Taking On Colorado Elk: The Adventure Of A Lifetime
The elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is among the largest species of deer in the world, and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. In the deer family, only the moose, which is called an elk in Europe, and the sambar rival the elk in size. Elk are similar to the Red Deer found in Europe, of which they were long thought to be a subspecies. However, evidence from a 2004 DNA study indicates they are a distinct species.
Colorado, noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, rivers, forests, mesas, and canyons, serves as the ultimate outdoor backdrop for hunting the massive elk. Long a staple hunting state and a major attraction for hunters, fishers, and campers, Colorado is especially captivating from the sportsman’s point of view – its elk population is a majestic, elusive, and challenging aggregation of massive, yet beautiful beasts with a certain air of elegance and sophistication.
Hunting elk in Colorado is an exciting adventure that connects hunters with the land, the elk, and their American heritage. From the time of the original colonists who landed at Plymouth Rock, and through the Great Depression, America – and especially Colorado – has been a region with a history of hunter-gatherers. The bounty that Colorado provided was healthy, and had flavors you can’t find in the food from the grocery store. Wild game – even the massive elk – is available in Colorado to hunters who plan ahead. Successfully hunting Colorado elk today requires some education, some thought, and a good deal of hard work. In previous centuries, hunting was not considered a sport, but rather a means of survival for most American families. Today, the sport of hunting requires a game plan.
Current game management by Colorado officials has provided the hunter with not just elk, but also numerous species from which to choose. While each of the species of Colorado’s big game present subtle but significant differences in technique, and many of the same principles used to plan a successful elk hunt apply to other big game species in Colorado.
If you’re planning on hunting elk in Colorado anytime soon, however, then make sure you purchase the appropriate hunt license – in the Big Game, over-the-counter and leftover licenses categories. Speak with a government official to get more details. There are many other hunting options and licenses in the great state of Colorado, however, such as Small Game, Fishing, Furbearer, and Habitat Stamps, to name a few. Another issue for those visiting Colorado from lower elevations is altitude sickness. If you want everything in your elk hunt to run smoothly, be sure to spend three to four days in Colorado – preferably around the altitude of Denver – and allow your body to acclimate to lower oxygen levels.