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View Full Version : Alright Colorado Guys... I Need Some Guidance!



khalidthesoljah
09-28-2009, 08:58 PM
Well i have been lurking on here for a few months now and i am very impressed with the knowledge on these bulletin boards! Finally i'm gonna break down and ask for some help with the up-coming elk season.

I got a tag for first rifle in units
11, 12, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, 131, 211, 231

I am really interested in hunting the flat tops and have made a couple scouting trips up there but i havent seen anything. Spooked a few deer this weekend above bear resevoir. And the previous time i went up from indian camp pass and all around up there, the only elk i saw was in someones yard along colorado river road...

This is going to be my first colorado elk hunt so i would love for it to be a successful one.


So if anyone can give some tips on where to find the elk up there, maybe a general area... I am convinced the elk have been pushed down off the flat tops but i dont know! Any advice to help make this hunt successful would be appreciated!

Thanks
J

Smokepole
09-28-2009, 09:54 PM
I'm pretty sure they're still up there, what kinds of areas were you looking in and what time of day? Chances are they're in the timber during daylight hours so if you were looking in meadows/open spaces during those hours that would account for not seeing many.

Did you see much sign?

Kmassaro
09-29-2009, 06:33 AM
How far in can you go? That may affect what I suggest. Are you based camping at your car or hunting with pack and camp on your back?

Scoutin' Wyo
09-29-2009, 08:44 AM
I've hunted the northern flat tops four different times, all of them in the first rifle season. What I've found was once the snow hits (and it will hit the first rifle seaons like clock work), the cows and smaller bulls are heading to lower elevations. The big ghosts still hang in there, but their hoof prints are about all you will ever see of them. We have talked elk stories with old timers up there and the thing they always seemed to point out is, don't be afraid of pulling up camp and moving if the elk aren't were you are.

It's beautiful country up there and even if you don't put an elk in the back of your pick-up, I'm sure you will have a great time.


Good luck!

Gregdoo
09-29-2009, 08:52 AM
I would agree with Smokepole, in that they are probably still up there. I have hunted 131, 231 for the past 7 years, primarily during first rifle. It takes a decent bit of snow to get them down. In these areas though, once they are down....there is a very good possibility that they are holed up on the large private land ranches in the valleys. If you see large numbers of cows (elk) on the ranches, then the move has begun. It will normally be a while longer before the mature bulls are pushed down to them, meaning that some straggler cows and most bulls are in the timber during the day.

As you know, the units you've got access to are a huge portion of NW Colorado....so while the elk may not be where you looked, they have lots of land to hide on. Keep moving and looking until you see decent sign and then look deeper. Good luck!

Edit: Seems Scoutin' Wyo and I were typing at the same time.....and saying the same thing. The past few years, we've missed big snows in first rifle, but this year seems like it could be a year for early and heavy snow, given our wet summer along the Front Range.

khalidthesoljah
09-29-2009, 09:04 AM
How far in can you go? That may affect what I suggest. Are you based camping at your car or hunting with pack and camp on your back?

I will be hunting with camp on my back! And im confident i can go pretty far back there...

And it seemed all the sign i saw while i was up there was maybe a day or two old. I swore i smelled them a couple times, but not sure... maybe i should head out there this weekend and try to access it from the meeker area?

thanks so much for the friendly help!

elmbow
09-29-2009, 09:27 AM
I don't know the area, but I know that there a LOT of elk in Colorado and I'll bet plenty of them reside in the Flat tops. I would suggest you spend some quality time with a map prior to hitting the ground with your feet. Elk like certain geographical conditions, find them, you'll find elk.

hammbone
09-29-2009, 01:46 PM
Hi Everyone, I've been lurking here for quite some time as well. Lots of great info. I've successfully hunted 1st season Near the Flat tops area for the past two years. Cows both years. I saw some massive 14pt bulls two years ago. I also have a 1st rifle tag for the same area as the OP. I'm looking for someone to go with me as it freaks out my wife when I go alone. I've got two kids now and I can see her concern. I hike in about 4 miles from the road and set up my spike camp and hunt within two miles of my spike camp. I'd like to meet and talk to you if you are not a loner. PM if you are interested.

Brent13
09-29-2009, 02:31 PM
Hammbone,

I will also be going solo this year, but 2nd season rifle. I will be in GMU33, and trying north of NewCastle this year. This will be my first ever backpack hunt. We have a newly adopted daughter, so I will probably only be out for three nights, maybe four, or as long as I can take the solitude. I am looking for a buck again. Anyway, maybe we could get together in the future if you are going to continue solo? The guy I hunt with has no desire to backpack, so my future hunts will probably be the solo-variety also. I have comitted to the backpack-style, sold my big wall tent, sold my ATV, and bought lightweight gear, I am in for the long haul, I hope.....

Brent

hammbone
09-29-2009, 03:35 PM
Hi Brent,
I hear you, It's hard to find people willing to back-pack in away from civilization and the ATV trails. It's a lot of work but it's worth been worth it in my experience. The Solitude does get old pretty fast. So, Yes, I would be interested. I'm not in the springs very often. But, I'll keep you in mind next year.

khalidthesoljah
09-29-2009, 04:04 PM
check your PM's hammbone!

Kmassaro
09-29-2009, 05:21 PM
Check yours, too, Khalid. I gave you a couple of ideas. But you'll work at all three if you get one.

LesA
09-29-2009, 08:24 PM
I've seen Elk everytime I been on the flat tops, Smokepole is right on the money.
It snow about 10" on the Sept 22 and has turn everything white on top, we are to get snow again here Oct 1 down to 6000 feet which should make it a little better to find them.
Just keep moving untill you get into them (No tracks, No Elk) I just came off of Ripple Creek Pass last week fishing and the hunters were keeping the Elk moving. You will be with a lot of other hunters. There is a lot of area up there, so be where you can see some Country before the sun comes up and when it go's down. My best hunting has been Solo.
Good luck

KurtB
09-29-2009, 08:35 PM
This thread is one of the reasons I enjoy this site so much. Good luck to you all and post pics!

khalidthesoljah
09-29-2009, 09:05 PM
Thanks for all the advice so far guys! I was feeling kind of hopeless about this whole thing but now its looking up! :)

Smokepole
09-29-2009, 10:28 PM
I hike in about 4 miles from the road and set up my spike camp and hunt within two miles of my spike camp.

This is a winning formula IMHO. If I had a tag I'd be sending a PM.

Otoejet
09-30-2009, 07:50 AM
I don't know the area, but I know that there a LOT of elk in Colorado and I'll bet plenty of them reside in the Flat tops. I would suggest you spend some quality time with a map prior to hitting the ground with your feet. Elk like certain geographical conditions, find them, you'll find elk.

The DOW has an overlay map feature where you can overlay harvest data on a topographical map on their website. I haven't run it yet this year, but it would seem to be a helpful tool as well.