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Hello all! Been awhile since I've been on here! (Forgot my doggone password!) Anyway my? Is.... What is the "best "unit in Colorado based on number of elk, bull size, lack of pressure, accessibility.... I am going on my first elk hunt this year (rifle with family)but I am thinking of next year(2017) when I am planning on going solo. This years hunt is more of a learning experience. I want to find a unit with limited access, good populations and decent bulls. Note: I am not looking for a monster. Just some decent 260"-300" bulls... I plan on backpacking 6-10 miles into the back country away from other hunter as much as possible. I am in decent shape but I am planning a hardcore training routine. Also what do y'all do about water when you are 7000 - 10,000'? Thanks in advance!
 

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Live Free or Die!
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Not to be rude, but no one is going to give you a straight up answer to this. You're not going to get all those things you want without some preference points OR some intimate knowledge on an OTC unit.

I'd hit up the CO G&F website and start breaking down the stats and maps.
 

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Hit the statistics on the DOW website.
Generally the best units are away from the population centers of the state, but even this may be misleading as some units include a lot of private property which nearly always hunts better. Other good statistical units may contain difficult terrain, good for the hunter who is able to handle it.
A 260 to 300 class bull? Hint, shoot the first legal elk that you see.
 

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For Rifle I'd look at: 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 55, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 131, 133, 134, 140, 141, 142, 161, 171, 181, 211, 214, 231, 301, 361, 371, 411, 421, 441, 444, 471, 511, 521, 551, 581, 591, 681, 691, 711, 741, 751, 771, and 851

Archery I'd go to:3, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 21,
122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 161, 171, 181, 211, 214, 231, 301, 361, 371, 411, 421, 444, 471, 511, 521, 581, 591, 681, 691, 711, 741, 751, 771, and 851.

But, I haven't hunted CO for elk since 2013 so things might have changed....

I am sorry to give such a sarcastic answer, but nobody is going to give you much of an answer even if you're only looking for a 300" bull, guys work really hard to get a regular chance at a 300" public land bull in CO. This question is the #1 "don't be that guy" question out there when it comes to elk, almost to the point to where this post feels like a troll.
 

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Man, your not going to get a clear answer on this, as its impossible to say. We may go up scouting all summer long and think we know where they are. Even a week or two before season opens. Come opening day ALOT( most) of times, they are no where around. Have gone weeks with out seeing one, where last week they were in every drainage. If you are not going to apply for points and you want a bull. I would strongly suggest you find some private property or a guided out fit. Even then your not guaranteed any thing, but your odds go way up. For guys that hunt public land here and harvest a bull almost every year they have put in a lot of work and HAVE A LOT OF GOOD LUCK ON THERE SIDE. And are not going to be willing to give up any information. The farther you get from the roads and other hunters your odds should be better, but with that said I have seen them standing next to the highway, while I hike my ass of and see nothing. Be mobile is the best advise I can give, if they are not there keep going till you find them. Then take advantage if you get the opportunity, cause they may be gone the next day. Just remember also if you get way back in there and get one, its four or five times as far to get one back out ( your not going to carry one out solo in one trip). And with temps that time of year its easy to lose the meat, before you can get it to a cooler. If all the stars are lined up just right and God is on your side it's for sure do able. But it usually involves a lot of hard work. Good luck and have fun, the mountains that time of year are great.
 

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Archery I'd go to:3, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 21,
122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 161, 171, 181, 211, 214, 231, 301, 361, 371, 411, 421, 444, 471, 511, 521, 581, 591, 681, 691, 711, 741, 751, 771, and 851.
Classic!! :set1_fishing:
 

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Funny posts^^^^

In all seriousness I don't think anyone would give you a honest answer even if you offered to buy there licence and carry their gear. Your gonna have to hit the CDPW web sight and do some homework.

I got my start by doing summer vacation backpacking and hiking trips to learn areas.
 

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My Elk Hunting Home
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What is the "best "unit in Colorado based on number of elk, bull size, lack of pressure, accessibility.... I want to find a unit with limited access, good populations and decent bulls. Note: I am not looking for a monster. Just some decent 260"-300" bulls...
That's called a limited draw unit.......not an OTC unit. And with all you've listed, it would have to be an upper tier draw unit.
 

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I have been 12 times, my first in 1988, and what I have seen lately would be 260 4 wheelers on weekdays and 300+ on weekends. It HURTS me to know some of the pristine places I used to backpack to and now I have to jump a trench the 4 wheelers and motorcycles have cut in.
 

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Your not going to get any answers from anyone on this but dont be discouraged it is possible to find those 260-300+ bulls OTC public. We proved it this year and killed two bulls OTC with archery that went 343" and 354". Gotta do ur homework work hard and get lucky.
 

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There's an enormous amount of stuff wrong with this post.
First people would rather you sleep with their mother then tell you an OTC unit with 300" bulls In it.
Second you say you are in decent shape but plan on shooting a bull 6-10 miles deep. I'll assume your not a super hero and can't carry 200 pounds in your pack your looking at 36-60 miles of hiking, half with 100++ pounds on your back and that's not including the hunting...
Last, your asking how to get water...

My prediction, if you don't die, and actually manage to get a bull, most of the meat will be wasted.

Try unit 61or 201, it will take you about 15-20 years to draw, seems right up your ally


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Biggest thing is learning the right areas to attack and how to attack them. Never hunting out there and expecting to be successful on big or decent bulls is wishful thinking unless you get really lucky. I've hunted out there for 13 of last 15 seasons now and in the last 9 season our group has been 50-100% on bulls with bow but never big bulls until we tried something new this year backpacking. Getting boots in the mountains and putting on alot of miles is the only way you will figured much out about how and where to find these public land bulls. Legal bulls aren't a problem in most areas but finding bulls over 260 is a whole new level and challenge and you will have to earn it big time. I'd sure be careful with a solo hunt exspecially for your first back country hunt. Anything could happen and not knowing areas and dealing with the elements and animal if you get one need to be priority number one. Back country hunting is amazing but its not for most people. Takes a well prepared person and alot of mental preparation and stamina when your in deep. Get your lagistics and plans well layed out before even attempting a partner or group back country hunt let alone a solo hunt. Get yourself some higher end camping and hunting gear also or the trip will kill you.
 

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As you can see it's not for everyone haha and its very feasible to do this that deep on foot. Have to be in excellent shape and mental.preperation and determination like i said. There is great water availability in most high country areas. Just need the proper equipment to drink it and stay safe. Getting meat out is alot of work but handled properly its just fine. My bull this year was over 7 miles in. We had 4 of us but could have done it on my own no problem. I essentially carried out the equivalent of a solo elk i not more in about 3 days. Between mine, telling the guys to keep hunting and I'll keep making trips back and forth once we got mine to camp at 4.5 miles from truck, carrying my skun for lifesize cape weighing 110# from kill site and then hauling my buddy's bull he shot two days after mine. It's plenty cold up high and if you process you animal 70% out there and find places to keep it cool. No meat spoiled and tastes great. got on ice by day 3 (froze day 6) and I didn't get my hide on salt for almost 4 days and the cape came back perfect from tannery. It's typically 35-45 at night during Archery up high and 65 or so during warm days but the shade stays cooler including springs and streams
. Rough calculation I put on about 85 foot.miles that week. 15 of it with 100+ lbs on my back and 25-30 of it with 60-80lbs. It's not easy but you have to be realistic with what it is actually going to involve physically and mentally too, and if your lucky pack out.
Big bull your going to make about 4 trips. Small bull can make it in 3. This is no cape and horns or gear keep in mind just meat.
 

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I killed my 10th Bull this past season since starting Elk hunting in 1992, all public land! In my opinion, Elk are by far, THE most exciting big game animal to hunt and I day dream every day about it and count the days until I'm back out West! My advice to you is to hire a packer for the first time and book a drop camp hunt into one of the many wilderness areas in Colorado. They will get you well into the back country and away from the crowds and if you do kill, you're likely not going to have to pack meat out for miles. This year my bull dropped only about a mile from camp and it was pure joy packing it back to camp for the horseback out the next day. Plenty of reputable CO Outfitters offer drop camps and you need not break the bank for these hunts. They typically pack your gear and food in and provide a sleeping tent, cook tent, utensils, firewood, wood stoves and a water source. It lessens the steep learning curve as a first time Elk hunter and you will get valuable elk experience which is cumulative, trust me! You still have to do your homework; get in shape, study maps of your hunting area, become capable at back country navigation and woodsmanship, etc. I appreciate your enthusiasm and eagerness to want rough it and go it alone, Cameron Hanes style but if you can minimize some of the misery that comes with this style of Elk hunting, you're likely to do it again and again and again………………..! :smile:

Good luck!
Mike



 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok finally looked at my post. Plenty of snobs I see. I should have put down a different title as a thread. I was not really asking about units I should have said regions. As far as this years late season rifle hunt goes it will be with family who have been elk hunting for the past 30 years. We will be taking horses which I know can be a problem but I really don't have a say in the matter. I assume they will make an easier pack job tho. I have no illusions about being in shape for 2017, I have done a little backpacking in Wyoming mtns so not 100% dumb on the subject. I didn't think it would be a huge problem for someone to give me an idea of what units to look at. I mean its a big state, not like I would probably ever see you anyways. Lol. For those of you who responded in a positive way, thank you. For those of you who didnt, I understand, I hunt whitetails almost solely on public land in northern Minnesota were a buck MIGHT make it to 3 1/2 I wolves or rifle hunters don't get them first. Plenty of pressure on public land. That's why I hike in 5-7 miles on walk in only land were I have to pack em out on my back.
 

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Another thing I said I am in decent shape. I am not in Cameron Hands shape but I hang sheet rock for a living. Very hard , heavy fast paced work were we literarily run with 12' sheets which weigh in the 85 pound range and slam em up as fast as we can. You do 100-120 sheets in a day, 40-50 hours a week and you get in shape fast. So I guess I am in decent shape. I have been doing this full time since I was 16. Also going back to the previous posts it saddens me to see so many negative comments. As hunters we should be inceraging other hunters when they have questions about something new. Don't you want others to be included in elk hunting?!? Bowhunting isn't just about ourselves, not to me anyway, its a brotherhood, where we share our knowledge with anyone who is willing to listen. I never asked for you're dang GPS coordinates. Simply wanted some advice on how to get started in something new in my Bowhunting career. I am not whining, I understand totally about not telling where you hunt. But there is simply no need to be sarcastic. (End of rant)
 

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Shake it of Spyder there is always haters. I hunt south of Alamosa CO area and have been for last 12 years. Taking some good bulls. My dad is a cook and guide for the local elk outfitter in the area as well during the season. My family has been going to this area since the 60s. I have folders that are two inches thick of pictures that include canyons, meadows, etc. and all have detailed drawings of trails, thermals etc. I don't mind giving you some direction and I don't mind sharing some of my good spots. So much land and so many good spots to hunt it. I've shared with others in the past but never seem to run into them or hear from them. I mapped a lot of the logging roads that can cut half the time getting above the tree lines as well. If we kill one miles away in back country we just hire the out fitter to pack it out for us. We also from time to time have him drop us off at a spike camp. PM I can give you some advice.
 
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