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Location: Southern GA
Joined: 04/09/2008
Posts: 11
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

I need some helpful advice. We hunted the 2nd season in unit 12. We had a great time, met some awesome people and I even saw a few muleys. While the weather was fair and I am guessing the elk were still hanging in the higher elevations there were also alot of people on that mountain. So does anyone have any advice as to how a southeasterner might capitalize on a great bull? We are looking to return in 2010 and either go back to the same place or to go with an outfitter on private land. I'm not sure which would be the best "bang for the buck" or "bull" rather. I know that outfitters would give a much better shot at a bigger elk than a DIY hunt on public land, but would it really be worth using an outfitter. And if so, does anyone know an outfit to look at? Thanks in advance.

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Location: Denver
Joined: 09/15/2008
Posts: 20
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

Contact Randy/Jenne Horn-Bar H Outfitters - 970-878-0663;
Website - http://www.barhoutfitters.com
Email - jeanneh@barhoutfitters.com

Good people, good area, reasonable fees, and I garantee you they will do their best to not only help you fill your tags, but also make it a great time for you and whoever else comes with you. Tell 'm Dan from Western Slope Trailer Sales referred you--that may not get you anything special, but it may set you apart from just a plain ole cold call. I can't tell you of single person that I referred to them that didn't have at least an opportunity to tag-out. Like the area that you hunted, there are few trophy bulls there, but there are lots of elk and if the hunting gods line up correctly, you will see multiple legal bulls. Also, the deer hunting has been great in that area too, but we did have some winter kill 07-08. But again, they will be honest in their assessment if you decide to do the combo. I will tell you that 1st elk season is the best time to do the elk. Why do the outfitter? No worries--get your tag, grab your gear, and get here. Why not? Cost and if you get the wrong outfit (and there are plenty of idiots do this!), you will have a very expensive nightmare.

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Location: Ohio
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 2
Bar H

I will second what Bleedscamo says. We have hunted with Bar H since 2004
doing strictly drop camps. I doubt we will hunt with any other outfitter. Pack in about 4 miles always see a ton of elk and no other hunters. We are booked thru 2012. Whatever Jeanne tells you, take it to the bank. Just my 2cents worth.

Chief23

B.A.M.F's picture
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Joined: 10/12/2008
Posts: 66
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

If looking to go to same area ninemile gap outfitters!

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Location: Denver
Joined: 09/15/2008
Posts: 20
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

waltor1980,

I forgot to tell you...with Bar H, you would want to talk with them ASAP. Rarely, do they have cancelations, they have a high level of repeat business, so they fill up a year or two ahead of time. God luck!

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Joined: 04/25/2008
Posts: 26
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

A group or us are planning a DIY archery elk in '09. We have looked at drop camps provided by outfitters, but cost always comes into the decision. It seems most outfitters we have spoke with are still putting you on national forest ground anyways. I dont know but sure seems like a big expense for a drop camp when some good research can get you in a decent area also.

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Location: Southern GA
Joined: 04/09/2008
Posts: 11
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

The whole idea of a drop camp hunt sounds good to me. I mean it's ideal for those that would like to capitalize without a guide and it puts them in a good area without a lot of hunter pressure. It is also loads cheaper than a guided hunt. But, if I guess that is why we call it hunting. If we just had to have an elk we could go and drop 5 or 6 grand on a high fence farm raised trophy bull. Not that there is anything wrong with that, if that is your cup of tea. I prefer fair chase and that takes the willingness to throw your luck out there and hope for the best. So I have 1 year and 11 months to do the best research that I can so that I can succeed and fill my tag. Thanks for all your help.

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Joined: 10/07/2008
Posts: 12
bar h outfitters

I hunted with bar houtfitters in 06 it was terrible we saw a few elk,only 3 bulls and the packers were inexperenced.I wouldnt recommend,we were archery hunting and had high expectations,to be honest we see more elk in other public places.

Location: Richfield, Utah
Joined: 11/26/2008
Posts: 64
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

Start putting in for Utah Limited Entry big bull hunts. It will cost you about $75.00 per year. Utah has a bonus point system. There are tax deductible auction tags available. For the money they are the best. Your hunt opportunity will be excellent. Send me a PM with the type of bull you want to kill and I will try to steer you in the right direction for a DIY, guided or landowner bull hunt here in Utah. Our bulls are some of the best in the U.S. right now. Best of luck to you, HTO

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Joined: 01/22/2007
Posts: 120
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

It's true that Utah has the best trophy bulls right now. But it's hard to draw a Limited Entry tag. I know I have 14 points..

But even if you draw a tag, you still have to know where to hunt, how to get your camp to where you want to hunt, and you need to have some idea how to hunt elk. I own horses (and since I can't seem to draw) always seem to get calls from somebody who did draw and wants help ( my horses). I have been extremely successful in helping friends fill their LE tags with 360-380 size bulls. But there is occassionly somebody who doesn't get his bull. The general season elk tags only run 11% success rate., but the LE tags have a much higher success rate. probably because any body who goes to the trouble to put in for several years to accumulate enough points is pretty serious about hunting.

People coming in from out of state need to understand, that if the success rate on average is only 10-30%, and that those who really know how to hunt wil have a higher success rate, it means somebody will have a much lower success rate to make the average. They need to get their expectations in line with reality. Not everybody will get an elk.

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Location: Peyton Co
Joined: 01/22/2006
Posts: 90
DIY public hunt or private outfitter

If getting a good bull is the goal, (you already stated that), your odds will be greater with an outfitter and your budget allows go for it. As Painted Horse stated coming from out of state not knowing the land will be a disadvantage. You will always hear about how easy it is to get a bull on a public land DIY hunt. Some people state they tag out every year, but the success rates on public land in over the counter tags areas are in the single digits to low teens. That should tell you something. If you have prefernce points that will help. The people who are successful on a regular basis spend alot of time in the woods scouting and are off the beaten path.

If I could afford an outfitted hunt I would do one in a heart beat as well, however I can just about hunt a lifetime on the total cost of an outfitted hunt. All the fees add up quick. The price just about doubles on what you see posted in advertisments when every penny spent is counted. You are paying them for the scouting, getting you to a good spot, field dressing, packing out several hundred pounds of meat, a warm comfortable place to sleep and putting food in your belly. All worth it if you can afford it.

If getting out in some of the most beautiful country and having a great experience is your goal then a DIY hunt is just the ticket. I haven't tagged an elk yet but I always have a great time.

Goodluck on your decision!

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