I hunted Mckelvie national forest about 25 miles south of Valentine in 2010 and saw lots of sharpies, some may have been pcs but it was the first time for me and couldn't tell them apart. there is a lake called meritt off highway 97 about 26 miles south of Valentine, that abutts Mckelvie. you should have no problems hunting it without a guide. there is lots of sand burrs in the defiled areas around the windmills and gates etc. but not much up in the hills with grass. I didn't use boots on my dog and he did fine. We stayed at the cabins at the Trading post (402 376 3437)
They have a road use map for the forest showing the designated roads.
I just picked a pasture that wasn't grazed short and just took off hunting. You will find the sharpies most of the time up on the highest hills around where you choose to hunt.
I would recomend a gps of some kind to mark your truck because all the hills look alike and it fogged in one day and without it I would have still been looking for my truck. Also a 4wd is nearly a must. There is also some type of roundish cacti that the dog will pick up every now and then, just carry small plyers of some kind to get them out of the dog.
the grouse feed fairly heavy on what is called rose hips, they are red berries that grow in the sandhills, and is a good location to find the grouse. Hunting the sandhills is a great experience. They do graze the forest and there is lots of windmills, its just a pain to get to them and get through the sand burrs, but manageable. any questions just holler, also I think they have good rains this year and should be good hunting
Edited by jjf (06/29/15 10:26 AM)
Edit Reason: added some info