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Well guys, there are often times that questions asked here are pretty specific and don't get rewarded with an answer as a result

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  • #16
    I was lucky enough to hunt elk for about 12 of the 15 years I lived in Colorado. I was fortunate to be introduced by some longtime locals and every hunt was a new learning experience.
    Most of the experienced folks above covered the high points and the rest is local knowledge of how the animals live on the ground you have access to. It takes a while.
    But the learning is fun and takes place in beautiful country as you well know.
    Our group used .270's and one 7MM Mag. Both proved deadly. I used a .270 with 150gr Nosler Partitions mostly but the elk I killed at the greatest distance fell to a 130gr CoreLokt. Long story about who was supposed to grab what bullets there.
    The one piece of gear I did not see mentioned was a pack frame with a removable pack for carrying quarters. The kind with the fold out shelf makes packing out much nicer. Oh yeah, get good optics!
    You are soooo lucky to be where you are. The elk will come. Sometimes they drop into your lap and sometimes you work harder than you thought possible. I got home from cutting one up one night and there was a bull track on my deck. What was he doing on the deck?!?
    Have fun and share a story when you can.
    Happy Hunting!
    -chuckles

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    • #17
      Chuckles, sounds like he has access to horses. But sometimes the meat has to be backpacked a ways before horse can get to it. I used an old WWII plywood ammo packboard. It worked well enough but they are a bit on the heavy side and the shoulder straps are definitely no-frills. It was my dad's and I still have it hanging in the shed though I doubt it will ever see another piece of meat. Sad!

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      • #18
        OHH, horses do make light work of packing in many cases but come with their own requirements as you know.
        I myself like an aluminum pack frame. Do they have aluminum in Canada? You should check it out. Kinda light but strong.
        The strap thing reminds me of the original Duluth pack grandpa had for portaging on canoe trips. Ouch. All the best of this years hunting to you.

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        • #19
          Thanks guys, as dweeby as it may sound, I've literally noted all the details and they're much appreciated.

          A couple of details about our situation, were about 4 hrs south of the WY/MT line, from what I've heard most all the grizzlies in the state are up toward Yellowstone and points north. We did have a black bear get into one of the ranch families wall tent elk camp last week, he pretty well destroyed the place I guess. As for horses, we've 250 of em, I could run a pack string from here to town if I had a mind and packs and packing supplies are not of short order around here. I believe the .270 wsm may be handed toward the wife but I may also use it myself. Again, there are many many details Ive yet to thank you guys for. But you just might help me bag an elk with your suggestions.

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          • #20
            A little known fact about elk is that they have large canine teeth, known as ivories. Many years ago, elk were hunted for these teeth, often worn as a watch-fob on the chain dangling across a gentleman's vest.

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            • #21
              Elk ivories are only on the upper jaw. They serve no function. It's a vestigial thing. Little musk deer in Korea had the same teeth but hang down beyond the lips like vampire fangs.

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              • #22
                Anyone who has followed Ontario's comments on elk hunting must realize being in good physical condition, having persistence, and a willingness to

                hunt, and stay in tough country are crucial to consistent elk hunting success. I was asked once at a seminar, hosted as I recall by Jim Zumbo, why i was successful year in year out. I do my research and hunt where there are elk. Then I stay with them. An important item is a rain suit,made of quiet,lined, camp material. At mid day I can get out of the wind, slip on the rain suit over my jacket and pants and take a nap, resting up for late afternoon and evening hunt. On occasion have spent some miserable nights huddled around a small fire so as not to waste time going and coming back from base camp to a good prospective area, relying on my afternoon nap to keep me going. Obviously weather plays a important part in this procedure. However one time as I was looking down at a dead elk I pulled out my small warer bottle and found it frozen solid.

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                • #23
                  Lesson to be learned is to be consistently successful elk hunting you must be willing, and able to hunt hard, sometimes physically and painfully. It has worked for me and Ontario. I have a cigar box full of ivories to prove it. Kindest Regards

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                  • #24
                    Pardon the spelling and grammar errors, the print disappeared and I could not proof read.

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                    • #25
                      Here is a funny tip. Elk hunting in tough, rough country, one must be careful of thirst and indeed dehydration. I always carry a small water bottle in case I cannot find a stream or some source. Often in high country the source may be hard to reach. A very small cup and and outstretched arm may do the trick. However, I also carry a small length of surgical tubing to use as a straw to tap small rivulets back in rock crevices. Yes I know of the dangers of mysterious parasites. Try to stay away from water in low flat country, and areas of known risk.

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                      • #26
                        Thanks, Happy. Great tip on the surgical tubing! It will save me cleaning off slobbered up glasses every time I bend over to drink out of a spring. Heck, it may save me bending over altogether which is good news at my age (especially with a fifty pound pack on my back!).

                        Chuckles, thirty years ago there were few aluminum frame packs that could stand up to the extreme weight of an elk quarter (a real one, not the gutless kind). Not only was the military surplus ammo packboard just about indestructible (except for the poor quality lacing used to attach canvas back support to the wooden pack frame), it was ideal for packing elk quarters. One simply laced the meat to the two rows of heavy hooks along each side of the packboard. As easy and quick as lacing up your boots. Attaching quarters to a regular tubular aluminum frame can be a bit more complicated. Here's what they look like: www.kpemig.de/US-Army-WWII-Packboard-Plywood-uncleaned_1

                        If I was still hunting elk I'd probably change the shoulder straps and add a belly strap. I don't think anyone would laugh at me with that old thing. Certainly not after they had a chance to see it in action.

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                        • #27
                          I thought of the surgical tubing one time while standing on my head in two feet of snow while attempting to get a drink from a small stream and an elk crashed away

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                          • #28
                            I was just joshing you about the aluminum OHH. I always appreciate your hard core approach even if I don't always do the same in my hunting.
                            Lots of the old equipment was/is rugged which is why it is still around. I do think there have been some big strides in ergonomics and especially in materials. Pack straps being a perfectly good example.
                            We used bungees and short lengths of rope that were prerigged for lashing quarters to the packs. It's not fun if your load is wiggling around on you. The shelf makes a big difference too.
                            I hope the geese are flying your way!
                            I whiffed on the bears this year but got to see a few. Archery deer has also been tough so far but it is still early yet.

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                            • #29
                              P-W-H Just a thought - since you have no experience with elk, have you considered hiring a guide for your first experience. It might save you a lot of time and headaches rather than learning the ropes the hard way. If you do not have the spare cash to hire a guide, maybe you could volunteer to go along with one of the local guides and help out - free labor can be a hard thing to turn down and with your open mind, you should be able to absorb a lot by watching and asking questions.....

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                              • #30
                                I cut my eye teeth here in Oregon hunting Roosevelt's in 1978. Shot my first bull in 1979. Then there was a loooooong time before my next, but I believe Happy Myles has given you the best info. Elk are extremely tough and durable, and at times the physical demands, well, you'll start to ? yourself as to why your doing it. But if you learn from all those times, sucess will start to come your way. I don't have a drawer full of ivories, but I do have a couple of pill bottles filled up. And I wouldn't have missed any of it for the world!(I'd already been in the service and seen the world ) Best of luck to you.

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