Tag Archives: Elk Hunting Colorado

Becoming a Real Straight Shooter

 

“Do you know how to shoot straight?”

While some people might take offense at such a question, it is one that big game hunters need to ask themselves every year. Shooting an animal with a high-powered rifle, no matter the distance, is not a natural skill. Hunters must know the capabilities of their rifles, the intricacies of their scopes, the characteristics of their ammunition, the distance of their targets and their own ability to quickly set up an ethical shot.

“Shooting is a perishable skill. If you haven’t done it in a while, you’re going to get rusty,” says Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager in the San Luis Valley. “There are people who believe they can go out, buy an expensive rifle and without any practice start shooting like the guys on the hunting shows on TV. Well, they can’t.” Read more

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: A Message for Sportsmen

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Image design by Jerry Neal/CPW.

Unless you’ve been living in a galaxy far, far, away, you’ve probably noticed that we are a nation divided. We’ve become a country of Republicans vs. Democrats, conservatives vs. liberals and Red vs. Blue instead of the collective Red, White and Blue. And if you made it through the 2016 election without losing at least half of your Facebook friends, well done. Yet, politics aside, there is a common thread that binds us all as Americans, and I believe great things are in store for our nation’s future despite our perceived differences.

Although not as dramatic or polarizing, I see a similar division among sportsmen these days. I see fly fishermen who berate those who spinfish; hunters who attack fellow hunters (especially women) for harvesting mountain lions or bears; archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunters who bicker about which method of take is the most noble; and catch-and-release advocates who bash someone for legally keeping a fish or two for the dinner table.   Read more

Wapiti Ambush (Part II: ‘Bonking’ Bulls)

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Clouds float above the San Juan Mountains in southeast Colorado. Photo by David Lien.

An elk begins its life in late May or early June as a 35-pound calf, spending most of its first two weeks lying low and hiding from predators — mainly bears, mountain lions and coyotes. Surviving bulls can grow to 1,000 pounds. Obviously, this species is big, one of the biggest hooved animals in North America, and everything about a mature bull is big.

A pair of antlers from a mature Rocky Mountain elk will weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. His bones are thick and heavy, his hide is tough, he has a remarkable tenacity, and his stamina is incredible. Standing as high as 5 feet at the shoulder, a bull elk with a full rack of antlers is an impressive sight. Read more