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Well, like it says, I am back from my first Archery Elk Hunt. We hunted SW Colorado Ranch for 7 days Sept. 19 -26. We hunted out of a ranch morning and evening returning midday. I hunted with a good friend and co worker and we were in elk most of the time; we did not get a shot. We had many close encounters including a last hunt 15 yard encounter with about a 320 class 6x7. My guide had this elk plainly in sight but my view was completly blocked by scrub oak and terrain. I learned a ton with this experience. The elk were pretty vocal and it was very exciting. Below are a few things that come to mind to pass on to new elk hunters.

Get in shape and stay hydrated

I used a small camelbak raider as there was no need for a big pack.

No matter what you do if the elk is down wind you will have very little chance of getting a shot. I think that all of that scentkiller, blocker, scentlok might add a few seconds but that is it. You need to know how to hunt the wind.

Plan on shooting while you are out there so bring plenty of arrows and BH and target. My partner had to travel to an archery shop for basic arrow issues that could of been solved by being more prepared.

Elk can smell your tracks so if they smell them they may not cross them or they may spoke and ruin a chance.

Distances seem much closer than they are. Use your range finder.

Practice on your knees. It was clear by day 2 that many shots would come from my knees so we practiced out to 65 yards shooting multiple shots from knees.

Buy Elknuts DVD's these were great to prepare us and very useful in understanding elk.

If possible, have at least 2 sets of boots. We hiked about 10 miles a day. I used my heavier taller boots for tougher terrain and lighter boots for those longer hikes. The lighter boots are also much quiter. You also never know when a pair of boots is going to start rubbing you the wrong way.

This was a great experience and I am looking forward to next year. Just don't know where I am going to hunt next year. I am not sure that the ranch is going to be available.
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