By Adam Parr –
For the beginner elk hunter, planning a hunt in the mountains of Colorado can be overwhelming, especially for a non-resident who doesn’t have the luxury of putting boots on the ground prior to making their first trip. If you grew up hunting whitetails, the game is similar but the gear and knowledge required is different and unfamiliar to many. A trip of this magnitude is not something to take lightly and preseason scouting will only help come September.
Unfortunately, the best gear and tight (arrow or bullet) groups means absolutely nothing if you don’t know where to locate elk in the vast terrain of Colorado, and for someone who lives a thousand miles away from the Rockies, digital scouting is really the only tool in the arsenal to plan and execute a successful hunt. The best weapon, in my opinion, for scouting as a nonresident hunter is Google Earth, so I’ve put together a video that walks you through some of the resources that are available to Colorado hunters.
This video includes the following information:
How To Download Google Earth – Most of you are probably already familiar with the program, but for the beginner who is starting from scratch, downloading GE is simple.
CO GMU Overlay – Knowing the boundaries of each Game Management Unit is crucial, especially if you are hunting bordering units that are draw tags or have differing regulations.
CO Elk Species Map Overlay – Locating elk is a challenge, even for the most seasoned hunter. Learning how to reference elk ranges through overlays will put you in the ballpark of elk in any season.
Marking Spots and Mapping Trails – After your digital scouting efforts reveal a potential hotspot, learn how to use placemarks and trails in accordance to accessing and hunting certain areas.
Elk hunting can be expensive, however, digital scouting via Google Earth is not. Spend the time now during the offseason to learn your hunting areas long before you step foot into them and increase your chances of a successful hunt later this Fall.