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#7208343 - 06/25/18 06:58 PM Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs....
txtrophy85 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 23609
This is a thread about HUNTING. Not shooting, not long distance shooting, not practicing shooting steel, paper, truck tires, not the benefit of ballistic reticles, what grain bullet is best for long range hunting, etc.


The past few days a few threads have mentioned people wanting to go hunt out west, mainly elk and mule deer, but were stumped by how to do it or intimidated by cost, lacking physical, abilities, etc.

I'm not expert by any means but I've been fortunate enough to have gone on several DIY western hunts and have had some success.


I won't share my secret tips, tactics or any of that business but I will offer encouragement and a push in the right direction.

It has been my experience that most people over think western hunting as being some extreme adventure type hunt from all the stories we read and videos we watch. while it does take more effort than sitting in a blind, its far, far oversold on this aspect


Also, cost comes into play. a DIY hunt requires some minimal gear but can be done cheaper than a lease. My Colorado trips average right at $1500 including tag and fuel..i have the gear accumulated over several years. Most folks think its very expensive. Outfitted hunts can be, but DIY is pretty economical.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

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#7208508 - 06/25/18 09:58 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
Fitzwho Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 225
Loc: Midland, TX
Iíve been hunting out west the last couple years. The weirdest part for me starting out was the idea of Public Land. Having grown up in Texas this was a mostly foreign concept, and even still feels a little weird occasionally.

Agree on affordability. I will hunt 4 states this year, 3 of them solo. And I wonít have spent the same amount of money on applications (11 states), tags (WY, CO, NM, UT), gear, fuel, etc as I would have spent on a lease when you take into account corn, fuel, protein, feeders and so on. Not to mention how much I wonít have spent paying for guided hunts in Texas. Though a free range Axis is high on my list.

My usual budget break down:
Applications: $1200 (can be done much cheaper and more expensively)
Tags: $1500 ($1650 this year if I draw my UT cow elk)
Gohunt membership: $150/yr
OnX Elite Membership: $100/yr
Fuel: $1800
Lodging: $500 (I camp as much as possible, but a hot shower will make you feel human again)
Food: you have to eat anyway so I donít add this up necessarily

This year will drive around 7500 miles, assuming I take my truck for the hunt in Wyoming with a couple buddies (otherwise can take 2200 miles off of that). Taking a low estimate of 12 mpg, I will spend $1800 on fuel at $3/gallon (this will be broke out over 4-5 hunts, 1 hunt per month starting in August). With a pronghorn hunt in Wyoming, a pronghorn and mule deer in CO, another pronghorn in northern NM, and maybe a cow elk in southern Utah, itís going to be a heck of a year for driving to say the least.

Adding a hunt out of state a year can be done very easily with OTC tags in AZ (archery), Colorado, Idaho, California, Utah, etc, you donít even necessarily need to play the application game.

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#7208509 - 06/25/18 09:59 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
SapperTitan Online   content
Taking Requests

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 25454
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
Pass. I kill everything I want to right here in Texas.
_________________________
If you have Instagram go give me a follow at TexasKillingFields



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#7208519 - 06/25/18 10:07 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: SapperTitan]
ducknbass Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/06
Posts: 9563
Originally Posted By: SapperTitan
Pass. I kill everything I want to right here in Texas.


Then go away

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#7208520 - 06/25/18 10:08 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: SapperTitan]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 43650
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: SapperTitan
Pass. I kill everything I want to right here in Texas.


Donít hunt just camp. Some of my greatest memories are my dad hiking/camping with me and teaching me to gut cutthroat trout. Plus Cool nights beat the heck out of Texas heat.

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#7208529 - 06/25/18 10:20 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
Fitzwho Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 225
Loc: Midland, TX
Quick note. The Wyoming tripís Fuel charges will actually be split 3 ways, so you can cut $400 off of that $1800. So Iím looking at spending a total of about $5,000. Application season is over for the most part, tags are paid for, so for the rest of the year, all I really have are travel expenses associated with each hunt.

And I totally get Sapperís opinion. Texas has it all, if you want/can afford to pay. Obviously I could afford a lease or a guided hunt or two, but thatís not what I choose to do anymore. I grew up/cut my teeth hunting whitetails outside Lowake. Iíll sit in a blind and kill deer and hogs no problem. I just like to see new places a bit more.


Edited by Fitzwho (06/25/18 10:37 PM)

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#7208536 - 06/25/18 10:38 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: BOBO the Clown]
SapperTitan Online   content
Taking Requests

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 25454
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: SapperTitan
Pass. I kill everything I want to right here in Texas.


Donít hunt just camp. Some of my greatest memories are my dad hiking/camping with me and teaching me to gut cutthroat trout. Plus Cool nights beat the heck out of Texas heat.
My son prefers bass filets but im not against camping visiting parts of the west.
_________________________
If you have Instagram go give me a follow at TexasKillingFields



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#7208546 - 06/25/18 10:56 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
copperhead Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 1853
While in the service and I was stationed in Alaska, I took advantage of the resident status and was able to hunt moose, caribou, Dall sheep, and black bear. I got out of the service and came back home to Texas. I hunted NM for about 21 years for muledeer and enjoyed every minute of it. This year, I'm going to CO for my first elk hunt. Every one of the hunts were DIY with family friends. Dad made the first several hunts to NM until old age caught up with him. I prefer the DIY hunting out west because when I do get a deer I feel like I've earned it.

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#7208556 - 06/25/18 11:39 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
shea.mcphail Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/27/14
Posts: 363
Loc: Mesquite/Canton
You spend $1200 just on applications?? How many applications do you put in for?

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#7208557 - 06/25/18 11:39 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
gusick Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/19/13
Posts: 1640
Western hunting can be as big or as little of an adventure as you want. Look at Wyoming. It's hard to find a hunting spot that's more than a couple miles from the road on the east side of the state, but I know a spot on the west side of the state that's a 30 mile hike in one direction. Those are the two extremes, most places lie somewhere in between.

That 30-mile wilderness expedition requires a guide for out-of-state hunters and a guide with horses is better. That's expensive, but it's still probably cheaper than a deer lease in Texas.

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#7208559 - 06/25/18 11:44 PM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
Blank Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 191
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Send me a PM if you have questions about Idaho. Nice thing is that we have OTC tags, and about 65-70% public land. Hunt the earlier seasons while it is still beautiful, then go back to Texas for Dec/Jan rut hunts for your own areas.

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#7208567 - 06/26/18 01:49 AM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
txshntr Online   content
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 35238
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
I always wanted to hunt out West, mainly for an Elk but didn't think it was affordable, didn't understand the draw systems (didn't really take the time to learn them), and wasn't keen on hunting public land. Figure that last part was from being raised hunting in Texas all my life and hearing horror stories about overcrowded mountains and valleys. Only time I have left the state to hunt is for whitetail.

Last year, I went to Colorado on a DIY bow hunt for elk with Bobo. It was an adventure to say the least and I am looking forward to going back this year and adding to what I learned on the mountain.

The trip was very economical but I was lucky enough to get some of Bobo's hand-me-downs, extra pack, and some equipment. I still had to buy some stuff but most can be used this year. Initial cost, all in, I was probably around $1,500 or so.

I would recommend the trip to anyone and everyone that loves to hunt. It was a tough hunt and some tough terrain. It was a hunt like nothing I have experienced and while we got close to some elk, we didn't connect.

I would recommend getting in shape for that type of hunt. It can be done without it, but it sure makes it easier and gives you access to alot of areas that you would otherwise never see. Having a good pack is invaluable. Where we were, might as well leave the binoculars at home as there were few places I could see far enough to need them. Buy good boots!! Never leave your rain gear behind. Keep plenty of snacks.

And don't hit the SOS button on your sat tracker in the middle of the night when a rain storm is coming in rofl
_________________________

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#7208603 - 06/26/18 06:20 AM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: SapperTitan]
maximus_flavius Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/24/13
Posts: 919
Originally Posted By: SapperTitan
Pass. I kill everything I want to right here in Texas.


+1

Doesnít west Texas count as western hunting?

I love traveling & exploring the western US, but Iím not applying for a permit/tag BS just to be denied.

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#7208605 - 06/26/18 06:27 AM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
Fitzwho Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 225
Loc: Midland, TX
To spend that much on applications I apply for tags in 11 states: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas, Iowa, and Texas. I havenít put in for Idaho as of yet, they donít have a point system and my season was full before the Idaho draw deadline. So I donít have to spend money there unless I am unlucky in the draws.

I almost put in for California this year, but passed because thereís only 1 nonresident elk and sheep tag statewide. And the only other animals I would care to hunt there are OTC anyway. I did buy a couple lottery tags in California and Idaho.

Oregon and Washington are on my list to hunt, but are both exceedingly stingy (borderline hostile) when it comes to nonresident application fees and tag allocation.

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#7208624 - 06/26/18 06:52 AM Re: Lets talk about Western Hunting for the Newbs.... [Re: txtrophy85]
RattlesnakeDan Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/23/17
Posts: 371
Loc: San Antonio
Spent most of my adult life hunting Colorado and Montana, along with many other states. Nothing compares to it. Sorry guys but sitting in a blind is not hunting, it is sitting in a blind waiting and is crazy boring to me. I have done it and will do it again I assume because of the terrain involved it serves it's purpose, but getting out in the millions of acres to scout, find and harvest game is so much more rewarding. The beauty and difficulty of the mountains should be experienced by everyone at some time. Such an amazing country we live in, the diversity of terrain is spectacular especially up close.
_________________________
Just like Jesus, sometimes you gotta kill some hogs.
bigtextrailerworld.com/sanantonio

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