Planning to go ahead with Hunting Elk in Colorado?
Well. That’s good choice.
Read this great article to know more details about hunting elk in colorado.
Guide about Hunting Elk in Colorado
Hunting elk in Colorado can be an invigorating experience, but you should take special care to observe the proper hunting laws and regulations and to have adequate safety gear on hand before embarking on your expedition.
If you’re new to the sport, don’t worry—this brief guide on how to hunt elk in Colorado will ensure that you stay safe and enjoy the experience from start to finish.
If you want to learn more about the process, continue reading!
How much does it cost to hunt elk in Colorado?
Before you start booking flights to Colorado and lining up friends as your hunting party, there are a few things you should know.
Costs can vary wildly depending on where exactly you’re headed, but for starters, be prepared to pay about $4,000 for your elk tag; that includes scouting and meat processing fees.
This doesn’t include your flight or meals (you may need a hunting buddy to share those costs), so expect to spend around $5,000 total.
If you’re just looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience instead of an endless source of ground meat (which is just fine!), book yourself on an outfitter-guided trip through Western Sports Outfitters or Timberline Outfitters.
Where is the best elk hunting in Colorado?
Colorado’s elk hunting can be divided into two main regions: North and South.
The main difference between these areas is that North has more elk, especially in unit 1 and unit 201, a higher success rate and higher overall game populations.
South hosts a variety of different species of big game, including white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, and mule deer.
How much does an elk tag cost in Colorado?
With elk hunting permits starting at $500, you can rest assured that hunting elk is an expensive hobby.
However, it’s important to remember that costs vary widely depending on whether you purchase a standard license or apply for a special opportunity tag.
Hunters who draw O or X tags will find these licenses are significantly more expensive than their normal counterparts.
Additionally, tags for female and junior hunters cost less than those for male hunters over 21 years old.
How do I get an elk tag in Colorado?
The first step to hunting elk in Colorado is obtaining a tag. Before you even go after an elk, be sure you’re on a list for either an antlerless or bull tag.
Tags are distributed by region; check with your local wildlife office for information about how and when to apply.
Remember, these tags are competitive and limited so make sure to put in your application early! If you’re unsuccessful at first, try again next year.
You can call on the local wildlife office number if it will work.
The second step is getting yourself a guide: Guides are highly recommended if you don’t have much experience hunting big game because they’ll know where (and when) to find elk and offer support along the way.
This part is particularly important if it’s your first time out.
How hard is the Elk hunting in Colorado?
There’s a widely held perception that elk hunting is easy in Colorado.
If you ask most people who live there, they’ll tell you that hunting is hard. The truth is both are true, depending on where you are and what time of year it is.
Statewide, there aren’t many elk hunters, and those who do hunt aren’t very successful at finding game.
In fact, you have better odds at playing Powerball than finding an elk while hunting with a rifle during the general season.
That said—if you know where to look and when to go—the difficulty level can be reduced significantly.
How do I attract elk to my property in Colorado?
If you are looking to attract elk to your property, there are a few things you can do.
There are many options and factors that go into attracting elk.
Some of these items include; food, water, shelter, and other animals such as other predators.
Since you aren’t sure exactly where you will be hunting for elk in Colorado, take a look at some resources on how to draw the game before making any permanent decisions on how to set up your property.
If you are open to planting trees and shrubs during an off-season (usually November through February), consider mesquite trees or ash trees which attract both deer and elk while providing cover from harsh winds and shade from the sun.
What is the best time to hunt elk in Colorado?
The best time to hunt elk is the early season of summer and winters.
you’re just interested in elk meat, hunting in June and early July is ideal because that’s when mature bulls have their antlers at full growth but haven’t yet shed them for mating season.
If you want to add a trophy mount to your home, May and late October through December are your best bets because antlers are fully grown but not shedding as fast.
And if you like the adrenaline-pumping thrill of being hunted, mid-August through September might be perfect—that’s when young bulls with fresh horns make an appearance.
What do I need to hunt elk in Colorado?
From bow and arrow to rifles, there are several different ways to hunt elk in Colorado.
When hunting these giant game animals, it’s important to choose a weapon that’s suitable for your experience level.
While elk can be hunted with just about any firearm, most hunters opt for a caliber between .30-06 and .300 Winchester Magnum.
Bowhunters usually prefer recurve or compound bows with draw weights between 50-70 pounds.
What should I know before heading out on my first hunting trip?
If you are planning on bow hunting elk, plan your trip around their rut season—usually mid-September to late October—and try to get an archery tag if possible.
What county in Colorado has the most elk?
Some of Colorado’s most popular elk hunting destinations are Moffat, Routt, and Jackson counties.
The top 10 counties with more than 5,000 antlered bull elk include: Routt (14,400), Ouray (10,200), San Juan (9,400), Hinsdale (7,300), Montezuma (7,200), Chaffee (6,600), Jackson (6,500), Rio Blanco (5,900) and Clear Creek (5,800).
Game management units that fall within these county boundaries have more public access for hunters to pursue these animals.
The number can vary from time to time.
What altitude do you find elk?
According to some elk hunters, elk can be found at altitudes ranging from 7000 feet or more than this. However, they’re most common between 8000 and 10,000 feet.
The problem with high altitudes is that it often takes a lot of effort to access them – there may be snow or ice cover during certain parts of the year and getting into higher altitude means more climbing.
One way around that is to hunt for high-country elk over bait.
Can you carry a pistol while elk hunting in Colorado?
Firearms are allowed for elk hunting, but only centerfire handguns with a minimum caliber of .44 Magnum are permitted.
While elk tags can be purchased for specific areas and seasons, you must get a free permit from CDOW to hunt elk.
Keep in mind that permits are limited and require that you show that you’re capable of making a clean kill.
You will also need to post your name at check-in stations at least two hours before legal shooting time; these stations are not available every day, so plan ahead.
Hunters are responsible for bagging their own animals and should have their local wildlife office’s phone number handy (available online) should they encounter problems on the mountain.
Can you hunt on your own land without a license in Colorado?
You can hunt or trap on your own land without a license.
However, you must comply with all requirements of a tag (e.g., hunter orange, firearms safety).
If a fee is paid for taking big game (mule deer, elk) or upland game birds (grouse, quail), these animals may be possessed and transported by a resident without an additional license.
You may not sell any animal taken under these provisions.
But most of the time many people who are going to hunt elk in Colorado to have a hunting license so, there will be no issue while hunting elk.
How do Colorado elk draw work?
In Colorado, it’s a weighted lottery.
The more preference points you have (based on your hunter’s education and number of licenses purchased) and tags you draw, the better your odds of drawing an elk tag.
You can earn up to five preference points by completing hunter education courses or purchasing a combo license, both of which cost $35.
For general information about how to apply for an elk tag, see our Getting Started section below or visit CPW’s website. You can find detailed rules and regulations here.
How do you hunt elk during the day?
Elk, like most game animals, are very active during daylight hours. The best time to spot elk is early morning and late afternoon.
You’ll want to set up a watchpoint;
it doesn’t need to be elaborate as long as you have a clear vantage point from which you can view nearby paths, trails, fields and similar features where elk may cross or appear.
It is important that your hunting partner has their firearm ready and on safe so they don’t accidently shoot you or another hunter.
Do you need camo for elk hunting?
Camo is a popular choice for elk hunters because it makes you blend into your surroundings.
However, if you’re a beginner and are looking to save money, camo might not be a necessity for elk hunting in Colorado.
Instead of spending more on camo, consider investing that money on other gear like climbing sticks or tree stands (if tree stands aren’t allowed where you are).
It’s also important to remember that elk have excellent eyesight—they can spot movement from miles away—so standing out against your background isn’t necessarily going to make them disappear; they will still be able to see you clearly.
But if you want an affordable way to keep warm and feel less vulnerable, there are plenty of affordable outfits available online.
Do you have to wear orange on private property in Colorado?
While hunting regulations vary by state, there are a few general guidelines. Typically, you have to wear orange in areas with no private landowner permission or during special seasons on private land.
What that translates to, specifically, will depend on your location and when you’re hunting.
If you’re not sure if orange is required while hunting elk in Colorado, check with your wildlife department before heading out.
For help finding your state’s wildlife department click here.
Are elk decoys legal in Colorado?
In most parts of Colorado, decoys and attractants (like doe-in-heat scents) are not legal during a hunting season.
Decoys and scents can lead to unethical, unfair hunting practices as well as added confusion for animals that need to be tracked by scent.
For example, when hunters use decoys they may remain undetected while their elk is fooled into believing another animal is present (the decoy).
As you know all too well, sneaking up on an animal without it noticing is vital to getting a clean shot—elk are no different.
If you see someone using a distracting device or product in your area—report them! Violators could face fines up to $1,000 or even jail time depending on local regulations.
How do you start Elk Hunting in Colorado?
If you’re new to elk hunting, it’s important to do some research before heading out.
The Rocky Mountains can be a bit intimidating—and that’s part of their beauty.
Before your first trip, consider learning about local geology and wildlife, reading maps to familiarize yourself with terrain, and researching what gear you might need on a hunt.
Pay attention to local regulations and follow all safety guidelines when planning a trip into bear country.
It’s also important to note that elk aren’t exactly easy to spot—so plan for long days and longer nights if you want any chance of success!
Where is the best elk hunting in Colorado on public land?
An extremely common question amongst elk hunters.
This isn’t always an easy question to answer, since it depends on a variety of factors including what your definition of best is.
In our opinion, elk hunting public land in Colorado is great and while there are many areas that are consistently productive, you can never truly predict where elk will turn up when and you never know how a specific unit or area might change from year to year.
However, we’ve been fortunate enough to hunt most of central and southwest colorado extensively so we do have some knowledge about elk hunting there.
But you can visit Routt National Forest in colorado where you will find big elk and are in large in number.
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Final Note about Hunting Elk in Colorado
If you are an experienced hunter, hunting elk is a lot of fun.
If you are going to be hunting elk for the first time, it’s important that you bring along someone who has the experience, as well as all of your essential equipment.
Be sure to always remember to check and double-check before heading out on your trip that everything is with you.
Always know where you are going and check maps prior to getting lost in unfamiliar territory.
Have fun when hunting elk and never forget about safety!