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Joined: Feb 2003
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Campfire Outfitter
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I spent the last week scouting a couple Gunnison units. I found bulls in 2 places - way up high in the rocks and up high in the scrub oak. I ran into elk in the black timber on 2 occassions. I talked to numerous guys and saw exactly 1 dead Elk and heard of 1 other - and there was ALOT of guys out.

The thing that struck me with the 'largest aspen grove in NA' is the amount of food in the aspens. Right now, you could feed 10,000 per acre or so it seems. Plus I found alot of water. The limiting factor to my way of thinking was security cover. Conifers were up high and alot of them had elk sign from small groups of elk.

This is new area for me. I'll be out here 2nd or 3rd rifle with all 100,000 of my friends. My goal is pretty simple: any legal bull.

I say all this because I've never hunted an area with so many aspens and feed. My strategy going in is to hunt the black timber and timber-aspen edges 1+ mile from any trail or road. I'll likely focus on timbered finger ridges leading up to the rocks. These would seem like bedding areas if they are feeding in the aspens.

Any advice on hunting raghorns in giant aspen groves? PM if your comfortable doing so.

Thanks.


Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.
GB1

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And I have a new found hatred for sheep and cattle. I ran into both 5+ miles from the road/trailhead. 3 days in a row I hiked into the top end of basins to either find sheep, destroyed by sheep, or cattle still there. And little/no elk sign. Not used to that either up so high.


Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.
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Cattle are also eating the plants and berries the Ruffed grouse feed on!


When the tailgate drops the BS stops.
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It's a shame the destruction livestock does to habitat for the small $$ lease payment.

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All the elk, bulls and cows, I have shot in the Gunnison area (54) have been up in the rocks, 11,000-12,500 feet. Probably a dozen or so. Elk will seek safety in thick conifers before the aspen, but will feed in the aspen.

I'd be in country as this at first light or before.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

2nd season,most likely snow, 3rd, definitely. I usually had to sit out 3 days or more because of snow,and bunch of it, some of it will prohibit access.

Elk definitely don't like sheep but have no problem mingling with cattle.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Look to see 500 + head with the cattle on the Caselton ranch on Ohio creek even before 2nd season. Unless this season,the Lowline fire moved them.


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
IC B2

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I've hunted 54 not far from that ranch and have seen those elk.

I was in alot of area just like that and found elk. I'm not sure if they will be up that high in 2nd /3rd season, esp if snow comes.

Thanks for the thoughts.


Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.
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Most of the elk I have killed were in 2nd season, but there was snow on a at least 50% of the hunts. Definitely snow on third. If hey are pushed out because of deep snow,they will most likely be on private lands in the valley or they will still be high,but you won't be able to get to them.


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
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Campfire Kahuna
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Our regular elk seasons are over by the end of Oct. Even at that, probably 1/3 of my elk have been shot in at least a little snow. The last 3 years we've been getting cow tags for a November hunt that's way lower, under 4000'. Two of those years were fairly cold with only a slight bit of snow in patches. 2 years ago, though, was a warm one. We got our elk on Nov 30 while wearing short sleeves shirts. It was freezing at night but warming up in the mid-70's by afternoon. We got lucky as most of the elk hadn't moved down yet. There wasn't enough snow to move them until after Christmas.


β€œIn a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
― George Orwell

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Damn climate change! It's even affecting elk hunting.


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