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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838918 05/14/20 01:45 AM
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Deersteaks,
Check into this place, they’ve got spike camps or lodge. I haven’t been there, but know a couple guys that went a 3-4 seasons ago and took their wives. They said they would go again. It is also in your budget
https://www.utahelkhunt.com/about/


Still looking for a S Texas quail lease spot.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: dogcatcher] #7838929 05/14/20 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dogcatcher
.

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


Good advice DC. There’s no way to train for altitude while your at or close to sea level. Getting to your location and getting acclimated is the best. Plus lay off the alcohol, don’t ask how I know this. Even 6-8000’ is rough when coming from sea level, especially when adding the hike w/pack.


Still looking for a S Texas quail lease spot.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838957 05/14/20 02:24 AM
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I have hunted NM and Colorado for elk and mule deer for many years. I prefer NM because you can hunt elk around 7 to 8K feet where CO is usually 10 to 12K feet. I have not figured out a way to prepare for the altitude other that arriving a couple of days early and take your time and scout the area getting yourself use to the altitude. I hunt around the Gila if I can draw a tag but that is few and far between because NM only gives 6% of the tags to nonresidents without an outfitter. I tried using an outfitter this year as a semi-guided and did not draw a tag again! Colorado is a draw for early season hunts but you can buy over the counter bull tags in most areas, but the bulls are going to be hard to find. If you can get a land voucher and hunt late season you can hunt low elevation but it will cost you. Do it yourself is usually what I do but it can be tough in CO if you have never hunted the area and even if you have it doesn't mean that the elk are there. Do it while you can cause elk hunting takes you into some beautiful country with breath taking views. You will enjoy it even if you do not kill an elk. Best of luck to you!

Re: For elk hunters [Re: 68rustbucket] #7838967 05/14/20 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 68rustbucket
Deersteaks,
Check into this place, they’ve got spike camps or lodge. I haven’t been there, but know a couple guys that went a 3-4 seasons ago and took their wives. They said they would go again. It is also in your budget
https://www.utahelkhunt.com/about/



I've known 3 guys that have hunted there and they loved it. All hunted the Idaho ranch on the preserve side and had great hunts for good bulls.

Prices are pretty competitive as well for what you get, the spike camps look pretty awesome and should put you in good country for good bulls.



For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7838975 05/14/20 02:43 AM
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My advice would be to spend $7,000 or so on a guide that gives you a chance to kill a bull. You can hunt in several states with a guide and over the counter tags. If your looking at doing something you've always wanted to do "Do it right." One great hunt will far, far surpass "a hunt".

I went down the same path. My wife, bless her heart, made me do it. I booked a hunt in Idaho for this October. It's costing around $7,000 but there are very, very few things I have wanted to do my whole life so I paid up. 7 day hunt, horseback ride into the mountain camp. As of now I'm the one hunter in this camp, guide only puts one or two. I'll have a guide to help find, stalk, field dress and get the bull out and a cook. And most important a fantastic experience with or without a bull.

I'm as tight as anyone but just once I'm spending on me!


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7839023 05/14/20 03:32 AM
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This is my take on things since this topic gets brought up a few times every year:


General OTC public land hunts in Colorado is a great way to get your feet wet. It can be a daunting task to a guy who is used to sitting in a deer blind watching whitetails come to a feeder, so its money well spent to hire a outfitter to do a drop camp style semi-guided hunt OR fall into a group that has done it before to learn the ropes from them. Depending on the area you want to hunt, you can do it from the back of a SUV or need specialized equipment such as ATV's with custom aluminum trailers and/or horses or mules. As a rule of thumb, the easier it is to get to, the more crowded it will be, but this doesen't always mean bad hunting. I've seen elk literally get shot 400 yards from the Basecamp of the trailhead in plain view of 25 truck and trailer combos, and about a dozen elk get shot within 1/2 of a mile of the trailhead basecamp. Hunts can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. You can take the easy route and hunt easy to get to spots on fairly level ground ( again, expect company ) or you can bushwhack into the wilderness areas and spend a few days in the backcountry living out of your pack.

My experience is that most OTC units have at best, a 25% success rate and it rings true with our party. Some years you see a few elk, some years you see elk at a long distance, and some years you have a few opportunities to get a bull. Best attitude to have, is your going hiking in the mountains for a week and your gonna bring your rifle along. If you do it long enough odds are you will eventually stumble across an elk that's within range. We typically hunt a party of 4-6 guys and most years at least one guy gets one, one trip we went 3 for 6. One of the hunters has about a 50% average on elk because he hunts hard, one guy has been going almost 10 years and only killed 1 tiny bull because he sleeps in a lot of mornings and doesn't go as hard as other guys. This is a trip all ages and walks of life can enjoy IF you go in with the right attitude.


If you have a little discretionary income to spend and only want to kill one elk to say you did, the outfitted hunts are def. the way to go. Private landowner tags can be bought in New Mexico and you can rifle hunt during the rut. This dramatically boosts your success rate. My friends that hunt the Mescalero have about a 95% success rate on bulls up to 370", with a good 330" bull being quite common.


As far as fitness levels are concerned, the better shape you are in, the better you will enjoy the hunt. If your packing around an extra 25-30 lbs of unneeded mass, you will feel it in the mountains but doesn't mean you won't be able to perform on the trip. Exercising and making hikes is a good way to train, I live in the hill country so I go replicate the grade by hiking around on the several parks we have like enchanted rock, lost maples or Friederich park here locally.

I will say, if your a tobacco user, cut it out weeks prior to your hunt because it raises your blood pressure and will affect performance


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: rmp] #7839190 05/14/20 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rmp
My advice would be to spend $7,000 or so on a guide that gives you a chance to kill a bull. You can hunt in several states with a guide and over the counter tags. If your looking at doing something you've always wanted to do "Do it right." One great hunt will far, far surpass "a hunt".

I went down the same path. My wife, bless her heart, made me do it. I booked a hunt in Idaho for this October. It's costing around $7,000 but there are very, very few things I have wanted to do my whole life so I paid up. 7 day hunt, horseback ride into the mountain camp. As of now I'm the one hunter in this camp, guide only puts one or two. I'll have a guide to help find, stalk, field dress and get the bull out and a cook. And most important a fantastic experience with or without a bull.

I'm as tight as anyone but just once I'm spending on me!



rmp, who are you using?


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LETS GO BRANDON
Re: For elk hunters [Re: TXHOGSLAYER] #7839267 05/14/20 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TXHOGSLAYER
Originally Posted by rmp
My advice would be to spend $7,000 or so on a guide that gives you a chance to kill a bull. You can hunt in several states with a guide and over the counter tags. If your looking at doing something you've always wanted to do "Do it right." One great hunt will far, far surpass "a hunt".

I went down the same path. My wife, bless her heart, made me do it. I booked a hunt in Idaho for this October. It's costing around $7,000 but there are very, very few things I have wanted to do my whole life so I paid up. 7 day hunt, horseback ride into the mountain camp. As of now I'm the one hunter in this camp, guide only puts one or two. I'll have a guide to help find, stalk, field dress and get the bull out and a cook. And most important a fantastic experience with or without a bull.

I'm as tight as anyone but just once I'm spending on me!



rmp, who are you using?


www.wildernessmule.com/

Visited at length with Caleb at a couple of shows and over the phone. Hoping it turns out well.

Hogslayer have you hunted Idaho?


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: rmp] #7839278 05/14/20 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rmp
Originally Posted by TXHOGSLAYER
Originally Posted by rmp
My advice would be to spend $7,000 or so on a guide that gives you a chance to kill a bull. You can hunt in several states with a guide and over the counter tags. If your looking at doing something you've always wanted to do "Do it right." One great hunt will far, far surpass "a hunt".

I went down the same path. My wife, bless her heart, made me do it. I booked a hunt in Idaho for this October. It's costing around $7,000 but there are very, very few things I have wanted to do my whole life so I paid up. 7 day hunt, horseback ride into the mountain camp. As of now I'm the one hunter in this camp, guide only puts one or two. I'll have a guide to help find, stalk, field dress and get the bull out and a cook. And most important a fantastic experience with or without a bull.

I'm as tight as anyone but just once I'm spending on me!



rmp, who are you using?


www.wildernessmule.com/

Visited at length with Caleb at a couple of shows and over the phone. Hoping it turns out well.

Hogslayer have you hunted Idaho?


Idaho is one of my favorite places to hunt. Extremely NR tag friendly. Get a wolf tag also. What unit are you hunting?


Edit: saw saw you are hunting the Frank. Get in shape, the Frank should be a bucket trip for every hunter. For sure get a wolf tag.

Last edited by BOBO the Clown; 05/14/20 02:31 PM.

Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7839289 05/14/20 02:43 PM
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Bobo maybe you can shed some light on Idaho.

I hear that it is, like you stated, extremely NR friendly and tags are either OTC or very easy to draw.

I’ve also heard that it was a great place to hunt 15 years ago but the wolves have decimated game populations

What’s the real scoop?


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7839307 05/14/20 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by rmp
Originally Posted by TXHOGSLAYER
Originally Posted by rmp
My advice would be to spend $7,000 or so on a guide that gives you a chance to kill a bull. You can hunt in several states with a guide and over the counter tags. If your looking at doing something you've always wanted to do "Do it right." One great hunt will far, far surpass "a hunt".

I went down the same path. My wife, bless her heart, made me do it. I booked a hunt in Idaho for this October. It's costing around $7,000 but there are very, very few things I have wanted to do my whole life so I paid up. 7 day hunt, horseback ride into the mountain camp. As of now I'm the one hunter in this camp, guide only puts one or two. I'll have a guide to help find, stalk, field dress and get the bull out and a cook. And most important a fantastic experience with or without a bull.

I'm as tight as anyone but just once I'm spending on me!



rmp, who are you using?


www.wildernessmule.com/

Visited at length with Caleb at a couple of shows and over the phone. Hoping it turns out well.

Hogslayer have you hunted Idaho?


Idaho is one of my favorite places to hunt. Extremely NR tag friendly. Get a wolf tag also. What unit are you hunting?


Edit: saw saw you are hunting the Frank. Get in shape, the Frank should be a bucket trip for every hunter. For sure get a wolf tag.


I have a wolf tag. Also a mule deer tag so maybe I'll run into something good.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7839318 05/14/20 03:05 PM
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I wish I would have been a little dumb in my youth and got an extra college loan and gone elk hunting when I was still free to do what when where and how I pleased... freedom is grand.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: For elk hunters [Re: txtrophy85] #7839332 05/14/20 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
Bobo maybe you can shed some light on Idaho.

I hear that it is, like you stated, extremely NR friendly and tags are either OTC or very easy to draw.

I’ve also heard that it was a great place to hunt 15 years ago but the wolves have decimated game populations

What’s the real scoop?



Real scoop-

Premier units have better draw odds then most Other states because way they do their draws. If you apply for Moose or Goat or Sheep, you can’t apply for limited entry elk or deer. A lot of LE rifle deer/elk units are capped OTC archery.

You can get up too two elk bull tags. mule deer or elk tags can also be used for bear(fall/spring), Wolf, or lion.

Wolf issue- yes deer/elk number took a significant dive, but elk are starting to rebound in a few areas, due to aggressive wolf management and the ungulate herds learning to survive. It will never be the good old days. I think as a whole it’s a better OTC archery state then CO, but Central Idaho is a 24hr drive from DFW. You essentially loose two hunting days vs travel time to CO.

My last hunt there, in first three days, I could of killed full curl BH, Mtn Goat, BIG Moose, Mule deer and Elk(passed a 225’ish 5x5 and 8 cows first day, I saw a bear and wolf but not close. With that said I was a legitimate GPS’s 8.5 miles back in from the trail head, oh and I got caught in a nasty snow storm first week in sept. It got cold!!





Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: For elk hunters [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7839347 05/14/20 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by txtrophy85
Bobo maybe you can shed some light on Idaho.

I hear that it is, like you stated, extremely NR friendly and tags are either OTC or very easy to draw.

I’ve also heard that it was a great place to hunt 15 years ago but the wolves have decimated game populations

What’s the real scoop?



Real scoop-

Premier units have better draw odds then most Other states because way they do their draws. If you apply for Moose or Goat or Sheep, you can’t apply for limited entry elk or deer. A lot of LE rifle deer/elk units are capped OTC archery.

You can get up too two elk bull tags. mule deer or elk tags can also be used for bear(fall/spring), Wolf, or lion.

Wolf issue- yes deer/elk number took a significant dive, but elk are starting to rebound in a few areas, due to aggressive wolf management and the ungulate herds learning to survive. It will never be the good old days. I think as a whole it’s a better OTC archery state then CO, but Central Idaho is a 24hr drive from DFW. You essentially loose two hunting days vs travel time to CO.

My last hunt there, in first three days, I could of killed full curl BH, Mtn Goat, BIG Moose, Mule deer and Elk(passed a 225’ish 5x5 and 8 cows first day, I saw a bear and wolf but not close. With that said I was a legitimate GPS’s 8.5 miles back in from the trail head, oh and I got caught in a nasty snow storm first week in sept. It got cold!!






I'm gonna look into Idaho for next year....I've wanted to go, but its hard to justify the drive when NM and CO are so close


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7839361 05/14/20 03:43 PM
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That’s my issue is drive. Think I’m going to do a spring bear hunt next year and just fly in and rent a car.

If you are serious about Sheep or Goats, I’d apply if I was you, especially at your age, some of the Frank tags have good draw odds.


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Re: For elk hunters [Re: redchevy] #7839400 05/14/20 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
I wish I would have been a little dumb in my youth and got an extra college loan and gone elk hunting when I was still free to do what when where and how I pleased... freedom is grand.


No better time than the present.

If I knew then what I know now I probably wouldn’t have ever made a September dove season opener. But the thought of going to Colorado or New Mexico to hunt when I was 21 seemed about as plausible as a trip to the moon. Hell I never left the state period ( save for Mexico, which is really just an extension of South Texas ) until I was 25 or 26.

It gets in your blood though it’s rarely a one and done type deal


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7839628 05/14/20 08:39 PM
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Looking forward to going on one of these with my son in a few years. He is deep into school (nursing) and can't miss a week in the fall, but once he graduates we will head out west. He was super bummed he couldn't go with me and my bro this year. Gonna get my feet wet this year and then be a little more adventuresome with him. He will probably want to bow hunt, but we'll see.

Good luck to everyone elk hunting this year, gonna be interesting hunting season for sure.

Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7839822 05/15/20 12:08 AM
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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 !


Do yourself a favor, book with a quality outfitter and as motivation you'll get into shape. If you get to camp and can't go It's your fault and money down the drain. Don't do a DIY hunt because you'll be disappointed with the results if you don't know the area or elk patterns. Hunts will cost you 5K + , not what you wanted to hear but the truth.
Here is one of my bulls from Swiftcreek Outfitters in Wyoming. This bull was a 7X7 346 score.
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Re: For elk hunters [Re: angus1956] #7839843 05/15/20 12:25 AM
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My other bull 6X6 315 score
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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7839993 05/15/20 02:48 AM
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I second BOBO on Idaho, or Montana, if you are archery hunting. Colorado if you are gun hunting. I would encourage you to go otc at least once just to gain experience, and put together a preference point plan for Co,wy and AZ. And do the random draw in NM.

You can cheat a little on altitude and get a prescription for diamox. It will speed up acclimation. I've used it before for climbing above 13k.

Depending on weather, elk will be lower in later season (2nd season co gun). The trick is to pick a region and time before they are pushed to private.

I really do believe you will enjoy your trophy hunt if you spend $1000 on a diy otc base camp hunt. It will be crowded and your probability will be 10% but you will learn so much that will help you when it's time to hire an outfitter.

Everybody's going to say I sound like a broken record but spend time hiking on uneven ground with weight. Start lite and work up. By uneven ground I'm talking off pavement with rocks and roots and slanted trails. You will expend more energy balancing than you will hiking.

I have you in age by 7 years. You are about the age I made my last high altitude climb (above 14k). I was way overweight but i spent time hiking trails, starting with low weight and increasing each week. By the end of training I knew that 50lbs was the max I could carry and I could do that for 7 miles and still be able to climb the next day. As we get older it's not the distance and weight that stop us, its the recovery.

If you want a taste, do a January otc cues/mule deer archery hunt in Arizona. You can drive or hike as much as you want and see how the altitude affects you at 4-7k. And it's cheap. For the price of gas and tags the young'uns and I hunted javelina for five days. Javi tags are drawn but only 150. Deer are otc and 300. Both plus a 85 license. Juniors lic was $5.

Good luck. I have my archery elk outfitter picked out in Colorado. I have my points. I need get back in shape and I'd like to do one more diy hunt before I pull the trigger. That outfitted hunt will be about 5k on public. Then I'm going to Idaho if the liver holds.

Last edited by jnd59; 05/15/20 02:50 AM.

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Re: For elk hunters [Re: Deersteaks] #7840072 05/15/20 04:20 AM
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Looks like I should start wearing a tie on my elk hunts.

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