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  1. #1
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    Hunt Date Dilemma...

    I'm planning my 2014 archery elk hunt in SW Colorado and I'm torn on the dates.

    Although I wouldn't mind hunting out of my base camp for the week; I am prepping for a 3-6 day hunt out of a deeper, higher spike camp.

    I would like to go from approx Sept 4 - 12th and miss the muzzle loader season. However, I'm afraid this will preclude me from hunting the better part of the rut, but at least the only other hunters will be archery guys...in stealth mode.

    If I go from approx Sep 12 - 20th, I'll be there during the mz season - and there just seems to be too much blaze orange wandering around; but, the rut might be going stronger.

    If I go from approx 20 - 28th, I'll only hit the last day or so of mz season but they may have the elk so stirred up they've moved to NM. However, there wouldn't be all the mz foot-traffic and the rut might be in full swing.

    I'm curious what your thoughts are on picking the best dates. Any input is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Bill,

    I love the early season even when other factors don't make me hunt then. Early season elk are easier to pattern. They typically hit water on a more predictable basis. Herd bulls are not surrounded by 20+ cows so you actually stand a chance to stalk them. They can still be called in if the setup is right. And to your main point, there is usually less hunting pressure.

    I say all of the above reasons why I like the early season but I would add that if your goal is any bull elk your odds may still be slightly better hunting satellite bulls during the 3rd week of the month. Even during pressure I find the 2 and 3 year old bulls fairly easy to call in. I just think the big bulls are much harder during the peak rut.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltop View Post
    Bill,

    I love the early season even when other factors don't make me hunt then. Early season elk are easier to pattern. They typically hit water on a more predictable basis. Herd bulls are not surrounded by 20+ cows so you actually stand a chance to stalk them. They can still be called in if the setup is right. And to your main point, there is usually less hunting pressure.

    I say all of the above reasons why I like the early season but I would add that if your goal is any bull elk your odds may still be slightly better hunting satellite bulls during the 3rd week of the month. Even during pressure I find the 2 and 3 year old bulls fairly easy to call in. I just think the big bulls are much harder during the peak rut.
    I agree with this assessment. The larger bulls are usually more susceptible to spot-n-stalk hunting during this time frame. Of course the moon phase will effect how they act during these periods as well. It kind of depends on what your expectations are for the hunt.

  4. #4
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    What unit?

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    You do have a bit of a dilemma this year. I have been watching the dates for this year's muzzleloader hunt for 3 years to burn my points. They are the best muzzleloader dates Colorado has had in several years along with nearly a dark moon at the end of the season (moon is dark on September 24). Last year were good dates too, but the moon was full.

    As far as the bow hunt I would lean to the early dates except for the fact the moon is full on September 9. If you hunt early you may have to adapt to hunting the full moon.

  6. #6
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    The only other consideration is the weather. Last year it rained almost every day during M/L season. I know we have no way of predicting how big and long the monsoon storms will be, just have to be prepared.

    Just sayin.............
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

  7. #7
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    Gents,

    Thanks for the replies. I will be hunting south of Norwood; kind of along the border of unit(s) 70/71, but mainly 71. I'm familiar with the area and have been on a couple of successful elk hunts there, but this is my first bow hunt for elk.

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    C Cowboy - I hear you about the rain last year. I backpacked in about 4.5 miles to get away from the crowds. I hunted out of a spike camp for 4 days and it rained every day and most nights - just made it miserable. By the time I packed out, I think I was beginning to mold

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillH View Post
    C Cowboy - I hear you about the rain last year. I backpacked in about 4.5 miles to get away from the crowds. I hunted out of a spike camp for 4 days and it rained every day and most nights - just made it miserable. By the time I packed out, I think I was beginning to mold
    Now thats funny. "beginning to mold". :-)

 

 

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