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For elk hunters #7837986 05/13/20 03:52 AM
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The wife and I were talking the other night and I mentioned to her that one day, I would love to take an elk ! She of course knew this since we have been married for 33 years , but then she surprised the socks off of me when she started suggesting places on our wall where it would/could hang ! She say's..."You aren't getting any younger, so you better get one while you can" ! Wow.....Now I have a dilemma ! I have hunted my entire life ( Just not for elk ), so this isn't a novel thing I will be doing, nor will I be doing it every year from here on as I simply couldn't afford it. I don't want to spend 5 K to 10 K just to take a 350" plus trophy ! Are there any semi guided hunts anywhere where a man may have a reasonable opportunity to take a good 4 x 4 to a decent 6 x 6 that won't break the bank??? Bare in mind, I am 54 and not in shape for a marathon mountain climbing experience ! Thanks in advance !

Last edited by Deersteaks; 05/13/20 03:54 AM. Reason: Better communication
Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838086 05/13/20 12:21 PM
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Bobby Hill's Ranch in southern Colorado. Fantastic guy and excellent guides. 45,000 acres (iirc) managed for elk. Borders Ted Turners Vermejo Park.

Last edited by snake oil; 05/13/20 12:23 PM.

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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838165 05/13/20 01:38 PM
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See if you can get on the Longfellow or Gage ranch in West Texas.


There are several great places in New Mexico as well.....the Mescalero reservation has some great elk hunting, country is very forgiving and the accomodations are great, your wife could spend her days in the casino while your hunting elk.


But I think your $6k-$10k budget is pretty realistic for a Trophy Elk on a guided hunt.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838273 05/13/20 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Deersteaks
The wife and I were talking the other night and I mentioned to her that one day, I would love to take an elk ! She of course knew this since we have been married for 33 years , but then she surprised the socks off of me when she started suggesting places on our wall where it would/could hang ! She say's..."You aren't getting any younger, so you better get one while you can" ! Wow.....Now I have a dilemma ! I have hunted my entire life ( Just not for elk ), so this isn't a novel thing I will be doing, nor will I be doing it every year from here on as I simply couldn't afford it. I don't want to spend 5 K to 10 K just to take a 350" plus trophy ! Are there any semi guided hunts anywhere where a man may have a reasonable opportunity to take a good 4 x 4 to a decent 6 x 6 that won't break the bank??? Bare in mind, I am 54 and not in shape for a marathon mountain climbing experience ! Thanks in advance !


Any of your CO drop camp hunts are with in that price range. But CO ain’t flat.

Really you best bet is to put in for NM and see if you can draw a tag, first, then CO or Idaho as a back up.

WY is also a good option especially if you build a few preference points first.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838346 05/13/20 05:23 PM
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Bobo, for the flatlander, could you give a description of what a drop camp hunt is?


It's hell eatin em live
Re: For elk hunters [Re: redchevy] #7838376 05/13/20 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Bobo, for the flatlander, could you give a description of what a drop camp hunt is?



They take you, your friends and your gear way up the mountain by way of horseback or ATV, to a place you've never been before in country you have never seen, drop you off and hope for the best for everyone involved



Kind of like a Colorado Snipe hunt




For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: redchevy] #7838403 05/13/20 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Bobo, for the flatlander, could you give a description of what a drop camp hunt is?



Absolutely. Two kinds of drop camps- non guided & semi guided

Basically outfitter has a camp already set up in the mountains.

Non guided-he rides you in on horse back and drops you off with food and supplies, and will check up on you.

Semi guided- He rides you in, And may have a guide/ cook stay a day or two to help you get your bearings and provide insight.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838415 05/13/20 06:22 PM
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Some drop camps will have a wrangler or someone in camp to give advice and be there to pack out any animals you take.

A public land hunt in Wyoming or Colorado would probably be much cheaper than a private land hunt anywhere.
Your wish for a 4x4 or smaller 6x6 are good expectations for a public land hunt. I would even say any legal bull would be a good take on public land.
You'll need a couple of PP to draw a Wyoming general tag. You could find a hunt in one of the non grizz and wolf areas for far less money than NW Wyoming.
Look into a OTC area for a guided hunt in Colorado. You might find a RFW hunt with expectations of lesser bulls for your price range also.

Here's a couple of outfits that might fit your needs. Remember though that public land elk hunting is no guarantee on harvest, you'll work for any animal you get.

https://www.wyconsafariinc.com/colorado-hunts/elk-hunts
https://www.grandslamoutfitters.com/grand-slam-outfitters-price-list

For the money, the hunt with Condict is a General Wyoming area but on private land.
We have run into guides and hunters from each outfit in town and in the field and they are good folks at each outfit.

Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838424 05/13/20 06:26 PM
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All good advice, but so far only BOBO has alluded to it, you need to be in shape for the mountains. So if you aren't, and want to hunt this year (unlikely) then get in shape. If you are planning for next year, then start early and be in shape for the trip. Nothing worse than planning a trip, gearing up, going out and realizing you cant't cover half the ground you wanted to because you can't move your legs uphill another inch. Altitude is gonna kick your butt, so be ready

Re: For elk hunters [Re: Texas buckeye] #7838430 05/13/20 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
All good advice, but so far only BOBO has alluded to it, you need to be in shape for the mountains. So if you aren't, and want to hunt this year (unlikely) then get in shape. If you are planning for next year, then start early and be in shape for the trip. Nothing worse than planning a trip, gearing up, going out and realizing you cant't cover half the ground you wanted to because you can't move your legs uphill another inch. Altitude is gonna kick your butt, so be ready


Yelp WY and NM will have the potential probability of being less physical compared to CO as a whole. There are unit exceptions


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838448 05/13/20 06:56 PM
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How good a shape we talkin?

I think im about your age Bobo, turned 34 a few months ago. Im 6-foot and mid 230's recently since the advent of covid, started jogging about a mile and a half a day again. Would I just fall on my face dead? Ive never been anywhere at elevation.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838464 05/13/20 07:06 PM
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Depends on the elevation, but even going to 6-8000 can wind you just walking to the door of the tent for us lowlanders.

Climbing mountainous terrain several miles for several days means you need to be in really decent shape, not marathon shape but still gotta be able to move. Muscle for climbing-carrying meat/gear, coupled with cardio is important.

There seems to be a threshold for altitude sickness around 8000, and thats where the risk really happens. If you are out of shape and sucking wind badly, that can couple with the altitude and make your chance of sickness worse. Altitude sickness can be fatal if not recognized and treated appropriately. The good news is most of the time it just requires going down hill. Occasionally a trip to the ER for some steroids. But, being in shape is not a cure for risk from AS either, as some really in shape people will get it. More on that subject if desired.

Shapewise, if you are running and doing decent cardio, maybe add some stairs or bleachers in there and add weight as you can to help develop the muscles for climbing. At 34 you should be fine, if in reasonable shape.

Re: For elk hunters [Re: redchevy] #7838473 05/13/20 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
How good a shape we talkin?

I think im about your age Bobo, turned 34 a few months ago. Im 6-foot and mid 230's recently since the advent of covid, started jogging about a mile and a half a day again. Would I just fall on my face dead? Ive never been anywhere at elevation.



people way over exaggerate the level of fitness required for a typical elk hunt. The real azz kickers are mountain goat and sheep hunts.


You can beat yourself to death hiking up and down mountains all day long looking for elk, or you can choose not to, and you can be successful either way.


There are some grades you are gonna have to contend with at some point but your not hunting Ibex in Pakistan at 17k your hunting elk around 8-10 k


If you can jog a mile without stopping you are certainly in good enough shape to go to the mountains.


Some people can tolerate altitude some can't. highest I've been is 11'500' and I've had no issues. I know some guys have trouble at 8k.


Most of the guys pulling elk out of the trailhead are semi-paunchy folks in their 50's and 60's. Life is certainly more enjoyable if your fit, but you don't need to be in gladiator shape to have a great elk hunt, I don't care what Cameron Haynes tells you.


Plan the hunt, buy the tag and go have fun.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: redchevy] #7838548 05/13/20 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
How good a shape we talkin?

I think im about your age Bobo, turned 34 a few months ago. Im 6-foot and mid 230's recently since the advent of covid, started jogging about a mile and a half a day again. Would I just fall on my face dead? Ive never been anywhere at elevation.


I got you be a decade, fitness is relative to how you hunt, not necessarily success. Fitter you are the more comfortable you are with going deeper, First three days is an arse whoop for any one because of elevation. Fitness really comes into play on a packout, especially if you have time constraints due to heat etc.

I think Mtn fit is a combination of moderate fitness and mental resiliency. If one is lower then the other has to be higher. If that makes sense.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: txtrophy85] #7838561 05/13/20 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
Originally Posted by redchevy
How good a shape we talkin?

I think im about your age Bobo, turned 34 a few months ago. Im 6-foot and mid 230's recently since the advent of covid, started jogging about a mile and a half a day again. Would I just fall on my face dead? Ive never been anywhere at elevation.



people way over exaggerate the level of fitness required for a typical elk hunt. The real azz kickers are mountain goat and sheep hunts.


You can beat yourself to death hiking up and down mountains all day long looking for elk, or you can choose not to, and you can be successful either way.


There are some grades you are gonna have to contend with at some point but your not hunting Ibex in Pakistan at 17k your hunting elk around 8-10 k


If you can jog a mile without stopping you are certainly in good enough shape to go to the mountains.


Some people can tolerate altitude some can't. highest I've been is 11'500' and I've had no issues. I know some guys have trouble at 8k.


Most of the guys pulling elk out of the trailhead are semi-paunchy folks in their 50's and 60's. Life is certainly more enjoyable if your fit, but you don't need to be in gladiator shape to have a great elk hunt, I don't care what Cameron Haynes tells you.


Plan the hunt, buy the tag and go have fun.


Sheep and goat hunts are no different then elk hunts. All about location and access. 90% of the goat areas in CO have peak parking. Meaning a trail head with in a mile or three of the peak. They love cheese puffs too.

Sheep hunts same way, big difference in sheep hunting the Breaks of Montana and the frank church of a idaho or hells canyon. Sheep in Alaska are steep country but not necessarily high altitudes, if that makes sense.


My advice for anyone hunting above 8k, spent atleast one night in town between 6-8k ft, it will decrease Altitude sickness chances significantly




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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838567 05/13/20 08:39 PM
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agree with what others have stated ... 3-6 months before your trip, start building up by walking/jogging, then add a pack, then add weight to the pack (water) and keep building up time/distance/weight ... a stadium or stairs will also be helpful ... start heavy hydration at least 2 weeks prior as that will help on the altitude sickness. The first several days no matter how good of shape you are in you will likely get winded within 100 yards or less. That part was the worst part for me, just slow down and stop frequently to catch your breath. Going from <1000 feet above sea level to 8000< will even impact a marathon runner, just the facts of life.

when preparing adding bottled water to your pack is a good indicator as that was what most of my weight was I carried in my pack in the mountains. I had an 96 ounce camel back bladder built into my pack plus several 12 ounce additional bottles which were all empty well before the day was over, each day I was adding more bottles. Each gallon (128 oz) weighs about 8 lbs and that can add up quickly on how much you consume on a 5-15+ mile round trip hike at higher altitudes. Doesn't take too much other stuff in a pack to get you on up to 40+ lbs not to mention rifle and other items.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7838572 05/13/20 08:43 PM
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Wow, Bobo is just a pup. Completely shattered my image of you.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: freerange] #7838602 05/13/20 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Wow, Bobo is just a pup. Completely shattered my image of you.


Lol, I’ll take it as a compliment. My Pup years passed bye me pretty quick I feel like. 6 more years and I’m going to be semi retired hopefully.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838680 05/13/20 10:21 PM
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Find a building where you can walk some stairs. Not necessary every day, but at east every other day. Last time I hunted Colorado, I had access to stairs at the Enterprise building in Abilene, it was only 20 stories, I started with walking as fair as I could up, and elevator down, by late August I was walking 20 flights up and 20 down. The smart arse that went with me would run them, he would be at 20 and on his way down I would meet him coming down at about the 10th floor.

I would also plan to get there a few days early, so you can acclimate to the altitude. Even 1 day is better than getting there the morning you start on the hunt. At Ruidoso, 7000 feet, it takes me about 2 days to get altitude adjusted, if we then go to Cloudcroft, at 8600, it can get tough on flat ground, but by the end of the day I am back at


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838700 05/13/20 10:30 PM
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I'm always on the lookout for a good set of stairs close to home, but haven't come up with anything yet. 'Definitely need that kind of cardio. But if you see me running, you best be looking out for whatever's chasing me.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: txtrophy85] #7838703 05/13/20 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
Originally Posted by redchevy
How good a shape we talkin?

I think im about your age Bobo, turned 34 a few months ago. Im 6-foot and mid 230's recently since the advent of covid, started jogging about a mile and a half a day again. Would I just fall on my face dead? Ive never been anywhere at elevation.



people way over exaggerate the level of fitness required for a typical elk hunt. The real azz kickers are mountain goat and sheep hunts.


You can beat yourself to death hiking up and down mountains all day long looking for elk, or you can choose not to, and you can be successful either way.


There are some grades you are gonna have to contend with at some point but your not hunting Ibex in Pakistan at 17k your hunting elk around 8-10 k


If you can jog a mile without stopping you are certainly in good enough shape to go to the mountains.


Some people can tolerate altitude some can't. highest I've been is 11'500' and I've had no issues. I know some guys have trouble at 8k.


Most of the guys pulling elk out of the trailhead are semi-paunchy folks in their 50's and 60's. Life is certainly more enjoyable if your fit, but you don't need to be in gladiator shape to have a great elk hunt, I don't care what Cameron Haynes tells you.


Plan the hunt, buy the tag and go have fun.


I was with you right up to "jog a mile without stopping."


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838833 05/14/20 12:24 AM
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I appreciate all the feed back! I have considered a "do it yourself" hunt after talking at length to a man who used to go every year till a stroke got him. He said that some people will drive the roads with binoculars until they spot a bull that is in a decent location (Not in a deep valley) and then get out and make a stalk on him. He said others will take elevation/topography maps and drive around until they find a spot that can be accessed by traveling ridge lines to a favorable hunting location. His biggest recommendation which I thought was funny, but it made a lot of sense, was to kill the elk as close to the road as you can. There is a lot to think about for sure, but I am excited at the prospect of having the opportunity. I don't mind paying for knowledge that a guide can provide if it increases my chances, but like I said, I don't want to drop a small fortune either.

Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838845 05/14/20 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Deersteaks
I appreciate all the feed back! I have considered a "do it yourself" hunt after talking at length to a man who used to go every year till a stroke got him. He said that some people will drive the roads with binoculars until they spot a bull that is in a decent location (Not in a deep valley) and then get out and make a stalk on him. He said others will take elevation/topography maps and drive around until they find a spot that can be accessed by traveling ridge lines to a favorable hunting location. His biggest recommendation which I thought was funny, but it made a lot of sense, was to kill the elk as close to the road as you can. There is a lot to think about for sure, but I am excited at the prospect of having the opportunity. I don't mind paying for knowledge that a guide can provide if it increases my chances, but like I said, I don't want to drop a small fortune either.


He gave good advice. If you are looking at next year, I would apply in NM first and use CO has a back up plan.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838874 05/14/20 01:01 AM
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Thank you, I appreciate the advice !

Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838876 05/14/20 01:02 AM
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Deersteaks like you I've always wanted to kill a good bull elk, doesn't have to be a great big one just a good representative of the species.I wanted to hunt inTexas if I could but looks like I need to start saving my money,cause some of the hunts were close to 10k

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