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#2909278 - 08/16/12 05:50 AM First Elk hunt!
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

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I'll be heading out to Colorado August 29th to the Grand Mesa National forest for my first elk hunt ever. This is something I've been dying to do for years and never could get anyone interested in going with me. Well, now it's happened. I'm going with someone who has the same desire as I do and he was successful with a guide out there last year. That was his first hunt.

This will be a diy hunt. The plan is to backpack into some tough to get to semi wilderness (non-motorized) location.

We will be there til around September 8th / 9th.

If anyone has any information/tips I would absolutely appreciate it.
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#2909289 - 08/16/12 06:17 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
pseshooter300
8 Point


Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 1019
Loc: kingsport

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Good luck glad you found someone
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#2909429 - 08/16/12 08:34 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1610
Loc: East

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Good luck and lets see some pictures on your return.

I'll be leaving just a couple days after you get back. My pile of stuff just keeps getting bigger and bigger.


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#2909986 - 08/16/12 02:37 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: Buzzard Breath]
easy45
Non-Typical


Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 29171
Loc: Chester County

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good luck
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#2910203 - 08/16/12 05:00 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: easy45]
trealtree
16 Point


Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10817
Loc: Middle Tennessee

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Awesome. Good luck. What are you doing for water?
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#2910238 - 08/16/12 05:39 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: trealtree]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4761
Loc: medon,Tn.

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Im leaving for the last of bow season.
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The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#2910355 - 08/16/12 07:47 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: trealtree]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

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 Originally Posted By: trealtree
Awesome. Good luck. What are you doing for water?
Water purifier.
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#2910368 - 08/16/12 08:00 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
trealtree
16 Point


Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10817
Loc: Middle Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
 Originally Posted By: trealtree
Awesome. Good luck. What are you doing for water?
Water purifier.


What type? I assume there is plenty of water where you will be hiking in to camp?
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#2910389 - 08/16/12 08:09 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: trealtree]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

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It's a Katadyn. Same kind that Buzz has in his photo of equipment. They work pretty good. I got use to during turkey season.

Yes there is lot's of water where we'll be.
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#2910402 - 08/16/12 08:14 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
trealtree
16 Point


Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10817
Loc: Middle Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
It's a Katadyn. Same kind that Buzz has in his photo of equipment. They work pretty good. I got use to during turkey season.

Yes there is lot's of water where we'll be.


Neat. I am planning for 2013. just getting ideas
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#2910458 - 08/16/12 08:47 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1610
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
It's a Katadyn....

My Katadyn has filter hundreds of gallons of water and has worked flawlessly. I also keep a bottle of Pottable Aqua tabs in my first aid kit, just in case, but have never used it. One of these days I'm going to get a Sawyer Gravity Filter for base camp. But, at the same time, I want a lighter sleeping bag, a lighter tent, better stove, etc......Just can't justify buying everything I want.

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#2910534 - 08/16/12 09:31 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1610
Loc: East

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I wasn't much of a photographer a decade or so ago, but here's a few pics from my first trip. Unit 44 or 444. It was OTC back then.







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#2910705 - 08/17/12 05:57 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: Buzzard Breath]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

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Thanks for sharing the photos. Have you been successful at harvesting an elk out there?

I'm not planning on this being my last trip. I went ahead and purchased good lite weight stuff this time around.

I haven't purchased a taditional backpacking stove. I'm using an alcohol stove by white box. At first I thought no way, but the sucker has turned out to be awesome, though I haven't acutally used it in an outside environment with cooler temperatures and wind.

Guess I'll need to throw in some tablets just in case as well.
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#2912269 - 08/18/12 06:52 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: trealtree]
TNRAMBLINGMAN
4 Point


Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 245
Loc: Nashville, TN

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This is killing me. I went last year and got a small 5x5 but don't think I can get away from work this year. Plus I have always wanted to hunt and see the Grand Mesa area. Best of luck to you. Should be a great trip.
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#2912481 - 08/18/12 09:50 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: TNRAMBLINGMAN]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4761
Loc: medon,Tn.

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this is my 14th time for Elk in Colorado.
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The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#2912616 - 08/19/12 06:58 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: tickweed]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
this is my 14th time for Elk in Colorado.
Is there anything that you've learned over the years that will help make my learning pains a little less? Ex: How to get the meat out? Calling? Food sources? Something that you never thought about at home until you got out there, etc.?
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#2913341 - 08/19/12 08:38 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4761
Loc: medon,Tn.

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I remember my first time, 1993. A dream come true for a country boy from west Tn. First of all, if you are driving, its a LONG trip. The ride out is always exciting, the ride home is twice as long, cause you are worn out. When you first get into the mountains, take it easy for the first day or two. The elevation is going to take some getting used to.
If you jump out of the truck at 9000 ft., and start running around, you'll get sick quick, so remember,take it easy. Every trip I have took has been a diy trip. I've took eight bulls in thirteen trips, and helped pack out another dozen at least. All where quartered, and packed out on our packframes, except one year I got a guy from Missouri to pack one out on a mule. Elk are big animals, and it will be warm when you are there. Tons of black flys and yellowjackets will cover the meat. At that time of year, when you do take an Elk, you will have to get him out and down to town to a meat locker quick. I hunt on public land, eight miles in by one trail that is open to 4wheelers, set up camp, then hike into a very rough canyon,three miles, straight down. Take several sharp knives,knife sharpner, rope,meat bags, plenty of black pepper to cover the meat against flies with. If planning on packing meat, you need a good frame for your backpack. As for clothes, what you use here will be fine. I like a pair of leather boots, one pair rubber boots.Good rain suit. I only cow call, elk may be bugling when you are going, but it may be a little early. Elk are very noisey. Sound doesnt bother them, they have average eyes, nose is very good. Find high vantage points, glass early, late. The elk will be moving up early, because of the heat, moving again late. Listen for cows calling. Find wallows, water holes. Dont be afraid to walk. Taking an average bull can be done , with a little luck. I dont have enough space to type everything I would like to tell you, but if you neede more info, pm me, we can talk. I wish you the best, and good luck.
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The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#2913699 - 08/20/12 08:29 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1610
Loc: East

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tickweed has some great advise. Especially the get acclimated slowly part. This year, we'll be staying a night in Denver (5,500 ft?), then staying a night at the trailhead (9,000 ft), then hiking in the next day.

Here's a few items you will want to take.

Chapstick - the air is very dry. I forgot it once, and I now take a tube in my pocket and another tube in my pack. I was miserable because I didn't have a simple 99 cent tube of it

Wet-wipes - no explanation needed

Contractor garbage bag - tons of uses

You should be fine with an alcohol stove. I've used one around here in the past and it will work fine if all you're doing is boiling water. I quit using it and switched to an esbit stove, just because I didn't like fooling around with a liquid in the dark when I was cold, tired and hungry.

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#2914491 - 08/20/12 08:37 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: Buzzard Breath]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

content Online
Thanks a tone for the advice!

What about ticks/chiggers? Do they exist out there? Should I bring spray?


Edited by ghosthunter (08/20/12 08:37 PM)
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#2914545 - 08/20/12 09:02 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4761
Loc: medon,Tn.

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Never seen a tick or chigger, at least I havent. What broadheads you shooting? How far are you shooting in practice? Man, I cant wait, and I know you are excited.
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The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#2914573 - 08/20/12 09:29 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: tickweed]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
12 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7462
Loc: Powell Tn

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Drink plenty of WATER. Even when you don't think you're thirsty,drink. Hydration will help fend off altitude sickness (headaches and nausea). Walking sticks....they will help take the weight of a full pack off of your knees. Have fun, take pictures. When you come home, make notes on what worked and what didn't. You will think of 50 things that you will need for next year.


New gear rocks..........
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#2914739 - 08/21/12 05:30 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: UPSman]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

content Online
I've been practicing out to 50 yards. Think I'm gonna step it up to 60 yards this week, but I don' know if I would shoot at one out that far, though practicing at those ranges makes those closer shots easier.

I'm shoot thunderheads 100's. I haven't changed anything on my bow other than my sight and new release.
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#2915131 - 08/21/12 12:01 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
STEELMAN
4 Point


Registered: 10/26/04
Posts: 266
Loc: ARRINGTON, TN

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Good advice by all. I think getting in good shape physically is as important as being confident at 50 yds. After hunting hard from dawn to dusk cooking can be a chore. Bring so MREs if you can find some you can tolerate.
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#2919013 - 08/24/12 02:26 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: STEELMAN]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 857
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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I have a katadyn hiker pro...REI is my favorite place to purchase these types of itmes, mainly due to their excellent customer service. My filter never failed once in 12 days of backpackIng the AT this early summer. Its worth its weight In gold imo, until this year I always used chemicals. It adds weight but I cut the extra weight because I didnt have to carry as much water at one time, 2 quarts was my capacity when I switched to the filter.
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#2919378 - 08/24/12 08:00 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: AT Hiker]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

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I just hate the idea of having to wait 30 minutes for safe water. When I'm thirsty I want it now!
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#2919538 - 08/24/12 10:04 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 857
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Thats one reason I switched to a filter...it takes me 12 minutes from start to finish to get 64 ounces of water using my filter. That includes taking it out of my pack, pumping, and putting everything back together. Plus I can rehydrate while Im pumping, so it is win win imo...

A steri pen is also a good investment in addition to your filter if you are in a very questionable water situation.
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#2919679 - 08/25/12 05:59 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: AT Hiker]
ChippewaPartners
10 Point


Registered: 08/25/01
Posts: 3025
Loc: Pamelot, my farm near Catoosa

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Maybe this has been mentioned previously but try to get some practice in on some very uneven ground. There is nothing flat about elk hunting (usually) and you may want to get some practice in on some steep terrain. It happens fast sometimes when they are coming in. Good luck!
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#2922915 - 08/28/12 06:09 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1610
Loc: East

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A buddy of mine lives just outside Denver and took these pics yesterday. Should get you fired up for the drive out.





Good luck

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#2922959 - 08/28/12 07:09 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
Relentless
4 Point


Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 336
Loc: Shelby County, TN

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Good luck on your trip. I will be heading to Colorado for the first time in two weeks.
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#2924027 - 08/28/12 08:44 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: Relentless]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

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Thanks buzz! I roll out early Thursday morning.

Did he happen to mention if they were bugling any?
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#2924503 - 08/29/12 08:48 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
DntBrnDPig
8 Point


Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 2075
Loc: Cleveland, TN

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I am super jealous! Make sure you take lots of pictures and let us know how it goes
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#2924653 - 08/29/12 10:52 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1610
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Thanks buzz! I roll out early Thursday morning.

Did he happen to mention if they were bugling any?


Funny you should ask that. I got a text this morning from him saying that the whole subdivision was woke up last night because a small bull was walking down the sidewalk bugling around 2 am.

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#2925381 - 08/29/12 07:13 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: Buzzard Breath]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: chattanooga

content Online
Rolling out in few hours! I can't believe the time has come. I just hope it isn't that hot up there.
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#2925463 - 08/29/12 07:53 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
trealtree
16 Point


Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10817
Loc: Middle Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Rolling out in few hours! I can't believe the time has come. I just hope it isn't that hot up there.


Looks like your going to hit some rain. Good luck be careful!
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#2925531 - 08/29/12 08:29 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: trealtree]
pseshooter300
8 Point


Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 1019
Loc: kingsport

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Be carefull have fun
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#2930456 - 09/03/12 10:21 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: ghosthunter]
rem270
18 Point


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 20505
Loc: south fulton

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good luck.
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#2930462 - 09/03/12 10:33 AM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: rem270]
Beekeeper
Good ol' Boys "Team Buckcreek"
16 Point


Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 12026
Loc: McMinn Co. Tennessee

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Good Luck.
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#2933461 - 09/05/12 08:01 PM Re: First Elk hunt! [Re: Beekeeper]
DaveB
10 Point


Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 3807
Loc: Shelby County

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Saw the thread too late.

My advice-I hunted Rifle to Craig 8 consecutive years. Be prepared for the unreal number of hunters. Leave nothing in your vehicle. Pray the weather doesn't bring in brutal cold.
Elk migrate like mad and will leave an area quick if they are pressured.

I got a nice 5x5 bull and 4 cows.

I bet he comes back as happy as a clam no matter what. It is great fun and highly recommended.

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