Bull & Cow Elk

Colorado Elk Hunting Checklist

 Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this Colorado elk hunting checklist helpful.

Successful elk hunting comes down to being prepared and taking advantage of all the opportunities that come your way. This checklist makes sure that you have every edge available to stalk your prey without being detected while keeping you warm, dry and comfortable. Although this list can’t guarantee success it will go a long way ensuring that you are ready for every opportunity available to bag a trophy elk this season.


See Also: Colorado Elk Hunting Tips & Information


Colorado Elk Hunting Essentials


Zamberlan Waterproof Hunting Boots Zamberlan waterproof hunting boots

Really good, comfortable hiking boots are a necessity to meet the demands of elk hunting in high elevation, rugged, mountain terrain. These Zamberlan Outfitter GTX boots are like 4-wheel drive for your feet.

  • Made of 2.8mm Hydrobloc Tuscan nubuck leather for a long-lasting, comfortable hunting boot
  • Heavy duty, tall 11″ high boots that offer protection against thick brush, debris, and snow.
  • Made of Gore-Tex membrane for maximum water protection and breathability
  • Comfortable
  • Resoleable Vibram Star Trek sole means this boot will last for years and years even with hard use.
  • Hand-crafted in Italy
  • An advanced backcountry hunting boot.
  • Redesigned 3/4 RRS (Rubber Rand System), features a beveled edge to prevent catching and peeling. It protects the foot and ankle and the leather from cracking, cuts and scratches
  • Ideal for carrying heavier loads and hiking through rough, steep backcountry terrain.
  • Dual-density PU construction (one for comfort, one for support),
  • TPU stabilizer for torsional rigidity, and a tread with an excellent downhill brake
  • Toe climbing zone
  • Wide, grippy lugs.
  • Heel strike zone
  • Perfect for elk, mule deer, and lower-level sheep hunting where support, comfort, durability, and performance are required.

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Scent Eliminating Hunter’s Soap Duke Cannon Scent Eliminating Hunter's Soap

Elk are unbelievably wary and will disappear without a trace at the drop of a hat. Do not let your scent give you away. Stay stealthy with this high quality hunter’s soap made of a unique formula that captures odors, smothers them, and prevents their release.

  • (2) Duke Cannon Big ‘Ol Brick of Hunting Soap – Scent Eliminator, 10oz
  • Unique formula that captures odors, smothers them, and prevents their release
  • Unscented, odor neutralizing & eliminating
  • Fragrance-free
  • No-stink soap.
  • At a whopping 10-ounces, each bar is 2 x’s the size of other hunting soaps.
  • Won’t dry out your skin.
  • A portion of proceeds benefits U.S. Veterans.
  • Made in the USA
  • Eliminates scents on hunters

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Cirrus Wind Indicator Cirrus Wind Direction Indicator

Technology takes checking the direction of the wind to the next level. This multi-functional tool is an advanced wind indicator, flashlight and cell phone charger all-in-one. You will wonder how you lived without this one, .

  • Great alternative to messy powder wind indicators
  • Multi-tool includes – Wind Indicator, flashlight, Red LED flashlight and built-in Power Bank to charge your electrical device.
  • Stay Undetected and test the wind direction in total darkness with Stealth Mode!
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors to find all kinds of leaks.
  • No open flame.
  • Each cartridge provides over 1000 puffs.
  • Each charge lasts 30+ hours
  • Replaceable cartridge!
  • INCLUDED IN THE BOX: 1 wind indicator, 1 USB charging cord, 1 detachable lanyard, 1 cloud cartridge
  • Silent wind indicator is easy to use
  • One handed operation
  • Always stay downwind of your prey.

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Midland Two-Way Radios with Ear Buds Midland two way radio

Two-way radios can be a game changer for elk hunting with a partner or to stay in constant contact and share sightings with a number of fellow hunters and with ear buds you can ensure that it won’t jeopardize the hunt.

  • 2-way radio walkie-talkies feature 50 GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) channels, along with channel scan to check for activity.
  • Splash resistant
  • “Call” sound can be programmed to sound like 5 wild animals including turkey, duck, crow, cougar and wolf. Or use the vibrate feature to silence all tones. Either way you will not spook elk with these radios.
  • Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camouflage color pattern is ideal for hunters.
  • 36-mile range on average, longer range in open areas
  • 142 privacy codes give you up to 3,124 channel options to block other conversations.
  • NOAA Weather Scan automatically scans through 10 available weather (WX) band channels and locks onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates. NOAA Weather Alert will sound an alarm indicating that there is a risk of severe weather in your area.
  • INCLUDED IN THE BOX: (2) Radios, (2) rechargeable battery packs, (2) boom mic headsets, (2) belt clips, 120V dual desktop charger, AC adapter, DC adapter, and an owner’s manual.

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Scentlok Skull Cap Scentlok Skull Cap

ScentLok skull cap keeps your head warm and comfortable while locking in odor and keeping you invisible to elk even if the wind changes. This is the hunting cap you have been searching for.

  • Features an innovative, scent-blocking Carbon Alloy technology
  • The Carbon technology combines the power of carbon, and zeolite for maximum odor adsorption.
  • Form fitting design with 2-way stretch fabric.
  • Treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish to block moisture from soaking into the fabric to keep your head warm and dry.
  • Interior wicking fabric draws sweat and moisture away from your head to keep your skin dry.
  • Added fleece paneling over the ears and back of the neck will keep you toasty warm during the hunting season.
  • Camouflaged color pattern is perfect for hunters.
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Bushnell Spotting Scope Buschnell Legend Ultra HD Spotting Scope

The Bushnell spotting scope should be high on your Colorado elk hunting checklist. Scopes have better magnification than binoculars, can easily supplement your rifle scope and will work alongside your laser rangefinder. This is arguably one of the most important tools for a successful hunt.

  • Spotting scope with 20 to 60x magnification and 80-Millimeter objective lens
  • ED Prime extra-low dispersion glass for color-tuned, high-resolution viewing and clarity even in low-light conditions.
  • Waterproof & Rain Guard HD water repellent coatings
  • Bak-4 prisms
  • Fully multi coated optics reduces light loss and glare due to reflection, resulting in a brighter, higher-contrast image with reduced eye strain
  • RainGuard HD coating enhances your view in inclement weather by reducing large drops of water to near-microscopic specks. This dramatically increases light transfer and results in a remarkably clear image in wet weather. Whether you’re dealing with rain, snow, sleet, or condensation, you’ll still enjoy a clear, bright view.
  • Stacked,2-speed, dual-focus controls for making rapid and fine-tuning adjustments
  • 45-Degree angled zoom eyepiece, measures 16.5-Inch, weighs 80.1-Ounce
  • Comes with a soft carrying case.
  • High quality, reliable, affordable spotting scope.

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Under Armour Stealth Hoodie Under Armour Stealth Hoodie

Elk and deer were designed to hear better, see better and smell better than other animals in order to detect danger and flee. This Under Armour Stealth hoodie evens the odds by keeping you, undetectable to your prey.

  • Scentless hoodie controls your scent to keep you stealthy when hunting
  • Made of 100% Polyester with UA Microthread technology dries faster, doesn’t cling, won’t chafe & stretches without absorbing sweat
  • UA Storm technology repels water without sacrificing breathability
  • Exclusive UA Scent Control technology
  • Soft fabric with an advanced, high-loft Sherpa fleece inside for extreme warmth
  • Secure hand pockets
  • Machine Washable makes it easy to care for.
  • Super-breathable fabric regulates body temperature so you are drier, perspire less and stay odorless.
  • Eliminates the need to wear heavy, bulky gear in cold weather.

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Fresh Earth Scent Wafers Fresh Earth Scent Wafers

Nothing will scare elk faster than a hunter getting winded by the herd. Keep your human scent undetectable by covering it with a natural fresh earth scent that prey expect to smell on the air. These Hunter Specialties fresh wafers will give you the advantage to bag the big one.

  • Patented scent wafer technology that makes pure, concentrated scents part of the wafer itself
  • BOX INCLUDES: 3 scent wafers, a storage case and hangers
  • Made specifically for hunters
  • Scent wafers naturally refresh themselves when returned to their storage containers after use
  • For fast and effective scent cover, hang your scent wafers from nearby branches or pin them to your clothing
  • Eight different scents available including fresh earth, white oak acorn, natural pine, cow elk urine, western sage, doe estrus, buck rut whitetail and natural cedar.
  • Long-lasting wafers.

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Primos Elk Call Primos Elk Call

Elk calling is not an easy skill to master, but once you have it down, you can pull a cow or bull to you. Elk are extremely vocal animals especially during the breeding season. Their chirps, mews, barks, chuckles and bugles are all opportunities to bring one of these animals in close. Use this elk call to increase your chances of success.

  • Primos IMAKA DA BULLCRAZY Elk Call
  • Quality materials for the toughest situations and environments
  • Ideal for the professional, recreational user, or casual user
  • Normal or Close In Calling
  • Manipulatable to sound like multiple cow elk
  • Single reed cow call is very easy to use and gives a very authentic cow sound.
  • Comes with a tether strap.
  • Adjustable rubber band on the reed allows you to modify the tone.
  • If new to using an elk call give yourself at least a month of practice before your hunt to become familiar and efficient.

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Zeiss Terra 8 x 42 Binoculars Zeiss Terra 8 x 42 Binoculars

Perfect binoculars for the elk hunter with an awesome close focus and a wide-angle field of view, you’ll be able to pick out individual animals from large groups and seek out hidden game. Plus their extremely compact size makes them easy to use in the field.

  • 8x magnification delivers enlarged images
  • Enjoy large fields of view and steady images
  • Waterproof, watertight body
  • Compact design and the large lens diameter are ideal for hunting in fields and forests
  • Featuring SCHOTT ED glass with the highest optical precision and the hydrophobic multi coating guarantee brilliant detailed images and 100% natural colors.
  • Large, smooth and easy-to-grip focus wheel for fast, smooth and easy focusing.
  • Lightweight, sleek, modern design
  • Easy-to-grip body surfaces let you grab and lift the binoculars quickly to your eye
  • Ergonomically correct eye cups make viewing comfortable and natural.
  • Ideal for hunting, bird watching, nature observation, outdoor activities
  • Available in black, gray and black & green
  • Specifications:
    • Twilight factor – 18.3
    • Field of view at 1,000 yards -375 ft
    • Subjective angle of view -56°
    • Effective lens diameter – 42 mm
    • Exit pupil diameter – 5.3 mm
    • water resistant 100 mbar
    • Size: 5.6 inches length and 4.7 inches wide
    • weighs 25.6 ounces
    • Optimal operating temperature range of -4 to 145°F

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See Also: Best Gifts for Outdoorsmen


Comments Bull & Cow Elk

We hope you found this Colorado elk hunting checklist helpful. Please let us know what’s on YOUR essential elk hunting checklist? What is the must-have item that makes hunting so much more fun, convenient or successful? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories of hunting Rocky Mountain elk in Colorado.

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10 Comments

  • Elizabeth Morgan

    Great checklist to buy some outdoor gear. Your explanation idea helped me to choose the perfect outdoor gear for my upcoming winter tour.

  • Annie

    I really appreciated the stuff you recommended taking on an elk hunt.  Living in elk territory myself, I am still in awe of them.  They are huge!

    How would you recommend getting it out of wilderness after getting it?  I don’t see one person being able to get that animal out on their own without having a vehicle.

    As a hunter, I like the products you are promoting, I will be checking into them more, thank you!

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Annie so happy you enjoyed the Colorado elk hunting checklist article and that you found some useful items for your next elk hunt.  Yes, elk can be HUGE, and they can be very difficult to harvest, dress and haul out.  Your best bet is to hire a guide, they are familiar with where the animals bed down and feed.  They can also set up and maintain your campsite and once you do harvest an animal they will dress it, haul it out and store it for you until your hunt is done, that makes it so easy and convenient.  Elk territory can be very steep and rugged and it can be a BIG job to pack your elk out alone.

  • Rodarrick

    This is a great checklist here that could really prove pivotal for my next elk hunting expenditure. I like most of the ideas you have shared here and they may prove to be the difference between success and failure out there on the hunt. My favorite suggestion is the Cirrus Wind Indicator, I fancy it a lot. Thumbs up for sharing

    • ThinkVail

      Thanks for the kind comments regarding the Colorado elk hunting checklist and we are so happy you found this checklist helpful.  The Cirrus Wind Indicator is a great tool for staying downwind from the elk herd at all times, you will find it super slick and useful.  Thanks for reading!

  • Henry

    I love to go Elk hunting. And a group of friends and I are planing to go to Colorado for just that. So, one of the boy in the group sent us the link to your post. I’m grateful he did because these essential will make a huge difference when we’re out hunting. I’ll also bookmark. Thanks for the great content.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Henry I am so happy you found the Colorado elk hunting checklist helpful.  Have fun on your hunt and if you need more information about what you need to hunt elk in Colorado please check out the article Elk Hunting in Vail, Colorado for more information, tips and details to make your hunt successful.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Abel, so happy you found this Colorado elk hunting checklist helpful.  Both items you are looking at will absolutely enhance your hunt.  The two-way radios will let your group track elk easier and the spotting scope will insure you find the biggest, best elk of the bunch way easier than with binoculars.  Have fun and good luck on your hunt.

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