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Start My Hunt – Home

Guide to Elk Hunting

Brand New.  I will now be printing all of my maps on Tyvek.  This makes them waterproof and tear resistant. 

Welcome to StartMyHunt.com, a website designed by an elk hunter for other elk hunters. This site is intended to be a portal for you to explore both old and new areas to hunt elk, find and review local businesses/vendors in the area you intend to hunt, and offer you a way to connect directly with other elk hunters. It is also intended to give local businesses/vendors a place to post their information and give you a chance to check out what they have to offer. What sets this site apart from all others are the ElkTracker™ Maps. These maps show you the prime elk hunting areas or “Hot Spots” based upon the amount of forage, the density of elk security habitat, the proximity to roads, and the primary migratory routes elk use to move from one range to another. This type of analysis has never been available to the public until now, and StartMyHunt.com is the only place you will find this level of detail in an elk hunting map.

Find a Place to Hunt

Where_To_HuntThis is a good place to start, especially if you are looking for a new area to go elk hunting. Here you will find loads of information about each Game Management Unit (GMU) such as lands open to the public, success rates based on past years data, elk migration corridors, elk ranges, and some pretty intriguing maps and tables that help summarize all the information on one page for you to view and download. Also, for selected units and areas, you can find security habitat and forage habitat on our ElkTracker ™ Maps as shown on the example above. The ElkTracker ™ Map series are designed to give you the detailed information you need for a successful hunt and are unique to StartMyHunt.com.

Find local hunting businesses

After you have decided where you want to hunt, this page will help you decide who to contact to figure out where to find guides, sporting goods stores, places to stay, etc. that are familiar with the local area. You will also have the opportunity to review your fellow elk hunter’s suggestions and ratings for each of these businesses/vendors (as they become available) or post your own review.

Submit your hunting related business

This page offers businesses/vendors the opportunity to submit your business and contact information and help connect you with elk hunters who may be interested in what you have to offer. Their are three membership levels available. The first will allow you to submit basic contact information about your business to be posted on this website. The next level is the “Business” membership. This level of membership allows you to post your website and contact information, will show your location on a small inset map, and will allow hunters to read or submit reviews of your business. Also, we ask that any business wishing to remain on the site refrain from ‘self promotion’ of their business or ‘trash-talking’ their competitors in the review section. The third level is the sponsor membership. With this membership, you will have your logo posted within the sidebars of almost every page on the website that will link directly to your own website. See the Submit Your Business tab for more details.

Elk Hunting Tips and Facts

Elk_FactsWe are not going to regurgitate advice from other websites and let you think this is our own. Instead, we encourage you to check out this Colorado Parks and Wildlife page for advice from the experts.

 

Buy/Sell/Trade…Coming Soon

Do you have elk hunting equipment or accessories that have been collecting dust in your closet or garage from lack of use? Or maybe you received a gift that you will never use? This page will allow you to view and submit equipment/accessories directly to other hunters who may be interested in items you no longer want or need.

Braggin’ Page…Coming Soon

So you went out and had a successful hunt, took lots of pictures, and now you cannot wait to show off the results of your superior hunting skills to the rest of the world. This is the place to do it. Here you can upload pictures of your hunt and write a short description if you like of how you managed to be so successful and then tell all your buddies that you are now a ‘published’ author and photojournalist.

Hunter’s Forum…Coming Soon

BBQ Elk Round

BBQ’d Elk Round Steak with Steak SAUCE

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup dry red wine such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
One — 5 ounce round steak, cut 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick and tenderized with a Jaccard meat tenderizer

Note: This recipe is for one steak. Increase the marinade and steak sauce ingredients proportionately if more than one steak is being cooked.

METHOD

Combine the red wine, garlic, bay leaf, balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small porcelain or non-reactive dish. The dish should be just big enough so that steak lies flat.

Place the steak in the marinade and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Turn the steak over every 45 minutes or so. Once the steak has marinated, remove it from the marinade and pat dry. Set the steak aside.

Strain the marinade, discard solids, and transfer the strained marinade to the saucepan for steak sauce preparation. To the saucepan add:

    • 2 to 3 tbsp minced shallots
    • dash of Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

Over high heat bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half or until desired consistency is reached. This will usually take about 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and set aside.

    Prepare the steak for the barbecue by brushing both sides with some olive oil, lightly salt and pepper each side. Barbecue the steak to rare or medium rare.
    Let the steak rest for 5 minutes while the steak sauce is reheated and the plates are prepared.
        Slice steak thinly and top with steak sauce, or serve with sauce on the side.

Elk BBQ 2

Elk BBQ 2

BBQ’d Lean and Tender Steak

 

INGREDIENTS

tender elk steak of choice cut 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch thick
minced fresh garlic, lots of it (optional)
dry mustard
olive oil
sea salt

PREPARING THE STEAK

With Garlic
    • Remove the steak from the refrigerator one hour before grilling time. Pat the steak dry.
    • Massage both sides of the steak with minced fresh garlic. Leave the garlic on the steak.
    • Just before grilling, pat some dry mustard on both sides of steak.
    • Then lightly oil both sides of the steak with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt.
Without Garlic
    • Remove the steak from the refrigerator a half hour before grilling time. Pat the steak dry.
    • Just before grilling, pat some dry mustard on both sides of steak.
    • Then lightly oil both sides of the steak with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt.

METHOD

For charcoal, the barbecue is ready for steak grilling when the coals are completely covered in gray ash. Divide the ready charcoal so that one side of the grill provides high heat, while the other side provides medium heat.

For gas, preheat the barbecue for 15 minutes. Set the thermostats so that one side of the barbecue gives off high heat, the other side medium heat.

Lightly oil the barbecue grill with some vegetable oil (olive or canola).

Sear the steaks for 1 minute on each side over high heat.

Move the steaks to medium heat and continue cooking until desired level of doneness is reached.

Allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes on the cutting board before slicing and serving.

Tips For Cooking Lean & Tender Elk Steaks On The BBQ

Grassfed elk steaks are similar to ‘select’ grade beef steaks in that there is little or no internal fat, or what is known as ‘marbling’. That’s why it’s very important to get to know your barbecue’s cooking temperament. Little or no marbling means that the steak can be cooked very quickly and end up being easily over done if left on the grill just a minute or two too long.

For best results, tender elk steaks should first be seared over high heat for about a minute on each side. Then to avoid over cooking, the steak should be finished over medium heat with the barbecue cover closed. For a 3/4 inch thick steak, usually only another 3 to 4 minutes of cooking per side is all that’s required for a rare steak. Medium rare will only take a minute or so longer.

For rare, when prodded with barbecue tongs or an inquiring finger, the steak should be just firm to the touch. A medium-rare steak will be slightly firmer.

However testing the firmness of a steak for doneness is very subjective. Everyone has a different interpretation of what is meant by ‘firm’. Better that you time everything. Once you have timed how long it takes to cook a steak to your liking, then rely on your watch. Only use the firmness method as a back-up.

BBQ Elk

BBQ Elk

Cooking Elk on the BBQ

 

Lean and tender elk steaks such as rib-eye, strip loin, sirloin, T-bone and tenderloin all make for great barbecue grilling. Tenderized round steak is an inexpensive way to enjoy a great barbecued steak that is just as tender and flavourful as a premium steak cut from the rib or loin. To tenderize the round steak, we suggest using a 48-blade Jaccard meat tenderizer (see www.jaccard.com). The Jaccard will not only tenderize your steak, but it will allow the marinade to soak into the entire steak very quickly.Besides using a properly aged steak from a young animal, the key to successful elk steak grilling is getting to know the cooking characteristics of your own particular barbecue. When it comes to heat output, whether it is gas or charcoal, no two barbecues seem to be alike.

Elk Stew Port

Elk Stew in Port with Vegetables

This stew is best served after a second day of cooking.

INGREDIENTS

3 tbsp canola oil
2 – 2 1/2 lb elk stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 small can tomato sauce (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup port
1 large cooking onion, peeled and spiked with 5 cloves
2 medium sized carrots, scraped and split length-wise
2 stalks celery
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp (generous) dry oregano flakes
15 whole black pepper corns

To Finish:
1/2 tsp salt
2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 – 3 large carrots, scraped, split and cut into 1-inch sections
1 cup frozen peas
Gravy thickener (Knorr’s Veloutine suggested)

METHOD

Put the canola oil in an 6-8 quart Dutch oven.
Over medium high heat brown the elk stew cubes on all sides, stirring as required.
Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock, tomato sauce, and port.
Add, and stir in: the onion spiked with cloves, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, and pepper corns.
Bring to a boil and remove from stove, cover and cook in a 300F oven for 3 hours, gently stirring every hour or so.

Remove from oven.
Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and garlic cloves.
Refrigerate the stew in its sauce overnight.

To Finish:
The next day stir in the salt, add the potato cubes and carrot sections.
Stir to combine and cook covered in a 300F oven for 2 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Remove stew from oven, uncover and bring it to a moderate boil on the stove.
Immediately add gravy thickener one or two tablespoon at a time and stir stew until desired thickness is reached.
Serve immediately, great reheated.

Traditional Elk Stew

Traditional Elk Stew

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp canola oil
1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onion (about 2 medium-sized)
1 cup celery (1/4 inch diced)
½ cup carrots (1/4 inch diced)
2 cloves garlic, chopped medium-fine
1 tsp dry thyme leaves, or 5-6 fresh sprigs tied together
1/2 tsp finely chopped dry rosemary leaves, or about 1 tsp freshly chopped
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup (packed) medium-fine chopped parsley
2 tbsp flour
5 cups stock (use 2 1/2 cups stock and 2 1/2 cups of water if hearty stock is being used)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 tbsp canola oil
3 lbs elk (1 inch stew cubes)
1/2 cup dry red or white wine
1/2 cup water

Method

Using a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil.

Add the onion, celery, and carrot to the Dutch oven. Reduce heat slightly and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are noticeably brown. Do not allow the vegetables to blacken.

All at once, add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and parsley. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or just until the garlic begins to brown. Sprinkle in flour, stir to combine. Immediately blend in the stock, or stock and water combination. Reduce burner to lowest setting.

Add canola oil to a separate large saucepan or skillet. Heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot add stew chunks. Do not over crowd, cook in 2 or 3 batches if necessary. Let meat chunks sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side before turning. Each batch of browning will take about 8 to 10 minutes or so. No need to rush. Get the meat chunks a nice dark brown for best flavour. Add the browned stew meat to the Dutch oven. Between batches immediately deglaze the hot pan with a liquid combination of 1/4 cup wine and 1/4 cup water. Use a food whip to combine the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with the liquid. No additional heat should be necessary; deglazing should only take a minute or two. Add deglazed liquid to the Dutch oven.

Remove from burner and snuggly seal the top of the Dutch oven with a layer of aluminum foil. use two sheets cross-wise if necessary.
Cover and cook in a 275F oven for 4 hours.
If using, remove fresh thyme sprigs.

Serve with vegetables of choice.
This traditional elk stew reheats and freezes well.