?'s Western Elk Hunt - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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?'s Western Elk Hunt

I am looking into doing a unguided western elk hunt. This would be my first time. I am not looking for anyone's hunting spots but I am looking for any help being offered. I am not sure what state to try or anything. I am definitely looking to get away from the crowd even if it involves more work. Thanks for any help in what to do and what not to do.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 12:45 AM
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Re: ?'s Western Elk Hunt

Colorado offers the most oppurtunity as far as tags go. If you are willing to work hard success is a very possible option. Look to wilderness areas that are rugged with limited acccess, and get in SHAPE!! Do as much internet and telephone research as you can. Research elk heards, tag allocations, call DEC officers and biologists, ect... The next thing is become extremely proficient with your weapon of choice. 1, you owe it to the animal (Elk are very hard to bring down), and 2, You may only get 1 limited shot opportunity, make it count!! Practice, practice, practice..

The best advise I can give is to read Cameron Hanes book called "Backcountry Bowhunting - A guide to the wild side" Even if you aren't a bowhunter, this is the most inspirational DIY book I have ever read! Another good book is Eastman's "Elk Hunting the West"

If this is your first trip out west Elk hunting be prepaired to spend a significant amount of money, even if it's unguided, on quality gear. There is alot of gear you will need that you probably don't have for hunting deer in this area. This is all just my opnion and by no means the only way to go, but having been there 4 times with success, I do believe it is the cheapest. (Also the hardest!)

There is no "Catch and Release" in the world of hunting!!!!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 01:21 AM
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Re: ?'s Western Elk Hunt

I would look at Colorado. I went last year. Get in SHAPE and then get in better shape. Lots of public land with OTC tags. Don't be afraid to take a cow your first time out. Start planning now. Call the Colorado DCNR. They're very helpful.

For your first time out I'd seriously consider a guide or semi-guided hunt. It gives new meaning to the middle of nowhere.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 12:15 PM
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Re: ?'s Western Elk Hunt

I have done 7 DIY elk hunts in Colorado and have scored 7 times. The above two posts are right. Get in shape and be prepared to hunt your butt off hard for 5 days dawn to dusk.The National Forests will give you a good opportunity to score in you get back in further than the other guys want to go. Weather plays a big part also. Get a snow storm and the elk start to move down. If its not to bad they move up. They like it cold but don't like deep snows where they can't find food. Seems like the biggest bulls wait till the last minute to move down. Plan on covering alot of ground. Once you find the elk you'll have to figure out how to get close for the shot. 1st and 4th season is a draw so you'll have to wait till next year. 2nd and 3rd are over the counter tags. Good gear makes the hunt alot more enjoyable. Remember there are no Walmarts close if you need something. Most drop camp guides will give you a satellite phone in case you need help or put one down. No cell service up there. Taking a cow is just as good as taking a bull. Just my opinion cause you have to work your butt off for either one. One you get one down the real work begins. If you have a buddy to go with you take him/her. the help is always needed and for safety its good to have a partner. Once you hunt the Rocky's you'll want to go back every year. It gets in your blood bad. I could spend hours nit picking on details but the best way to learn is do some research and go do it. Money wise I figure about $2,000 for a do it yourself hunt. We drive out and that includes gas, motels, food, licence, ect. You may spend more. Good luck.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 08:30 PM
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Re: ?'s Western Elk Hunt

Montana and Wy. offer the longest hunt seasons and you don't have to chose your weapon.Your late for buying a Wy. elk point which would guarantee you a general elk tag next year.I hunted Co. 3 times,Wy. 1 and Mt 1 and would chose Wy. hands down over the 3 with Montana as a close 2nd.Colorado has hunters everywhere but if you walk in a couple miles you lose alot of them
Montanas tag will include a deer tag along with your elk tag,but its not cheap at over $900.I'm heading back to Montana next week for deer and if I tag out early will head west to hunt elk for a few days
You HAVE to be in shape to hunt elk.I mean the best shape of your life if you want to be successful.The biologists out west are very helpful in telling you where to find the herds once you figure out a hunt area
I'm always looking for archery elk partners if that interests you at all pm me.Archery elk hunting is the best hunt of the year and most exciting

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ?'s Western Elk Hunt

Thank You guys for all your help. Guess it's time to look at some maps and make some calls. Oh and start working out.

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