ElkNut Forum • Elk Hunting Forum • Elk Hunting Tips <!--{cke_protected}%3C!%2D%2D%20IF%20S_IN_MCP%20%2D%2D%3E-->Moderator Control Panel • <!--{cke_protected}%3C!%2D%2D%20ELSEIF%20S_IN_UCP%20%2D%2D%3E-->{ UCP } • <!--{cke_protected}%3C!%2D%2D%20ENDIF%20%2D%2D%3E-->
 

ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby Gander29 » 02 05, 2013 •  [Post 1]

Hey guys! 1st post on here. Like mentioned, we are rookie elk hunters and heading to CO this fall during rifle season in the Flattops Wilderness doing a drop camp hunt with Kip Gates of River's Bend Outfitters. Hoping to draw a 1st season tag but if not, we'll be heading out during 2nd season. Expecting the elk to be in the dark timber from pressure of archery/muzzleloader seasons. Any tips or experience in the area? Supposed to be going to a camp around 11k ft.
Gander29
Rank: New User
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 05, 2013
First Name: tommy
Last Name: maggard

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby Da White Shoe » 02 05, 2013 •  [Post 2]

I bowhunted in 24 wilderness from 1994 thru 1997 back when it was OTC. I doubt I would be of any help... 24 is a huge area and the archery season will not have anything to do with the rifle season in there. One thing I can tell you... the muzzleloaders were walking a long ways in, where we were. So in rifle season, five miles won't get you out of the pressure coming from the roads if they can walk in flat and not have to climb to get in to you.

One thing that has changed though is it's a limited draw area now. You probably won't have that problem. Good luck!
Da White Shoe
Rank: Spike
 
Posts: 100
Joined: 07 08, 2012
Location: Black Hills, SD
First Name: zane

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby >>>---WW----> » 02 05, 2013 •  [Post 3]

wEKLome to the Elknut forums. I've never heard of that outfitter. But there are tons of outfits now days and unit 24 is fairly large. Camp is at 11K elevation? WOW! That is timberline in this part of the state. You're not going to find much dark timber up there unless you hunt downhill. But good luck and have a great time. I'm sure you will.
>>>---WW---->
Rank: An Elk Nut
 
Posts: 1384
Joined: 05 27, 2012

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby cnelk » 02 05, 2013 •  [Post 4]

Howdy~
The GMU 24 1st Rifle Season Either-Sex [Hunt Code EE011o1R] tag takes 1 PP to be sure to draw the tag.
The stats show its about a 50/50 chance with 0 PPs.

The cow tags are undersubscribed. Meaning there are leftovers.

I would recommend applying for the E/S tag as your first choice and cow tag [Hunt Code EF011o1R] as your 2nd choice for the 1st Rifle season.
Do not apply as a group.

This way EVERYONE will at least draw a cow tag or each of you have a 50/50 chance to draw the E/S tag.

Doing it this way you will know you WILL be hunting the 1st Rifle Season

Good luck
User avatar
cnelk
Elk Hunting - Basic Tactics
 
Posts: 2170
Joined: 06 30, 2012
Location: N. Colorado
First Name: Brad
Last Name: K

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby Gander29 » 02 06, 2013 •  [Post 5]

Thanks for the replies guys. We need all the info we can get. Coming from southeastern KY, we're wanting a chance at a bull naturally. Not expecting massive 6x6 either, basically hoping for legal bulls but we are also wanting cow tags just in case. Would prefer to not go home completely empty handed but realize thats a good possibility. Like I said earlier, hoping for 1st rifle season but if not, then outfitter says we could go during 2nd season and be able to buy bull tags OTC. We see elk here at home, but takes an act of congress to get drawn or knowing the right people, a lot of drama surrounding KY draw system. Still not like going to Rocky Mtns and chasing the elk. As far as the camp goes, I asked for his highest or furthest camp to try and get away from the rest of the hunters, as much as possible. If I'm not mistaken he said our camp was going to be right at 11k', 15 mile ride on horse/mule string. Hoping that gamble will pay off and not see too many hunters and hope they push the elk to us. Any more tips or ideas appreciated.
Gander29
Rank: New User
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 05, 2013
First Name: tommy
Last Name: maggard

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby cnelk » 02 06, 2013 •  [Post 6]

How long of a hunt are you looking to book?

Since 1st season is a 5 day season and the 2nd season is a 9 day season,
You have to decide That part too.

And as always, weather can play a major role. ESPECIALLY at 11,000 ft

I personally don't like to hunt that high - during any season, just for the weather factor
User avatar
cnelk
Elk Hunting - Basic Tactics
 
Posts: 2170
Joined: 06 30, 2012
Location: N. Colorado
First Name: Brad
Last Name: K

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby Gander29 » 02 06, 2013 •  [Post 7]

We're limited to 5 days regardless due to vacation time from work, travel time and going up the mountain 2 days early to acclimate and scout. some guys from our area go out there on a regular basis but hunt private land and spend more $$$. not sure about the elevation either but hoping it works out. We hunt alot of wildlife management areas in KY on quota hunts and always do better getting away from the crowds and roads where most hunters are at. Kind of expecting to look for shady dark timber, not expecting elk to be in open areas except for maybe first and last light. I was told last year, that during 1st season elk were around 10-10.5k' but hunting pressure at beginning of 2nd season pushed them back up the mountain to 11k and higher. Not sure how accurate that info is but hoping to at least see some elk either way regardless. Not wanting alot of weather but some to get the elk moving during the day. Hoping it's not hot and keeping elk almost nocturnal and bedded in timber during the day. We may end up at a lower camp but so far that is where we are supposed to be according to the outfitter. He did give us the option to choose a different camp but have to do that after license drawing and we know for sure which season we'll be hunting. I guess hoping for cool weather with maybe a FEW inches of snow is wishful thinking at that elevation! My luck will be more like 10-12" making everything difficult. :shock:
Gander29
Rank: New User
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 05, 2013
First Name: tommy
Last Name: maggard

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby buglmin » 02 06, 2013 •  [Post 8]

You dont need the snow to push elk down out of the high country. At times, if the feed isnt good, elk migrate down. And like here, if the animals sense a big storm coming in, they move out of the high country fast.
One question I gotta know? How did the guys last year in that camp at 11,000 feet do? If you draw the first gun season, the bulls will still be bugling, and in the high country, the shots could be long across the canyons. Remember that once elk up high have been pressured, they head down into the trees at first light. And if you spook them out of their bedding area, you might never see them again.
buglmin
Rank: Satellite Bull
 
Posts: 391
Joined: 06 12, 2012

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby Gander29 » 02 06, 2013 •  [Post 9]

If I remember right, the guys last season went 3 for 5, not 100% certain though. Like the title says, we're rookies! May have made the wrong choice but guessing elk hunting is like most other hunting, meaning there are alot of variables and some just plain luck or blessings. We may not end up in the high camp as we started with 6 guys and 2 have backed out, so we're down to 4. Who knows, but we're just excited to be able to go on a trip like this. Kind of the trip of a lifetime for blue collar working guys from the hills of KY, regardless if we come back with any elk or not.
Gander29
Rank: New User
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 05, 2013
First Name: tommy
Last Name: maggard

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby bnsafe » 02 06, 2013 •  [Post 10]

i hunted for the first time out here last year, not the flattops, but colorado. you dont need to pay the outfitter bucks to hunt. there are plenty of areas you can pack into yourself and see elk. figure out if your gonna be happy hearing a bugle or if you need to kill something to have a successful trip. we didnt kill one but heard bugles and saw elk, it was awesome. i loved it. im sure a drop camp would be awesome and it should get you to a place other hunters cant hike in to. if not i would just diy. now if they come pack you elk out spend whatever it takes. good luck and have fun, it really is a blast, i laid there in my sleeping bag the first nite and listened to bugles. it was a bucketlist dream fulfilled.
bnsafe
Rank: An Elk Nut
 
Posts: 1283
Joined: 06 16, 2012
Location: Windsor CO
First Name: Scott

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby cnelk » 02 07, 2013 •  [Post 11]

The below pic was taken in 1997, 1st Rifle Season, Day 2
This was my base camp at 10,500ft and had a spike camp up near the continental Divide at 11,500
Ran into a hunter up on top and he mentioned a big storm was on its way.
Hunted opening morning, then storm came in really fast and I barely make it back to base camp.
Obviously the elk holed up for a couple days but by then, the season was about over.
It wasnt near as bad at 9000ft

It was the last time I camped and hunted at that elevation.

Image
User avatar
cnelk
Elk Hunting - Basic Tactics
 
Posts: 2170
Joined: 06 30, 2012
Location: N. Colorado
First Name: Brad
Last Name: K

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby Gander29 » 02 07, 2013 •  [Post 12]

Reminds me of my days with the Corps in Norway!!! Don't care to ever be in that much snow and -20 temps again :shock:
Gander29
Rank: New User
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 05, 2013
First Name: tommy
Last Name: maggard

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby mudhole » 02 07, 2013 •  [Post 13]

I have hunted that area 2 times. In 1991 archery hunt weather was perfect. All four hunters were into elk (three misses). In 1995 1st rifle we had a similar experience as cnelk. Rode in on horseback on a Friday and camped just west of Shingle Peak. It was 60 degrees at noon and not a cloud in the sky. Two days later it was 10 degrees and we had a foot of snow. Everyone saw elk and we had one kill. Howling winds and the coldest I have ever been. Outfitter packed us out 2 days early because more weather was on the way. Back then the elk were north and east of our camp.
mudhole
Rank: New User
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 06 22, 2012

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby >>>---WW----> » 02 07, 2013 •  [Post 14]

Gander, I send you a PM. Be sure to check it out.
>>>---WW---->
Rank: An Elk Nut
 
Posts: 1384
Joined: 05 27, 2012

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby cnelk » 02 07, 2013 •  [Post 15]

Gander
I also sent you an PM
User avatar
cnelk
Elk Hunting - Basic Tactics
 
Posts: 2170
Joined: 06 30, 2012
Location: N. Colorado
First Name: Brad
Last Name: K

Re: ROOKIE in Flattops CO GMU 24

Postby wallace18 » 10 09, 2013 •  [Post 16]

I hunted with Kip Gates a few years ago on a drop camp hunt. We killed 2 bulls and saw quite a few more. We hunted the 2nd rifle season. They guys that we were replacing in that particular camp killed a cow the 1st season. We went in by the Ute lodge trail but to the left. His nephew Casey was there for the pack in and pack out also. All the elk were high. We actually shot 1bull rite from camp, straight across the mtn. They will probably check with u mid week and that's all till its time to pack out.
wallace18
Rank: New User
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 09, 2013
First Name: Ray
Last Name: Wallace


cron