Proper hunt planning is essential for not only a hunter’s success, but most states require that you draw a tag or permit. However, if you get a last minute urge to kill an elk, head to Colorado for a 3rd season rifle elk hunt that can fill your freezer before the New Year.

Unlike other rifle elk seasons, Colorado provides an over the counter option for elk hunters during the late 3rd season that occurs from November 3-11.  Not only can you chase an elk during this hunt, but it also allows you to get an over the counter deer tag as well.  For a last minute elk and deer, this option is hard to overlook. 

If you want a do-it-yourself hunt, please contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife and get herd information and adequate property and road maps. And remember, everything might be covered in snow so plan accordingly. 

If you require some assistance, look to outfitter such as Beaver Creek Outfitters out of Craig, Colorado ( They offer 3rd season drop camps for around $1700.00 per person and you can bring a non-hunting person for around $150.00 each.  Drop camps are a great way to get a head start on hunt planning and you cannot beat getting dropped right in the middle of thriving elk herds.

I highly recommend outfitted drop camps to any hunter. If you are successful, there is no more peaceful feeling than not having to worry about getting your meat out of miles of wilderness.  That service alone is worth it, but when you add in the horse ride and the professional equipment that costs thousands of dollars, it turns into being a real bargain.

Before you go, don’t forget to brush up on your field dressing and meat cutting skills.  Elk are large animals and you owe it to yourself and your animal to know how to properly take care of it once it hits the ground. Bring enough game bags for the four quarters, neck, rib and back meat.

If you are open to having a trophy mounted by a taxidermist, check in with your local taxidermist and get some tips on how he or she likes to receive the cape and antlers.  Every taxidermist is different and even if you have a lot of taxidermy knowledge, you still might learn something by receiving some last minute tips.