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300remmag's picture
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Joined: 09/25/2009
Posts: 11
1st season flat topps

Hunting the flat tops for the first time during 1st season. Trying to get my Dad his first bull elk. We've hunted for years in other areas, but he has primarily been a meat hunter. We are bringing our own horses. I've been studying maps and looking for a decent area to avoid the masses, but more importantly to get him a decent chance at a bull. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Location: Arkansas
Joined: 02/26/2009
Posts: 27
1st season flat topps

What part of the flat tops are you hunting?

300remmag's picture
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Joined: 09/25/2009
Posts: 11
1st season flat topps

Thanks for responding. We were originally looking at unit 34 and 24 up coffee pot road, but have heard there's a lot of atv use and the last 9 miles to the wilderness area is a bear to get up with a horse trailer. Our tags are good for 11, 12,13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, 131, 211, and 231. Almost too many options. Having horses, we are hoping to get past many of the hunters, but would be nice to have a good base camp area that we can get a horse trailer into.

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Location: Arkansas
Joined: 02/26/2009
Posts: 27
1st season flat topps

I am familiar with the Papoose Basin, and trailhead
as well as the Ute Creek area, in unit 24. There are
lots of elk in this area up high, but lots of hunters also.
Get as far away from the road as possible. Google
earth can give you a good birds eye view of the area.
Also exbiologist on this site is a wealth of information.
Good luck and let us know how your hunt turns out.

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1st season flat topps

You will never completely escape all the hunting pressure. But horses will help. So you may as well stick to the wilderness in units 12,23,24,25,26. I would hunt either Big Fish Basin or the Wilderness east of Vaughn Lake all the way back to the rims.

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Location: Arkansas
Joined: 02/26/2009
Posts: 27
1st season flat topps

you might want to check this link also.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/rangerdistricts/meeker/trails.shtml

when you open the link you can click open the individual
trails. They are very descriptive, and have maps attached.

300remmag's picture
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Joined: 09/25/2009
Posts: 11
1st season flat topps

Thanks for your help guys. These look like great suggestions. I will continue to research them. I was also considering the Stillwater Reservoir area as a good spot to come in from the east, but I've never been there. One of my concerns has become finding an area or trailhead to base out of. With so much hunting pressure, we will likely pack in our camp unless weather prevents, but I would like to be able to have an area we can have a base camp for our horses the first night we arrive as well as while packing gear and lets hope game out. Is hunting equally as good on top the flat topps as it is in the canyons themselves? I've wondered if a guy can get too far in where the elk might feel too exposed and want to drop off into the canyons.

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Location: Kentucky
Joined: 12/14/2006
Posts: 21
1st season flat topps
exbiologist wrote:
You will never completely escape all the hunting pressure. But horses will help. So you may as well stick to the wilderness in units 12,23,24,25,26. I would hunt either Big Fish Basin or the Wilderness east of Vaughn Lake all the way back to the rims.

I agree. We did a drop camp in area 23,I think it was around 9500 ft and was told by the outfitter that we probably would not see anyone for that week. Well we saw a total of 10 hunters in our area during the first three days, 2 four wheelers coming off of private land that was about 5 miles away. I ended up killing a 5x5 the first morning and saw a total of 35 elk,after that we did'nt see anything. The others in camp ended up going about 4-5 miles from camp before they started seeing elk. It was our first elk hunt,loved the country and currently looking at NM for the next trip. Good luck and let us know how you did.

300remmag's picture
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Joined: 09/25/2009
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1st season flat topps

I will definately let you all know how it goes. We are now planning on leaving on Thursday to drive to the area. We'll pack in our hunt camp on Friday with horses and hopefully find a great spot for Saturday morning.

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