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Old 03-07-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
Spike
 
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Talking WY DIY Archery Elk

Hello Everyone. This is my first time in posting anything to a computer but figured I'd give it a shot. I was successful in the Wy general draw this year. My intentions are to use the tag for a DIY archery elk hunt with a few well proven DIY elk hunters. We have been going to Colorado for several years now and for a couple of reasons we decided it was time for a change. The biggets reason being were the amount of people we were running into with the OTC licensing system they have there. So with that all I am looking for is anything to help us get pointed in the right direction as far as some decent areas we can investigate. We typically like to set up a dispersed drive to base camp as far off the beaten path as possible and then either hunt from there or some of us may opt to spike out a couple of days at a time. In my preliminary overview of the states general areas I have come up with three general areas that look like they may hold promise. The WY Range in the BTNF in the western part of the state, The Big Horns in the north central, and the Sierra Madre / Snowy Range in the Medicine Bow NF in the south central.
If any one out there has any experience or general knowledge of any or all of these areas I would really appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
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I've hunted all of those areas and you'll find elk in all three areas. The Wyoming range is some nasty steep country: Make sure your body is up to it. Plenty of people bow hunting in that areas. I hunted the Snowies for years. Its been awhile, but there were plenty of people up there as well. The Sierra Madres I only hunted once and would love to again. It is some remarkable country. The Big Horns had substantially less hunters than any other place I've hunted during the bow hunt. Let me know what you choose and I will recommend some areas.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:11 AM   #3
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The Big Horns do have much less hunting pressure but they also do not hold as many elk. The Sierra Madres and the Snowies have alot of pressure but have good elk numbers. The Western part had good numbers when I hunted there but bring some bear spray or backup (legal to carry in Wyoming now while archery hunting).
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the feedback. I really appreciate it. I was kind of surprised on the comments on how busy these areas were during the archery season. I really didn’t expect to hear that. That is one of the reasons we decided to move out of Colorado and there OTC licensing system. I figured going to WY and a draw system would help alleviate some of the competition. I know it’s probably a matter of personal opinion but just how busy is busy?

After doing some more research I discovered a few things. Maybe you guys could comment. Concerning the bear situation in the Wyoming range you mentioned Wheatley. I spoke with a couple of outfitters who said that while the Griz may pass through the area it wasn’t within their home range and I shouldn't be concerned at all with the bears like you would farther north above Jackson and towards Yellowstone. I spoke with the bear biologist out of Jackson and he confirmed.

Trapper, Was wondering what your comment on the Sierra Madre range being spectacular was all about. It is about 5 hours closer for me in drive time so as long as there are good elk numbers I may consider going there. My immediate concern after looking at a map is that it doesn’t appear very remote and there seems to be roads everywhere. Probably not much room to roam and get back away from it all. Another concern was that I would have my space limited as a non resident by the wilderness areas in these units. What do you think?

When I looked at the Big Horns the terrain looks much more forgiving (as do the Sierras and Snowies) than that of the Wyoming range but I do see a couple issues for us there. Limited room to hunt. There are only two units (36 & 37) that we can hunt with a general tag. Also as non residents we cannot hunt the wilderness areas that take up a fair chunk of the western side of both of these units. So unless you tell me I am incorrect in what I viewed on the map as far as the Big Horns I'm probably going to lean more towards the WY Range or the Sierras / Snowies. Hope to hear back with your comments. Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:52 AM   #5
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Could be a world of difference in amount of people from Colorado to the Snowies and Sierra Madres. I hunt the Sierra Madres now and I like it but I was never used to the amount of hunters in archery season as there are down there. There are a ton of roads and I run into others but I am usually able to find some spots that most don't want to go to and have found elk every year. The mountains in the Sierra Madres are beautiful with lots of Aspen stands and changing colors. The Snowies are about the same with people and the area is similar.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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Its been 13 years since I hunted the Bighorns and even more relative to the Snowies and Sierra Madres. I'm in the far West now. I expect others are giving you more up to date info than I can on the former ranges.

There are a few resident grizzlies south of Jackson. One frequents the area directly east of southern Star Valley (Afton area) and I expect there are a few more other than passing through up on the Grays. A kid was charged by one a few years ago. It was fortunately a bluff. I saw a young grizzly up Strawberry Canyon about 7 years ago and tracks have been confirmed along the Idaho Border. A reliable report came from a hunter who crossed paths with a sow and cub up the Little Grays last fall. The sow was not aware of him and he chose to hunt a different area for the rest of the season.

I wouldn't worry about it. Bowhunters seem to be having more close encounters with lions than bears. Carry an easily accessible spray and enjoy the hunt.
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