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#5581815 - 02/04/15 10:14 AM Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence?
ttechcolleyville Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/06/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Colleyville, TX
I don't want to turn this into a debate on the ethics of high fence hunting, I am just trying to get a realistic assessment of one of my elk hunting options for this coming season. I have hunted private land in NM the past 2 years and am the only 1 in my hunting circle that wants to bow hunt elk so I go alone each year and use an outfitter. I've seen lots of elk, but getting an ethical shot with a bow isn't easy and I can't do this forever. I'm getting old and elk hunting is expensive.

I came across an Idaho ranch/outfitter with 30,000 acres of which 10,000 is high fenced with a self propagating elk herd. It is mountain terrain hunting from a spike camp with access by horseback or ATV. It is not guaranteed and the only bad reviews I have found are from people who didn't get an elk. All have referenced the quality/challenge of the hunt and importance of making sure you were prepared for the physicality. Most said they would have never known they were in a high fence had they not known going in.

I am holding a spot after doing relentless research but I got to thinking about not wanting my first (and perhaps only) elk to be tainted. It doesn't bother me if I am getting access to bigger elk because of the high fence. But it does to think I might only get it because it was in a high fence. The price differential between high fence and private land is inconsequential. The success rate in fact is about the same - 80-90% with a rifle, considerably lower with a bow.

But here is the kicker that has me steering toward the high fence. It is a rifle or archery tag and meaning I could at some point in the hunt change from bow to rifle (not both simultaneously). Where I hunted the last 2 season in NM, they had about a 25% success rate for bowhunters and a 100% for rifle and this is on an 11,000 acre ranch in NM.

Just curious if anyone else has hunted a high fence ranch this big and just how fair chase it felt (not looking to start a debate). In my searches I found a local newspaper story about a hunter who had killed an elk on this ranch and I googled his name and actually found his number and called him. He said he got his elk on the 3rd day and after multiple unsuccessful spot and stalks. He said the only difference he noticed between other elk hunts was that there were a lot more elk with big antlers, but everything else was the same.

Would appreciate any input. I have to decide quickly.

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#5581829 - 02/04/15 10:21 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
passthru Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 10868
Loc: Saginaw, Tx
Well I can tell you for a fact if you go hunt a 10K acre ranch in the Rockies you won't cover the whole thing during your hunt unless you are hunting safari style out of a vehicle. So I would say yes, it's as fair as any other hunt.
_________________________
Hunt hard, rest when you're dead.
NRA Life Member
southwestdocks@gmail.com
http://www.threefingersbowhunting.com/

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#5581839 - 02/04/15 10:25 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41109
Loc: Metroplex
I would say it's probably going to be a pretty enlightening challenge.

I'd do it. I would also treat the off season the same as if it was a wilderness backpack hunt.

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#5581840 - 02/04/15 10:25 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
JRJ6 Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 03/13/14
Posts: 3899
Loc: Dallas, TX
I agree that 10K acres is quite a bit of land and it will be a tough hunt.
If the rifle success rate is 100% at your current outfitter and you like them, maybe consider changing to a rifle?
I think either way you go will be fine.

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#5581844 - 02/04/15 10:27 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: JRJ6]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41109
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: JRJ6
I agree that 10K acres is quite a bit of land and it will be a tough hunt.
If the rifle success rate is 100% at your current outfitter and you like them, maybe consider changing to a rifle?
I think either way you go will be fine.


It's a different kind of hunt. He wants the rutting action I'm sure.

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#5581849 - 02/04/15 10:31 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
txshntr Offline
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 33685
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
I would say that it depends on the ranch and how it is managed. My old boss went on a hunt that sounds very similar to the place you are talking about: 30k acres low fence and 10k acres HF. He hunted the LF for 3 days and decided he wanted a bull, so he went in the HF area and killed one just shy of 400". He said it wasn't difficult and everyone in his group did the same except one guy who held out on the LF side until the last day before going to the HF area to shoot his bull.
_________________________

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#5581858 - 02/04/15 10:36 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: JRJ6]
ttechcolleyville Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/06/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Colleyville, TX
Originally Posted By: JRJ6
I agree that 10K acres is quite a bit of land and it will be a tough hunt.
If the rifle success rate is 100% at your current outfitter and you like them, maybe consider changing to a rifle?
I think either way you go will be fine.


Good question. It's because I love to bow hunt and see everything up close. Given a choice of one or the other, I will always pick bow though I have nothing against my rifle. I plan on bow hunting elk as long as physically able. However, on the last day if unsuccessful, it would be nice to have the option take one with my rifle.

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#5581865 - 02/04/15 10:37 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: txshntr]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19277
Loc: Corsicana
Originally Posted By: txshntr
I would say that it depends on the ranch and how it is managed. My old boss went on a hunt that sounds very similar to the place you are talking about: 30k acres low fence and 10k acres HF. He hunted the LF for 3 days and decided he wanted a bull, so he went in the HF area and killed one just shy of 400". He said it wasn't difficult and everyone in his group did the same except one guy who held out on the LF side until the last day before going to the HF area to shoot his bull.


Real world. The fence is there for a reason.

My answer is "no". IMO deer and HF don't go together. Elk and HF dang sure don't. There is no such thing as a "HF wilderness hunt". It's an oxymoron.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#5581883 - 02/04/15 10:42 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
dgilbert Online   content
6 pack abs

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 18702
I say it depends on if you think it is. Since your asking I would say you are thinking no.


Edited by dgilbert (02/04/15 10:46 AM)

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#5581917 - 02/04/15 10:55 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
rifleman Online   crying
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43786
Loc: Kingwood
If it's the ranch outside of Blackfoot, that's a herd that'll migrate 100 miles into the valley along the Tetons. 10k acres may seem large here, but it gets a lot smaller up in that country. No judgement here with whatever you do, but make sure that's what you want before going into it.

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#5581923 - 02/04/15 10:58 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: Nogalus Prairie]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41109
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
Originally Posted By: txshntr
I would say that it depends on the ranch and how it is managed. My old boss went on a hunt that sounds very similar to the place you are talking about: 30k acres low fence and 10k acres HF. He hunted the LF for 3 days and decided he wanted a bull, so he went in the HF area and killed one just shy of 400". He said it wasn't difficult and everyone in his group did the same except one guy who held out on the LF side until the last day before going to the HF area to shoot his bull.


Real world. The fence is there for a reason.

My answer is "no". IMO deer and HF don't go together. Elk and HF dang sure don't. There is no such thing as a "HF wilderness hunt". It's an oxymoron.


One would assume that until you see thousands of Mile of HF defining highways from NF.

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#5581930 - 02/04/15 10:59 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
glb1955 Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 07/21/11
Posts: 305
Loc: Brazos County Texas
This past October I hunted a 5,000 acre Preserve in Utah. I was in the mountains and the terrain was steep. There were other hunters there also. I rode horses and also went in the ranch's ATV's. I never got to see the entire area. We hunted spot and stalk and there were plenty of animals to see. I managed to take a fantastic bull. Yes, it was HF, but I felt it was more like hunting than the hunt I did in NM. The ranch I was on was 1800 acres, LF, but I only saw 2 areas of the ranch and it did not feel much like a hunt. The elk were either in the alfalfa patch or they weren't. If they were then we waited by a well house until they moved and I walked a couple of hundred yards to a place where I could get a shot. Yes, I shot a bull there but the 2 experiences were very different.
I have hunted elk on public lands since 1991 and have gotten lucky some (on elk I mean). Private property is the way to go, unless you have a good bit of time and can get way back where the big bulls are on the public land. I have no regrets about the hunt that I went on in Utah. It is all about what you want to do.

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#5581935 - 02/04/15 11:00 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: ttechcolleyville]
schmellba99 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 178
Loc: Gulf Coast, Texas
Unless the herd inside the fence looks like you'd see in a zoo enclosure, yep - it's as fair as anything you'll find anywhere else.

Elk have a natural range, like any other animal. Even on a LF hunt, they stay within that range unless something extremely substantial manages to push them out of their area, and that would take more than a hunter or two stumbling up and down mountains.

10k acres is 15.6 square miles. Think about that for a minute or two. As long as the population density is roughly equivalent to a non HF area, you'll never notice the difference.

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#5581957 - 02/04/15 11:07 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: BOBO the Clown]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19277
Loc: Corsicana
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
Originally Posted By: txshntr
I would say that it depends on the ranch and how it is managed. My old boss went on a hunt that sounds very similar to the place you are talking about: 30k acres low fence and 10k acres HF. He hunted the LF for 3 days and decided he wanted a bull, so he went in the HF area and killed one just shy of 400". He said it wasn't difficult and everyone in his group did the same except one guy who held out on the LF side until the last day before going to the HF area to shoot his bull.


Real world. The fence is there for a reason.

My answer is "no". IMO deer and HF don't go together. Elk and HF dang sure don't. There is no such thing as a "HF wilderness hunt". It's an oxymoron.


One would assume that until you see thousands of Mile of HF defining highways from NF.


Well, I have traveled and hunted all over the west and have a home in Montana and I have never seen that. A few strategically placed here and there to prevent collisions/funnel to underground crossings? Yes.

Thousands of miles of HF? No.

Methinks you are again exercising your tendency to create the impression the whole world is just a HF game farm. It ain't that way.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#5581958 - 02/04/15 11:08 AM Re: Can you have a fair elk hunt on 10,000 acre high fence? [Re: schmellba99]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19277
Loc: Corsicana
Originally Posted By: schmellba99
Unless the herd inside the fence looks like you'd see in a zoo enclosure, yep - it's as fair as anything you'll find anywhere else.

Elk have a natural range, like any other animal. Even on a LF hunt, they stay within that range unless something extremely substantial manages to push them out of their area, and that would take more than a hunter or two stumbling up and down mountains.

10k acres is 15.6 square miles. Think about that for a minute or two. As long as the population density is roughly equivalent to a non HF area, you'll never notice the difference.


Reckon why they put those fences up then?
_________________________
Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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