Colorado Hunting Tips
- Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
- Colorado Hunting Tips: Clothing
- Colorado Hunting Tips: Conditioning
- Colorado Hunting Tips: Elk
- Colorado Hunting Tips: General
- Colorado Hunting Tips: Miscellaneous
- Colorado Hunting Tips: Safety Kit
- Elk Hunting University
Chronic Wasting Disease
About CWD - Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects North American cervids (hoofed ruminant mammals, with males characteristically having antlers). The known natural hosts of CWD are mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose. CWD was first identified as a fatal wasting syndrome in captive mule deer in Colorado in the late 1960s and in the wild in 1981. It was recognized as a spongiform encephalopathy in 1978. To date, no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans has been reported.
By the mid-1990s, CWD had been diagnosed among free-ranging deer and elk in a contiguous area in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, where the disease is now endemic. In recent years, CWD has been found in areas outside of this disease-endemic zone, including areas east of the Mississippi River in Illinois, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The geographic range of diseased animals currently includes 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces and is likely to continue to grow. Surveillance studies of hunter-harvested animals indicate the overall prevalence of the disease in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming from 1996 to 1999 was estimated to be approximately 5% in mule deer, 2% in white-tailed deer, and <1% in elk.
CWD can be highly transmissible within deer and elk populations. The mode of transmission is not fully understood, but evidence supports the possibility that the disease is spread through direct animal-to-animal contact or as a result of indirect exposure to prions in the environment (e.g., in contaminated feed and water sources). Several epidemiologic studies provide evidence that, to date, CWD has not been transmitted to humans. Additionally, routine surveillance has not shown any increase in the incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in Colorado or Wyoming.
Specific studies have begun that focus on identifying human prion disease in a population that is at increased risk for exposure to potentially CWD-infected deer or elk meat. Because of the long time between exposure to CWD and the development of disease, many years of continued follow-up are required to be able to say what the risk, if any, of CWD is to humans.
To minimize their risk of exposure to CWD, hunters should consult with their state wildlife agencies to identify areas where CWD occurs and take appropriate precautions when hunting in such areas. Hunters and others should avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or that test positive for CWD. Hunters who harvest deer or elk from known CWD-positive areas may wish to consider having the animal tested for CWD before consuming the meat (information about testing is available from most state wildlife agencies). Persons involved in field-dressing carcasses should wear gloves, bone-out the meat from the animal, and minimize handling of the brain and spinal cord tissues.
United States. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/cwd/.
Colorado Hunting Tips: Clothing
Hunting Tip #1. You'll need at least two and possibly three types of boots/shoes. The first is camp shoes. If your hunting boots are wet, they can't get dry with your feet in them. Plus, camp shoes, which may be some sort of tennis or deck shoe, are lighter and will give your feet a break. Of course, weather conditions will dictate whether you can wear them. The second is your hunting boots, which are typically all leather or a leather-insulation combination. Do not come hunting without these boots being well worn in. Do not borrow someone else's well worn boots that fit your feet. If you do, make sure you wear them a bunch to adjust to your own feet's peculiarities. The third is insulated pack boots for extremely cold or snowy conditions. Even though these boots will keep your feet warm, they may not be very good for climbing or rough terrain. Make sure they have a tough exterior and inflexible spine to give your feet good arch support.
Hunting Tip #2. Wool socks, at least 85%, work much better than cotton. They are already thick and retain their heating properties while wet cotton socks do not. If your feet sweat a lot and get cold as a result, carry an extra pair of socks in your daypack. You can also go to an outdoor specialty store and get wicking socks. These will draw moisture away from your skin. For a little bit of extra protection, douse the inside of your boots and socks with some baby powder.
Hunting Tip #3. Wool pants with skin friendly lining are the best unless it is hot and dry. They will provide warmth similar to wearing levis and long handles but won't absorb water like levis when walking through wet grass or snow.
Hunting Tip #4. If you don't have rain pants, then gators are a great substitute. Gators are a nylon covering that hooks on to your boots and covers up your legs just below the knee. They are great when walking through wet grass and weeds.
Hunting Tip #5. Your head is the best temperature regulator. Put on a stocking cap, or toboggan as Southerners call it, for that extra warmth and take it off at the first signs of getting heated up. A popular favorite is a neck and head cap combination, such as a Loki. You can pull it down below your chin after heating up, while the rest stays around your neck. A stocking cap is also great for keeping your head warm on those cold nights.
Hunting Tip #6. For extra cold conditions, ski-type gloves are the best. However, they don't do very well when trying to pull the trigger or clasping your mechanical bow release around your wrist. Many hunters prefer wool gloves with half fingers. Wool is the best for warmth while retaining heating qualities if wet. With the ends of your fingers exposed, you retain maximum dexterity. The next best option are those gloves that have the fingers hinged, which allow you fold back the glove to expose your fingers.
Hunting Tip #7. If you plan on wearing leather boots, you may want to rub them with bees wax in the same manner as shining a shoe. Turn on the oven to minimum heat and place the boots in there long enough to warm up the leather. This allows them to better absorb the wax. Use a cloth and do multiple applications. All this makes your boots water resistant. If your boots get wet and the wax wears off, allow them to dry and repeat the process.
Colorado Hunting Tips: Conditioning
Conditioning and hunting success are directly linked because elevation and terrain can make Colorado a difficult place to hunt. The following tips may not make you a candidate for the Boston Marathon, but they will make you physically able to hunt in terrain that may have a higher degree of success. Road hunters and those with limited physical ability will fill tags, but they are in the minority. Improve your health and you will automatically improve your chances of a successful hunt and a trophy animal.
Hunting Tip #1. Conditioning falls into two categories: aerobic and strength. Aerobic training will help you adapt to the lack of oxygen at higher elevations and strength training will help you adapt to carrying loads that you are not accustomed to. Since it takes a few weeks for the body to totally adjust to the lack of oxygen at higher elevations, aerobic conditioning will help you adjust quicker and lessen your recovery time. If you are not already on a workout routine, set one for which you can maintain for at least 6 months prior to your hunt. A workout routine will neither be convenient nor fit into your schedule, it's just something that you must do.
Hunting Tip #2. For aerobic training, just about anything is better than doing nothing at all. Your heart rate needs to be elevated and maintained for at least 30 minutes three times a week. The "benchmark" aerobic heart rate is determined by taking the number 200, reduced by your age, and multiplied by 80% [Of course, you may get different opinions on this.]. For example, if one is 50 years of age, his aerobic heart rate is 120 beats per minute (200-50(.80)). However, as your conditioning increases, your "upper" workout heart rate will increase as well. Popular exercises are running (high impact), hiking, hiking with a loaded daypack, fast-paced walking, treadmill, stairmaster, cross-country, bike riding, etc. Low impact cross training is great for someone who doesn't really like any particular exercise routine and only wants to commit a minimum amount of time per routine; for example, 15 minutes for treadmill and 15 minutes for stairmaster. Strength/weight training is not recommended as a primary means of aerobic conditioning. As always, you should get a doctor's opinion before pursuing any workout routine.
Hunting Tip #3. Strength training is always needed because you will carry loads that you are not accustomed to. For example, most hunters carry some sort of backpack or daypack that may weigh up to 30 pounds, more clothes than normal, heavy boots, gun, shells and the possibility of packing out an animal. Field dressing an animal even takes its toll. In addition, there is always the impact of this additional weight on the body as one is climbing in difficult terrain. Knees, ankles and joints become more susceptible to injury than before. Weight training should be done three times a week with one to two days in between each workout but never three. Each exercise should be done three times with 10 reps each time and your routine should include the entire body because you will use muscles that you never thought you had. When lifting weights, you should also do 'opposites.' For example, if you exercise your stomach muscles (abs), you must also exercise your lower back muscles. If you don't (and especially if you are older), this may cause a disequilibrium and lead to injury or soreness.
Colorado Hunting Tips: Elk
Hunting Tip #1. Have you ever been scouting or hunting and walked right up on an elk and wondered how in the world did that happen? Well, animals walk through the woods all the time and make lots of noise. Next to cows, elk are probably one of the noisiest animals out there. Why would they get spooked when something is making noise - it happens all the time? Here's the key point, you're safe as long as they can't see ya, smell ya, or hear ya.
Getting seen or smelled by an elk is pretty self explanatory. What about hearing you? In regards to one hearing you, making noise is not the problem - making "non-woodsy" noise is. What are woodsy-type noises? They are the things that happen all the time in the woods: noises made from walking/stalking, breaking branches, leaves russling, etc. What are non-woodsy noises, the kind that will spook an elk? They are talking, rattling noises inside a backpack, banging things around, etc. So, take care, not necessarily at being quiet as a mouse, but with the types of noises you are making.
Hunting Tip #2. When is the best time to hunt elk during the rut? Well, you can look at the rut from three time perspectives: beginning, middle, and end.
At the beginning of the rut, it's mostly the herd bulls that are initially the most active and the satellites are still trying to figure things out. This is also your best time to shoot a big bull because they are still in the "gathering" stage, that is, rounding up cows. This is also when they are most susceptible to cow calling and are prone to leave their cows and chase down another hot cow. Even bugling can be a trigger if it sounds like a smaller bull with cows. A big rutting bull has an enormous attitude and will resort to stealing a smaller bull's cows if given the chance.
The middle of the rut is when things are in full swing - every bull elk is trying to get in on the action. Herd bulls have their harem and are more in the "protecting" stage - running off satellite bulls, keeping their cows close by, and not as susceptible to cow calling. Even bugling may cause a herd bull to "flight" instead of "fight." However, this is also the best time to call in a satellite bull. They are in full rut, but have to deal with the frustration of being denied any action because of protective herd bulls. Satellites are very susceptible to cow calling, but be cautious with bugling.
The end of the elk rut can be unpredictable. The herd bulls have taken most of the available cows and are typically unresponsive to anything. Satellite bulls have gotten some leftovers and are very cautious about responding to cow calling. They've spent the whole season getting their butts kicked, and for any cows they've managed to acquire, they've had to play hide and seek just to keep them. Bugling during this time should be rare, if at all. However, for the few satellites that have been denied up to this point, they can be very responsive to cow calling and are willing to come unusual distances to claim their prize.
Hunting Tip #3. While rifle hunting, always remain quiet and still after the shot until the animal is down. An elk does not know where a rifle shot came from because the sound reverberates throughout the mountains. If the animal is wounded, it will seek refuge somewhere, probably downhill. However, if it sees you or hears you because of your premature celebration, it will certainly bolt away from you, probably in the worst possible direction, along with a shot of adrenaline to boot. And, ALWAYS keep shooting until it's down. There are many marksmen and expert riflemen who have gone home empty handed after assuming they only needed one shot.
Hunting Tip #4. While bow hunting, what do you do when drawing back your bow and the elk sees your movement? Many hunters will stop "dead in their tracks" hoping the animal will go about their business and assume they really didn't see anything? Right! Go ahead and draw back and make the shot. An elk will typically pause out of curiosity before bolting - this will be your only chance, so take it.
Hunting Tip #5. If you shoot an elk with an arrow and the elk takes off, immediately cow call/bugle. These are sounds that it is accustomed to and will tend to calm it down. This may make the difference between a short tracking/packing out job and a long tracking/packing out job.
Hunting Tip #6. While bow hunting, always have a second arrow (or even a third) readily available. It is not uncommon for an arrow to blow right through an elk and it will only flinch or run a few steps and stop. The elk may have only felt a slight sting and really didn't know what happened. This pause will give you an opportunity to make another shot.
Hunting Tip #7. One of the most common ways to find elk is glassing (looking through binoculars). Since most hunters look for bulls, they also look for antlers. Of course, many herds are a long ways off and trying to find antlers can be difficult as well as time consuming. Instead, look at the color of the animals. The body of a bull is much lighter (in contrast) than a cow. Sometimes, if the light is just right, a bull will appear almost white. This emphasis will save a lot of time and effort. Once you spot a bull using this method, then you can spend your time finding out if he is what you want.
Colorado Hunting Tips: General
Hunting Tip #1. If you are hunting with a partner and one of you has an animal down, work together to locate it. Sometimes, the distance between the felled animal and the hunter can be quite vast with lots of uncertain terrain in between. One hunter needs to stay put and direct the other hunter to the kill. If you do not have radios, get your hand signals worked out before you split up. The tracker can periodically look at the signaller through his binoculars or gun scope to ensure he's on the right track.
Hunting Tip #2. If you are certain that you've made a solid shot on an animal but can't locate it, then use the wind to assist. The mountains generally have some sort of breeze - going down in the cool of the morning and up during the heat of the afternoon. This method is best used on elk because they have a strong odor. You need to make a wide circle downwind of where you think the animal has travelled - if you have to err, err on the side of going too far downwind. Walk very slowly, sniff frequently, and follow the scent upwind paying attention to the direction from where it came. If at any time you lose the scent, go back into the previous mode and walk back and forth downwind until you pick it up again. Be patient - the breeze shifts and you must take your time.
Hunting Tip #3. If you ever get lost and don't have a clue as to where you are at, stay put and start a fire. Assuming others know that you are out and the general vacinity of where you are, then help search and rescue efforts by not leaving excessive and extra sign and staying in one place. A fire keeps your spirits up, keeps your mind occupied, keeps you warm, and is easy to spot from the air. If you start roaming around, get tired, wet, and cold, your ability to start a fire and stay alive until rescued drops dramatically.
Hunting Tip #4. If you are hunting with a rifle or muzzleloader in wet conditions, you risk getting mud inside your barrel. Take a strip of electrical tape and overlap/cover the end of the barrel. Take another strip and wrap around the barrel over the ends of the first strip to hold it in place.
Hunting Tip #5. It is better to hunt in cold weather using layers of clothing with the outside being a rain-proof windbreaker. Layers can be removed and put back on as conditions dictate. This will mitigate sweating, which should be totally avoided. Think ahead - if you are about to hike an uphill stretch, remove layers at the point of getting chilled. It'll only take a few steps before you start to warm up again.
Hunting Tip #6. It's not uncommon for rifle hunters in Colorado to take very long shots. Here's a few things to consider. One should always know his ballistics, distance, and drop (don't forget about the wind if significant). Ammo manufacturers always produce ballistics information which is useless if one does not know the distance. Knowing the drop, as in knowing the Pythagoreum Theorum, may also make a significant difference depending on the terrain - the horizontal travelling distance may be much less than the distance to the animal, causing many to shoot over the animal. Next, one's rifle needs to remain perfectly still and stable, which either means one should use hunting sticks or lay the rifle on a solid surface. Never shoot from a prone position with just the elbows to stabilize your rifle, or sit with legs crossed and use the knees and elbows. Both may look pretty macho, but you'll probably be eating crow instead of wild game.
Hunting Tip #7. Once you shoot an animal, remain perfectly still. If a wounded animal sees your jubilation, that may just give it that extra adrenaline boost to put it in the next county until it kills over. This is even more important when rifle hunting - the animals don't exactly know where the blast came from so they are basically disoriented and don't know which way to escape. So, don't give away your position just in case you are given the opportunity to take another shot.
Hunting Tip #8. When tracking a wounded animal, they generally always go downhill. If there are lots of tracks in the area, look for the ones that look out of character (assuming no blood or other physical sign) with the rest and that also tend to go down hill.
Hunting Tip #9. Scent Control. Generally speaking, the Colorado mountains always have some degree of breeze. Cool air sinks, warm air rises. Beware of this if you are hunting ridgelines or valley bottoms. A good rule of thumb is to hunt in the direction of the breeze coming within the limits of your peripheral vision. Any breeze coming from outside those limits is your immediate sign that you are hunting in the wrong direction.
Besides clothing, scent sprays also need to be used on the bottom of boots, inside of boots, backpacks/daypacks, and hair.
One of the best natural scent blockers is sage brush, if available, and it can be used in conjunction with manufactured scent blockers. Once you get to your hunting spot, cut off some sage and rub over every exposed piece of clothing; you can even rub it in your hair. However, keep it away from the eyes and family jewels.
Hunting Tip #10. Trekking poles or hiking sticks. This tip can be used in any scenario, but it's mostly applicable when packing out an animal in difficult terrain. Level terrain or kills close to the road are not as critical.
When packing out an animal with a backpack, maintaining balance is very important, very difficult, and very strenuous on the joints and muscles. If you lose your balance the slightest bit with a heavy load on your back, it will cost you lots of precious energy and a possible injury.
It is unlikely that you will be carrying any trekking poles with you while hunting, which means you'll have nothing on that first packout. Either before or during your trek out with the first load, find a decent stick to substitute for a trekking pole. If you don't have any trekking poles, you can continue to use this stick until you're finished and then throw it away.
Colorado Hunting Tips: Miscellaneous
Hunting Tip #1. It's not uncommon for hunters to use a different set of tires for hunting country. In Colorado, road conditions can dramatically change within the same day. In adverse road conditions, thin is in, that is, thin tires do a much better job than wide tires. Thin tires allow the tire to sink through snow or mud to a more solid bottom. Wide tires tend to make the tire stay on top of the snow or mud. Tires also have to push their way through mud or snow. A narrow tire can push through much easier than a wide tire. Most truck tires are 16" and have a fairly high profile. Typical tire manufacturing makes a tire wider as it gets taller, aka "aspect ratio." You can, however, buy tires that have a specific width and buy ones that are much narrower than the norm.
Hunting Tip #2. Most out-of-state hunters do not carry tire chains in their vehicles. DO NOT hunt in Colorado without a good set of tire chains and tighteners. Tighteners are big rubber bands that clip on to the chain to take up any slack and to hold it firmly around the tire. If your chains are extra heavy duty, then two tighteners should be put on each chain. Bungees for "big rigs" or tractor trailer rigs are great. You will also need to check the inside clearance for your chains. Some trucks have over-sized tires and lift kits that lessen the tire-to-load spring clearance and may pose a banging problem. This can sometimes be resolved by 'clipping down' the extra unused links of your chain with the tightener. One of the best places to store chains and tighteners in is a plastic, square kitty litter container such as Scoop Away or a 5-gallon bucket.
Hunting Tip #3. Putting on chains is not an exercise most hunters are accustomed to, so they usually run into trouble before chains get put on. If driving conditions begin to get a little uncomfortable, stop and put on the chains. Get used to it and become accustomed to putting them on. Think ahead and put on chains when it is convenient and you are in a good place. Drive a short distance and take a relook. Driving will cause the chains to shift and you may need to retighten, relocate, or even add more tighteners to get a snug fit.
There is nothing unmacho about having on chains; so, don't risk damaging your vehicle or getting you or someone in your vehicle hurt because you're uncomfortable or too macho to put them on. Before you come hunting, practice putting on your chains and tightening them up - at home.
Hunting Tip #4. If one does much off-highway travel, which is typical for hunting in Colorado, some necessary equipment that may keep you from spending the night in the boonies is a "come-along," 30 foot towing strap/chain, and shovel. Many times other hunters will not be available to assist if you get into a jam, so be prepared with the right equipment. The 30 foot tow strap will typically reach a tree big enough to ratchet out with the come-along. A shovel is always handy to dig out mud or snow from under stuck tires or from being high-centered. It is also good to use for digging "poop" holes at camp as well as a "fire pit" instead of trying to find a bunch of rocks for a fire ring. For those instances where trees may be in short supply, you may want to consider a long, heavy metal rod and sledge hammer. The rod can be driven into the ground at a 45 degree angle and then secure the tow strap to it.
Hunting Tip #5. Depending upon the ground conditions, screw type jacks can be useless; therefore, always carry a handyman bumper jack. In very muddy or snowy conditions, a rock or piece of wood can serve as a base plate. But, these type of jacks can be very dangerous if used carelessly.
Hunting Tip #6. Take multiple types of gloves. Other than gloves for hunting, you should also have one set of tough leather gloves for putting on chains and to wear when busting brush. Walking through oak brush and serviceberry can be hazardous to healthy hands, not to mention clothes. These gloves will protect your hands from scrapes, punctures and wounds. If you find yourself in a situation that requires chains, and depending upon the weather, you may have to use more than one pair of gloves to get the job done before sacrificing your hands to frostbite or injury.
Colorado Hunting Tips: Safety Kit
People die in the Colorado mountains every year. Most of the time, deaths are caused by ignorance, complacency or carelessness and could have been avoided. Hunters get lost, that's a fact of hunting in the mountains. If you hunt here long enough, you may get lost as well. Those who die usually do so from the elements. Most of the time, they are not very far from safety, camp or other hunters. Do a little preplanning for such an unlikely event and make it part of your hunting "standard operating procedure." For example, there are certain items you always carry when you go hunting: water, gun & ammo, bow & arrow, hunting cap, etc. You should make up a Safety Kit with standard items in it, which may grow over time. Many prefer to use a nylon stuff bag with a draw string to hold items. No matter where you go in the woods or the purpose, this kit should always go with you - in your daypack or backpack. Here's a list of some of the items that, at a minimum, should always be in the kit:
- Chapstick and Hand Lotion. The dry Colorado air will dry out your lips and hands quickly; therefore, you should apply chap stick and hand lotion daily whether you think you need it or not.
- Baby Powder. Apply baby powder to your feet at the end of each day to keep the moisture off. You should also put some inside your boots when you put them on in the morning. Walking will cause your feet to sweat and to move around in your boots. Baby powder will absorb any moisture and help prevent blisters. The ole butt crack (and family jewels) can get a little chapped if you sweat too much so a little baby powder can literally save your butt.
- Duct Tape. Duct tape has multiple uses. Take a pencil and saw/break a piece a little wider than your roll of duct tape and roll on several feet. This will take up very little space. One unknown use is to put duct tape across the back of the heal of your foot at the beginning stages of developing a blister, called a "hot spot." This will cushion your skin from the abrasive rubbing that causes blisters. Most hunters don't carry band aids, so duct tape can close up wounds and cuts. Just make sure the wound is properly cleaned before taping it. Also, be careful to not pull off the tape against the grain, which will tend to pull the skin apart. You will find many other uses for duct tape as needs arise.
- Whistle. Your voice cannot compete with a whistle, especially if you are hoarse or even lose your voice. A metal whistle won't break but will rust. A plastic whistle won't rust but may break. Whichever you choose, the sound carries much farther than your voice - just in case you get lost.
- Fire Starter. You should have multiple ways to start a fire, such as waterproof matches, cigarette lighter, candle, packaged fire starter, or moth balls encased with petroleum jelly.
- Mirror. Mirros can be used to signal people on the ground and planes in the air. Probably the best to have is the Survival Signal Mirror. It's compact, has its own protective pouch, and comes with instructions. Caution, never use it in a non-life threatening situation with aircraft - the feds tend to get a little upset.
- Orange Engineer's Tape. Besides being used to mark a kill, it can also be used as "bread crumbs" to mark where you are heading or where you've come from.
- Compass. If you are in a snow storm, cloudy night, or in thick forest at night, you will not be able to see very far or any points of reference. If you are in fog, you'll be completely disoriented. So, if you are lost or don't know which way to go, and if you know the "lay of the land" or the direction of certain things, such as a highway or a point of reference, only a compass can tell you where to go.
- Water Bottle. This is a no-brainer, but, believe it or not, there's lots of people that go into the woods without a water bottle thinking that they'll only be going a short distance and time. If you are alone, this is wrong thinking - always be prepared.
- Water Purification. Water purification may come from various sources such as a bottle with built-in filter, water filtration pump, tablets, iodine, or even clorox bleach. You will want to read up on the pros and cons of each to find the one(s) you feel comfortable with.
Even though always and formally recommended for most of Colorado, this may not be necessary. The mountains are full of natural springs, but there are also parts that are considered desert-like. Even though many say to never drink from an unpurified source, necessity may dictate otherwise. If you drink water tainted with Giardia, the after-effects, which hopefully won't occur until after you are rescued or find your way to safety, may be less than the risks of dehydration. If, however, you find a natural spring, drinking from the "source," that is, right where the water comes out of the groud, has been known to pose little or no risk of Giardia. Of course, you may be the exception.
Fact or fiction? There are even some outdoorsmen that say drinking from still-water sources such as small ponds and stock tanks are safe if you get the water in the middle of the pool, that is, away from the edges. Why? Giardia cannot swim and is only found next to the water's edge or along the bottom.
- Bandaids/liquid skin or super glue. Keep wounds clean, covered, and sealed.
- Bivvy Bag. This takes up very little space and only weighs a few ounces. If you have to spend a cold or freezing night out in the boonies, this "sleeping bag substitute" may help you retain enough heat to survive.
Elk Hunting University
Elk Hunting University (EHU) is sponsored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and is full of helpful comments and tips for anyone interested in Colorado elk hunting. Much of the information can also be used as cross-over content applicable to any big game hunting.