I am new to the forum but i am already really impressed with the all information here! My Brother and I are planning a DIY Elk hunt in Colorado for next fall (2014). I have been doing lots of research on the DOW website which is really great as well as making calls to USFS and DOW regional offices. Based on my research not having any preference points and complete lack of Elk hunting experience It seems Like GMU 24 might be a good place to cut our teeth on Elk hunting. I realize that the trophy potential in this area is basically zero and there is a massive army of hunters in there every season. We are looking more for the adventure and basically any legal elk will be a Trophy for us. We are planing a backpack style hunt in the wilderness area. Like many others on this forum i would prefer to escape other hunters as much as possible. Any tips or advise for a seasoned whitetail hunter would be greatly appreciated. We have already started purchasing gear and getting into shape for the hunt. We selected 24 because of the large elk heard there and the larger opportunity of at least seeing some elk, and the ease of access but if anyone has some other suggestions for someone with no points or an OTC unit that would be great. again we are just looking to have a great experience and maybe bring home some elk meat for the freezer.
You have the right attitude to hunt there. I hunted there first rifle in 2010 there are elk there and the pressure is really bad. I backpacked like you and thought 3 miles was enough, wrong 5 might lose some of them. Reference my thread on avoiding other hunters, don't discount finding a good bull, the biggest bull I have ever seen on the hoof was there, sadly an army of hunters spoiled an easy stalk. That being said I met some great people it 's probably better than setting at home but there have got to be better places in Colorado good luck!!!
Thanks for the Info and input everyone. Sorry I left out some pertinent info. We are looking at trying to draw the first rifle season.
The area I was looking at is about 4 miles in from the southern side I was thinking about focusing on the the Lost Solor Creek / Horse shoe lake area. I don't think I would want to go in much further than that and half to pack an animal out. As far as having other people around part of me was thinking it wouldn't be so bad to have others around as this will be our first try at a DIY western hunt in the wilderness. One thing I have been wondering is if more people tend to head in from the north side via trappers peak and Marvain, or do they head in from the south side? I was planning on heading in on the south side as it seems there is less elevation gain to traverse by foot from that side. Again thank you all for the input and if any of you can think of other units that are worth looking at with no preference points that could make for a good adventure and a good first experience that would be so appreciated. I don't expect any one will divulge there honey hole but any input is greatly appreciated!!