Northwestern Colorado boasts one of the largest elk herds in the world, and Three Forks Ranch happens to be right in the middle of it. Our free-ranging herd swells to nearly 6,000 head in the Fall. Colorado’s Ranching for Wildlife program allows us to start hunting September 1 by any legal method. That’s right: We are hunting bull elk with a rifle during the rut. Usually reserved only for archery hunters, this rifle hunt is filled with bugling bulls, called in by our experienced, elk-hunting guides. This is a license-guaranteed hunt. No draw.
Colorado is home to North America’s largest elk herd, with an estimated population of nearly 300,000. Maintaining the habitat and long-term health of big game herds is a top priority for the state of Colorado, and Three Forks Ranch is happy to assist in that mission by providing hunters with this exceptional hunting experience.
Looking similarly to moose, elk are identifiable by their reddish, light brown bodies with darker legs, chestnut brown necks, slender snouts and pale yellow rumps. Bulls are notable for their antlers, which aren’t palmated and have obvious brow tines coming off the main beam.
"Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person."
Tips for Hunting Success
Of course, while the guides at Three Forks Ranch will do everything they can to ensure your hunt goes as well as it possibly can, there are a few things you can do in advance of your trip to help prepare. Whether you’re new to hunting or a seasoned pro, there are a few things that every hunter should keep in mind when embarking on any hunt.
If you’re used to hunting somewhere closer to sea level, be prepared for the changes that can occur when going from low altitude to the high altitude at the Ranch. Higher altitude levels can put a strain on your body and lungs that you might not be used to. Doing a little more cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging, running or bike riding, before your trip to the Ranch can help you perform your best on the Ranch.
As with any elk hunting trip, you’ll want to make sure you’re properly dressed. This includes good quality boots and socks and warm base layers. Wool is a great material to look for in your socks and base layers as it keeps you warm and wicks moisture away from your skin. Depending on when your hunt is, be sure to pack enough outer layers to keep you warm, too.
Make sure you bring boots that are going to keep your feet comfortable, warm and dry on your hunt. Be sure to break in your boots before your visit, too; you don’t want blisters getting in the way of you enjoying your trip.
While these tips are essential to help you have the best possible hunting experience, perhaps one of the most important aspects of any hunt is knowing the terrain and the area for your hunt. Luckily, with the guides at Three Forks Ranch by your side, you’ll have all the expertise you need for a perfect hunting experience.