Best Advice for First Time OTC Colorado

bkusna15

FNG
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Messages
17
In between jobs I have about 2 weeks this September and looking to do an OTC Archery trip in Colorado. This will be my first elk trip and first time hunting Colorado. If time permits I plan to scout before the season, but that is unknown at this time.

Besides finding water source big or small what other suggestions do you have for first timer?

I plan to do a solo trip with a 5-7 day pack.
 

Jxferg7

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
215
Deeper is not better, elk are where they are. If you’re confident with your physical preparedness best prepare your mentality. Solo backcountry is very difficult. Just keep trucking. Be prepared to be deep and miles from the nearest trail and come across Hunter after Hunter after Hunter. I’ve been 8 miles from my truck and 3 miles from the nearest trail and had dudes camp so close to me I could spit on their tent…not joking!
 
OP
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bkusna15

FNG
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Messages
17
Deeper is not better, elk are where they are. If you’re confident with your physical preparedness best prepare your mentality. Solo backcountry is very difficult. Just keep trucking. Be prepared to be deep and miles from the nearest trail and come across Hunter after Hunter after Hunter. I’ve been 8 miles from my truck and 3 miles from the nearest trail and had dudes camp so close to me I could spit on their tent…not joking!
That is slightly discouraging but thanks for the reply. I would prefer not to see anyone even if that means less chance of taking a big bull, but seems like no matter where in Colorado you will run into people.

Have you hunted 3rd rifle season? This might be another option for me.
 

Ludo

FNG
Joined
Mar 12, 2023
Messages
52
Scouting might help, but it won’t tell you where the other hunters will be. You can make a solid plan and then have to throw it out the window on opening day after seeing how crowded it is. I think you’ll just need to go, and gather as much info for the next year. You should go into it expecting the first year to be a wash.. consider it a recon mission for the following years.
 

Binz17

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
135
Watch the wind and thermals. Move, move, move and do it at a faster pace than you do back home. The country blew my mind the first time, it's just so big you literally can go for days in any direction you want. I moved too slow because thats what I did back east. No worries about hunting small parcels like back east, you just go hike. Get onX.
 

Northpark

WKR
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
1,139
Best advice I can give is move in on any elk you see quickly. Kill before your 1000 other friends catch up. I quit elk hunting otc in Colorado because it’s so competitive that it’s not actually hunting. You’re just trying to beat the other hunters. Move quickly , cover miles, be aggressive. This isn’t hunting eastern whitetails on 80 acres. Enjoy the mountains and if you connect don’t tell anyone where you got it.
 

RocketRob16

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 9, 2023
Messages
102
Be prepared to dive off in a hell hole. I’ve found elk before off the side of the road in places where no one else wanted to go.
 
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bkusna15

FNG
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Messages
17
Best advice I can give is move in on any elk you see quickly. Kill before your 1000 other friends catch up. I quit elk hunting otc in Colorado because it’s so competitive that it’s not actually hunting. You’re just trying to beat the other hunters. Move quickly , cover miles, be aggressive. This isn’t hunting eastern whitetails on 80 acres. Enjoy the mountains and if you connect don’t tell anyone where you got it.
Sounds like chasing the fishing bite on the east coast. Appreciate the advice
 
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bkusna15

FNG
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Messages
17
Watch the wind and thermals. Move, move, move and do it at a faster pace than you do back home. The country blew my mind the first time, it's just so big you literally can go for days in any direction you want. I moved too slow because thats what I did back east. No worries about hunting small parcels like back east, you just go hike. Get onX.
Thanks, I have onX. I hunted last year in CA for mule deer. First time experience elevation and walking in search for life.

Do you deal with a lot of thick brush or is it more open forest?
 

Hnthrdr

WKR
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
2,795
Location
The West
Thanks, I have onX. I hunted last year in CA for mule deer. First time experience elevation and walking in search for life.

Do you deal with a lot of thick brush or is it more open forest?
Man could be open hillsides or the nastiest dark timber/deadfall or 12ft oak brush or open sage, or willows, or P&J all depends where you hunt. Kind of problematic general questions that have 25 other threads about them, maybe look in those. P.S. if you are game backpacking during 3rd rifle will probably have you around less people… also packing in during 3rd rifle can be dangerous if you have never winter camped at elevation/ are I’ll equipped and weather is less forgiving than September
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
1,968
Location
Colorado
First time solo without scouting I would reconsider the backpacking idea - at least at first. Two weeks is a long time so you could take a few days to figure things out. You may find that backpacking in isn't necessary.
 

hiker270

WKR
Joined
Nov 5, 2022
Messages
446
As a first timer I'd reconsider going by myself. If luck shines down on you and you did kill and elk without any help and no experience you will have one tough job on your hands.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
1,680
Be physically prepared to walk 7-10 miles a day. I would not plan on backpacking that long or at all. You need to be extremely flexible in OTC units in case you encounter other hunters or can’t find elk.

Do a bunch of one day loops, or if you really want the backpacking experience, you can pack for 5-7 days but move areas if you don’t see anything by evening of day 2.
 

Raghornkiller

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
149
Location
Indiana
I think hunting a new area each day is more effective than backpacking in somewhere.Walking in 3-5 miles on a trail every morning before daylight isn't bad and you can always do an 2-3 day trip if you find a good spot.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
1,680
To the OP, I’m still looking for suggestions after hunting Colorado OTC for over 30 years
I’d be glad to trade suggestions with you any day. It wouldn’t be a fair traid for you, but I’m ready whenever you are.
 
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