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Elk Hunting???

Old 03-04-2006, 04:00 PM
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Location: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
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Default Elk Hunting???

Intro. I've alwaysweighed the idea of taking someone disabled hunting, but since elk hunting is my thing, I'm worried that it may be a bit too much of achallenge for a disabled hunter even though we would strive toarrange for it to be easier for the disabled hunter, it is still elk hunting.

Requirements.Our elk huntwould require the disabled hunter to have the ability to ride horseback (with help getting on and off being okay --- horsewould be led by someone else), the ability to navigate short distances on uneven ground (20 yards or so), the ability to get in and out of a sleeping bag and go to the loo on ones own.... Elevation 8,000 to 10,000 ASL --- Craig, Colorado area.

Main Camp. We use a main camp with a 16x58 wall tent with propane and wood heat, etc. just off graded road. Floors and surrounding grounds are uneven and loo tent is typically 30 yards away. Main camp has provisions for temporary privacy (in the shower area). Weuse cots and usually we sleep in our clothes in sleeping bags... this is a co-ed camp with 6 to 8 hunters, usually just my wife as chef, but sometimes another female present.

Spike Camp. Closer in to the hunting zone, we use a spike camp that is amore crudecamp 4-5 miles back in via horses/walking. It is a 16'x18' tentandand up to 8 of ussleep on the ground (it has a floor ofvisquene or tarp)with Thermarests, sleeping bagsand wood heat which means it can get cold at times, but is comfortable overallandthe cooking is basic--- but it is shelter and heat and food. The ground at this camp is is even more uneven than the main camp and onethere is a lot ofsmall fallen aspens. Normally we would walk from this camp to the ambush sites, but we could take along a horse and then hide the horse back in the trees somewhere. Typicallymost of usare only here a couple days & nights and by then we have harvested most our elk.

The Hunt. The hunting is mostly done by ambush from ground locations on ridges or saddles and we position ourselves to create a"picket line" that the elk pass through. Rifles 30-06 minimum --- no bow hunting --- season typically Oct 10 thru Oct 15 zone--- usually warm fall weather but have dealt with 12-14 inches of snow on rare ocassions. Though the season is 5 days long, usually we've maxed out in one or two days, of course we'd arrange it where the disabled hunter could hunt longer than 1-2 days.

After The Hunt. We do a communal butchering session and cut up and package and freeze all the elk meat (we take two freezers) and then we divided all the meat equally before we all go home so win lose or draw everyone gets an equal share.

My Question. Is this a reasonable scenario for some disabled hunters? I figure motorized wheel chairs are definitely out; however,someonethat can use crutches for short spurts (20 yards or so)I would think should bea candidate,but I don't really have an informedsense of where to draw the line. Based on what I've describedcompared toyour experiences and other disabled hunters you may know, what is the profile of a disabled hunter that would likely thrive in this scenario? How much supportis commonlyneeded? One dedicated helper per one disabled hunter? Two? Any cautions for someone like myself who is inexperienced atthis sort of thing?
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:02 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

I think you would have a good thing for some disabled hunters.But the big thing would be the cost of the hunt.They do not give you much to live on and it is hard to make ends meet.I hope you do good with it and make some dreams come true for some of the disabled hunters.Good luck
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

It stands to reason that cost is an issue. Unfortunately on this type hunt costs run higher by mere definition; costs go up (compared to a local 1 day deer patch hunt where one sleeps inhis own bed, packs a sack lunch, burns $10.00 gas, and is back in time for supper or the game), in our case you hunt away from home, base camp away from town andin a remote location (but along the road) and thenhunt out of a horse/hike accessed spike camp --- about 5,000 pounds of gear and provisions.

Our shared camp expensesnormally runbetween$300 and 400 per head per year depending upon how many hunters participate in our group to split up the costsin a given year. I suppose the group might be persuaded to "underwrite" a disabled hunter to some degree; however, this would not be a "tv-show-won-the-free-hunt" scenario.In addition to the cost of "camp operations" each hunter has the expense of their elk licenses and their travel expense. Our group would be incurring the cost ofacquiring an extra rental horse to provide transport for someone to get "back in there" and these horses rent for$350 each for the season. The same horse could be used in the grand scheme of things to also pack out meat so may be absorbed by the group split. In any case, our "break-even-cost-elk-camp" is way, way, way below outfitter costs!

Money issues aside,themain focus of my thread is to elicit help from you all as to the profile of a good candidate. I'm thinkingthere would be physical limits in determiningwhat is smart and doable and what isn't such a good idea.

Can you folks provide any insight on this latter part?
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:15 PM
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

I have tried responding back toa PM I received and the PM mail box on the other end was full.
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Old 03-11-2006, 10:59 AM
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

I am thoroughly underwhelmed....

I guess “silence speaks volumes,"and I “hear you” loud and clear,
Apparently, the elk hunting thing is not agood idea.
Back to theold "standard plan" for Elk Camp 2006.

Good luck,
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:39 PM
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

We have taken some disabled hunters elk hunting, in fact we had one guy who expected everything handed to him, he didn't contribute to camp chores, he wanted guys to make his bed,put food on his plate. He even wanted some one to empty his urine out of his bag. I was wanting to help him at first, but saw what he was doing. I know not all disabled hunters are that way, but it sure left a bad taste in my mouth.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:33 AM
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

Outdoor338, et al,

Thanks for the input. You know I have had people in camp that were NOT disabled that weren't much different than the one you describle. There is an amazing variation in folks as to how much and how well they are willing to contribute to overall camp operations. We areNOT outfitters, yet it is amazing how some guests assume everything will be done for them and can't see the work to be done that lays right before them.

Attitude is everything and constructive fellowship is more important thant the kill itself. Attitude and humorarelets one handle elk hunting challenges (as there is always that point in the hunt where it would just be better to be at home). When one knows he is going to be "in it" for 10 days, fun or no fun, the cohesiveness of the group is key. If someone is limited in what they can do but never miss a chance to contribute where they can without being prompted, then they get full credit for being a team player. This is our key "measuring stick" as to who gets invited back next year and who don't.

In general,
I do love elk hunting and camp life.... setting up the main camp, banquet night with our old time neighboring camps, scouting, packing in the spike camp into the "hot zone", leading in our little"army" to spike camp the day before the season opens, getting up in the middle of the night for breakfast at 3AM, heading out,the bugling &screaming &mewing of the elk (about 50% of the years there is still "left over rut" going on)in the pre-dawn hours the while waitingfor shooting light, the rumble of hooves, the crashing of timber, field dressing, hanging heavy quarters in the shade, loading up panniers with the meat and packing them out with horses, that last 100yards into the trail head, that first shower after days in the spike camp, butchering and packaging the meat.... oh, and the thrill of a heavy K-THUD knock down on a nice elk ain't bad either.

With the harvesting mission complete, then comes the task of packing it all up and going back home (4000 pounds or so on the return trip), dividing the meat on the last day and heading out in our convoy.... Wow, 55mph is really fast.... this highway is really smooth and clean....Chinese food in Steamboat Springs....these sidewalks are really flat and smooth.... must be backin civilization....

Then we start planning next year....
2006's planis set....
Met theApril 4th deadline for tags....
Showtime in 6 months, but it really starts at Christmas....
and so it goes.

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Old 03-25-2006, 08:29 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

I think this whole thing was a nice idea (or potential idea).Seems like it had the chance to be the start of something. If money is a prohibitive issuefor some, they're may be "alternative financing" available thru hunter contributions of some sort. Who knows. Anyway, a worthwhile gesture or at least concept there EKM.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:59 AM
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Default RE: What Kind Of Elk Hunting Works?

EKM. My Hats off to you sir for a fine offer. I invited a handicapped hunter from this site to my place in SD last fall to hunt Mule deer. It was my privilege to hunt with that fine gentleman. Never met a man with a more positve attitude or a harder worker. As you say, there are some less that ambitous hunters both thhe abled and disabled, but I am sure that most here would do there best to bring respect to our sport. Much as I am sure that you alwaysdo. Best of luck and I hope someone here will be able to take advantage of the oppertunity.

I still keep in touch with the fellow and my life is richer for having met him and hunted with him. Hope to see him again this fall.
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:27 AM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting???

Wonderful idea and very thoughtful of you. I would have them sign a At Your Own Risk Affidavit. If you are charging them a fee, you are liable.
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