View Full Version : Co. archery elk hunt question

02-15-2003, 03:16 PM
Planning a 9 day do it yourself archery elk hunt in Colorado this year. First time for me in Colorado. Muzzle loading season is 9/13 to 9/21, which if I was hunting any other state would have been my first choice. I'ld appreciate any opinions on whether it would be better to go before or after the muzzle hunters? Secondly, with the high license numbers, I have the choice to go for a limited draw area or general area. Any of you Colorado hunters got a suggestion?

02-15-2003, 03:59 PM
Mike, for what it's worth, here's my two cents. I archery hunt in Colorado every year and see elk throughout the season. If you're going to be near the roads, I'd go before the muzzleloaders go out. If you're going 2-4 miles back in, your call. They talk more later in the season, so that may be important to you. So many people bugle now that the elk are used to it, and often run in the other direction. But if they're talking, you can find them.

Regarding limited or general area, depends. Some areas require several preference points. There are good bulls throughout the state and great bulls in some limited and some general areas. Would you be happy with a cow or small bull or are you interested in the biggest six point on the ridge? (Hint: cow elk meat is as good as it gets.)

How many folks are in your party and what kind of shape are they in? And weather...late September can be balmy or the Russian front.

02-16-2003, 06:32 AM
Mike, You mention muzzleloader hunting in other states. I might recommend that you apply for a quality area with a muzzleloader and if you are unsuccessful, than buy an archery tag over the counter for a general area. As far as timing goes, I would hunt the last week prior to muzzleloader season if you go the archery route. The first week has everyone running around blowing on calls after watching the videos all summer! I am hunting the muzzleloader season this year and have already started a conditioning program. Your most important gear will be your lungs followed by your legs. Good luck and have a safe hunt. Kurt

02-16-2003, 04:00 PM
Thanks guys, I was hoping you might provide some feed back.

Kevin - 4 guys in the group. Fair - Good condition by Wi. standards. Trunk camping is easier, but we all have the gear to stay back 2 - 4 miles, whatever it takes. More than anything, the hassle is getting the meat back, as you know worse when it is warm out. That and of course just finding elk - so my prefernce is to hunt when the animals are prone to call.

Trophy or meat is always the question. We got a mix group. My buddy is firmly a bird in hand person and a really nice guy to visit in December for a meal since he tends to have wild meat in his freezer. I'm a more of declining expectation person as the season progresses, who wouldn't mind on the last few days coming home with a cow. Also the person you want to call first before showing up for a meal.

In regards to points, I haven't seen what the available licenses will be this year but looking at last years result it looks like to me archery folks can get into 1 - 2 point limited areas due to the increase in license. Anyway that's the way I was thinking for first choice and general for plan B. Sound feasible?

Kurt - thanks, know what you mean about trying to get in shape. I gotta start in Feb. to be anywhere near what I want in Sept. Must be an age thing. I guess I didn't write the question correct. I haven't tried a muzzle loader YET. Haven't even had the chance to fire one. Sure been interested though. Got any model suggestions that would be legal in Co.? Compared to a standard weight 300 or 338 mag what is the recoil like if you're keeping your shots at 100 yards or less? Does anybody make one that weighs under 7 pounds?

02-16-2003, 06:14 PM
Ok, Mike. You're coming out from Wisconsin. I'll suggest a spot or two that are no secret, but have a lot of elk and some good ones throughout the season. It is a draw area, but I don't think you'll have a problem getting a tag. It will require that you hike in a couple of miles but we have seen elk 300 yds from the road, too. Give me an email address. (I don't hunt it now, but have been there and seen elk, even late in the season.) If you don't have a GPS, and you follow the wrong trail back, you'll have a GPS next year.

Both will be in the NW part of the state. Both will be "camp low and hunt high" spots, which I find most effective.

Meat care...get the hide off, and get the quarters on ice as fast as you can. But if it takes a day, and you keep it in the shade , you won't lose any meat. It's cold at night at altitude. If you get one down, all 4 hike it out, one load per guy. Works pretty good.

I'm no expert at bowhunting elk, seem to find ways to mess it up. Fickle wind is my nemesis in the mountains. Consider a tree stand over a good trail or well used waterhole.

02-16-2003, 07:55 PM
MIkeM I will make suggestion for you if you want hunt with ML. The Lyman Deer Stalker in 50 caliber is fine rifle and great value. I build ML and use only round ball guns but the Lyman Deer Stalker is nice rifle that is handi reliable and worth far more than they charge. They make Carbine even in stainless steel model.

I would suggest using the Hornady Great Plains Bullet. They load easy and are very accurate. I also suggest that you get a book written by Sam Fadala The Complete Black Powder Handbook 4th edition published by Krause Publication Iola WI, 715/445-2214. or <a href="http://www.krause.com" target="_blank">http://www.krause.com (http://www.krause.com)</a>

Try the Lyman Web site also go to Mid-SOuth SHooter SUpply Web Site they have great prices on the Lyman Deer Stalker. If your so inclined to go to higher end ML then I would suggest the October COuntry Great American Sporting Rifle Light in 62 caliber but this a top of the line custom rifle and it is strickly a round ball gun but is accurate and hits like a ton of bricks. If you have any other specific quesiotn about ML feel free to ask.

02-17-2003, 05:49 PM
Kevin -
Know what you mean about luck when bow hunting elk. I've chased a few hither and yon. But you sure seem down on calling. I've been lucky using calls in Idahoe and Montana, not all the time, but at least to get answers so you can go up and try to poke them. Had a few come in too but you're right about the big monsters. If they've got their cows they have no need to come in. Better luck with 5x5. And wind is a bummer - had better luck since I started using scent control, made a big difference but a pain to manage. Anyway, thanks for the offer and I'ld appreciate any advice. If you don't mind I'll send my EMAIL address to your PM. Its a wife thing.
BTW, I was talking to a fellow who guided for a few years in CO. His opinion was that he would prefer to archery hunt in a limited draw area during the muzzzle season to get the most out of elk calling. He said when someone lets loose with a muzzle loader, the elk don't head out to the next county like with a rifle shot. The sound confuses them. Now the guy no longer guides and he's a youngster so, for whatever it's worth. Any opinions, experiences, or observations with how elk react to muzzle loaders sounding off in the general area, say a mile away or so?

Rocket, thanks too for the ML info. Haven't had a chance to click on the site but will as soon as I get done here. How about Thompson (spelling?) in stainless and synthetic - thats what the guy at the local shop is recommending. Drop down to insert primer, unscrew the plug to clean, but all he had was a laminate stock on hand and that was sure heavy.

02-17-2003, 06:16 PM
My opinion about inline ML is going to be real tainted as I have no real use for them during Primitive hunting seasons. Now that I have warned you I wouldn't touch the thing. To be truthful cleaning is so easy these day with ML that centerfire rifles are tougher to clean. The removable breech plug is not that much of advantage. I use the copper pot scrubber on a wire brush and run some Ballistol on the pot scrubber (cut a patch off) and run it back and forth 3-4 times then follow up with some Ballistol soaked patches and within 4-5 patches wella clean and protected ready for storage.

I foyou use a Musket cap on the Lyman and make sure your fire line is clear and dry you will have excellant reliability with that gun.

I also prefer Black Powder over Pyrodex.

The Lyman deer stalker cabine is more "Traditional" and it is short and the handling qualities are superb. Now the inlines and other that use 209 shotgun primer are slower to reload than an exposed hammer style gun. Yes you may need another shot. I remember I dropped a large cow one time and was busy patting myself on the back when all of sudden the cow started to gain her feet. Good thing I practiced quick reloading and had the followup shot ready to go.

I think TC has White MOuntain Carbine that is short and light. ML for elk the range is about 100 yards and a 385 grain conical will get the job done if you put it where you are supposed to.

Go to this site click on Muzzle Loaders and then click Lyman then click Deer Stalker rifle $224.00 that is one real bargin.


02-20-2003, 04:55 AM
Mike, In response to legal muzzleloaders in Colorado, they are all legal at this point. There are limitations on projectiles and powders however. I have had best luck with conicals such as the 370 T/C maxi-ball with pyrodex in the 100 to 120 grain charge weights. I don't like the looks of the in-lines and have always had great luck with my T/C Renegade. I happen to like peep sights and would recommend you consider one. You are mainly going to be packing this rifle and not shooting at game much, however I will say that the lighter muzzleloaders will recoil in excess of my 340 Weatherby. Not pleasant! I am sure all of the muzzleloaders listed in the other replies would do fine.

With 4 hunters, I think you could bone an elk out and pack it out with minimal difficulty up to 4 miles. I noticed a post that stated park low and hunt high and I couldn't agree more. The uphill grades at high altitude loaded with meat are not nearly as easy as staggering down hill. I hope you have a great trip.

02-20-2003, 07:09 PM
Kurt and Rocket
Thanks for getting me pointed in the right direction. Got to do some reading before I jump off and buy one. At the moment I can't ask an intelligent question. Kurt - 340 Weatherby, a mighty fine round but ouch. Thanks, it does put it into a perspective I can understand.