I'm from SE Ohio (big whitetail country) and went on my first Big Game hunt last year with my son and we had a blast connecting on 4 lopes and 2 mulie does in Wy. My son is 15yrs old and his passion matches that of my own when it comes to hunting. (Doesn't hurt that I always know where he is and what he is doing at this age either! ) This was our first trip west past the western Ohio state line. It was nice to see some of America in addition to the trip as I drove from Oh to Wy! But it was worth it!
We really want to attempt an elk hunt in 2012. I have been doing a lot of research since coming back from our last hunt, but wanted to get additional information from you "Pros"
This is what we are looking for in our hunt and what I've been able to calculate. We are hoping for any size legal bull or even a cow late in the hunt. Either sex harvested is a trophy and just icing on the cake while out hunting. We are hunters first and foremost, not killers.
A. Colorado has the biggest population and success rate of elk hunting. Wy & Arizona have some nice trophies. That being said, we purchased points for Wy elk last year for a future hunt there in 2-3 more years and planned on getting our feet wet in CO in 2012. Thoughts?
B. We would love to hunt the rut, but seems to be during only archery and perhaps muzzleloader. Archery is our first passion, but want better odds first time out as we will be learning as we go. Should we apply for muzzleloader? Odds are a long shot, corrrect? If we apply for muzzleloader, can we also apply for a rifle season as well on a 2nd choice? I hear 1st season is a crowded slim chance drawing...?
C. Seems the 3rd rifle season has better success. The elk may have moved to lower elevation and less hunting pressure. Please correct me if I am wrong. (My wife does! )
We are not sure as to whether we'll camp/tents or commute from hotel or whatnot. Maybe pull a camper. Depends on the area, season, and weather where we hunt. I look at this as an opportunity to find a solution. I am planning the hunt first. We are both in great shape and physically capable of any challenge.
D. Are there people in Co that will allow you to hunt for a trespass fee? I did this in Wy via running into someone who knew someone. It only cost me $50. That made it nice to learn and enjoy without much pressure from other hunters. I wanted my son to have a great experience, and he did.
E. Are the OTC just for Bulls only? We'd prefer a General Tag/(Either Or). We could even throw in a deer tag, if possible. But I don't know if I can swing all that with 3 kids. The good Lord provides for us, but I don't want to go getting all greedy! :D
Should I apply for a tag, assuming I won't get it but earn points and opt for OTC?
I know this was a lot to read. I really appreciate any feedback I get. I'll provide any other information neccesary to help in your responses. Thank you in advance for your time and knowledge.
I've ordered several Elk hunting books (M.Eastmans) and subscibe to Eastmans magazine which is a nice resource. I recommend it to everyone.
Merry Christmas and God bless you and your familys.
~BoneCollector (aka Bill & Alex)