Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Hey guys,

I'm lucky enough to have drawn a cow elk tag in hunt zone 2 for this years elk hunt! Now that the dust is settling, I have some bigger decisions to make. Mainly, guide or DIY?

I know the area fairly well, but I've never hunted the area. I have family in St.Marys, Weedville, and DuBois (where I grew up)... So I've been to Benezette many times. But.... I've never hunted there.

Some of you guys already reached out to me with suggestions, and I appreciate your opinions and offers very much. You guys have been very helpful and generous so far. I want to make sure I make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

So, I have just a couple questions for the board. Feel free to PM me if you'd like. Thanks for your help guys

1. Did you, or someone you know, use a guide or DIY? Were you/they successful? How much did a guide cost?

2. Is hunt zone 2 accessible enough for someone like me who may not have a lot of guys around to pull an elk? ATV access on state land?

3. Do you know someone who butchers an elk? A deer is one thing, but I'm willing to pay to have an animal of that size butchered.

4. Any suggestions for capturing the moment? Obviously with a bull elk you can get a mount done, but what can you do with a cow (my situation)?


I feel like me and my family are very accomplished hunters, but thats all on our turf, and I would hate going empty handed. Please let me know if you have any suggestions (guides, pricing, ect)

Thanks for your time guys
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 11:37 PM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Can't help you with those ?'s but congrats on the tag and I'm sure whatever you decide to do, it will be a very memorable hunt. Good Luck

Huntin Bucks and Crushin Ducks
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 12:14 AM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Sent you a PM. I sucessfully hunted the same unit in 2008.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Hmmm didn't get your PM RBH... I look forward to seeing what you have to say though
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 07:58 AM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Archer,

If you didn't get it today yet let me know I'll try to resend it or I'll fill you in here and give you my contact info if you want.

To answer questions 1 no I did not use a guide. I had been in the area before and knew I would be hunting either state game land or state forest land. So access wasn't an issue. I knew if I did my diligence with scouting I could find elk.

Your second question is tough. I prepared to get my elk out with just two guys. I was prepared to pack it out if necessary and I also had the phone number of someone with horses to go in and pull it out. Fortunately the PGC allowed me to drive to where my cow was down and load her into the truck and take her out. It saved a lot of work. The area I hunted had enough access and logging roads that a good game cart meant for larger game would have been useful, but you still need to get it to the access road. If you're on state forest land I'm not sure of the access with ATV's but you can't on state game land unless you get lucky and the PGC lets you take one in to retrieve it.

I do know someone who butcher's elk, but you don't want to take it the whole way out here!!!! I would contact your local butcher shops and ask in advance. My butcher also did cattle so he had the equipment to handle the size.

For number 4 take a BUTT LOAD of pictures. Don't be in a rush with anything, enjoy it all. In that unit if you put your time in you will be successful. Also if you have a good friend or two to enjoy it with it makes it much better. I took my best fried for the trip and we had a blast. Also I had my hide done into a rug and I saved the ivories. The rug hangs in my office. I also saved all the paper work that you will eventually recieve. It just makes a great keep sake.

Any other questions or help feel free to ask.

Thanks,
Mike
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 09:56 AM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

ArcherLX,
In addition to tons of photos and a video of the entire experience, I had my son macerate the skull and get the hide tanned for a wall mount. The hide is in his showroom along with many of the mounts that he has done over the years - some for me and some for show and some for competitions. The skull is in my hunting room waiting for me to put it on a wall mount plaque.

I used a guide and am glad I did. If I were ever to draw again I would use a guide again. Cost was about what I would have expected to rent a room and eat meals out for a week.

G-Daddy
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 01:54 PM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

sent ya a pm
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 12:28 AM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Hopefully you'll get some good advice from people that have hunted that unit. I had a bull tag in 2001 and had the Driftwood area as my hunting area. Some private, some public land. There wasn't any access problems that year. The following year it got very difficult to gain access on private land as there were some guides who had the land "leased". If you have the time, and some good friends, you can try it yourself. If time is limiting the week of the hunt, and you won't get much scouting time, then do yourself a favor and get a reputable guide - it will be less pressure and more fun. Also, we quartered my elk to bring it home, then had it butchered at home. You'll have a blast, take lots of pictures. One thing to consider - take pictures with and without a flash, even in sunlight. When you use a flash it will take away the small shadows and turn out great. Good Luck!

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 11:21 AM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Congrats on the tag and Good Luck
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 02:03 PM
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Re: Yes! My name was drawn... So.. Guide or DIY?

Congradulations.I wouldn't get a guide as long as you have a few weekends freed up to get out and scout.The only way I'd get a guide is if I drew a tag in an area with little to no public access.

Get some good maps and find some open areas or pipelines with fresh sign.
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