Backup Plan


New member
Jun 11, 2019
Hi Everyone,

I am fairly new to elk hunting. I have rifle hunted 3 times in Colorado and this will be my first time archery hunting. I have done a lot of research, looked at statistics, looked at summer and winter ranges, enrolled in the Elk101 course, got in touch with the biologist for the area and am starting to get boots on the ground and scout.

My question is this. I hear often that you should have lots of spots picked out to hunt. Essentially have a backup plan. Currently I have 5 spots I am considering. But it sounds like a better number may be about 10. So my question is this, how far apart can/should these different spots be? 0.5 miles (not likely??), 1 mile, 2 Miles, 5 miles, 10 mile? I think you all get the idea. Can it be the same area as another spot but just up a different drainage, or does that count as only one spot?

Thanks for the help!!
I look at spots as places I want to hit during a hunt. So they can be close to each other or far from each other. Maybe you even hit multiple spots in one day. Basically, you want to have a plan for each day of the hunt and you continue on that plan until you find elk. I have found that if I don't have a plan, it's much easier to get distracted, get negative, etc. On the other hand, if you have a plan, you know what you're doing and you are going to stick to the plan until you find elk, then the fun starts.
Thanks cohunter14,

This was helpful. I will sit down and map out my actual hunting paths for each day. And figure out a rotating schedule for what spots to hit each day (until elk are found).

How detailed do you get? As in figure out your path (say a 6 mile round trip hike). And then figure out the time you want to be at certain spots in that hike for the day. Or do you allow flexibility. You know the hiking path you want to take but if a bugle peaks your interest you deviate from the original plan.
I'm pretty basic. I'll say I want to go to Spot A the first morning, then Spot B in the afternoon, etc. I'll typically plan a path of roughly how I want to get there, how I want to get back, etc. Normally I'm making a loop of some sort to cover more ground, not retracing my steps coming and going.

If I hear a bugle or see an elk, everything changes. Those plans are in place just to find elk. Once that's done, then it's time to hunt elk.
Ive put over 800 miles on my truck in 10 days of elk hunting. And Ive been hunting my areas for 30 yrs.

Some places are 20 miles away, some are 5, some are 2.

Never, never, do I hunt the same spot in the same day... unless I get into elk
Mine are all Mixed, I like to have as many option as I can, spots to me are Drainage's,  bedding, water Etc, I like to have 5 or so area's in my unit that I know where multi "spots" are located that should hold Elk. This could be a mile or 2 from each or 10 plus, I break my unit up that I hunt. This way if the hunting Pressure or even the wind is bad in one spot I can head to a different location and keep at it with out having to stress about not knowing the land.
Thanks everyone for your replies. These were all extremely helpful.

Good luck to everyone this year.

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