2021 ElkBros Best Days Season Planner

GENERAL CALENDAR

CALENDAR KEY ELEMENTS

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KEY

RED OUTLINE - Dark Moon Phase for each month.

RED MOON - Equinox

PURPLE MOONS - This is an example of the approximate date that a cow elk would come in estrus for a second or third cycle if she had cycled the first time on the 22nd and was not bred. There is approximately 21 days between cycles.

ELKBROS ARCHERY THOUGHTS

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ELKBROS THOUGHTS

SEPTEMBER ARCHERY BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS 

1st to 3rd year beginner with limited skill set: Your toughest issue will be creating opportunities or locating the elk. The very reason you should use the last days of the season so the elk can help you find them. There should be ruts occurring with bugling bulls helping you out to locate.  

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FULL MOON PHASE??
There are benefits to EVERY moon phase. You just have to take advantage of them! Sure, the elk will go into the trees earlier, but as a bowhunter, that's exactly where you want to hunt them! They are also very active at night in the full moon, which helps to locate while night bugling. Think about how a turkey hunter puts a gobbler to bed to be on them the next morning.

3rd to 5 year with average skills and and some harvests: Top 7 days for this group would be anytime between the 7th to the 15th to 17th. These dates eliminate the Labor Day crowd and the bulls are in transition mode looking for cows and still setting a pecking order. I love this phase of the rut. A great time on a lot of different levels. Big bulls are shadowing the smaller bulls building up a harem and are very susceptible. 

5th to 10 year plus experience with solid skills and and multiple harvests:  This group has the skill sets and strategies already set for your favorite part of September. And there will be plenty of different reasons and goals that will determine your days. 
Because we are after any bull, we still absolutely prefer the early rut to rut transition phase before bulls are cowed up. Bulls are super susceptible at this time and could come in silent or screaming their heads off.

Weekend Warriors: For our resident hunters that can only hunt a weekend or maybe two during the season, we recommend Labor day weekend simply for the days available to hunt and then the weekend of the 25th. You are not going to have time to have to find the critters, so go as late as possible to get some help from the rut and screaming bugles. The later the better.

ELKBROS FIREARM THOUGHTS

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ELKBROS THOUGHTS

FIREARM BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS

MOON PHASE?
For the firearm hunter, moon phase is definitely a consideration just due to the nature of the weapon. A dark moon means that the elk will be out in open areas longer in the mornings and and come out into them earlier in the evenings. Parks, burn areas, small meadows, short oak brush ridges are all the types of terrain conducive to firearms and the main focus.
But what if you get drawn for a hunt during the full moon? In that case we highly learn a lesson from the Archery hunters and use the moon in two different ways. First, if the elk are still bugling, for locating and gettin in place right at legal shooting light before they hit the trees. For later times when they are not bugling, the moon really helps to get out early and glass open areas. The walking is safer and today's optics can find animals in open areas with the help of a bright moon. Again to get in position for a shot right at legal shooting time.

OCTOBER:
Fortunately, for those that are able to draw it, not only is the 1st to the 11th prime time rut wise, but it also falls on the dark moon phase. The perfect storm and therefore, ABSOLUTELY the best time to hunt in October! The rutting action during this time is generally out of this world with the large mature bulls splitting off and heading into recovery mode around the 8th through the 11th.
That doesn't mean the rut action stops. You have satellite bulls that move in and go through the motions and throughout October, a cow coming into estrus could light up a rut. When it comes to public land, generally once the guns start going off and the rut winds down towards the second half of October, it can get very tough to find a mature bull. They go where you don't want to.

NOVEMBER: 
Generally we are not a fan of early November, but the dark moon phase at least gives a chance at glassing up a bull. If we were to have the option for a firearm hunt in November, the later the better. Especially if the snow starts to fall.
Once bulls recover from the rut, they batchelor up and go into feed mode to put some fat on to survive the winter. They need to eat, eat, EAT. So for us, the best week in November would be the 24th thru the 30th.

DECEMBER:
It could be difficult to find a public land December hunt, but if you do, this our friends is THE BEST TIME, in our humble opinions, to harvest a trophy mature bull. For the very reasons we stated in November, bulls are focused on one thing, feeding! Since they are bachelored up in groups of 3 to 10 or even more, they are easier to spot in the mornings and evenings. Our best week would get the nod from the 1st to the 11th...Dark Moon Phase.

COLORADO CALENDAR

CALENDAR KEY ELEMENTS

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KEY

RED OUTLINE - Archery Elk Season, Sept. 2nd thry the 30th.

GREEN BLOCK - Muzzleloader Season. Yep, right in the middle of Archery. 

RED MOON - Equinox

GREEN OUTLINE - First rifle

BLUE OUTLINE - Second rifle

PURPLE OUTLINE - Third rifle

GREEN OUTLINE - First rifle

YELLOW OUTLINE - Fourth rifle

ELKBROS ARCHERY THOUGHTS

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ELKBROS THOUGHTS

SEPTEMBER ARCHERY BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS

1st to 3rd year beginner with limited skill set:
Your toughest issue will be creating opportunities or locating the elk. The very reason you should use the last days of the season so the elk can help you find them. There should be ruts occurring with bugling bulls helping you out to locate.  

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FULL MOON PHASE??
There are benefits to EVERY moon phase. You just have to take advantage of them! Sure, the elk will go into the trees earlier, but as a bowhunter, that's exactly where you want to hunt them! They are also very active at night in the full moon, which helps to locate while night bugling. Think about how a turkey hunter puts a gobbler to bed to be on them the next morning.

All other experience levels and skill sets:
The Muzzleloader season changes everything for us in Colorado. We recommend any days between the 20th to the 30th, with an emphasis on the later the better. 

Weekend Warriors:
For our resident hunters that can only hunt a weekend or maybe two during the season, if you avoid the muzzleloader season, you only really have two weekends. Labor day weekend and then the weekend of the 25th. With only two to three days, you are not going to have time to waste looking for elk, so go as late as possible to get some help from the rut and screaming bugles. That's why we recommend the weekend of the 25th over Labor Day Weekend.

ELKBROS FIREARM THOUGHTS

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ELKBROS THOUGHTS

FIREARM BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS

MOON PHASE?
For the firearm hunter, moon phase is definitely a consideration just due to the nature of the weapon. A dark moon means that the elk will be out in open areas longer in the mornings and and come out into them earlier in the evenings. Parks, burn areas, small meadows, short oak brush ridges are all the types of terrain conducive to firearms and the main focus.
But what if you get drawn for a hunt during the full moon? In that case we highly learn a lesson from the Archery hunters and use the moon in two different ways. First, if the elk are still bugling, for locating and gettin in place right at legal shooting light before they hit the trees. For later times when they are not bugling, the moon really helps to get out early and glass open areas. The walking is safer and today's optics can find animals in open areas with the help of a bright moon. Again to get in position for a shot right at legal shooting time.

OCTOBER: Unfortunately, the prime time rut and moon phase is not an option this year on Colorado public land.
That doesn't mean the rut action stops. You can absolutely still have bulls bugling from the 16th to the 20th. In fact, if we had to apply or choose an OTC firearms hunt, it would be this one first choice and then late November 2nd. During that first rifle, you have satellite bulls that move in and go through the motions and throughout October, a cow coming into estrus could light up a rut. 

NOVEMBER: 
Generally we are not a fan of early November, but the dark moon phase during the Second Rifle at least gives a chance at glassing up a bull. If we were to have the option for a firearm hunt in November, the later the better. Especially if the snow starts to fall.
Once bulls recover from the rut, they batchelor up and go into feed mode to put some fat on to survive the winter. They need to eat, eat, EAT. So for us, the best Colorado rifle elk hunt in November would be the 24th thru the 28th.

NEW MEXICO CALENDAR

CALENDAR KEY ELEMENTS

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KEY

NOTE: New Mexico has multiple hunt configurations; weapons, hunt days and different months that can vary from hunt unit to hunt unit. So it is very important to check and verify the seasons, weapons and number of days for each hunt in the NM Game & Fish Proclamation.

 

RED OUTLINE - Archery Public Land Elk Season. In New Mexico it is generally split up into two hunts, a 15 day hunt (red tinted moons) from the 1st to the 15th and a second 10 day hunt (white moons) from the 15th to the 24th. 

RED MOON - Equinox

GREEN OUTLINE - First firearms hunt. Could be designated as Muzzleloader or Any Legal Weapon. (Rifle, Muzzleloader, Archery)

PURPLE OUTLINE - Second firearms hunt. Could be designated as Muzzleloader or Any Legal Weapon. (Rifle, Muzzleloader, Archery)

BLUE OUTLINE - THIRD firearms hunt. Could be designated as Muzzleloader or Any Legal Weapon. (Rifle, Muzzleloader, Archery)

** There may be additional elk hunts in November thru December, but they are too varied in unit, dates & weapon to list here.

ELKBROS ARCHERY THOUGHTS

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ELKBROS THOUGHTS

SEPTEMBER ARCHERY BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS

1st to 3rd year beginner with limited skill set: Your toughest issue will be creating opportunities or locating the elk. The very reason you should use the last days of the second season so the elk can help you find them. There should be ruts occurring with bugling bulls helping you out by giving away their location.  

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FULL MOON PHASE??
There are benefits to EVERY moon phase. You just have to take advantage of them! Sure, the elk will go into the trees earlier, but as a bowhunter, that's exactly where you want to hunt them! They are also very active at night in the full moon, which helps to locate while night bugling. Think about how a turkey hunter puts a gobbler to bed to be on them the next morning.

3rd to 5 year with average skills and and some harvests: Top 7 days for this group would be anytime between the 7th to the 15th for us. These dates eliminate the Labor Day crowd and the bulls are in transition mode looking for cows and still setting a pecking order. I love this phase of the rut. A great time on a lot of different levels. Big bulls are shadowing the smaller bulls building up a harem and are very susceptible. 

5th to 10 year plus experience with solid skills and and multiple harvests:  This group has the skill sets and strategies already set for your favorite part of September. And there will be plenty of different reasons and goals that will determine your days. 
Because we are after any bull, we still absolutely prefer the early rut and  rut transition phase (1st to the 18th) before the mature bulls are cowed up. Bulls are super susceptible at this time and could come in silent or screaming their heads off.

Weekend Warriors: For our resident hunters that can only hunt a weekend or maybe two during the season, we recommend Labor day weekend simply for the days available to hunt and then the weekend of the 18th. You are not going to have time to waste having to find the critters, so even though you are a day short from Labor Day, we recommend the weekend of the 18th to get some help from the rut and screaming bugles. The later the better.

ELKBROS FIREARM THOUGHTS

Click Here

ELKBROS THOUGHTS

FIREARM BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS

MOON PHASE?
For the firearm hunter, moon phase is definitely a consideration just due to the nature of the weapon. A dark moon means that the elk will be out in open areas longer in the mornings and and come out into them earlier in the evenings. Parks, burn areas, small meadows, short oak brush ridges are all the types of terrain conducive to firearms and the main focus.
But what if you get drawn for a hunt during the full moon? In that case we highly learn a lesson from the Archery hunters and use the moon in two different ways. First, if the elk are still bugling, for locating and gettin in place right at legal shooting light before they hit the trees. For later times when they are not bugling, the moon really helps to get out early and glass open areas. The walking is safer and today's optics can find animals in open areas with the help of a bright moon. Again to get in position for a shot right at legal shooting time.

OCTOBER:
Fortunately, for those that are able to draw if any unit offers the opportunity, the first week of October is prime time rut wise, AND it also falls on the dark moon phase. The perfect storm and therefore, ABSOLUTELY the best time to hunt in October! The rutting action during this time is generally out of this world with the large mature bulls splitting off and heading into recovery mode around the 8th through the 11th.
That doesn't mean the rut action stops. For those that draw that hunt from the 9th to the 13th, It is the best of what is generally offered statewide. There will still be a few big bulls possibly hanging and there is still plenty of bugling action to help you locate bulls.
After that hunt, you have satellite bulls that have moved in and are going through the motions throughout October. A cow coming into estrus could light up a rut. But when it comes to public land, generally once the guns start going off and the rut winds down towards the second half of October, it can get very tough to find a mature bull. They go where you don't want to. 

LATE SEASON OPPORTUNITIES: 
Once bulls recover from the rut, they batchelor up and go into feed mode to put some fat on to survive the winter. They need to eat, eat, EAT. They are bachelored up in groups of 3 to 10 or more and are easier to spot in the mornings and evenings. Check the proclamation for any late season hunts. From what we have seen if there are any late season hunts offered, they are most likely for residents or youth hunters and will again vary from from Unit to Unit. 

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