Two weeks from today, Dustin and I will be wandering around the mountains searching for elk. Yes, the hunting bug finally hit him, and he wants to go see what we can see. This being his first year as an “elk hunter” we aren’t expecting to down a big bull. However, if somehow the stars align and we do…it sure will be a treat hauling all that meat out of the backcountry. Egads!
Dustin is a great whitetail hunter. Back home, much of year was spent preparing for deer season. He’d get out his bow and staring shooting in the summer, cameras stayed out most of the year, stands were hung months prior, and shooting lanes were carved when the time fit. With elk hunting, the whole game changes. The stands no longer optima. Elk don’t seem to have any sort of movement pattern – nothing predictable or routine with these massive ungulates. The cameras, much the same situation, not a whole lot of insight can be garnered from them. This new style of hunting requires some schooling…so the last few days I have been studying at Elk University.
CDOW provides outdoor enthusiasts with all kinds of information. Their website is easy to navigate, and the people in the Fort Collins office are friendly and knowledgeable. With their insight, we were able to identify the most common range for elk during the season we picked. Not only are the workers at CDOW extremely helpful, the website provides a lot of tools to increase your chances. The department put together a series of learning modules and dubbed it Elk University. For us noobs, it has been extremely informative.
I have no idea how this adventure will turn out. Unfortunately we don’t have elk beating down our door, like this guy in the above pic. We’re going where the elk still act like wild animals. Who knows where they will be. Winter is settling in in the high country, and all the miles we might have to hike could really play havoc on us. We’re selecting our gear wisely and will have our SPOT. No matter what, I think this will be an experience we won’t soon forget.