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19_A_CPT

Colorado Elk Hunting Unit 39/391

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Does anybody have any experience with the lower range hunt areas near Denver? I have a first cousin that lives in Evergreen and i was just wondering if anybody had hunted that area. She says there's alot of elk, but long trip/mucho dinero on a whim. 

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No experience with the southern end of the state, but I will say that if you're packing an OTC hunt, it can be a massive $hit show, especially near population centers. 

You'll be fighting for a parking spot at every trail head, the outfitter camps will be everywhere from the trail out to 12+ miles & even during early archery it's a very tough hunt. The later (3rd, I think) rifle season is less crowded, but it's also likely to be 20 below freezing with 4' of snow on the ground. Personally, I find that makes finding elk so much simpler. They're out of the really high peaks & aging a track is much easier, but dealing with the cold AND altitude will give you very quick wake up.

Im not saying don't do it, every western hunt is an adventure, just don't go with a picture of what you want in your mind because you'll be sorely disappointed. 

 

FB_IMG_1537111073864.jpg

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That photo was taken the day before archery opened, unit 25 in the Flat Tops. We hiked in 8 freaking miles, gaining 3500' of elevation & when we got to our intended camp site, there were 8 tents already set up. We had outfitters horse teams through camp every day. Due to access & honestly, exhaustion, we couldn't even hike out & find a different spot. Just haf to suck it up & realise we'd blown it. 

Never again. 

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@Handsome Rob, having no experience with this kind of hunt, I'm curious about how you identified/ chose your camp site. Are there designated areas? Did you just spend some time with maps to find a likely looking area and were horribly unlucky that others had the same thought?

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Pretty much, yeah. We identified a unit with a couple of trail heads, well away from civilization. Narrowed that down to south facing slopes with good timber coverage & a reliable water source & basically E-scouted on Google Earth for likely looking drainages. 

I've learned a hell of a lot since then & I would heartily suggest first time elk hunters; a.) Go with an experienced hunter or guide & b.) Sign up for the Elknut 101 online course. 

Also, register at the Rokslide forum. I've learnt more from both Paul (Elknut) & the roksliders than I could ever have done by just going & doing. 

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Sorry, also no. You can literally camp anywhere. 

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I have a cousin that lives out that way and yes looking at a OTC tag next year. I'm New Mexico bound this season

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5 hours ago, 19_A_CPT said:

I have a cousin that lives out that way and yes looking at a OTC tag next year. I'm New Mexico bound this season

I am doing a cow elk hunt in December in New Mexico. 

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2 hours ago, KahrMan said:

I am doing a cow elk hunt in December in New Mexico. 

I will be out there mid October on an either sex muzzleloader hunt in unit 34. First time going after them

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Nice. Good luck. 

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I lived in what is now Unit 391 for several years (Green Mountain). It's pretty much the suburbs of Denver. I hunted near Kremmling and Walden, pretty much hours from anywhere and it was still crowded. Would imagine it would be more crowded that close to Denver.

It's been a long time, but I muzzleloader & rifle hunted for deer & elk on public land in Colorado. I can only echo what Handsome Rob stated. The places that I hunted on public land had vehicle access/trail heads.  It was almost like instant little towns sprang up during rifle season.

 

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Thanks for the heads up on this Handsome Rob and Mike_F. Was an idea, but i may decide to pass on the idea of sleeping in a comfortable bed before heading out to stalk bullies at first light. ;)

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