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april 03, 2014 12:54pm

Colorado Elk Hunting Guide with West Elk Outfitters

If you didn't apply for your elk hunt in time and would still like to go. Give us a call. We have a couple hunts with tags over the counter that are available. We still have some rifle spots available and only 2 archery spots still open. Hunts all include food, lodging and guide in some great western Colorado elk country.

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march 27, 2014 08:29am

Colorado mule deer rifle hunts still available

We still have some buck hunts available for the 2nd or 3rd rifle season. Colorado application deadline is April 1st so there isn't much time. Contact us for more information on your next mule deer hunt.

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march 04, 2014 08:09am

Bull Elk Hunt in western Colorado with West Elk Outfitters

West Elk Outfitters have 2 1st season rifle hunts still available. This is a 5 day season while the bulls are still bugling. We have had high success during this hunt. You will stay in our nice lodge and be fed and guided on your exciting elk hunt. For more information please contact or call Jerad 970-640-9461
You can fill out the contacts page of this site and you will get a prompt reply back via email.
Best Regards,

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march 03, 2014 08:20am

West Elk Outfitters email and website was down.....

We are sorry to say that last week for 3-4 days our email and website were not working due to our hosts server failure. If we were emailing with you or you tried to contact us please try again or call us. We are not ignoring any emails. Sorry for this problem but it should all be working great now. We still have 2 archery/rifle elk hunts available and some mule deer openings for the 2nd and 3rd seasons. Contact us at or call Jerad @ 970-640-9461 or you can fill out the contacts page of our website for a quick email reply.
Best Regards,

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march 02, 2014 04:17pm

West Elk Outffitters can guide you on your next Colorado Adventure

With this being the last month before your Colorado biggame hunting application is due you don't have much time to line up a hunt. West Elk Outfitters can help you use your preference points to get that trophy mule deer or elk that you are looking for. With some of the best guides and top units to hunt in we offer a hunt that will fit almost any type of hunter. So contact us for your western Colorado hunting experience. or
Or you can call Jerad @ 970-640-9461
Best Regards,

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february 24, 2014 06:06pm

Colorado Bull Elk Hunt with West Elk Outfitters

We have some spots available for the 1st Rifle bull elk season. The season is a 5 day season with food, lodging and guide provided. Hunt bugling bulls with your rifle on this high success hunt. Exciting hunt in western Colorado. Hunt terrain is mild. Give us a call or send us a message if your interested in this hunt. 970.640.9461 or

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february 18, 2014 06:25pm

Colorado Mountain Lion Hunt with West Elk Outfitters

Did some free cast hunting on Friday and resulted in catching a very nice old female mountain lion. She had frost bit ears and some wore down yellow teeth. Beautiful animal and we let her go.
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february 12, 2014 05:11pm

Biggame Application Booklets are out for Colorado....

The Biggame Application booklets are out now. If you are sitting on some preference points and are looking to cash them and hunt a trophy mule deer or trophy bull with a great team of guides. Contacts us and we will happy to help you out. Units 61, 61, 53, 52, 521, 411 are the units that we operate in with great success.
Best Regards,
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february 06, 2014 05:33pm

Bobcat hunting success

I got to take Mandy on her first hound hunting experience yesterday and we took this nice tom bobcat.
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february 05, 2014 04:21am

Another big Colorado Mountain Lion for West Elk Outfitters

The team had a great hunt this week with Allen as he took this great Colorado mountain lion with us.

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january 29, 2014 03:11pm

Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado with West Elk Outfitters

This time of year we are all starring at all the hunting magazines and wondering what we should do with our Colorado mule deer preference points. Asking ourselves where should I go and who should I hunt with? How big of a bucks are in this area vs that area?
So you go to Google and type in your search and you sort through the sites to find one that looks interesting and offers the hunt that your looking for. Maybe thats how you found this site.
We here at West Elk Outfitters would like to chat with you regarding your quest for a great mule deer. Our team of guides and knowledge of our area deer herd gives you a super opportunity to have a successful hunt.
With several different units to hunt and required preference points ranging from 0-17 we can accommodate any hunter.
For more information about hunting with us at West Elk Outfitters and joining our team please contact us. Thanks,

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january 26, 2014 03:52pm

Colorado Mule Deer and Elk Hunting Outfitter

We are currently taking deposits for the 2014 hunting seasons. Book early to get the best dates for your hunt. Trophy Elk and Mule Deer hunts available in some of the best units in the state. Join our team of professional guides on your next biggame adventure. Our hunt packages offer food and lodging along with your guide. For more information on our hunts send us an email and we will gat back with you shortly. Thank you and Best Regards!

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january 16, 2014 09:05pm

West Elk Outfitters is putting together a spring bear hunt...

For those of you who are are interested in hunting black bear behind dogs or over bait. These hunts will be this spring in Idaho and have been 100% success. Cost will be around $2800-$3200 depending on group size. Join us for an exciting spring time adventure chasing black bear. For more information you can email me at

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january 16, 2014 02:22pm

Big Colorado Mountain Lion for Lane

Two hour hunt for Lane ending with a big Colorado Mountain Lion.

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january 11, 2014 01:58am

Mountain Lion Hunting with Colorado Outfitter

Just sharing a nice shot from today in the search for a tom mountain lion here in Colorado. Join West Elk Outfitters for a mountain lion hunt in western Colorado.

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january 02, 2014 04:03pm

Young tom mountain lion we caught and left to grow up...

With conditions horrible this week the west elk team did the best that they could on frozen mud and hard snow. We caught this young tom kitten in pursuit of a big tom. Cats like these are the future of our mountain lions and are left alone to grow up and mature into big beautiful cats. As always we smiled at the little youngster hissing and snarling at us as we took some parting pictures.


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december 21, 2013 07:34pm

Another Big Colorado Tom Mountain Lion for team West Elk Outfitters

David had a super hunt as the hounds put in some hard running in some cliff country resulting in putting a huge tom bayed up on a cliff edge. David made a great shot and claimed a 170-180 pound 8'6 inch long trophy tom mountain lion. We expect this tom to make the Boone&Crockett minimum. We will keep you all posted. Team WEO had a great week with 2 great tom mountain lions. Congrats to all.


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december 17, 2013 05:42pm

Mountain Lion Hunt Success for Shannon

After a knock down drag out few days running this big tom mountain lion team West Elk Outfitters hounds put this big tom in a nice big tree. Congrats to Shannon on a beautiful tom! Join team WEO on your big mountain lion adventure!

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december 04, 2013 12:55pm

Colorado Mule Deer Hunts | Colorado Elk Hunts

With our 2013 season over we are now booking for the 2014 deer and elk season. We have some great spots open yet. Four spots for our first rifle bull elk hunt. We have had 100% success in this season and is a great hunt. We only take 4 hunters for this week.
We have some deer hunts available and will take deposits to hold spots for guys wanting to hunt bucks in 2014. Some of our hunts can be drawn with no points and some take 3+ points. If you have preference points contact us early and we can discuss some options.
For archery elk we have 2 spots available for Sept 18-22.
Hunters that have elk preference points and are looking for a trophy bull elk hunt contact us regarding our unit 61 bull elk hunts.
We look forward to talking with you and guiding you on your next big game hunt.

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november 11, 2013 09:31am

Booking Elk and Mule Deer Hunts for 2014 now!

We would like to thank all of our clients from this years hunting season we had a great season and made some great new friends. With the end of one season begins another, our mountain lion season. We still have some openings for mountain lion hunts for this winter if you are interested please contact us. Also at this time we are booking for 2014 elk and deer hunts. We have some great season dates that are still available and would love to put your name in the right spot that will best suit you. We have a few archery dates available and a some rifle elk hunts that are great with high success. Give us a call or email us and we will get back with you shortly.

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october 31, 2013 03:45pm

Scouting big bull elk in Colorado

We headed out early this morning to do some scouting an got on a few great bulls.

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october 30, 2013 02:52pm

Colorado Elk Hunting Success

Jason connects on his first bull elk with West Elk Outfitters. Congrats to Jason we hope you enjoyed your elk hunting experiance.

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september 30, 2013 08:01pm

Trophy Mule Deer hunting success in Colorado!!

Lloyd had a great week with West Elk Outfitters and scored with his muzzle loader on this super typical.

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september 06, 2013 08:18pm

Hunting big bull elk in Colorado

You may be one of the few hunters sitting on a bunch of elk points not knowing what to do with them. Well we can help you. Here at West Elk Outfitters we have a great hunt area with big bulls and some superior knowledge of the area which leads to a great hunt for you. We have extensive knowledge of the hunting area and the elk that live there. Our guides are second to none and take extreme pride in helping you find the trophy that you came for. Contact us for more information on our unit 61 elk hunting opportunities.

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september 05, 2013 05:57pm

Archery Mule Deer Hunting Succes in Colorado

Day 3 started off great with Jake helping Jerad take this great mule deer.

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september 04, 2013 04:22pm

Trophy Archery Mule Deer Hunts

The first 3 days of our archery buck hunts kicked off with 3 bucks in 3 days.

First was Mandy with her nice 4x4. Then the next evening Jake killed his cactus buck.
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august 31, 2013 01:02pm

Mandy's Colorado Archery Mule Deer

Mandy strikes first with a great 30 yard shot on this nice buck. We will be back out tonight in search for a couple more bucks.

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august 25, 2013 09:04am

Mountain Lion Hunts available with a Colorado Outfitter

As this our last week before the madness begins for the 2013 hunting season. We are excited to meet all of our clients who are coming to join us for their hunting excursion.
The only hunts that we still have available for this 2013 hunting season are some mountain lion hunts. Rates and hunt details are all posted on the site or you can visit our mountain lion hunting site called it has some very informative information as well as available dates for a mountain lion adventure of your own. We hope to hear from you and best of luck on your hunting trips.

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august 17, 2013 07:43am

More Trophy Mule Deer Velvet Scouting


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august 06, 2013 03:29pm

Mountain Lion Hunts available in Colorado

We have some Mountain Lion Hunts available for this winters season. These are 5 day hunts in some of the best lion country in the state. If you are looking for a reputable outfitter to take you on this exciting hunt contact us at 970.640.9461 or email

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july 30, 2013 07:52pm

Trophy Mule Deer | Colorado Mule Deer Scouting

Another Monster Buck Pict! All shot through our Tines Up Scope)Cam Kit and our Vortex Razor spotter.

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july 30, 2013 07:44pm

Trophy Mule Deer | Colorado Mule Deer Scouting

Here is a freak of a buck with some enormous MASS. I love massive mules. Enjoy!!
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july 30, 2013 03:07pm

Mountain Lion Hunting in Colorado | Mountain Lion Hunting

Mountain Lion season is coming up quickly. West Elk Outfitters has some spots still available for this lion season. If your thinking about doing a lion hunt this fall contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions about our lion hunts. Contact us for more information.

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july 24, 2013 08:59pm

Scouting for our first hunters of the year.

Here is a wide buck that we saw last night. Photos shot through our Tines Up Scope)Cam Kit and one of our Vortex Razor Spotting Scopes.
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july 23, 2013 12:56am

Unit 61 Trophy Bull Elk Hunt | Trophy Bull Elk Hunting in Colorado

West Elk Outfitters offers trophy bull elk hunts in unit 61. Join us on an elk hunting adventure as we pursue the big bulls of this area. With our knowledge of the area and the elk you will have a great experience hunting trophy bulls with us. Draw your tag or buy a landowner voucher to come on this awesome hunt. Contact us if you have any questions about this hunt or any hunt that we offer.

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july 22, 2013 08:18am

Colorado Landowner Voucher For Sale

A friend of West Elk Outfitters has a unit 53 2nd season rifle voucher for sale. For more information please contact Brian Clark @ 970.210.3258 Serious inquires only please. Thanks

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july 20, 2013 07:51pm

Colorado Mule Deer Scouting Pictures

Did some scouting while camping with some family and friends. Found this great buck.

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july 14, 2013 08:40am

Scouting Velvet Muleys in Colorado

Some picts from this A.M. scouting.
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july 12, 2013 01:37pm

Colorado Mountain Lion Outfitter | Mountain Lion Hunts

West Elk Outfitters is a premier outfitter in Colorado. Hunting this apex predator requires a well trained pack of hounds and a guide who has extensive knowledge of the area and the cats that live there. This is what West Elk Outfitters brings to their clients. Join us for an adventure into the Colorado cat country to hunt this apex predator. For your opportunity to hunt with West Elk Outfitters check out our website at
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july 09, 2013 04:20pm

Mountain Lion Hunting in Colorado

Here are some pictures taken by West Elk Guide Kevin Dirk while we were training some hounds during the 2012-2013 lion season. Awesome shots Kevin!
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july 08, 2013 09:57am

Join West Elks Friends (Hunt Addictions)

We are throwing out a link to one of our friends websites. It is a super forum based website with some great information on some hunts as well as other things.

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june 25, 2013 02:56pm

Colorado Mountain Lion Hunts Available

Come join us for a winter adventure chasing the elusive predators of the west. We offer a super mt lion hunt using hounds to pursue these big cats. Mountain Lions are on the rise here in Colorado and each year we kill some big toms. Contact us if a mt lion hunt is on your list. Thank you!

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june 25, 2013 02:50pm

Colorado Trophy Mule Deer Hunt Available

West Elk has a trophy mule deer hunt that has come available. Hunt includes voucher, food, guide, lodging and transportation while on your hunt. We have killed bucks in the upper 190's and chased 200+ deer on this hunt. The smallest buck that we have taken on this hunt was a 170. Not a super physical hunt but being in shape and prepared for the altitude is going to help you out.Hunt cost is $5500. If you are interested in this hunt contact me. Jerad....970-640-9461
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may 15, 2013 02:27pm

Colorado Drawing Results and Landowner tags

Some of you are already singing cause you know that you have a great tag coming your way. But for some of us including me we are now looking for plan B. West Elk Outfitters has a few plan B options for guys unsuccessful in the draw. We have landowners that we work with that get tags each fall. These tags are available first to clients who want to book there trophy hunt with us. If you in the hunt for a plan B hunt give us a call or fill out our contacts page of our website. Hunts on these tags are sold to the first person to send in money so if you wish to hold a spot contact us quickly as the tags don't last long. This picture is of a buck killed on one of these landowner tags. Jerad
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may 05, 2013 05:10pm

Mountain lion hunt

Who wants to stand under a big old tom mountain lion while the hounds bay the bark off the tree? West Elk Outfitters has some spots open for the 2013-2014 lion season. Fill out the Contact page and we will send you more information regarding these hunts!

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march 31, 2013 04:54pm

shed hunting with my son

Here is Brylan with shed he picked up the other day.
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march 28, 2013 02:05pm

Guided Colorado Mountain Lion Hunts

Westelk Outfitters is now booking lion hunters for the 2013-2014 lion season. Join us in pursuing the big cats of Colorado. Contact us for more information.

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march 26, 2013 01:46pm

Colorado Trophy Mule Deer Hunts

West Elk Outfitters offers trophy mule deer hunts in beautiful western Colorado. For a first class experience on your quest for a trophy mule deer please contact us.
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march 20, 2013 02:59pm

Vortex Optics

We now have got a great selection of optics in stock. Our featured item this month is the Viper HD 15-45x65 for $650.00
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january 23, 2013 09:48am

The livestock killing tom.

This tom had been killing livestock all summer and had eluded us and other houndsmen.
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january 23, 2013 09:37am

Great Colorado Lion for Kevin

Exciting day with Kevin as he took his first Lion. Kevin had his 3 great dogs in on this hunt along with the West Elk pack. 0113image(5).jpeg

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january 15, 2013 05:07pm

Colorado Bobcat Hunt

Our hounds earned this bobcat and Jack was able to take his first Bobcat. Nice 24 pound tom.
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january 11, 2013 01:02pm

Colorado Mountain Lion Hunting

Lady luck was with us as Lisa took a great tom with us on her first morning out.

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january 04, 2013 09:08am

Colorado Mountain Lion

Kyle with his cat.

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january 04, 2013 09:02am

Colorado Mountain Lion

Mick with his great cat.

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december 28, 2012 06:58pm

Colorado Mt Lion Hunting

Here are some of the cats that we have caught in the last week.

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december 05, 2012 03:18pm

Colorado Governors Buck Hunt

Bobby Smuin with his awesome 2012 Colorado Governor's Tag Buck. Scores 209 1/8
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october 30, 2012 09:32am

Kent's Last Day Bull

Kent took this great Bull on the last day. Great Bull scoring 312. The bull was a very old bull and was missing several bottom teeth.
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october 17, 2012 04:00pm

Colorado's First Rifle Season

Doug and Clyde shared elk hunting success this week with there 2 bulls. Congrats and thank you!
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october 08, 2012 04:17pm

Colorado Antelope Pictures

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october 08, 2012 01:18pm

Colorado Antelope for West Elk Outfitters

Took a road trip with my son Brylan and guide Mikey. We spent a day driving and scouting and after looking at 13 bucks on Saturday we came back to #10. One shot and he was ours. We had a great time. Now its back to scouting elk for the upcoming seasons.

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september 25, 2012 07:25am

Archery Bull for Mikey

Mikey and Jerad went on a quick elk hunt that resulted in Mikey shooting this nice 5x5.

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september 25, 2012 07:07am

Colorado Archery Success

West Elk had a great last week of archery season. With a great group of guys in camp we took 3 out of 4 bulls. Thanks to our great clients and congratulations on your success.
Below is Miles bull. Called to 12 yards and one nicely placed shot and he was relocated to Nebraska.
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september 20, 2012 05:40pm

Colorado Archery Bulls for the Canadians!

Andy and Tony had a great hunt this week. Andy started things off for us with his nice 4 point bull at 44 yards and Tony took his 6x6 at 35 yards. Great hunt with some great clients. Congrats guys!
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september 14, 2012 05:42pm

West Elk Guide Mikey Critchley's Big Archery Bear

West Elk Guide Mikey Critchley took this big bruiser with his bow. Congratulations Mikey! 0912202803_10151046600910669_66340885_o.jpg

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september 03, 2012 02:30pm

Opening Day Colorado Bear

Shot this bear opening day with my bow at 24 yards. Found a bunch of bear eating in the oaks and stalked up on this one and was able to put an arrow in it. Went back in this morning and pack it out with my wife and kids. Had a great time. Hope everyone's hunts are going well. 09122012-09-03_09-17-35_272.jpg

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august 27, 2012 10:21am

Colorado Elk Hunt Available for late November

There are still some left over bull elk tags for the 2012 Late November Elk season. Season is 5 days long and we will be hunting elk that have pulled down into some lower country. For more information on these hunts contact us. 970-640-9461 0812johns elk 007.jpg

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august 23, 2012 09:56am

Colorado Archery Season

This Saturday kicks off our 2012 biggame seasons with the start of archery season. We hope you have a safe and successful hunting season this year. We would like to thank all of our clients for all of our bookings and look forward to meeting and hunting with you all.
With this summer being very dry we are seeing game staying off the open slopes and feeding in the trees as that is where the most lush greenery is for them. Creek bottoms seems to be holding high numbers of elk. We saw a couple groups of bulls still just the the other night. We did see several bulls rubbing trees and getting good color into there antlers. Best of luck to all of you and please share your story and pictures with us. If you have a success photo that you would like to share feel free to email it to me and I will share it on here and the facebook page with your story. Happy Hunting!
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august 17, 2012 01:54pm

Colorado Lion Hunt

West Elk Outfitters has a few spots still available for the 2012-2013 winter lion season. For more information on this hunt or any of our hunts contact us. Thank You!

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august 16, 2012 02:09pm

Colorado Leftover Elk Tags

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has some left over tags for one of the areas that we hunt. This hunt is a draw only hunt with limited tags. This year there are some tags left over after the draw. West Elk Outfitters is offering up to 4 hunters the opportunity to take advantage of this hunt. Hunt is 5 days all food, lodging and guides are included. During this time the elk are migrating down to lower elevations we will be glassing the lower canyons and breaks. Hunt price is $2500 For more information please contact us.

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february 17, 2012 03:03pm

Colorado Mule Deer Hunting

The 2012 hunting regs are out and you can start drawing for your 2012 fall hunts. West Elk Outfitters offers some great mule deer hunting. We will help you apply for your tag or accumulate points for future hunts. Western Colorado has some great mule deer hunting. If you have any questions regarding mule deer hunting this fall please contact us for more information.

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february 17, 2012 03:00pm

Colorado Elk Hunting

Well friends of West Elk Outfitters the new 2012 hunting regs are out. Colorado offers some great opportunity for all elk hunters. If you think that you might be interested in an elk hunt this fall contact us and we can help you decide what will fit your plans for this fall.

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january 04, 2012 01:27pm

Colorado Lion Season

Lion season is open and going well here in Colorado. We have not had great weather but we are making what we have work. If your interested in an exciting lion hunt please contact us!

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october 09, 2011 12:47pm

Vortex Optics

Westelk Outfitters has become a Vortex dealer this year. We have used Vortex Optics for 3 years now and we feel like Vortex offers some great glass for the money. One thing that has stood out to us is the service and warranty covering and supporting their products. Vortex will do whatever it takes to win your business and give you the best support and warranty in the business. We have sent products back and they have fix or replaced the product in record time. Contact us for references and to order your new optics.

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august 16, 2011 12:33pm

Mt Lion Hunting

I was sitting at a Mule Deer Banquet a couple weeks ago and was reading through one of the magazines. I got to an article about mt.lions and predation. One of the stats that caught my eye was that the CDOW estimates there are between 6000-8000 lions in the state of Colorado. And that the old statistic says that a Mt.lion kills and eats one deer per week. Taking the average of 7000x52=364,000 deer per year. So they ask the question, "do we have a deer problem or a lion problem". WOW! Now this doesn't take into account the elk and other prey species that the lions may feed on but it would still be a very high number of deer killed each year.
So my question is how do you manage a population of lions so that there is a huntable population but not too many that is has the effect on deer as we have seen over the years?
I would like to know what your thoughts are on this issue.

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july 19, 2011 06:13am

Colorado Elk & Deer Hunting

So i hope you all got your fall hunts all lined and have a great tag in your pocket. I know there are many of you that did not draw the tag you wanted or missed the deadlines to apply etc. Colorado still has a few options even at the last minute. If you still want to hunt deer this fall there are a couple options. First you can find a landowner voucher that will give you the ability to buy a license. Or you can watch the states website for the leftover license list and buy a license when they go on sale.
If you just want to go elk hunting then Colorado is the place to come. With the majority of the tags being over-the-counter tags you can show up and buy your tag for the season you would like to hunt. There are many open otc units that have great elk numbers.
And lastly if you want to go hunting and don't want to do it solo then call us and we can help you find a guided elk,deer, lion or bear hunt that will fit you.

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july 05, 2011 10:08am

2011 Hunts Still Available

We would like to thank all the hunters who have booked hunts with us this fall. We still have a couple spots to fill. The 2nd rilfe deer hunt is still available for two hunters. This hunt is a 5 day hunt with the landowner voucher included. Hunt dates are late October. Hunt Price is $4000/per hunter. Your food lodging and transportation while on your hunt are provided. Hunt will be one guide for the two hunters.

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june 16, 2011 12:39pm

Landowner Vouchers and Hunts

Westelk Outfitters has some friends and landowners with some tags available.
Unit 53 Muzzle Loader tag.....$3700
Unit 53 2nd Season Rifle Tag....$2500
Unit 53 Archery Tag.............$1500
Unit 63 3rd Rifle Tag...........$3700

If you are interested in any of these tags contact us.

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june 10, 2011 07:29pm

Landowner Vouchers and Hunt Specials

Westelk Outfitters has friends and landowners that have drawn vouchers for the 2011 hunting season.
Colorado Tag
3 Unit 67 1st Season Bull Tags....$1500per
3 Unit 74 Archery Buck Tags.......$1500per
2 Unit 74 2nd Rifle Buck Tags.....$1800
Nevada Tag
Unit 231 Bull Elk Rut Hunt 2 guides per hunter. Killed 411 bull last year. $18,000
Texas Hunts
Mule Deer Management Hunt on 260,000 acres of private land (NO HIGH FENCES). Management hunt is for a buck up to 170 inches for $3000 including guide, lodging, food for 5 days.
Trophy Mule deer hunt is 5 days for $6000. All inclusive also.
You can do a Audad and Mule Deer Combo for $6500 Season runs from Nov-Jan
Contact us for more info on these hunts and tags.

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may 19, 2011 12:21pm

Westelk Kennel

Westelk is building a kennel for our hounds. We will have a nursery for the females that are having pups and a roof over all of them. It will be a nice addition.

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may 18, 2011 08:52pm

Lion Hound to have pups

Westelk got one of our female walkers bred to a great dry ground walker from AZ. We are excited about the cross and cant wait for the pups to get here. We will keep you all posted on the progress.

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may 02, 2011 11:43am

purposed change of bear season dates!

For some of you Coloradans you remember when you could hunt black bears in the spring with dogs or bait. In 1992 that was done away with. Advocates said that too many sows and cubs were being killed. Nothing was further from the truth. Right now there is a lawmaker trying to get the spring bear back open. And why not? Well he needs our help. He is more worried about his next election and pleasing the liberal folks of Colorado and is now changing his stance on his bill because he has caught some flack from the advocate groups. So please get involved and voice your opinion. The fact is this that when a houndsmen puts a bear in the tree he knows what he is shooting he can tell if its a boar, sow or a juvenile. If it is illegal to take sows with cubs he is going to know if there are cubs with the sow. If a hunter is sitting over bait he is going to be able to see what animal he is harvesting if it is a female or boar or if it has cubs with it. The bottom line is that American Sportsmen are losing there freedoms bit by bit for ridiculous reasons. So we need to get involved and do what we can to bring back things like lion hunting in CA and spring bear hunting in CO and wolf hunting in ID, WY and Montana. So please help. Thanks! Jerad

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april 28, 2011 05:24am

Colorado Mule Deer

Well folks as our winter is underway this is the time of year we all start thinking about this fall. We flip through magazines and watch hunting shows wondering what we should apply for this fall. That is the life of a hunter.
What things can you do during the winter and spring to make your fall hunt more successful. Hunters who live near the area that they hunt they have a huge advantage to learn more about the animals that they will be hunting in the fall. One thing that is helpful is to do some winter range scouting. Once the rut is over the bucks will batch back up together. By getting out and seeing what has made it through the previous hunting seasons and survived the rut you will see what you have to look forward to seeing the next season. If you do your winter range scouting then you will know where these bucks are wintering and why not get back out in the spring and pick up some sheds. Which leads us to my next useful preseason research tool. Shed hunting is a useful tool to figuring out what an area has for mature mule deer. Deer are creatures of habit and often if you find a bucks sheds. You can count on that buck coming back to that area for the fall rut. He may not be in the exact spot but he should be in the general area. If you are not successful in finding that same deer don't be discouraged about using that tactic, there is alot that can happen during the summer and that deer may have gotten killed during the summer. So get out and find some sheds and hopefully it will all pan out for you when this fall comes around. Learn your area deer year round it will help you be more successful this fall. Best regards!
Jerad Cotten

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april 05, 2011 12:00am

Colorado Tag Application Deadline Today!

Well today is the day. For all you hunters wanting to apply for Colorado Big Game tags today is the deadline. Applications can be done online or sent in by mail today. For those of you who may still need some help feel free to contact us. We have a few spots still available for elk and deer hunts. Some of our elk hunts can be drawn with 0 points but they still need to be applied for. We have some deals on some hunts right now also. We wish you all the best of luck in the draw!
Westelk Outfitters

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march 22, 2011 12:00am

Colorado Division of Wildlife merge with Parks

So our Governor has purposed to merge the CDOW with the State Parks. They would like to merge the two so that basically Parks (a broke agency) can be incorporated into the DOW (a cash funded agency). The DOW does get matching federal excise tax, about 20 million a year from the Dingel-Johnson, Pittman-Robertson acts which is a specific tax on firearms,ammunition etc. This excise tax money can ONLY be used for hunting and fishing related activities and is specifically NOT to be used for outdoor recreation.
Take Crawford State Park for example. They will look at that and say "oh well there is hunting and fishing opportunity at the park so we can use excise tax dollars to run it" Including Hunter and fisherman (yours and mine) dollars being spent to clean bathrooms, pick up trash, talk to jet skier's and make sure campsites are nice.
Another rumor is that they will all have to share trucks and we all know that that will not work. Two law enforcement agencies cant share a vehicle. The wardens must have a 4 year degree and complete one year of training and can do everything a park ranger can. A park ranger doesn't have to have any of that and they can not do any of the things a warden can.
The state is trying to ramrod this bill through with out ironing out the details ahead of time. They would rather have a shot gun wedding and crash it all together. They are shooting for July 1st for the merger. This merger was done in the late 60's and ended in the early 70's cause it did NOT work.
My fear is that we will end up with and under funded, inefficient agency that cannot afford to be proactive in disease control and herd health. The DOW has already suffered from budget cuts and this will only make it worse.
What will happen when wolves show up here and we don't the funds and personnel to combat the problem.
As sportsmen i feel that we need to be heard. So contact Governor Hickenlooper and tell him this is not a good idea. There are other ways to save money and run more efficiently. Here is the link to tell him what you think.
Thanks again for reading our blog! As always share us with your friends!
Westelk Team

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march 08, 2011 12:00am

Predator and Prey

0411lion pict_New.jpg
We all become more alert when we run across a fresh lion track while we are out in the woods. We know that this is a very stealthy quiet effective killer so it makes us a bit uncomfortable to think that we are sharing the woods with this predator. Mt lions are very majestic and often the beauty of the animal makes people snarl at the thought of hunting these animals. People often think that there are few lions left because they don't see them. Well that is not true. We don't see lions because they hunt as the night falls and are often bedded up for the day before the sun comes up. What we do see of the lion are the remains of its successful night of hunting or a big padded foot print pushed into the snow or soft ground. This predator doesn't do any howling or barking it hunts quietly and often kills using the element of surprise. I am sure some of you have sat and watched a big buck and you thought long and hard about how you were going stalk close enough and how you were going to use the terrain to avoid detection. Well Mt lions are masters at that technique.
Most of us don't know of something called Predator-Meditated Competition. This is where a species like mule deer is brought to extremely low levels due to mt lions having a second prey species in the system. I just finished reading and article on Predator-Meditated Competition in the Muley Crazy Magazine. The article was written by Dr. Charles Kay. Very nice article.
Here is a paragraph from his article. In systems with a single predator and single prey, the predator cannot generally take the prey to extinction due to declining return rates that is the predators usually starve to death before they can find the last few prey. So while mountain lions, for example, can have a negative impact on mule deer the cats can only take the deer population so low before the lions begin to run out of food and increasingly turn to killing each other. But what happens when there is a second, alternative prey in a system? Counter intuitively, the additional prey species does not buffer, or reduce the predation pressure on the first prey animal. Instead, fueled by alternative prey, the predator takes the more vulnerable prey species to even lower levels. this called predator-meditated or apparent cometition, and where this occurs, habitat and habitat improvements are largely irrelevant, contrary to what most biologists would have you believe.
So after i read the whole article, which there was about three pages of great studies to back Dr. Kay's research, I began to think about some things that our Division of Wildlife Biologists do that i disagree with. In certain areas where there are bighorn sheep wintering ground the Division of Wildlife Biologists close these areas to lion hunters and houndsmen. There reasoning behind this is to not stress the sheep by having hounds running through the areas. In a few of these areas there is very high mortality due to lions killing the sheep. These lions also have elk in the area. So my first thought is sheep are obviously the weaker of the species and the elk provide a secondary species for the lions. With low lamb recruitment due to a number of factors the lions have been able to take some sheep herds to extremely low levels. To me this is a classic example of predator-meditated competition. In my opinion when you have a vulnerable species like sheep and the herd numbers are low you have to manage the predators.
Here is some Jerad research. Elk can move to different areas easily if predation is present, due to the fact that they forage on whatever is available. Sheep diet is different and they can only winter in certain areas forcing them to stay in an area even though predation is present.
Well sorry this was a long read. We have predation problems across the west and sportsmen need to be proactive in doing what they can. Wolves, Grizzlies, Mt lions Coyotes they all serve a purpose but they have to be managed. We need healthy herds and a balance of age, sex and maturity is necessary to have a healthy herd. Predators must be kept in check in order to have healthy herd.
Enjoy and please share us with your friends! Post a comment we would love to hear your thoughts!!
Jerad Cotten

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march 03, 2011 12:00am

Antler Growth

Antler growth is an amazing thing. To grow bone each year and shed and regrow it is just almost unbelievable. During the peak of the antler growth antlers can grow at a rate of half an inch per day. So as our deer and elk are shedding and preparing to regrow antlers it makes me wonder about nutrition and genetics and all the factors that need to be balanced to make that buck or bull grow into a B&C trophy. Well there is alot that needs to go right. The most important thing is a buck or bull has got to have the genetic capability to produce B&C antlers. If that is not there no matter the amount of nutrition intake and minerals that bull or buck will never be a trophy. Genetics are hard to pinpoint. What i mean is a buck could look like he has poor genetics when all that has happened is that buck had poor intake of the needed nutrition during antler growth. Stress is also a factor when it comes to antler growth. High stress levels like a rutting wound or hunting wound will cause a buck or bull to not produce antlers to their potential. Buck and bulls antler growth is last on the list when it comes to nutrition. The animal must first take care of its self and if there is nutrition left it will go toward antler growth. Body mass of an animal also contributes to antler growth. As antlers are being grown the animal can't take in enough nutrition and minerals so there body robs from the bone structure of the animal. Once the process is finished that animal must then replace what was taken from the bone in order to sustain health through the fall and winter. Maybe you have seen a buck one year and see him the next and he regressed. That deer may not have been able to replenish what it lost through the winter and previous year. Mule deer rely on what they store during the summer to help them sustain a long winter. When quality feed diminishes and snow covers it. Deer will not travel to try and find great feed during winter. They would burn valuable reserves in search of feed so they will feed on sage mostly. So nutrition and mineral intake year round are critical for animal health.
Supplemental feeding has been proven to help elk and deer health and antler growth.
Across the west it is illegal to supplement deer or elk so before you go putting out mineral and protein check with your local game and fish to see if it is legal or not. The above buck i watched change his antler configuration, His G2's dwindled down and he got a little inline and got wider. He was easy to see year to year as he had the small second throat patch. Well i hope you all enjoyed reading this and would love hear your thoughts on our blog topics. Happy hunting!
Lori pointed out something that i missed. Thanks Lori. What i missed was age factor. Age plays a big part in antler growth as an animal ages there body mass increases and increases their bone structure which will help in antler growth. Mule deer and elk reach maturity generally at 5 and from 5-8 you can expect to see there best sets of antlers.

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february 23, 2011 12:00am

Wildlife Management

So recently the discussion has come up about how our wildlife is managed across the state. I want to know what your thoughts are. Colorado has one of the lowest tag costs for the nonresident hunter. The state has made changes to bring back their deer herds and increase quality. With over the counter elk tags the state offers hunters a place to hunt elk each year but they also offer some quality hunts that you will have to accumulate preference points for. So do you like the way things are or would you change them and why??? What would you like to see done? Understand that the state budget is made off of tag sales so if you cut tag numbers drastically the budget will have to made up in other ways. Let us know your thoughts!

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february 22, 2011 12:00am

Colorado Elk Hunting

Colorado has the most opportunity for the elk hunter. Most of Colorado is managed for quantity and not quality. There are some select areas that offer the trophy hunter a chance at a better bull. In the area that Westelk operates our elk herds are managed for numbers and not quality. So for the hunter who can not draw a trophy tag in other states we have an option to take them hunting each year. These hunts are alot of fun and are often done with a buddy or two. Cow tags have to be drawn unless there are leftover tags. Our archery, 2nd and 3rd season are all over the counter tags. The muzzle loader takes a few points to draw, but the first and fourth seasons can be drawn with 0 points. Take time to browse through our elk photos. We look forward to talking to you. We have a great lodge and great guides. If you book a hunt with us and have some buddies that book with you. Your hunt will be discounted. Please share us with your friends and follow us on facebook and twitter. Thanks!

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february 17, 2011 12:00am

Wolf Information and Numbers

As sportsmen it is our duty to take action when needed to protect our rights as Americans and as sportsmen. A very deadly predator was illegally introduced and is now threatening elk herds across the west. The Historic elk herd of Yellowstone that decreased 24% in the last year has taken a huge hit from this excessive predation and sport killing by the wolves. The Yellowstone herd was sitting at 16,791 in 1995 when the so called wolf restoration project began. Today there are 4,635 elk. The wolves are mostly to blame but the Grizzlies have taken there toll on the calves in the spring.
Here are some numbers from Hunting Illustrated. In 2009 the net sails from wolf tags reached $423,000. The amount of residents that bought wolf tags was nearly 26,000. Wolf tags for residents were $11.75 in 2009. There were only 188 wolves killed during this season not even reaching the quota of 220. Success rate on the Idaho wolf hunt was 0.7%.
I am not totally against the wolf. But it is not a native wolf. And predators have to be managed an kept under control. Wolves kill 365 days of the year.
So i ask all you sportsmen to help take action to help preserve our hunting heritage for future generations. Become involved in conservation however you can. We have let things go too far as it is and freedoms have been taken from us that we should still have. (Hound hunting bear in Colorado, Lion Hunting in California) There are many more. Don't sit back and think it will fix its self cause it won't. If you need help knowing what you can do contact us we would be more than happy to help. Please feel free to post your thought on anything we discuss here at Westelk.
Jerad Cotten

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february 15, 2011 12:00am

Colorado Hunting Regs are out!

Well i hope everyone is having a great winter. Most of you should be receiving your 2011 hunting regulations in the mail by now if you have not received yours you can click on this link and download a copy or print a copy.
Drawing deadline is April 5th. The first inside page will tell you what has changed for the current year. If you are not ready to hunt this year it would be a good idea to at least put in for preference points for future hunting. Remember to involve a child in the outdoors as they are the future.
Jerad Cotten

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