View Full Version : New to Backcountry

04-13-2016, 09:30 AM
Hi guys,

New to the forums so appreciate everyone's input that I have read so far. I little backstory on me. I grew up hunting mostly birds here in Oklahoma. I took a break during high school and college as I fell into different things. I got reintroduced to hunting a few years ago when I listed to Cam Hanes, Rinella and others on Joe Rogan's podcast and fell back into the love of hunting. My family has connections to a handful of farms here in Oklahoma, but having those alone does somewhat limit the types of animals to have the opportunity to whitetail, waterfowl, turkey and dove.

While I enjoy getting into the woods here and going after those, I have become infatuated with public land/backcountry style of hunting. As OK is mostly privately owned and my family never hunted public lands, my knowledge on the subject is somewhat limited. I put in this spring for in the OK draw system and CO Elk and WY doe pronghorn.

This might be a bit much to ask, but as hunting is a fraternity I thought, I'd give this a shot. I believe i have the desire and enough skills (with plenty of room for improvement) to be a good backcountry hunter, but I'm still needing some of the knowledge, especially as where to put in for tags. As I am just getting started again, I don't have any issues hunting cows/does and really I'm just looking for every experience to get better at hunting. Anyone who is looking to take on a mentee (especially just on an info purposes) would be great. Thanks guys. Happy Wednesday.

04-13-2016, 10:46 AM
Welcome from a fellow Okie. Look up Randy Newberg's YouTube channel and check out his videos on tags and applications. Lots of good information there.

04-13-2016, 10:33 PM
Welcome to the forum. I'm not much ahead of you on the public land learning curve and you probably have more hunting experience than I do. Having said that, the best advice I can give you is study this forum. Just cruise around the various topics and read, read, read. I look at as a night class on hunting. Every night I come home, read the new topics, follow some links, maybe watch some of Randy's Youtube videos, and occasionally make a post. It's the cheapest, best education I've found. Good luck!

Big Fin
04-13-2016, 10:39 PM
Welcome. Hope you have many great elk hunts ahead.

old man
06-06-2016, 09:12 AM
You didn't say if you drew any of those tags you applied for.

06-06-2016, 09:48 AM
As a hunter that is going to be new to hunting the mountains, and presumably, is going to be figuring a lot of this out on your own; I think time in the elk woods is the key to success. Do you plan to hunt with rifle or bow?

I was on my 5th elk tag, and on my ~50th day chasing elk, when I finally killed a cow. This by no means has to be the case for you, but having the mindset going in that killing an elk is going to take some time is huge. FWIW, once you start to get the formula figured out to find elk, things fall into place, and it gets easier.

If I were in your shoes, I would probably be looking for an area in southern CO that you can hunt every year on an OTC tag, and try and get into the area to hike/fish/camp/scout once or twice in the summer. When picking an area I would be looking at a few things: percentage of the unit that is public land, elk density/hunter success, areas with wilderness or lack of roads, talk with biologists about elk migration habits. All of this is focused on finding an area that is going to hold elk during the season you want to hunt. Then get out there and learn as much as you can about the unit, where the elk hangout, and have a great time.

Ben Long
06-06-2016, 10:38 AM
I'd say the most important thing is to go out there and have fun. Have an adventure. Focus on the experience, not the kill, and every hunt will be a success. Up your game one step at a time. PUblic land, backcountry hunting a helluva lot harder than it looks on TV, but its a very rewarding, lifelong endeavor.

06-06-2016, 08:56 PM
Like a previous poster pick an area in Southern Colorado you can hunt each year on a OTC or cow tag. Stick with one area that holds elk and hunt it several seasons and you will get a shot.
If you get off the roads into roadless areas, oakbrush areas, or canyons. The first season is really good or the 3rd season can be good with snowy weather. Units 77,81,66,67,551,71/711 all hold lots of elk.
All of us had to start out somewhere, and learning yourself is the best route if you want to stick with something. Best of luck.

Gerald Martin
06-06-2016, 11:31 PM
Solid advice given on here so far. Keep in mind you are successful when you are out hunting. Notching a tag is just one more step of being successful. There really isn't anything different about hunting on public than it is on private. If you are successful in OK that will transfer to wherever you go. Like that old saying, "It's the Indian, not the arrow..."