I have hunted and scouted 54 for several years now for muleys and it is very "accessable" which makes it crowded with camps and 4 wheelers. The habitat is great but to get elk you will have to go in deep by foot or horseback or find a hole that is between roads that you wouldn't think anything could exist in with green timber and avalanche chutes or sit on an escape route opening morning as that will probably be the last elk you will see in the open or in the light, unless you are deep in the wilderness area. I like the roads going north from Blue Mesa Resv., the all go in about 15 miles to the wilderness boundary, try Soap, Red Creek, West Elk, and Rainbow. Be mobile, don't set up an elaborate camp and commit yourself to one area because when the lights come on opening morning you will have company! Hunt em like public land whitetails in Wisc. and save your points till you get 3 or 4 and get a good draw unit.....hope this helps
Been hunting area 54 for 23 years overall my family has had very good luck there we hunted East Elk creek the most and all of our bulls have come out of there. Rainbow is good to. you will have bad years to just like anywhere else.
the last three years we haven't even seen an elk and we hunt hard. so for a change we are moving camp to area 68 but will be back.
got the horses and plan to head into the wilderness 4 miles or so, hopefully that will beat the crowds.
rainfall sounds like it's been plenty so hopefully big bulls and nice wallows
any scouting going on?
Interesting! We are going to this same area. We are planning on taking the Soap creek road via truck as far as we can(there's an incredibly steep hill going in a few miles after it starts getting rough) then unload the four-wheelers and continue on about ten miles to the wilderness area. From there it's foot travel only (not sure if horses are allowed or not - are they?) We are young and in shape so hopefully we can out hike/hunt some of the old farts out there! Two of us are getting cow tags so we plan to have fun; crowds or no crowds!
EDIT: I forgot to add: We are going for the 2nd season Oct 21-29
The first deer I shot, way back in 1958, was taken to the local meat shop and processed into steaks, roasts and some burger. Back then in that little Idaho town, when you took a deer into the butcher, you got the same deer back. Unfortunately, times have changed. The last time I took an animal to a butcher, in the mid 60's, I don't have a clue who's meat I got back, but I sure don't think it was mine. I ended up throwing the burger as it stunk the house up every time we...