Camp Setup Location and Proximity to Hunting Area


New member
Jan 14, 2019
Hello all, first post here.
I'm planning an elk hunt in Colorado GMU 18 this year. I have a cabin up there and historically we have just hiked in and out each hunt. Over the years, the hunting pressure has dramatically increased and I've given in to the fact that I have to camp way back off the roads, and I'm excited about it!

The only thing is, I've never camped back there during hunting season, and I have a few questions.

How far away from the area I'm wanting to hunt should I setup my camp? A mile? Less/more? Are there any general approaches to balancing daily hike distance and smell from camp?

Another concern of mine is this: I'm looking at a map and have decided what I think is a stellar camping area with access to where I want to hunt. What if some other hunters are looking at their map and think where I plan to camp is where they want to hunt? Lol. I realize it's public land, but I want to be considerate of others. I plan on just camping right off a trail that follows a main drainage creek in that area. Any considerations I should be thinking on?

Thanks for any and all advice?


Jul 10, 2017
I think the biggest factor to consider with your camp will be wind. You can camp close, but the last thing you want to do is camp where the thermals or wind are going to be blowing your scent right to where you want to hunt.

As far as other hunters wanting to hunt the area you camp in, you can't concern yourself with that. If that happens, someone might have to adjust just like if someone is camped where you want to hunt, you might have to adjust a bit.


New member
Jul 6, 2014
I have wondered the same thing as I map scout for this season. But then I think of some of our encounters and some of the heaviest sign this past year that was within 300-400 yards of multiple roadside/trailhead camps. I'm sure the elk give those camps a wide birth but it definitely didn't drive them off the mountain. I'm sure there's a different level of sensitivity between roadside/trailhead and backcountry, but I'd think a mile is more than enough. I'm also looking for somewhere that dumps my scent downhill away from where I'm planning to hunt, to the extent that's possible. Also could get out there and realize the spot I thought would be elk free is loaded with sign. Then I'll just camp where I planned to hunt and hunt where I planned to camp. :-D

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