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  1. #1
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    CO Backcountry help- Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness?

    I'm trying to narrow down my search results for my CO backcountry archery elk trip. I have one point and am willing to use it but also have no problem w/ OTC. I'm wondering if anybody has info on the Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness area, I'm just looking for some elk, nothing big needed just want to have some chances at a bull. Im 0-2 so far on OTC elk hunts in CO and am looking for a new location that may bring more elk encounters. It appears the pop of unit 47 is good and has good overall harvest rates. I like the looks of Midway crk. and No Name Crk and wondered if anybody can comment on this area? I plan on spending at least 7 days hunting and will have time to get in at least 2 weekend scouting trips for the summer. I'm willing to hike and plan on living off my back for the duration of the hunt. Thanks for any advice.

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    I'm considering a 2013 OTC archery elk hunt...CO GMU 47 is an area I'm looking at....curious, did you make it there this year? thoughts?

  3. #3
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    I ended up drawing a unit 56 tag as my 2nd choice. On sep. 2nd I shot a cow to fill the freezer and punch the tag, very glad I decided to make that choice when I did...Just got back yesterday from the same unit trying to help my dad and brother fill their tags and we had very few elk encounters. Finally got one bull to bugle back to us on the last day of season and brought him in to 100 yds before the winds changed and he was gone. I went to 56 because my brother and dad have had several years experience there but they said it has really gone downhill in the areas they hunted. I will be going somewhere else next year...if I don't burn my CO or Wyo. points It will be OTC CO, so 47 is still a potential spot.

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    I hunted 56 back in 2002, and then again just a couple years ago.
    Public access for hikers has really increased the traffic there and hunting has gone down hill for sure. Not the hunt that it used to be for sure. Congrats on the cow.

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    Thanks A3dhunter, she has been good eating. The non-hunter access was definately more than we wanted, people were camping everywhere early season. I had several spots I wanted to check out, and after a 45 minute drive up the mountain I would get there to find campers...usually with dogs running around and some were even up in the hills shooting what sounded like a .22. Decided to turn back and keep searching for a different spot. We didn't see many people toward the end of season, but I think that most the elk had already been pressured out. The drought didn't seem to help either, very little grass to eat, and I think a lot of the elk were eating in the valley on hay fields and staying on private. I guess the elk had to go somewhere though, I have 11 months to try and figure out where.?

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    We've backpack Elk hunted this part of GMU 47(Hunter/Frying Pan) for the passed thirteen years, drawing either a blackpowder tag or buying archery OTC. There are a number of 'regulars' with horses/mules who come up from 82 and hunt Midway, Noname, and even venture down to into Hunter. There is an outfitter who has clients in the Hunter Valley for archery, blackpowder and now, even for 1st rifle. Hiking in from 82 is a trek just to bring your camp in and out, but throw an elk quarter on your back and it gets a bit tougher. It is my opinion that since 2009(This year CO Wildlife recognized Hunter-FryingPan as a place to go elk hunting..), this valley has been overrun with hunters, mostly with horses from all parts of the country. Last year I called in more hunters than elk, seeing only two animals in the wetter than normal weather. We didn't go this year(2012), since we were fed up with the cowd.

    We'll see what 2013 brings..

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    Elkaholic.ma- thanks for the info. It seems to be a growing trend..."was good, hunters have moved in, increased hiking trails, atvs, etc.. elk are moving out" At least for the OTC areas Ive been researching in CO. I guess that's OTC hunting for you, the trick seems to be finding that basin, or drainage that nobody is hunting, in a unit that isn't too popular either. Far from an easy task.

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    wapiti- For the record, all of our limited experience with the hunting pressure in this area has been during the blackpowder week of archery season. We don't know what the hunting pressure is like the first archery week. The bulls aren't normally 'singing' during the first week time frame, and to be honest with you, I'm kind of 'addicted' to that bugling. In talking with a few hunters who have been hunting the area during the third archery week, they have been saying the elk have not been there in the same numbers as the past. I have to assume the hunting pressure from blackpowder week have moved the elk to more secluded, harder to reach areas.

    Good luck with your search..

  9. #9
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    Thanks again elkaholic, I too am after bugling bulls, that's why Im relocating my OTC unit. It is my preference to hunt the last week of archery season, but with my occupation I just have to take the time when it's available. Not always ideal for my elk hunts but it usually works out that I can be there for a good part of the last week. I seem to have similar experience with elk "disappearing" after Muzzle season. On the last day of season I found a good start to the answer, has to do with the "harder to reach areas" for sure. I've been convinced of it for years but I finally got my hunting partners to buy in this year on the last day, when we finally got a bull to respond and come into about 100yds screaming mad, until the wind switched of course. I didn't really care, that bull lit a spark in my partners, they're convinced we have to get into the backcountry in future years to actually hunt elk.

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    We were in the northern part of 47 this year for the week of muzzy season. It was a drop camp. We only saw 2 other hunters who had walked in but they were at least 1 1/2 miles from our camp so no big deal. They did shoot a small bull. The bigger issue is we only saw 10 elk between 4 guys in 8 days. Luckily my dad shot a bull. From talking to others the elk were rather spread out this year. Some drainages a few miles away had larger herds while we never saw more than a single elk. I talked to 2 bowhunters that were there for a week a little farther south than us and they only saw 1 bull. Not sure if we will be back. Trying to find an area with a little higher elk population.

 

 

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