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Elk recommendations?

Old 10-16-2006, 12:43 PM
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Default Elk recommendations?

We just returned from our first western hunt-- my son and I took 2 nice pronghorns in SE montana. http://www.huntingnet.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=1739710 We're hooked on the West. Interested in going after elk-- any suggestions re best states (MT, NM, WY, CO?), and regions of those states-- this would also be for rifle hunt. Question:is it unrealistic to plan to take 2 Elk-- how many daysshouldwe plan on.thanks.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

Unless you've been applying in N.M. for many years, your chances of getting a tag there are nil. Colo. has the largest elk herd of all. Colo. has many areas that you can still buy a tag over the counter, if you don't draw a tag. The CDOW website has a lot of info. that you can brouse through to narrow down some possible areas. Once you narrow down your search here, then you can call the CDOW and talk to them, they are pretty friendly, and they may help you narrow down an area even further.
Is taking two bulls an unrealistic expectation, yeah, probably. Two elk, including a cow, pretty good. Concider that only about 20% of all elk hunters fill thier tags. BUT, if you go, you should be prepared to be 100% successful, because it could happen.
Hopefully, some other guys will chime in about the other states on your list!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:36 PM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

I live in Elk country in Montana and can see them on the hills around the house. It's still a tough deal trying to get one and still am not successfull every year. I hunt hard for 3 weeks of course looking for a public land bull is getting harder and harder every year.
Looks like your from the North East.
By the time you figure the tags all gear needed, scouting ( unless you just plan on stumbling on to some as they can be here today gone tomorrow), maybe horses,
Your money might be well spent looking for a guide or outfitter for a good Elk trip.
Your odds will increase on harvesting. The scouting should be already done for you ( maybe private ranch)and will have someone with experiance with you to make the hunting part much more enjoyable.
If you prefer not to go that route it can be very time consuming and costly and the odds of scoring are pretty slim for the non-resident first timer. Montana has a draw system for all non-residents and am not sure what the odds are on drawing.
Not trying to burst your bubble here.
Also congrats on the Speed goats you did go the right way with Montana's block management have done it myself in the East.
If you do decide to do it on your own here in Montana, shoot me an email I can point you in some good locations.
Just some friendly advise.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:01 AM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

It's a funny thing that the West does to a person. If you think you would like to really get into elk hunting you need to explore all the states who offer tags and look into applying each year for the different preference points and bonus points. It can be very confusing and time consuming, but if you want to consistently draw tags, with the potential for great tags, you really should do this.

WY just began a PP system this year so the sooner you get in on it the better chances of drawing a tag you will have for the better areas.

NM does not have a PP or a BP system in place so your odds as a NR are as good as anyone elses.

MT from what I understand usually takes two years to draw a elk/deer combotag.

CO also has a PP system in place and takes several years to draw a good tag, but also has numerous over the counter oppurtunities=a lot of hunters.

I agree with Howler that it is probably unrealistic to expect (especially first time) to kill 2 elk, but you will have to be prepared. They are big and it's a lot of work. As far as how long should you plan? The more time I get to spend in the mountains the better so I usually try to get a solid 7 days of hunting in. 10 days total with drive time and etc.

A lot will really depend on if you want to hunt with an outfitter or DIY (do it yourself). Good luck.

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Old 10-18-2006, 04:58 PM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

Western CO to start with, later you can explore other areas. Do not even think about hunting CO east of the Continental Divide.
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:49 PM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

Maritime, Some of the things to consider are what kind of shape are you in, how old, and in what shape is your son in? Can he help pack in and out? I'm new to elk hunting also but in very good shape for my 47 year old body. If you do enough scouting at home, you can find areas to hunt in the west for a small investment or you can hire an outfitter and have everything taken care of. Wyoming also has a "special" tag for double the money, but if you don't want to wait to get drawn, this tag is fairly easy to draw. Colorado has some great areas to hunt in over-the-counter unlimited tag areas but many are in very steep terrain. Thus, the need to be in very good shape. This year I hunted Colorado with a bow and on the second day had a 5x5 bull at 20 yards but do to stupidity on my part did not bring thebruiser home. All of my scouting occurred on the internet. Admittedly, I've done some reading and knew what to look for in terrain features, but this was my first DIY hunt.This hunt involved backpacking in 2 hours from the car and climbing over 1000' in elevation in some"very" steepterrain. It can be done! Give it a try.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:24 AM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

thanks guys. keep it coming, this is very helpful advise. will start my planning. will reach out as I have more questions. thx again. maritime
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:50 AM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

I live in and love Co. but Idaho was a good trip for me. I went there before I moved to Co. and had a blast. I believe the tags are over the counter too.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:54 PM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

Hello there. Glad to see you and your son had a good trip. I just got back from my elk trip and will be going up to Wy for a speed goat this weekend. I would have to pick Colorado where I live and hunt elk every year. There is a lot to pick from here in Colorado. I try to go up 1st rifle season so I might find the elk in the rut still like we did this year (to bad no one had a bull tag). Tags are easy to get and some are even over-the-counter or left-over after the draw. If I were coming from out of state I would show up at lease 2days before the season and plan to stay the hole season. Hunting elk is not a easy thing and if you and your son were going to go NON-GUIDED I would think you would be lucky if one of you filled a tag. I would think about one having a bull tagand the other getting a cow elk tag. You would need to hunt hard and not be afraid of the "black timber". If you have more questions or need help finding a area e-mail me at [email protected]. Later Jovan
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Old 10-20-2006, 11:38 AM
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Default RE: Elk recommendations?

Apply in Wyoming first, as those results will be out before other apps are due. Then apply for New Mexico & Montana. My suggestion.....with no bonus points built up.
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