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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, im new member here but have read this site for years and it seems people are willing to help one another so figured i give this a shot and see what you guys have to say. Im planning on heading to colorado for an OTC elk hunt this year will be my first trip I cant really afford a guide or pack horse so im planning on roughing and hiking in and out with whatever I do or dont get. Im hoping to hear some of you guys experiences and what to expect hoping some of you guys have done the DIY elk hunt out there I most likely will be in unit 23,24 or 34 not quite sure of my best bet yet...hope to hear from you guys thanks in advance for any help..
 

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You should really look into guides that do drop camps as some are really reasonably priced. Especially if you donot have the correct gear needed (tents, cooking gear, meat packing gear). Going during the second season increases your chance of snow, doing it on your own could be pretty difficult especially for your first time hunting elk (assuming this is the case and alone since you didnt mention anyone going with you) If you are doing an OTC unit expect pressure so maybe a drop camp guide could pack you in a good ways away from any others doing it alone and not being able to get far off the beaten path to hopefully increase your odds/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I understand the thoughts of drop camps which was my initial idea but the cheapest ive found is 1650 a man not including your tag, the way im trying to look at it is if i do it myself I can go next year to for cheaper than one with a drop camp. I will have my brother in law with me for help packing meat and i do have all the camping/cooking gear i will need. Im going to get there probably 2 days ahead of the season and hike in and scout until i find something promising hopefully. thanks for the responses..
 

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I am heading to unit 23 in October for first season. It is not OTC. You must apply for the draw to get a 1st season Rifle tag. Unless you plan on hoping for a leftover, which I understand is possible.
 

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Providing meaningful, useful information for a first timer is very difficult. So - starting at the macro level: Have you accessed the Colorado Parks and Wildlife site and thoroughly read the 2017 hunting digest? It's been some time since I planned a hunt to Colorado, but I believe just about all first season elk tags for bulls are by draw only. Do you have preference points or are you going to be hunting private ground with a bull tag supplied by the landowner? If not, then more-than-likely you are going to be hunting for a cow elk if - and only if - there are cow tags left after the draw. The information on leftover licenses is available sometime in August I believe. Don't just go out there expecting to plunk down a sizable piece of cash and find out there are no tags.

An earlier poster (Buglechaser) asked you to email him with specific questions. After becoming familiar with all the rules, regs, and season limitations, etc - email him. There is a raft of good videos on YouTube. Randy Newberg has several relatively short instructional videos on hunting the west. He also has videos covering each state out west and how to go about preparing for a trip. It's after getting knee deep in all this stuff that you'll realize how much more there is to know.

But once you've stood at 9,000 feet in a foot of fresh powder with the sun just topping the eastern horizon, it all will be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ive read the book and im trying to apply on the 4th since there is still time just trying to get my buddy on board. The leftovver tags will be out july 25th if thats what has to happen I will go that route and if I have to go second season I will just would prefer the 1st season because of the weather. It wont be my first time in the mountains ive spent plenty of time out there trout fishing but hunting will be a whole nother experience. And I dont have a surplus of money to plop down thats why im trying to get as much info as i can to get this done by myself..thanks everybody
 

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KHA,

I visited the Colorado web site. After some searching, I see where Units 23 and 24 had leftover first season bull tags. So you have a chance to draw with zero preference points.
 

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I've never hunted elk, and always wanted to, but I don't think you realize some of the ramifications of hunting out west.

I've been to Colorado and even at 5000 feet the "lower" areas like Denver and Colorado Springs, the altitude will get to you.

Had friends stationed there at Fort Carson and at the Air Force Academy who were in really good shape and the altitude affected them significantly. Go up to 9,000 or 10,000 hoofing it in while toting packs and guns will waste you.


Water can be a concern if no streams are available because there are some very arid areas there.

The temperature differences in a high dry climate will mean it gets quite chilly day or night, so be ready. It was 80 in Denver and snowing at 12,000 ft in RMNP in September 2015 when we were there.

Now, if you succeed in bagging 600 lb or so cow elk that means you will each be carrying around 100 lbs each on the hike out at altitude. It will be more if you get a bull.

Please don't take this the wrong way, I hope you succeed in an OTC hunt, and I wish you the best of luck. Just hiking and camping there are majestic and life long experiences you never forget, but I wanted you to be as informed as possible and make good plans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yankee i appreciate your advice and ive been out there 5 times now mostly fishing and hiking so im well aware of the altitude issues ive never really had to many issues except a jog one time at 14000 ft a hundred yards is a long jog when you live at 800 ft. I posted this to get as many peoples input as possible and appreciate it.
 

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I wanna go too, but I'll save my pennies for a guided outfitted trip ... hopefully by way of horseback.
Trying to get the wife onboard with retiring out there ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ive been trying for 3 years to get my girlfriend to move out there I love PA but theres something about colorado. I looked into the guided hunts and its outrageous for my budget my sister lives out there so Im going to go in august probably on a scouting mission to get the lay of the land and hopefully see some elk. Ive been in many parts of colorado and not seen an elk for days which i dont want to do on my hunt.
 

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KHA - I am going with a drop camp this year - kind of a stepping stone if you will for future DIY hunts. None of the four of us have preference points, and our outfitter assures us we will draw unit 23. You should be fine if you put in for that unit. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
what outfitter are you using in unit 23? from what i see with the tags I will be able to hunt quite a few surrounding units. Did you apply for your tags online or mail them?
 
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