Elk Hunting Is CHEAP!!!
Summer time is fast approaching and before we know it September will be rolling back around. Thousands of bowhunters will be hitting the mountains in hopes of finding that one big bull, while Just as many if not more hunters will be sitting on their couch wishing they were chasing their dream of hunting elk. Being from Texas, I like a lot of people east of Colorado have always had a fascination with elk hunting. They were always such a cool creature that just seemed out of reach. How would i ever afford a trip to hunt such a magnificent animal? Well I hate to break it to you guys, who have been putting it off thinking you couldn’t afford it. A public land elk hunt if probably one of the cheapest hunts you will ever do. Do I have your attention now? Well it is true, there are good cheap elk hunts.
Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t be living in a Primos hunting video. You won’t be hunting from a Luxury lodge, taking an atv to your hunting area and only hiking a few miles to an area that you know holds elk, but you will be hunting elk. And isn’t that our dream?? To be on a hunt that we are chasing after our dream animal? The hunt won’t be easy, and you may not succeed, hell you may not even see an elk but there is always a chance of that 350” unicorn stepping out within bow range. I know a lot of you are probably skeptical about now. Your thinking how is this possible? You have been under the impression all these years that hunting elk was out of your budget. Lets break it down for you.
While Colorado isn’t the only state where you can get a OTC(Over the Counter) archery elk tag, it does have the largest population of elk as well as being one of the easier states to get to. With direct flights from almost anywhere in the US to being within 30 hours of cities as far east as Boston, it is not hard to get to Colorado. For guys in the midwest and as far as Texas and Louisiana a quick one day drive has you elk hunting. For some guys it might even make sense to fly to Denver. From there hunters can take a rental car from the airport to the trailhead. If successful a quick stop at the processor and taxidermist and they are ready for their flight back east. Your meat, cape and antlers can be shipped to you once you are back home. There are over 125 valid Units in Colorado that you can purchase an OTC either sex archery elk tag. This is where a lot of guys get stuck. How would you ever decide where to go? The better question is does it matter? You are going on your first elk hunt. Do you really expect to go out on your first hunt, get on a herd bull and close the deal on day one? The stats show that if that happens you should go buy a lotto ticket. These units are big, and they take years to learn. That is why it is very rare for locals or guys out west to share ANY information with out of towner's. They work their ass off to learn the behavior of these elk, and they damn sure aren’t going to help some yankee from out east. In fact a lot of them would probably even be annoyed by this blog post. The less hunters on their mountain the better. By doing research online and talking to Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist you can at minimum find a unit that has a decent concentration of elk. The fact is you are going to have to cover some ground to find the animals, so the unit you decide to hunt is really of secondary importance. The following is a Map of all OTC either sex elk units in Colorado.
Ok enough of the BS, let me break down the price of a 6 day OTC colorado elk hunt from say Dallas/Fort Worth Texas. This area will give us a good idea of travel expenses from a lot of midwest cities. For this breakdown I will assume that on the hunt it will be you and a hunting buddy, which will cut the travel cost in half.
Colorado OTC out of state tag Either sex elk/Fishing-$626.00
Fuel (1744 miles round trip) $2.00 a gallon 14 miles per gallon-$249.14/2=$124.57 each
Food-($25.00 a day)-$150.00
Lodging-Truck or tent camping-$0.00
Yes thats right you can actually do a elk hunt for under $1000.00 a person.
I realize that this is the bare bones cost of going on an elk hunt. There will surely be a few unexpected cost that pop up or pieces of gear that you want to update for the hunt. My point of this however is that it is affordable and in all honesty a lot cheaper than Whitetail hunting. Almost everyone can do things to come up with an extra $1000.00. Taking your lunch a few extra days each week, not getting that Starbucks coffee on the way to work, or selling some of your old gear that you haven't used in forever. So for the guys who have always dreamed about hunting the mountains stop dreaming and go do it.