Where would you go/should I go - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Where would you go/should I go

In 2 years I'd like to make a first trip out West. I've done enough dreaming and reading books about it and want to start getting my information together to give it a go.

I'd like to make it DIY and want to hunt mule deer or elk. If you had to pick a state for either that would give me a good chance at harvesting and a possibility of getting wallhanger (one that most guys would mount) then where would you go?

I ask on here because people that will hopefully answer are in my boat having to make a long trip of it and know I can't go multiple times to the same place in the season.

I know these states are probably out due to app/license costs and odds of drawing: UT, NM, AZ, KS, NV.

Any opinions and personal experience would be welcome.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 01:13 AM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

Colorado, Has alot of public land and some units have over the counter tags.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 01:44 AM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

Been a real long time, but we went to Colorado with an outfitter who ran drop camps. They took you back in on horseback and mule train and someone checked on you once every day. If you got an elk down, they'd come back with some pack mules and pack out the quartered animal.

The only thing they did besides packing you in and out was have a canvas wall tent set up. Everything else, from firewood to cooking to gutting and quartering, you were on your own. Took your own food and camp gear in on the mules.

Don't know if anyone still runs anything like that, I'm sure the guy we went with is long retired. But it was significantly less that guided hunts. Got you way back in, further than even the most dedicated hikers would hike. That's where you want to be, unless you have a real good local connection who knows where animals are in the easier accessed public lands.

Two of three of us got elk, mine a 4x4 and 32 inch spread, my buddy's a 6x6 with 38 inch spread and good mass. The other guy saw elk, one huge one, but no shot, less mule deer up where we were (around 9,000 feet I think), weather unusually warm that year. I did see an unreal mule deer buck the day after the season ended, I was taking down my trail marker tape. Probably a 3 to 4 hour ride on horses from base camp to the tent, then they dropped us off and took the horses back.

You smack an elk, you better have some good buddies with you, or make arrangements with a local outfitter to pack it out on a horse or mule. We passed two hunters who were hiking and backpacking in, camping light, everything carried on their pack frames. They made a deal with our guy to pack out an elk if they got one, the outfitter said he'd do it for $100 cash. You had to leave the hide on, and the genitals on one quarter, not as if you could bone it out in the field. Don't know the rules today, this was two decades ago. Couple years later the kids came along and now I've got six more years of tuition before I can think of that again, so my trips are confined to Ohio.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 12:27 PM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

i have a friend that moved to colorado 13 years ago. i've gone out twice on diy hunts. if your looking for a wallhanger those are tough tags to draw. most of those tags require preference points. it is a very tough hunt that you must be in shape for.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 12:45 PM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

Quote:
Originally Posted by DethFrumAbuv
Been a real long time, but we went to Colorado with an outfitter who ran drop camps. They took you back in on horseback and mule train and someone checked on you once every day. If you got an elk down, they'd come back with some pack mules and pack out the quartered animal.

The only thing they did besides packing you in and out was have a canvas wall tent set up. Everything else, from firewood to cooking to gutting and quartering, you were on your own. Took your own food and camp gear in on the mules.
I've done the same in Montana! Been out there 4 times, used an Outfitter for their drop camps / semi guided camps. They provided the tents, food, horses, packing, wrangler and cook if you wanted one. Tough hunting, but was fortunate enough to go 3 for 4 on elk (2 6x6 & 1 5x5) and mule deer. Quartering and packing an Elk is a lot of work and takes time. Having the right equipment is a must! My suggestion would be Montana and to never pass an opportunity to go out West!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 03:58 PM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

I'd go to eastern Wyoming.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 04:11 PM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

Mulies: Eastern Wyoming
Elk: colorado or montana

as stated by others, so much public land and more game than you can imagine. Management done properly

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 08:44 PM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

I would go where there are no wolves.....

I was reading yesterday that Co. is in line to bring the wolves back, if so it is a big mistake....

Just my .02$

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 09:19 PM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

I would go to Montana, and have many times. Have a brother living there since '87 and has all the camp gear, horses, and bought a cabin this year (we're getting too dang old to be cold and wet for 10-14 days straight ).

But for someone looking to go on a semi-outfitted, with an easier chance at a license, I would recomend Colorado to start. Also, MT's license has jumped quite a bit since last time I was out.

There is one thing in common with whichever state you decide on, those mountains are bigger and steeper than anywhere you've hunted in PA. If you're looking at going in 2 years, start getting your body prepared now. Last thing you want is a blown hunt because you couldn't make it. Good luck!

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 10:00 PM
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Re: Where would you go/should I go

I'd suggest Co.
I'd also suggest this go & ck it out yourself a airline ticket, rental car & hotel for weeks summer vacation will tell you plenty. Their are a lot of local folks & sporting goods stores, wildlife officers with assets & knowledge that will help you out for an upcoming hunt.
There's a lot of public land & options out there preparation is key....
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