Last summer, i wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for elk hunting in my home state that Colorado. Ns had used for a minimal entry unit as my very first choice and also then because that a restricted either-sex license in the fourth rifle season as my 2nd choice. What I acquired instead was a refund and also a bit of skepticism on what my plans could be. Ns had drawn a buck tag, and with the season structure providing a later on opening, I had prioritized that hunt. However, I carry out live in country with terrific elk herds, even though many of them currently magically find themselves on private land on opened week the archery season.
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I’ve never ever been an archery hunter and wasn’t going to attempt an elk hunt with very tiny practice v my bow, so that realistically left me the 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons with countless tag opportunity in many Western Slope systems as mine fallback option. Procrastinators take it heed: I ended up at True worth Hardware on the afternoon prior to the third season opener buying my bull tag.
The child behind the counter wished me luck and we talked around the warm, dry weather and lack that success by other elk hunters that knew, and the grim future to kill a bull through the conditions and also previous seasons currently taken place. Elk were meant to be holed up in unhuntable spruce jungles in the dark wood or on personal land sanctuaries where virtually no searching was allowed.
A leading dynamic details to these hills is a vast presence that summer to chat users. Backpackers, fishermen, hikers, campers, ATV-ers, and people doing just around anything you deserve to imagine are anywhere these beautiful mountains all summer long. It’s not just late summer archery hunters that are encroaching on elk habitat; that Joe and Joanna Recreator. Civilization bump elk and instead the elk lounging all summer in idyllic alpine basins, numerous elk space found listed below treeline in aspen and also spruce woodlands that stretch because that miles and also miles.
This can be very difficult hunting and also there isn’t simple approach. Friend just need to lace up her boots, pack a good lunch, and dive into the sea the aspen and timber.
Pressure originates from trailheads and easy-access camp spots and roads. Elk obtain pushed off and away from these spots and also seek solitude and also groceries. Castle can uncover these things down in the oakbrush and have every little thing they need in the oakbrush-aspen change zone.
Glassing most likely canyons native a street (read Remi Warren’s short article in this issue) and also simply recognize elk is beneficial to her elk searching success. The edge you might spot elk from might be far sufficient that you’re just seeing small tan point out on a ridge native a few miles away.
The Southwest region. This have the right to be the most complicated place to death elk. The mountain Juan Mountains dominate this area, and also it is just one of the largest tracts the roadless genuine estate in the reduced 48. The terrain walk from hills over 14,000’ down to flat pinion/juniper winter variety and elk can be found from about 12,000’ under to the winter variety depending top top time the year and also hunting pressure.
A significant difficulty to hunting these elk is the distance several of these elk cover in the loss when relocating from summer alpine and subalpine habitat to the winter range. These mountains typically see massive amounts of snowfall, and also winter comes at an early stage here. There is regularly a storm in so late September or early October that pushes elk the end of the high nation into the center zone the aspen, spruce, and ponderosa.
While the mountain Juans space composed of giant, imposing peaks, below the peaks are greatly timbered ridgelines and drainages that stretch because that miles. Successful outfitters fill clients into remote camps and are effective through built up knowledge that elk movements and also presence in various areas and also different times of year. Understanding of elk habits in these locations is paramount to success and favors the hunter invested in return year after ~ year to discover areas.
Opportunity Is There; Go find It!
Many civilization have fallen right into the trap of what I refer to as the “Application Apocalypse.” Applying and also building points, suckered right into a continuous license acquisition pattern and also chasing dream sign is what this is every about.
Doing the mathematics on restricted quality elk tags and also the sheer number of the people using for them doesn’t bode well for anyone wanting come hunt elk top top a semi-regular basis, uneven you’re a resident of that state or pick to hunt with the orange army in one OTC tag area.
I’ve been successful enough that I have actually scratched the itch and feel prefer I deserve to say the it’s the hunting experience that is simply as beneficial as the success that the hunt. One there is no the various other rings hollow. Arriving at a private ranch and also shooting one elk was standing in an unhunted cattle pasture might even be much less satisfying than remembering campfire tales through friends and also family and the myriad the intangibles we take home from the elk hunting experience.
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Colorado OTC elk tags give you a possibility at an elk and also allow you come partake in the pursuit on everything level you choose. Success no easy, however the rewards walk to those who placed in the time and effort.