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Big Game Hunting Books

Old 07-19-2011, 08:00 PM
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Default Big Game Hunting Books

I am completely new to hunting big game out west. Have been a midwest white tail hunter all my life. So, I'm looking to get into it and trying to figure things out. I was wondering if anyone had any books to recommend to a newbie. I've been looking at the following online, and trying to decide which one to order:
-The Ultimate Guide to Elk Hunting by Bob Robb and Gerald Bethge
-Jumpstart Elk Hunting: The Everyday Hunter's Guide to Cutting Through the Bull by Brian E Baldwin
-The Complete Book of Elk Hunting: Tips and Tactics for All Weather and Habitat Conditions (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) by Sam Curtis
-Ultimate Elk Hunting: Strategies, Techniques & Methods (The Complete Hunter) by Jay Houston
Anyone familiar with any of these, and would you recommend any (or anything else not listed).
Also, would anyone recommend a book about muleys or antelopes?
Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:07 PM
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I can't recommend a particular book relative to elk hunting, but when I was just getting into it I went to the local library and read everything I could find about elk hunting in current and past issues of outdoors magazines. It definitely shortened the learning curve.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for the input, these days, the internet makes that sort of research a lot easier too. Anyways, just ordered the first one I listed above.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:17 PM
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Reading over your original post again, I see I read it specific to elk. Relative to mule deer:
Public Land Mulies, David Long
Mule Deer Trophies, VanNorman & Carpenter
Hunting Open Country Mule Deer, Dwight Schuh
Mule Deer Quest, Walt Prothero

Long's book is really good on glassing (both how and where), the next two are general and you will probably find them beneficial. Prothero's book is one I'd never heard of and is just excellent in that it really gets into some details that most don't: stride, specifics to track size and trophies, specifics on forage that the deer prefer, etc...

A book more general to back pack hunting the high country is Cameron Hane's Backcountry Bowhunting: A Guide to the Wild Side. It is a great read that addresses the logistics of getting way off the beaten path, really addresses physical fitness and the mental aspects of getting it done, and the more nebulous topics of dealing with isolation, fear and loneliness when way back there by yourself for days on end. Hanes is a bow hunter, but what everything can be applied to the rifle hunter as well.

Beyond articles in magazines, I've not read much about antelope hunting. Antelope are probably both the easiest and least physically demanding to hunt, though if you are looking for an exceptional buck, you will need to work for it and exercise some skills.

Last edited by wyomingtrapper; 07-21-2011 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:02 AM
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Thanks. I actually ordered the Schuh book to round out free shipping from Amazon. Glad to hear it a good one.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:28 PM
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I like to read some old-time books just to enjoy a sort of nostalgia. But for practical elk hunting information, I think one of the best I have read is "Elk Tactics" by Don Laubach and Mark Henckel. This book spends a lot of time discussing principles of elk behavior and how they lead into predicting where to find elk. Elk country is big. If you are just going to go randomly look to find elk, that is a tall task. This book tells you where are the best places to look for elk. For example, find a long gentle ridge. Look for flat spots on the ridge. Elk like those flat spots -- also called benches -- for bedding (provided they are not open parks). They like to bed close to the crest of the ridge, looking downhill to see approaching danger and then can run off the back side of the ridge when danger is seen. A lot of information with this kind of content. Now, I cannot confirm this information from my own experience, but it seems logical and sensible.

Another good book is "Elk and Elk Hunting" by Hartt Wixom. Again, this book has practical information that can be helpful to find elk. Frankly, in my view, if I can find elk, it is game over, but finding the elk is ticklish and difficult. I can figure out all the rest -- physical conditioning, cothing, rifle, scope, meat care, tents, all that endless frou-frou of equipment and gear. Frankly, it has been my experience that the elk hunting books are crammed full of equipment/gear discussions. As if there aren't enough books and information out there about that already! If you really are a total rank beginner, you could get some general book like Jim Zumbo's book on Elk Hunting put out by the Complete Hunter series. This is short, sweet, to the point and goes into some of the gear topics. You can probably find it used on-line somewhere pretty cheap. Try alibris.com or abebooks.com, used book sellers.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:53 PM
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I appreciate the input, Alsatian.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:33 AM
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i've read elk and elk hunting by hartt wixom, and for somebody who wants to learn to hunt elk, but knows how to hunt already, this is a great book.

also, hunting trophy antelope for sale by eastman's journal is a good place to start. but antelope hunting is as easy as hiking, i've killed a load of them before i really learned anything about them.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:30 PM
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My best advise to go along with some already posted, is to get books on elk and learn everything you can about the animal itsef. It will help make what you read in the how to books easier to understand when you understand your prey.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:04 PM
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Thank you, everyone. And that is an interesting point, Scott.
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