Home Main Category Hunting

Check list for those planning on making the forum elk hunt

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 7,738 Senior Member
I'm probably beating this topic to death, but there's a lot to consider for those who will be traveling a long way to do this. So, I thought I'd start a check list topic. Please feel free to add any items you think are relevant, or discuss any of the ones already posted.

I'll get it started.

First and foremost, sit yourself down and have a good talk with yourself to determine if this is something you really want to do, or something you are able to do. For out of state guys, or guys like Alec who live half a world away, it's an expensive and time consuming undertaking. It won't be a guided hunt with others doing camp chores, but I hope it will be a great experience.

Next, if you are committed to doing this, have another long discussion with yourself and determine if you are in good enough physical shape to do this. Every year, about this time, I have the best of plans to start an exercise regimen and get in better shape. Every year, about the time I go hunting, I wish I had done so. This year, my wife and I have already started a morning workout routine, and I am really going to try to keep it up. For me, the biggest problems are cardio-vascular and my legs. I find myself huffing and puffing when climbing and my heart feeling like it's about to beat out of my chest. If plodding through a few inches of crusted over snow, my legs start to feel it. You mileage may vary. Regardless, now is a good time to start doing some level of exercise.

Don't show up in new boots. If you already have good, broken-in boots, good. If you plan to buy new boots, and can afford to buy them now, do so. Start wearing them and have them broken in by October. Sore and blistered feet can keep you in camp.

Start thinking about the gear you will need besides your rifle. Do you plan to carry a day pack with supplies and gear you need for a day's hunt? What about a canteen or water bottle. You may find yourself out all day long and need to carry a lunch. Make sure you have a good knife (or two or three). I like to carry a folding saw, and this past year Linefinder convinced me that carrying a small hatchet can be a Godsend.

Of course, have your rifle ready to go, sighted in, with proper loads, and consider a backup rifle, just in case. I figure this is the one issue that most will be on top of.

No doubt I'm overlooking a lot of items, but this should at least get the ball rolling.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,119 Senior Member
    You aren't beating anything to death. You're a guy after my own heart when it comes to timely planning. I HATE waiting until the last minute to figure things out, so posting a cheklist early, especially for us rookie types, is important. Folks may need to buy things and may not necessarily have the funds to do so all at once. Spreading out the hit over several months is a good thing.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,738 Senior Member
    One thing that has already been mentioned, but should be mentioned again is the need for hunter safety certification.

    If you were born on or after January 1, 1949, you need proof that you have completed a hunter safety course.

    For more information, check the following web page.

    http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/Pages/HuntEd.aspx
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I like to carry a folding saw, and this past year Linefinder convinced me that carrying a small hatchet can be a Godsend.

    Yep....elk ain't deer. Hatchet = good. Make sure it's sharp. And knives......for elk, I recommend three, unless you plan on spending valuable daylight sharpening one.

    And, while not a necessity, a really handy thing to carry is a two-way radio. Not for actual hunting (illegal here), but if you get an elk down, it may save you a bit of walking rounding up help for the pack-out.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I'm probably beating this topic to death, but there's a lot to consider for those who will be traveling a long way to do this. So, I thought I'd start a check list topic. Please feel free to add any items you think are relevant, or discuss any of the ones already posted.

    I'll get it started.

    First and foremost, sit yourself down and have a good talk with yourself to determine if this is something you really want to do, or something you are able to do. For out of state guys, or guys like Alec who live half a world away, it's an expensive and time consuming undertaking. It won't be a guided hunt with others doing camp chores, but I hope it will be a great experience.

    Next, if you are committed to doing this, have another long discussion with yourself and determine if you are in good enough physical shape to do this. Every year, about this time, I have the best of plans to start an exercise regimen and get in better shape. Every year, about the time I go hunting, I wish I had done so. This year, my wife and I have already started a morning workout routine, and I am really going to try to keep it up. For me, the biggest problems are cardio-vascular and my legs. I find myself huffing and puffing when climbing and my heart feeling like it's about to beat out of my chest. If plodding through a few inches of crusted over snow, my legs start to feel it. You mileage may vary. Regardless, now is a good time to start doing some level of exercise.

    Don't show up in new boots. If you already have good, broken-in boots, good. If you plan to buy new boots, and can afford to buy them now, do so. Start wearing them and have them broken in by October. Sore and blistered feet can keep you in camp.

    Start thinking about the gear you will need besides your rifle. Do you plan to carry a day pack with supplies and gear you need for a day's hunt? What about a canteen or water bottle. You may find yourself out all day long and need to carry a lunch. Make sure you have a good knife (or two or three). I like to carry a folding saw, and this past year Linefinder convinced me that carrying a small hatchet can be a Godsend.

    Of course, have your rifle ready to go, sighted in, with proper loads, and consider a backup rifle, just in case. I figure this is the one issue that most will be on top of.

    No doubt I'm overlooking a lot of items, but this should at least get the ball rolling.

    No Jerry, you don't need to feel like you're beating this to death. You are bringing up some excellent points. While I have never elk hunted or even hunted out of state, I have been on treks in the Rocky Mountains and I for one know that it is serious business. When I taught Hunter Education for the State of Texas, I concentrated heavily on survival. This was due to the influence of my good friend and Head of Hunter Ed here in Texas at the time, Steve Hall. Steve is now president of Texas State Rifle Association. Anyway, Steve was originally from Colorado and was very knowledgeable about survival.

    I would recommend to everyone to have a decent GPS or at least a compass and some type of map with N-S-E-W clearly marked and also Magnetic north as well. Also GPS coordinates on the map would be great. I plan on taking both because a GPS is an electronic device and for all its glory it can fail. So a compass would be a great backup, along with the knowledge on how to use it.

    Also, I totally agree with you on the boots too. That was a big point stressed to us when we went on mountain treks in New Mexico back in the 80s and 90s. New Boots is the PITTS!!!
    They hurt like hell and can put you in base camp rather than hunting about as quick as anything there is. Also I recommend Wool Socks. Wool insulates even when it's wet. Cotton doesn't. They're not that expensive and can make a big difference. And good quality ones can help prevent blisters.

    I also like the two tools you recommended, some form of folding saw and a small hatchet. These along with good knives can make a big difference in the quality of your experience. But I would stress making them as light as you can find and still of decent quality.

    Also, the rifle. I plan on of course bringing my new to me 7 mag. I am now as my posts indicate working on it getting it ready. I've put an after market trigger on it and I have a decent scope on it. Now when I get my new base mount I can continue working up my load, which for now is a 160 grain game king. I figure if I upgrade to a better bullet, as long as it's still a 160 grainer I can adjust the load easily enough. But I want accuracy above all, because like is always said here, shot placement is the most important parameter.

    Edited to Add: One thing I love about this rifle is its weight. It is light. It kicks like a mule and I'm sure that's due to its weight, but I never notice recoil when I shoot at game. Just at the bench. However, I am considering upgrading the pad or maybe a muzzle break. But it's the second lightest rifle I have, my .270 being the lightest, and I'm sure it will pay off when carrying it at altitude.

    As for clothing, I'm not sure what kind of conditions we'll experience at that time of year in Colorado, especially at high altitude, but I would say an old Gulf Coast Gieser like myself should probably upgrade to warmer and higher quality duds. I would be afraid to try out my Wally World special hunting clothes in the Rocky Mountains in October. But I don't want to over do it either. And another concern is a sleeping bag. Before when I went on those mountain treks I borrowed a North Slope Bag rated for 0 degrees F. It was very light but they are rather expensive. But I'd rather pay a little more than suffer through sleepless nights shivering.

    Anyway, these are just a few things I was thinking so I added them. Please critique this and tell me if I'm all wet.

    Edited to Add: Jerry, Linefinder, MHS, I know we've beat this to death but I'm doing the serious stuff now and about the bullet. Do you guys think a GK is sufficient? How about 160 grain? The reason I didn't want to go higher is because I like velocity with weight. Am I full of it or would this be OK? (Hell I know I'm full of it!!! :rotflmao:)
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,410 Senior Member
    I started dieting a couple weeks ago (basically keeping my mouth shut and laying off the carbs as much as possible) and started swimming laps this week, going to break out a back pack and start taking the neighbor dog for some walks.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »

    Edited to Add: Jerry, Linefinder, MHS, I know we've beat this to death but I'm doing the serious stuff now and about the bullet. Do you guys think a GK is sufficient? How about 160 grain? The reason I didn't want to go higher is because I like velocity with weight. Am I full of it or would this be OK? (Hell I know I'm full of it!!! :rotflmao:)

    As hard as most folks here will find this to believe, I shoot 160 Partitions at 2850 fps from my .270 Win. It's flattened every elk I've ever fired at.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    As hard as most folks here will find this to believe, I shoot 160 Partitions at 2850 fps from my .270 Win. It's flattened every elk I've ever fired at.

    Mike

    Now THAT"S what I love to hear!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,702 Senior Member
    I'm training for both a 26.2 mile ruck march this March as well as Air Assault School, so hopefully beyond adapting to altitude I'm set for the physical side.

    What I'm worried most about is gearing up.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Weather....could be anything. Opening day this past season, Jerry and I got rained on twice and snowed on twice, with wind gusts that had to be pushing 60 mph. OTOH, the next day was almost like a cool early spring day.

    Now....from a "southerners" POV....the cold here doesn't hurt like it does in the humid south. I am by no means a hot-natured person, but I find 25-30 degrees here to be (as long as the wind isn't blowing) about on par with a 50 degree day in Louisiana. A few seasons back, Scooter and I spent opening morning at -19F, and as bad as that sounds, I've felt much, much more miserable at +30F back in Louisiana. Humidity makes all the difference, and we don't have a whole lot of it here.

    Layers is where it's at. Not heavy bulky layers, but thin layers. Fleece and/or wool make very good layers. I've developed a real liking for good wool stuff since moving here, although some of the better brands of fleece-wear are truly just as warm. Outer layer....Gore-Tex. You've gotta have Gore-Tex. Even if it doesn't snow/rain on you, chances are there'll be snow on the ground and if you plan on sitting down, you'll be wanting to keep your butt dry. So, Gore-Tex (or one of the many variants now available) is practically a necessity out here. It also does a decent job of blocking the wind.

    While I won't go so far as to say that there aren't some weather circumstances that can make life uncomfortable out here, I'll say that if you are comfortable hunting in the weather back east, in the midwest, or down south, you'll likely find our "cold" weather here to be a bit more comfortable than what you're used to. Even down into the single digits, it really isn't usually that bad.

    But....layers. And keep dry. This means gloves and boots should have a goretex, or equiv, moisture blocker.

    Oh.....sunscreen. You can burn your face in a freakin' heartbeat on a sunny day at altitude.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,119 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    Oh.....sunscreen. You can burn your face in a freakin' heartbeat on a sunny day at altitude.

    Mike

    I can't stress this one enough. My grandad got the worst sunburn of his life shovelng snow in - you guessed it - Colorado.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,410 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    Oh.....sunscreen. You can burn your face in a freakin' heartbeat on a sunny day at altitude.
    Mike

    So what do the elk think about coconut and aloe when you are up wind?:jester: What would you suggest for hunting suitable sunscreen?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    Good thread Jerry! There is so much stuff to consider, and need to have.
    Some things to think about.
    A cot. Keeps your butt off the ground, and much more comfy.
    A pad/mat, for the cot.
    Sleeping bags.....a great bag, for a little $$$ are military surplus. I used one of the modern, 2 piece bag (inner/outer, or you can separate) that comes with a gore tex shell. Kept me snug as a bug last trip, down to 25 degrees.
    Some sort of survival kit. I put together some stuff in a small tupperware container, that easily fits in my pack. First aid kit, fire starter, space blanket, water purification tabs, paracord, kindling, another compass, whistle, etc.
    One of your water bottles should be stainless steel. In case you need to boil water or melt snow in it.
    WOOL socks. or Smartwool. They're not cheap, but cotton socks are bad news.
    Binoculars. And a chest strap thing for them.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,931 Senior Member
    If any of you are going to hunt GMU 521, i thought i'd give you a heads up on what topo's you'll need, these will cover most of 521 and the areas that Jerry and i hunt. They are Electric Mt., Bull Mt., Chair Mt., Spruce Mt., Elk Knob, Plicata, Flatiron Mt., Quaker Mesa, Somerset, & Stony Ridge. If any of you are going to put in for a cow permit, 521 for cows is split into 2 sections, Southwest Muddy Creek, & Northwest Muddy Creek. If you draw a cow tag for one of them you cant hunt in the other. A OTC bull tag will allow you to hunt anywhere in Colo. thats not a bull draw area. Most of 521 ranges from 7200' to 10,000' A couple of tip for anyone hunting out here, you will get dehydrated here much faster than at lower elevations, you cant drink too much water, i speak from experance, if your on meds be sure you have more than enough and carry a list of them in your wallet. If you have a heart condition, like me, carry your asprins in your shirt pocket, not your pack so you can get to them if needed. Let everyone in your camp know of any medical conditions you have so if anything happens ( i hope not ) they wont have to guess. Most of 521 does not have cell phone service. The only place i know that does is at the repeater tower on the Somerset quad. a 1 1/2 hour trip from the SW Muddy Creek ranger station.
    For those of you that come out to hunt, i know you'll have a good time, and good luck
    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,738 Senior Member
    Snake, your 160 grain SGKs will probably be fine, but I like a little tougher bullet for elk. I've had good luck with Speer Grand Slams, and will probably be using their 225 grainer in my 338x284.

    As for clothing, I LIKE/LOVE wool. I have a pair of military surplus wool pants that I bought from Cheaper Than Dirt or Sportsman Guide or one of those type mags that have served me well. If you can't find a pair in your size, match up the waist size, get pants that are longer than you need, and have them altered.

    Like Mike said, layering is the key.

    I like boots with Gore-Tex linings. They're worth every nickel you pay for them, in my opinion. It doesn't take a lot of trudging through 2-3 inches of snow to have your feet soaked if you don't have good waterproof footwear.

    I'd got for sunscreen that has no smell if you can.

    Walkie Talkies, as Mike mentioned, are great to carry.

    I also like to carry water purification tablets, just in case. A small first aid kit, and plenty of rope and string.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    So what do the elk think about coconut and aloe when you are up wind?:jester: What would you suggest for hunting suitable sunscreen?

    IMO, it doesn't really matter. If the wind takes an unfortunate shift on you (almost a certainty in the mountains, since the nooks and crannies tend to make the wind swirl regardless of it's prevalent direction), they're going to smell you, your boots, your clothes, your rifle, your gun-lube, your bullet lube, what you had for breakfast, what you had for dinner, your wifes perfume, and your favorite color. And it may not even bother them. Aside from seeing them from the highway, most of the elk I've seen were simply "walked up on". They don't, in my limited experience, seem to be generally as spooky regarding scent and noise as deer, especially whitetail. Like Scooter (a die-hard elk archery hunter) once told me...elk are big and herd animals. Background noise from the herd (and stragglers/challengers) is a constant with them.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • ken55ken55 Senior Member Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    And, while not a necessity, a really handy thing to carry is a two-way radio. Not for actual hunting (illegal here), but if you get an elk down, it may save you a bit of walking rounding up help for the pack-out.

    Mike

    Mike, can you expand on that a bit? I thought using a two-way for hunting is okay with CO DOW as long as the radios are not used in the violation of hunting regulations or other laws. Here's what I found in last year's Big Game brochure [page 7] "It is against the law to . . . 28. For two or more people to use electronic equipment on the ground, in a vehicle or vessel while violating any wildlife law or regulation."

    I thought that meant it was okay to coordinate with other licensed hunters in the field or to talk back and forth during the hunt as long as you're not breaking any of the other rules. Am I reading that wrong?
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,738 Senior Member
    Ken,

    I called the DOW last year and asked about this. Basically, they frown you one party radioing another to tell them about game that has been seen, or help in making a stalk.

    For things like calling contacting someone once you have something down to get some help, or if your lost, or have an emergency, it's ok.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • ken55ken55 Senior Member Posts: 782 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    Ken,

    I called the DOW last year and asked about this. Basically, they frown you one party radioing another to tell them about game that has been seen, or help in making a stalk.

    For things like calling contacting someone once you have something down to get some help, or if your lost, or have an emergency, it's ok.

    Thanks, Jerry - that's good to know!
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    I thought you were dealing in stocks for a minute there, talking about calling the DOW. But I guess it's the equivelent of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or TPWD.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,931 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    I thought you were dealing in stocks for a minute there, talking about calling the DOW. But I guess it's the equivelent of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or TPWD.


    D.O.W.
    Dept. Of Wildlife

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Yes, so I gathered.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement