This may be asking a lot guys, but seeing all those beautiful western opics, I am contemplating doing an elk hunt. Now the problem, I'm 50 years old and in only average shape (trying to work on this). I am looking to do a 10 day DIY hunt for elk this season, but I'm looking for an area that the hunt will not be a miserable experience due to the ruggedness of the country (but looking for the "wilderness experience" at the same time). I guess I am looking for an area of medium grade mountains and rolling hills for this flatlander to enjoy the west. For the veteran elk hunters, what states/areas would you recommend.
It is not a huge physical hunt. I wouldn't say rolling hills but not the giant climbs that I was used to in Southern Colorado. You have plenty of time. Use the search engine on here. There are tons of threads on fitness for elk hunting as well as gear lists, etc. Good luck and if I can be of any help PM me.
-------------------- Mike Davenport Posts: 2196 | From: Southern IL | Registered: Jan 2006
| IP: Logged |
Since you have missed most of the draws, you need to look to an otc state. CO, UT, and I believe OR. Then start doing your homework or hook up with someone who can show you around. To hunt here in UT it would be a spike/cow hunt. And the crowds can be big with a lot of atv's. But there are elk here. I can give you some jump off spots if you want to pm me.
-------------------- " Just concentrate and don't freak out next time" my son Tyler(age 7) giving advise after watching me miss a big mulie.
As I fellow flantlander, I am also planning an elk hunt for this fall. I've settled on CO due to the ability to drive there making the logistics easier. I'm trying to narrow down a GMU still though. I'm working on shaving off a few pounds and getting in shape and arriving there a day or two prior to my hunt starting to acclimate.
Posts: 952 | From: Gonzales, LA | Registered: Sep 2005
| IP: Logged |
Exactly our plan Wislin. Two days there to get used to the altitude then seven day hunting. We are looking at CO also because of over the counter tags and relatively low cost.
We are looking at mid to late September. If you are interested in joining let me know. The current plan is to camp at a campground near the White River NF (nearest where we plan to hunt, haven't decided yet) and either hunt from there or maybe do a spike camp for a few nights if we need to.
I hunted around Rifle where the migration routs cross and it was OK after I got the altitude worked out. I used a Ranching for Wildlife permit, yea, I was lucky...
Thats a good area I think... Its kind of rolling sage with some timber. Worked for me. I would love to go back but don't think I could do it now...
-------------------- Bruce A. Hering Program Coordinator/Instructor Shotgun Team Coach ACUI 2011 Div. I National Champions SCTP 2011 Collegiate Division National Champions Game Preserve/Shooting Complex Mg Southeastern Illinois College NSCA Level III Instructor Posts: 1842 | From: Illinois, Southernmost | Registered: Nov 2004
| IP: Logged |
if you want a real hunt in the wilderness you'll be climbing every day i can pretty much promise you that.its brutal,steep rugged country and mother nature does not give a hoot about how you fare in her woods..be prepared and you'll have a much more enjoyable experience.
-------------------- IT'S NEVER WRONG TO DO WHATS RIGHT AND NEVER RIGHT TO DO WHATS WRONG.....LOU HOLTZ Posts: 4009 | From: washington | Registered: Mar 2008
| IP: Logged |
Yea, I am in "training" right now. I have dropped 11 lbs and will start push cutting the yard with a loaded packpack while it's not so hot.
We have a different kind of wilderness and beauty in our neck of the woods here. But, I can't get the pictures of the mountains and colors of the trees from my mind. I have to do it before I'm too old. Plan on spike camping if we have to climb high. No use going down a perfectly good hill everyday. LOL
Best mild grade elk hunting in our state is the Missouri breaks in eastern MT. The problem is everyone else coming from other states likes it as well. Don't expect solitude. Also its more of a scrub country hunt. The plus side is the bulls are HUGE. I prefer the high country in southwestern MT. The aspens and pines are intoxicating. BUT... its a butt kicker and we hunt 8 miles in with llamas. Not exactly for flatlanders. Come on Sept!!!! PS MT is a draw state and the dealine is the 15th
Posts: 459 | From: Manhattan Montana | Registered: Nov 2008
| IP: Logged |
quote:Originally posted by awbowman: ...I'm 50 years old and in only average shape (trying to work on this). ...
Good for you to decide to come out here and hunt elk.
I am 52. You really do need to work hard at getting into great shape. I can tell you that it will take a lot longer and take more mental effort than when we were in our 30's or 40's. It will be no picnic.
My advice is to be careful not to over train while still pushing yourself hard. That means designing a training routine that really taxes you once a week with lighter workouts the rest of the week.
You must allow your 50 year old body to build back.
This is really important. I found out that I could not train anything like I did when younger until I had been at it for a long long time.
This does not mean you can sort of coast- you can't. You need to push yourself- just do it smart.
When you get out here you will thank yourself if you worked very hard at getting in shape. If you sort of let it slide a bit and let your mind convince you to dial back the training or you have done enough, you will cuss yourself every step every day because you will be sucking wind, weak legged and looking at country you really want to hunt, but can't.
-------------------- Learn, practice and pass on "leave no trace" ethics, no matter where you hunt. Posts: 1105 | From: colorado | Registered: May 2009
| IP: Logged |
im sure you know already but colorado dow website is an awesome tool for researching gmus. Use google earth and other mapping software (i have topousa) before you go to really get a feel for what the country looks like. Watch elknuts videos and learn what the elk are saying. My crew used to camp by the truck- once we switched to a full week of spike camping our elk sightings inceased exponentially AND we lost 90% percent of the competition- good luck and get in shape- the mountains can eat you up
-------------------- 50# BBOI by 4est Trekker 45# Osage by Longbowhntr 53# Mohawk Posts: 357 | From: wisconsin | Registered: Oct 2010
| IP: Logged |
Im 48, and am currently training for a full season backcountry hunt with my son. The area we are hunting is high, rugged and steep. Ive also hunted easier areas, but I can tell you regardless, the air at 7,000 ft, on up is a whole lot thinner, and dryer,than anywhere in LA.
Any weight you can drop is weight you dont have to carry around with you.
Get in the best shape you can before you go. You dont have to be a marathon runner, but the more you push yourself now, the more it will help.
do something every day. Walk, run, work your legs. A lot. squats, lunges, leg extensions, leg presses, etc. Overall conditioninig is good, but your legs and lungs are your hunt.
Start slow, work into it. But start now. I dont know if youre backpacking in, or hunting fromyour truck. But put at least a 25# daypack on, walk, climb stairs, bleachers whatever to work the legs. Walk a minute, run a mnute. do that daily for 20-30 minutes till you can walk 1 run 2. keep at it, keep turning it up. Dont run with a pack on, bad for your knees.
Do full body stretch routines after every workout, it will help a ton with muscle soreness, and make you mor flexible for rugged country. You think that day pack is heavy, wait till u haveto pack out an elk. Alone, plan on 4-5 trips, 100# each of meat,cape and rack if you shoot a bull. Its work.
My training consists of strict diet, and a variety of workouts. Check out stewsmith .com for some great workout programs. I lift, do calisthentics, run, and treadmill work with my 50# pack on. I mix it up every day, I never do the same routine twice.I work out 6 days a week. By August, that pack will have 80-90# in it, to get in shape for packing meat.
The more you put in to your hunt preparation, the better the hunt you will have. you may hike and glass for days until you find elk. You may not, but be ready.
There is no thrill to match the scream of a rutting bull elk coming in to your set up. If you get a shot and kill one, you've beaten odds of far more than 90% against you. Chasing the most majestic animal in North America with a stickbow, on your own is the best exerience you can get.
-------------------- ...stood alone on a montaintop, starin out at a great divide, I could go east, I could go West, it was all up to me to decide, just then I saw a young hawk flyin and my soul began to rise...... Posts: 1370 | From: North Branch, Michigan | Registered: Sep 2003
| IP: Logged |
jhg, thanks, all good points. I may have misspoke. The body is in shape (now), just don't have the lung capacity that I want yet, but it will come. I know those first couple of days at that altitude will be rough. But I can make it better. We may even get up there a couple of days early to acclimate our bodies.
AutumnArcher, you are absolutely correct. The truck will be the base camp and I plan to make spike camp to get away from others. I am in it for the experience, the kill will be a bonus. I have always loved the mountains ... I guess like some mountain people like the beauty of our marshes and swamps. We will be four in the group so hopefully we will have some meat to carry down the mountain. Either way I would rather match skills with the elk using a longbow and come up empty than kill him with a rifle, but that's just me. I have killed A LOT of things in my life and right now all I need to do is share the experience with friends in places we have never been.