and another interesting paragragh which would make lighted nocs illegal:

"Equipment using scopes, electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to the bow or arrow."

please read the entire regulations book before you go and pay special attention to the part about preserving proof of sex when the animal is skinned/dismembered.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:03 PM
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All of y'all have been a great help. I appreciate all the info and time y'all took to help a fellow hunter out. Thanks, Greg
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:41 PM
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Believe it or not, I called a local GMU office in CO and got good tips on an OTC area. Now, I haven't gone yet, so he could have been yanking my chain. And apparently the wardens aren't in the office much. But the tips he gave sounded like money. Worth a few phone calls.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:34 PM
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there's only one thing in life that gets my motor running like a bull elk buggling up close and personal, and she usually hunts with me!

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:43 PM
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" We might be doing some traveling by horse. "

We bought bow scabbards for the couple years we hunted horse back. There are some outfitters that don't want you to use them and always carry your bow in your hand so you can throw it in case of a "wreck". It was nice for us to be hands free for glassing and just holding on. Some of the places you can go with a horse get a little steep, narrow and spooky. Horses sure saves on some blisters, least on your feet LOL. Elk hunting on horses is fine living to me.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:09 PM
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It seems to rain everyday in Colorado, not for long but enough to soak you, a packable rain suit,rangefinder,limb saw, t-shuttle broadheads, game bags,knife sharpener,and latex gloves are nice, you have to have these things IMO. I agree about the neoprene boots your feet will sweat, if you are walking alot, then you'll get blisters. good luck
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGRNYRS View Post
I recommend Under Aurmor Ridge Reaper boots.
I just ordered me a pair of the ridge reaper boots. Less than 4 lbs. a pair, that is a light boot. Thanks for the recommendation, Greg
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekender View Post
" We might be doing some traveling by horse. "

We bought bow scabbards for the couple years we hunted horse back. There are some outfitters that don't want you to use them and always carry your bow in your hand so you can throw it in case of a "wreck". It was nice for us to be hands free for glassing and just holding on. Some of the places you can go with a horse get a little steep, narrow and spooky. Horses sure saves on some blisters, least on your feet LOL. Elk hunting on horses is fine living to me.
I was planing on taking my soft SKB bow case for when I'm on a horse, will that work or do I need to get a scabbard? I don't think I would like holding on to the bow the whole time while riding a horse.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:38 PM
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Been 4 times to CO. twice on horse back hunts on public land and twice on private land where preference points are required. Saw more legal animals in one day on private land than in two hunts on public.
Some advice. Lose weight if you need to, and get in shape. Walk, run, swim, bicycle ride. Get your heart, lungs, and legs in shape. If horseback hunting, spend some time on a horse before going. I thought someone would have to get me off that animal when we got to the top of the mountain. Never been so sore in all my life.
Never, never, leave your raingear in camp!!!! I don't care what the day looks like or what the weather report says. Remember, in high elevations, you are "among" the lightning, not under it. Comfortable, well broke in leather boots with good tread and good ankle support. Make sure the outfitter or horse wrangler has stirrups that you can get your boots out of in a hurry.
Start getting into shape now. Would have been better to have started several months ago.
Have a great hunt. CO is beautiful in Sept. Got my bull, a 6x6, in 2010. Ain't nothin like it!!
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcs View Post
I was planing on taking my soft SKB bow case for when I'm on a horse, will that work or do I need to get a scabbard? I don't think I would like holding on to the bow the whole time while riding a horse.
I'd advise against the soft case and go with a bow scabbard. The scabbard keeps your bow out of the way and makes it easy to get to. Take the bow out of the scabbard when you dismount, even if just for lunch. Horses have a mind of their own and you never know what they'll do.........rubbing against trees, etc. I rode about 120 miles on horseback on my BC hunt last year and don't know what I would have done without a scabbard. Good luck!
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:55 AM
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I liked the scabbard as well, I also took over sized stirrups and used them. You may not need the oversize stirrups depending on what they already have vs the size boots you are wearing. I have a really bad leg and wore Schnee's pack boots.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:55 PM
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Thanks for the heads up on the scabbard. Is there any scabbard better than others? Thanks for all the info guys, Greg
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