Ep 77: Mark Huelsing On Self-Guided Archery Elk Hunting In Colorado


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Mark Huelsing from Exo Mountain Gear joined me on this episode of the Big Game Hunting Podcast and shared the story of his initial attempts at archery elk hunting out in Colorado. He grew up whitetail hunting in Missouri, but decided to take the plunge into elk hunting a few years ago. Here’s the story of how it went, what he learned, and how you can make your elk hunting dreams turn into a reality.

Show sponsor: GoHunt. Use promo code BIGGAMEHUNTER when you sign up to get $50 in store credit at their gear shop.

Feel free to send me a message with any feedback you have on the show as well as topic requests for future episodes.

What We Covered

1) How Mark first got interested in hunting elk out west.

2) Why he decided to go to Colorado for those first few elk hunts.

3) Brief overview of his first couple of elk hunts.

4) Unexpected challenges Mark encountered and a few lessons he learned from his hunts.

5) Advice Mark gives to all prospective elk hunters.


1) University of Elk Hunting (Elk 101)- Outstanding online resource for learning more about how to hunt elk. Highly recommend!

2) Exo Mountain Gear Blog– Lots of great information on backcountry hunting gear as well as lots of tips and tricks from experienced backcountry hunters.

3) Hunt Backcountry Podcast– Mark co-hosts this podcast and it’s mission is to give you the information you need to become a more capable, confident, and successful backcountry hunter.

4) Sole Adventure Blog– Mark’s blog where he documented his first few elk hunting adventures out in Colorado.

5) You can learn more about the basics of hunting elk here.


We’re right in the thick of application season for most of the western states. If you want to go on do it yourself adventures on public land out west like I did this year hunting pronghorn, mule deer, coues deer, and javelina then you need to check out goHunt and sign up for their Insider membership. They have some of the most comprehensive information available anywhere on where to go to hunt iconic western animals (like mule deer, pronghorn, and elk) They specialize in providing information  you need to draw the necessary tag, and what hunting tactics work best in specific areas. I’ve used goHUNT for the past several years with great success and cannot recommend them highly enough. 

With their help, I’ve been able to find and draw “hidden gem” tags in several different states that there’s no way I would have known about on my own. Specifically, I applied for and drew my Colorado pronghorn tag and my Arizona coues deer tag this year as a direct result of information I learned from goHunt.

Don’t forget to use promo code BIGGAMEHUNTER when you sign up to get $50 in store credit at their gear shop. This is some cash you can REALLY put to good use if you decide to upgrade your hunting gear to some stuff that’s lighter, more compact, and easier to transport long distances. Like Trail and I discussed back in Episode 58, every single item in that gear shop has been vetted by hardcore hunters in the goHunt team, so you know it will work on a serious hunt out west.

So, sign up for an INSIDER membership at GoHunt.com and you can get the information you need to pull a great tag for yourself. Use promo code BIGGAMEHUNTER when you sign up to get $50 in store credit at their gear shop. Not only will you get the information that will help you know exactly what units to apply for in order to have a fun hunt with a reasonable chance of drawing, but you’ll also get $50 in store credit that you can use to buy some good quality hunting gear at the same time.