Public land Elk hunting in Colorado

29 Nick BrewerWe asked our Facebook fans “When it comes to finding elk on public land, what is one tip that you would give to a new elk hunter?” Overall, the top 3 public land elk hunting tips were:

  1. Locate and hunt backcountry areas far from roads, trails and hunting pressure.
  2. Scout.
  3. Be patient, be persistent and be willing to work for it.
  • Scout before the hunt. #1 rule!
  • Non-motorized access!
  • Get away from the roads
  • Study as much about elk and the area your hunting
  • Research, research, research.
  • Get as far from the roads as possible!
  • Glass, glass then glass some more
  • Your feet will hurt.
  • Yep...public lands with no roads. Big game need big country.
  • Wait.
  • Get as far as you can from the road in the dark for first light. They're down at night and at the top in the day of hills that is.
  • Go deep
  • Scout, scout, scout.
  • When they are bugling drive around at night and listen. Go back next morning where you heard them the night before.
  • Make it your second job.
  • Look for the spot you would least like to pack an elk out of and hunt it.
  • Look for elk sign like this (see picture).
  • If the elk aren't there, move!!
  • Canyons!!
  • Walk, walk and walk some more.
  • Scout every chance you get.
  • 20 feet from your truck, you are hunting, pay attention. You may be miles from camp, but it pays to call and listen on your way in.
  • Go as often as you can.
  • Cover a lot of ground, till you find good sign
  • Start scouting now, and don't stop. So that in Sept. you know every draw and wallow.
  • Road hunt! There are no elk beyond 1/4-mile of the road!
  • Don't overlook any spots cause they ate too close to the road.
  • Go where no else does, because a lot of people hunt general areas.
  • Hunt the late season...and hope for snow...deep snow!
  • Get the heck away from the roads!
  • Do your homework. Scout as often as possible. Pull up topo’s and use Google Earth of the area you're hunting. Get off the beaten path. Prepare to go steep and deep. Be in good shape. Always remember a successful trip is a safe trip! Have fun enjoy God's green earth!
  • Boots on ground all summer long!
  • Put on some miles! And hunt the rut if possible...
  • Get out and walk. Farther from roads is usually better. But then again the only bull elk I bumped into this archery season was on a shelf 200 yards off a trail and I could hear 4 wheelers we were so close to a road when I bumped him and it happened to be his bedroom with rubs and beds all over. So they are unpredictable with where you will find them.
  • Hunt from the moment you get out of the truck. This season was a great example for me. Although a campground was 1500ft away and a road not much further I found a lot of sign, fresh rubs and heard elk nearby. Be ready from the start. Also start high and work into benches. Put in the miles and find sign. If they aren't there, they aren't there. Don't be afraid to move and find another area. You never know when you will cross their path and be in them. Especially if you’re in a general season area and other hunters have them on the move or pushed into deep canyon benches.
  • Not there, find some private land...
  • Get off the roads.
  • Buy a beef.
  • Start high – 8, 000 feet or higher.
  • When you hear them.move in their direction...don't wait and hope that they walk by your location...
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