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Scouting Tips
Scouting Tips
​​​​​Here are some tips that can help you scout a new area before you apply or scout an area you drew before the season begins: 


  • Check out Elk Hunting University, especially the articles on Scouting Tips—The "Secrets to Success" and Pre-scouting—Using Maps and GPS.

  • Check out the regionally produced big game hunt guides: These guides (published each July) provide hunting information for Colorado, split into four areas. Included are statistics, directories—and some great hunting tips for each area.

  • Road and trail closures can unexpectedly complicate a hunting trip. Check for road/land closures​ in the area you plan to hunt.

  • Be informed about the pine bark beetle epidemic. It's a huge problem in some parts of Colorado and can cause road and trail closures, affect herd movements, among other problems. Get the latest information from the US Forest Service about pine bark beetle mitigation work that may take place near your planned hunting area.

  • Subscribe to the CPW eNews to receive hunting-specific newsletters with information on Colorado hunting seasons, breaking hunting news, and deadline reminders.

  • The Colorado Outdoors Magazine contains great content about hunting and fishing, among other Colorado outdoor topics. The Jan/Feb issue publishes the annual population data for Colorado deer, elk and pronghorn herds and is a great planning tool for hunters applying for limited licenses. A one-year, bi-monthly subscription is $13. The subscription includes your choice of either the annual Hunting Guide or Fishing Guide ($5 each if purchased separately). Some back issues also available for $3.25 each.

  • Improve your skills in the field—for before and after the hunt: Buy Down to the Bone and Elk Hunting, Colorado, DVDs, for just $17.95 each.

  • If you are considering the services of an outfitter or guide? A list of state-licensed outfitters and guides is available at Also, look over Finding an Elk Hunt Outfitter from Elk Hunting University.

  • Consider camping at a Colorado state park. Park passes and off-highway vehicle (OHV) permits​ can be purchased online.