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  1. #11
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    I would suggest that if you have never killed an elk, apply for the first rifle hunt in the areas north of Hayden, Colorado for cow elk. Forget the antlers until you have a couple under your belt. You will spend less money, have just as much fun and have a much better chance of filling your freezer if you start out hunting cows. Antlers are way over-rated and you can hunt years before you find and kill a good bull. You can get a preference point on your first choice and usually get drawn for the cow hunt on a second choice and protect your preference point for the chance at a good area for bulls later on.

    Be ready to work very hard anywhere you go. The area I mentioned is essentially roadless and you will not usually drive to an elk. All of the elk that my kids, friends, and I have killed there (nine in all) have come out on our backs. We filled every tag that we have had in the area and most pack-outs were over two miles.

    Just my two cents.

  2. #12
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    I would recommend Colorado. They have OTC tags and lots of elk. Trophy potential will be low, but for your first trip, any elk will be a trophy. If you can afford it, I would buy the any sex tag and then shoot the first legal animal you can (spike, cow, calf, etc.). As far as weapon choice, that's entirely up to you. If you are a bowhunter, than go bowhunting. The reality of shooting an elk on your first hunt is probably pretty low. So, if you don't plan on hunting elk again or just wont' be ok without harvesting an animal, I would seriously consider hiring an outfitter. Another way to up your odds is to do a muzzleloader hunt, which still allows you to hunt during the rut. I went on my first elk hunt in CO and went with my brother. We did everything ourselves and hunted off our backs for 8 days. It was a steep learning curve and we went home without an elk. We had an amazing time though and wouldn't have done it any other way.

  3. #13
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    obviously you want to go to a good spot and kill an elk but, dont get so caught up in the killing that u forget about the adventure as Stringmusic stated. My first elk hunt was in 2008 in MT hunted my but off for 7 days never saw a elk didnt know what I was doing realy either, but in 2010 I moved to MT from Indiana. Thats how much the adventure impacted me, never saw a elk and still had to move here to be able to put more time into it. last year I didnt have a tag because I was not yet a resident but since I now live here and had the time to become familiar with a spot I had several opportunities at elk, to bad I had to just take pictures, cant wait for this years season to get here, elk hunting is awsome . anyway thats my two cent. good luck

  4. #14
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    If this is something you are planning for the future, start buying a preference point in Colorado each year. Even if you go with an over the counter tag in the near future, you can use the preference points that you build for a premium hunt in the future.

  5. #15
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    I may just be favoring my state.. but I would go for Wyoming! My first year of elk hunting, I was in bulls every day! I had a chance at a 360s bull and didnt take it.. which I still kick myself for everyday. I would just pick a state that you are thinking and make a friend that is willing to help you out. I've found that hunters really seems to like helping each other out so I dont think you will have any problems finding someone that is willing.

 

 

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