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"Mastering the Art of Archery for Colorado Elk Hunting: 5 Expert Tips"

Hunting big game with a compound bow
Archery Elk Hunt

Archery in the Mountains of Southwest Colorado is no joke. Terrain, Weather, Hunt Pressure, Rut, and so many more factors will effect your hunt. Going in prepared will help you navigate the uncontrollable conditions, and help guide you to success.

  1. Scouting- Whether you are going a DIY, Drop Camp, or Fully Guided make sure you know the area you plan on hitting. If booking with a guide service check references, and camp area, what they provide, and what their rules are for camp. Many Hunters book a year or more out, this gives you a good opportunity to go out and do a summer scouting trip. Some outfitters will do a summer preview so you can get a real life view of the terrain and hunting area. Also, download your maps on either you GPS or Phone App you will be using. Know were water sources are and note really rough thick terrain.

  2. What to Bring- The beauty of drop camps and fully guided services are that you don't have to worry about the little things. Cookware, food, and water are usually always handled by the guide service. But getting a gear list from the outfit does make your packing duties much easier. Don't Over pack, but bring layers (Archery in Southern Colorado can be 10-30* at night and 60-70* during the day), broke in boots, water bladders, and easy simple snacks for on the go. Don't forget a Range finder, wind tester, binoculars, and in our camps Garmin Inreaches are highly recommended. Always do some test runs with your gear, hike prior to your hunt with the pack/bow/boots you plan to use. Then if you need adjustments you have time to switch out gear. One thing to over pack is SOCKS, bring extra well fitting socks, that are breathable and will wick moisture away from the feet.

  3. Prepping for the Shot- Draw Poundage is always a personal preference, but remember your shots maybe a bit longer than you are used to, we would recommend at least 50 draw weight. But don't get caught up in too heavy of a Draw weight. Often heavy draws, affect the arrow penetration and the hunters ability hold the bow steady. We also recommend that you be ready to also take shots from all angles. Steep uphill, and downhill shots, shots from the kneeling position, high wind, dusk, be ready for anything. One shot I had to set up for was on a 50ft cliff, with full gear on, straight down. This is not a mid west deer stand hunt, be ready. Also learn the art of thermal tracking, when the sun hits the mountains your wind will shift up, and reverse once the sun starts to set, live by this rule and pick your hunting area appropriately

  4. Beware of "New Gear"- We all get excited to grab new gear for the trip of a lifetime. But make sure you break it in. Nothing is worst than getting 7 miles in and realizing your boots created a blister, or are not warm enough or are too warm. Your new pants are too loud, or your tent is not big enough. Try it on, put boots on the ground and make sure you are comfortable.

  5. Practice your Elk Calls, Elk calling is an art that won't be learned overnight. Don't try and practice while in your camp or while sitting. Practice, Practice, Practice!!! The elk will pick up on beginners really quick! Study you tube, try different calls, find the one that works the best for you. Also be ready to get physical, Work on your cardio and your recovery after cardio to improve your VO2 Max. If you are coming out west from a low altitude this will help you avoid altitude sickness, and enjoy your hunt more.

And above all have fun, this is a HARD Hunt, elk are extremely sensitive and can pick up on the slightest change in the environment. Go in prepared, and take everything in, your experience is just as important as your success.

layers help you be ready for a successful hunt
Be Ready with the right gear

Know your shot with Archery tips
Enjoy a Hunt of a lifetime with Compound Bow

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