Elk hunting in Colorado?


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bigdogpete
October 31, 2012, 09:17 PM
Here is a question for you elk hunters.

Do any of you carry a handgun concealed or non while hunting elk in Colorado? I have read that many hunters do.

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GJgo
October 31, 2012, 09:34 PM
Nope.

a) I carry a handgun when I can't carry a rifle. If I'm carrying a rifle I'd rather carry a few more rounds than a handgun. Besides, most handguns that you might otherwise carry would be illegal to use for a "finishing shot".

b) When I'm hunting on foot in the high country I'm not interested in carrying anything that I don't need. Gets to heavy / cumbersome.

X-Rap
November 1, 2012, 10:56 AM
Well said, your survival will seldom count on a side arm if you carry a rifle but that extra bottle of water or jacket will.

CoRoMo
November 1, 2012, 11:19 AM
The regs for use in hunting...
http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/RulesRegs/Brochure/BigGame/biggame.pdf
7. HANDGUNS
a. Barrel must be minimum 4 inches long.
b. Must use a minimum .24-caliber (6 mm) diameter expanding bullet.
c. Shoulder stocks or attachments prohibited.
d. Must use a cartridge or load that produces minimum energy of 550-ft.
pounds at 50 yards as rated by manufacturer.

tarosean
November 1, 2012, 11:33 AM
Well said, your survival will seldom count on a side arm if you carry a rifle but that extra bottle of water or jacket will.

As a bow hunter, I carry a sidearm.

Pilot
November 1, 2012, 11:52 AM
When I hunt in CO, I carry a pistol as a back up. I've had rifles malfunction, and since I can't carry two, the pistol gets taken. It is not a burden. I forget its there.

H&Hhunter
November 1, 2012, 12:14 PM
Besides, most handguns that you might otherwise carry would be illegal to use for a "finishing shot".

Is a finishing shot considered hunting? If I were to finish an elk with a .22 Lr pistol is that really against the law? I guess it could be interpreted that way but I'm thinking that is not the intent of the law.

CoRoMo
November 1, 2012, 01:56 PM
Nor could I accept that 'most handguns' fail to meet the 4"+ barrel, .24+ caliber, and 550 ft lbs energy requirement.

But whatever.

GJgo
November 1, 2012, 05:01 PM
H&H, according to the guy who taught my hunter safety class @ the DOW using a handgun that doesn't meet the requirements to "finish" a not-dead-yet big game animal is in fact illegal. I figure it's not worth the risk.

CoRoMo, I said "most handguns that people would otherwise carry". Having taught NRA pistol / CCW classes for years I have a pretty good idea of what most people carry. But, technically "most handguns" wouldn't fit the criteria anyway of 550 ft-lbs @ 50 yds. It takes the heaviest 357 & 10mm loads to qualify. Many 41 mag rounds will qualify. Probably most 44 mag rounds would qualify. The bigger magnums will all qualify if the barrel is at least 4". I'm pretty confident that this selection is not "most handguns".

tarosean, in CO during primitive hunting season (bow & muzzleloader) it is illegal to shoot a game animal for any reason using a modern cartridge. I suppose you might carry for personal defense, but no one I know who hunts primitive does. Might be different in TX.

H&Hhunter
November 1, 2012, 05:26 PM
H&H, according to the guy who taught my hunter safety class @ the DOW using a handgun that doesn't meet the requirements to "finish" a not-dead-yet big game animal is in fact illegal.

Okay I guess it's worth looking into because I wouldn't hang my hat on what any hunter education instructor said regarding the law, having known a few over the years I am universally unimpressed.

The one who taught my daughters hunter education was a genuine moron full of moronic, juvenile stories consisting of unfathomable levels of misunderstanding of game, the law, hunting, firearms, archery and the outdoors.

X-Rap
November 1, 2012, 05:42 PM
It is technically shooting a big game species and your search for the technical/administrative answer will be that it must meet the criteria of a legal firearm for the taking of big game. You may however still find a DWM who has some common sense and understands the wish of the hunter to not waste meat with another high velocity rifle round at close range or ruining the cape of a trophy by trying to cut its throat. Good luck with the latter they are getting increasingly hard to find.

bigdogpete
November 1, 2012, 09:28 PM
Is the only reason a person would carry a handgun while hunting elk is for a finish shot? I have never hunting Colorado/ mountain areas and I am just curious.

GJgo
November 1, 2012, 10:29 PM
I'm sure folks have lots of various reasons to. I don't cuz I don't want one more thing to carry. Of course, I've never needed a finishing shot, either. Keep shootin' till they fall over dead, last thing I want to do is chase a wounded elk in the high country.

H&Hhunter
November 1, 2012, 10:38 PM
Is the only reason a person would carry a handgun while hunting elk is for a finish shot?

I don't carry a handgun while elk hunting if I've got my rifle with me.. I do however carry one while making multiple trips on a pack out. I had a good friend of mine run up a tree for several hours by a black bear that had claimed his kill. He didn't have a weapon of any kind with him he had to kick the bear in the face several times as it came up the tree after him on several occasions.

I don't have time for that kind of nonsense. So in that situation I carry a S&W 329 PD in .44 Magnum. Late season with lots of snow most black bears will be hibernating but it's still not a bad idea to carry a sidearm for cats and the possibility of a rabid dirt bag human.

And I have needed a finishing shot or two over the years if you hunt enough eventually you will.

tarosean
November 2, 2012, 01:58 AM
Is the only reason a person would carry a handgun while hunting elk is for a finish shot? I have never hunting Colorado/ mountain areas and I am just curious.

Not really worried about an attack from a wild animal.

Other reasons can be signaling if lost or an injury to myself. Injured pack animal, Broken Bow-Weapon, etc.

During early season scouting/shed hunting Ive ran across a few "grows" and have ran across their setups during the cold season. Never have ran into the cultivators/perpetrators though.

The old adage rings true in suburban settings. rings true in the outdoors. "Its better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"

Cranky CJ
November 2, 2012, 02:16 AM
One year walking in the dark timber looking for the signs of where the elk had bedded down in the fresh snow, I found some fresh, very fresh cat tracks. They were big and fresh. I got the hibby-jibbys from that and wished I had a side arm.

when bow hunting I carried my 357mag, but haven't done so when rifle hunting.

MachIVshooter
November 2, 2012, 04:16 PM
The regs for use in hunting...

http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteColl...me/biggame.pdf
7. HANDGUNS
a. Barrel must be minimum 4 inches long.
b. Must use a minimum .24-caliber (6 mm) diameter expanding bullet.
c. Shoulder stocks or attachments prohibited.
d. Must use a cartridge or load that produces minimum energy of 550-ft.
pounds at 50 yards as rated by manufacturer.

That stuff only applies if you intend to use it on the big game animal.

If you're hunting with a bow, muzzle loader, crossbow, rifle or legal handgun, carry whatever sidearm you feel inclined to in addition. I have frequently packed a .22 with shorts or CB caps to use on grouse or other small game I encounter on the hunt. It is illegal to use supressors for hunting in CO, but a .22 CB is pretty quiet and very effective on small game.

When I don't have a SG license or have no interest in them, I usually pack a 10mm that is legal for use on big game animals.

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