2022 ElkBros Best Days Season Planner

GENERAL CALENDAR

CALENDAR KEY ELEMENTS

Click Here

KEY

RED OUTLINE - What we consider to be "overall" best hunt days for the largest group of people. 

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.
Also, keep in mind that different age groups of cows come into estrus at different times. Anywhere around a 14 day period from each other. There will even be some cows that come into estrus around the 1st of September.

ELKBROS ARCHERY THOUGHTS

Click Here

ELKBROS THOUGHTS

SEPTEMBER ARCHERY BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS 

For the majority out there: Everyone that listen's to us knows that we like the early part of September. But when you throw together the fact that early season the elk will be mostly silent, along with the numbers of folks in the woods for Labor day AND a full moon phase... the last part of September gets the nod. The 15th seems to be the date when the switch turns on and the bugles are really starting to ring out. So we don't think you can go wrong from the 15th to the 30th.

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 them and morning and evening action should be solid with the new moon phase occurring.  

3rd to 5 year with average skills and and some harvests: Top 7 days for this group would be anytime between the 15th to the 24th. These dates eliminate the Labor Day crowd and the bulls are in transition mode and feeling the testosterone. I love this phase of the rut. It's still early enough to to where not all the "real" herd bulls are not quite "cowed up" yet, but they are definitely screaming and working it. Great time to get a huge satellite too!

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. 
But for those after any bull, those two days before Labor Day could be two of the best days. There has been NO hunting pressure. The young guys are still dumb and 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 bulls that are still very susceptible, and then the weekend of the 24th with the dark moon. 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

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 - So what's up with the split? Well October means either muzzleloader or Rifle in "most" states. So with that said, the earlier or the later you hunt elk in October, the better. Early October means screaming bulls, and trust me... they are going nuts! If you have an opportunity to hunt this phase, you are golden.
Mid October, you can still hear bulls screaming here and there, especially if a second or third estrus comes into play. But the big boys dive off to hide and recover.
In the later part of October, you have a new moon phase, meaning some longer hunt times in the morning and evening, with a few of the big bulls coming out of hiding and thinking about feed, feed, feed.

NOVEMBER - If possible, the later in November the better, as bulls begin to bachelor up and are definitely trying to put the weight back on from the rut. Luckily, the new moon falls on the late period as well, creating a better rifle situation all around if you draw a hunt that late.

December - With days shortening and winter happening, December is one of the best times to harvest a big bull if your state has a December bull hunt. They have food on the brain and will be more exposed, later in the morning and earlier in the evening, and easier to spot in bachelor groups. Giving the nod to the new moon phase at the end of the month. Why not start on the 14th or 15th? We feel that bulls coming out of a full moon phase stay in that full moon mode for a few days until the dark nights take effect.

COLORADO CALENDAR

CALENDAR KEY ELEMENTS

Click Here

KEY

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

GREEN BLOCK - Muzzleloader Season. Yep, right in the middle of Archery, but not during the best time of the month! WARNING: If you hunt archery during this time, take extra precautions!

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

Click Here

ELKBROS THOUGHTS

SEPTEMBER ARCHERY BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS

For the majority out there: Everyone that listen's to us knows that we like the early part of September. But when you throw together the fact that early season the elk will be mostly silent, along with the numbers of folks in the woods for Labor day AND a full moon phase... the last part of September gets the nod. The 15th seems to be the date when the switch turns on and the bugles are really starting to ring out. But with the muzzle loaders hunting up to the 18th, we don't think you can go wrong from the 19th to the 30th.

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 them and morning and evening action should be solid with the new moon phase occurring.  

All other experience levels and skill sets:
The Muzzleloader season last year was right in the middle of the best part of the moon phase. Not the case this year. With most muzzle loaders heading out on Sunday, the 19th through the 30th is prime time. However, for those having the opportunity, the first two days before Labor Day weekend are a hot time to get an opportunity on "uneducated" bulls and possibly hit an early estrus cycle. There always seems to be some bugling activity from the 1st to the 4th before it goes silent.

Weekend Warriors:
For our resident hunters that can only hunt a weekend or maybe two during the season, the moon phase and the muzzleloader season make this an easy decision. Labor day weekend and then the weekend of the 24th. 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, if you have to choose, we recommend the weekend of the 24th over Labor Day Weekend.

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: Unfortunately, the prime time rut from the 1st to the 8th is not an option on Colorado public land.
That doesn't mean the rut action stops. You can absolutely still have bulls bugling from the 15th to the 19th. In fact, if we had to apply or choose an OTC firearms hunt, it would be this one first choice and then late November as a 2nd choice. 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 full moon phase during the Second Rifle makes it a definite no for us. If we were to have the option for a firearm hunt in November, the later the better, especially with the chance of snow falling. 
Once bulls recover from the rut, they bachelor 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 23rd thru the 27th. The only issue is that it could be a difficult time at home with it being Thanksgiving.

NEW MEXICO CALENDAR

CALENDAR KEY ELEMENTS

Click Here

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 (grey 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 October, November thru December, but they are too varied in unit, dates & weapon to list here.

ELKBROS ARCHERY THOUGHTS

Click Here

ELKBROS THOUGHTS

SEPTEMBER ARCHERY BEST DAYS

BEST 7 DAYS

For the majority out there: Everyone that listen's to us knows that we like the early part of September. But when you throw together the fact that early season the elk will be mostly silent, along with the numbers of folks in the woods for Labor day AND a full moon phase... the last part of September gets the nod. The 15th seems to be the date when the switch turns on and the bugles are really starting to ring out. So we don't think you can go wrong from the 15th to the 30th.

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 2nd season so the elk can help you find them. There should be ruts occurring with bugling bulls helping you out to locate them and morning and evening action should be solid with the new moon phase occurring.  

3rd to 5 year with average skills and and some harvests: Top 7 days for this group would be anytime between the 17th to the 24th for us. These dates eliminate the Labor Day crowd and put you in the middle of the rut and a dark moon. Lots of big plusses. With locating  elk being half of the battle, you should be hearing lots of bugles as bulls are now vying for their harems. 

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, your weekends are what they are and pretty much are the only choices.
For the first hunt, if you can hunt both weekends, then no problem. But if you have to choose, we would select the weekend of the 10th. Mainly because it eliminates some of the crowd and you will have bulls in that transition mode and beginning to sound off.
For the second season, you have a great weekend opportunity on the 17th. Bulls should be cranking and still working to gather cows. 

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. 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 8th to the 12th, It is the best of what is generally offered statewide. There will still be a few big bulls possibly hanging around 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 bachelor 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. 

Podcast

http://podcast.elkbros.com

E-mail

info@elkbros.com

Subscribe and stay updated to everything ElkBros!