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jim boyd's picture
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Elk and Mule Deer Hunt - DIY?

Guys and Gals,

I am reading all of these posts about elk and mule deer... but I am way out east and have never hunted in the west.

For starters, what would be a good state and location for an out of stater to look at to go on a DIY elk or mule deer hunt?

Could they be one and the same?

This would be a long term plan, more likely for 2011 and possibly not until 2012?

I am not looking for specific locations, I will do my research, I am looking for general guidelines as to states, time to go, chances of getting drawn, that type of thing.

 

Thanks!

 

Jim in SC

 

CVC
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We hunted mule deer and

We hunted mule deer and pronghorn on the same hunt.  We hunted pronghorn and when we tagged out we started our mule deer hunt.  I am not sure how feasible and how the seasons coincide or don't for mule deer and elk.  I suspect with those species, unless you have lots of time you'll focus on just one.

Wyoming has some good public land options, but you can't go into the areas designated wilderness unless you have a guide.  WesternHunter has started a nice blog on this subject and I find it very informational so check it out if you haven't already done so.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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I think this is actually the

I think this is actually the same as someone posted earlier.  I would think that Wyoming is the best place to start.  They have a great population of each, and the draw odds are not too bad.  I might do a combo hunt there, but I think it would more likely be a lope and deer hunt.

jim boyd's picture
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2012 trip????

I have a great idea!

Why don't we start a group - that wants to go on a hunt like this - and start making some long range plans?

I confess, I do not know anything at all about it - but I would love to pool our knowledge and resources and see if we could come up with a viable plan.

I guess the first obstacle would be whether or not we would be compatible as friends and hunting buddies...

We could make a list of things we like and dislike (gotta be brutally honest) and what we will tolerate and will not tolerate.

Maybe we label it the 2012 BGH Tour or something goofy like that.

Public land, low budget (if we can), rental vehicles as I will have to fly... and then work out the details from there???

Thoughts?

Pipe dream?

CVC
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I hunted with Hunter777 last

I hunted with Hunter777 last year at Redrider's place.  It was nice meeting a couple of BGH members. 

One of the things you can do with WY is to apply for a tag as a party so if one draws everyone draws.  You each get your tags but this avoids someone drawing and no one else when you want to go as a group.

I am not sure if I would participate in the hunt, but I'll share what I know about WY antelope hunting.

If you're serious about it you should think about buying preference points in the year you don't apply to have a better chance of drawing when you're ready.

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I think that would be a great

I think that would be a great idea.  We could apply as a group, so it's an all or nothing thing, and see how we do.  We'd have to decide if it will strictly be one type of game, or combo hunts.  But, if we plan it for 2012 as you said, that would give us some time.

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Good point

Good Point CVC on the preference points.

I have to do a lot of research before I will bite however.

I would be embarrased to tell you how much time I spent working on this Illinois hunt.

I have my sights set on Iowa for the next whitetail adventures but it takes about three years to gain enough points to get a permit.

I will apply in the spring of 2011 - they take your application fee and your money and then return all of it except for $50 later that year when you are not drawn... and I think historically, you get to go in your third year.

Lets see here... that will be 2013.... I will be what... 56 years old... man, what a long range plan.. but right now, it sounds like a good one!

More ideas, folks - on a good DIY hunt in the west?

Mule deer and elk, please!

CVC
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One thing you can do to start

One thing you can do to start researching is to go to the WY game and fish site and look at the odds for drawing.  It is good info and will tell you the odds based on preference points and area.  Research is good and i don't think you can do too much.  Long term hunt plans are good as it gives you something to look forward to and dream about which in my book is almost as much fun as the hunt itself.

I look forward to what the others have to say on this subject.  It is fun just thinking about it.

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I don't mind giving you

I don't mind giving you specific locations, plenty of people did that very thing for my brothers and I to get started.

Westerners are the friendliest people on the planet, especially Utahans.

That wasn't always the case, after Vietnam my brothers settled in Wyoming and Utah, but couldn't find work in Utah very easily as they were not Mormons, these days its not an issue..good and bad in that as can be seen in the Utah of 1969 and today.

Where to go and when is decided by how you want to hunt, first of all.

Bow, Muzzleloader, Rifle...??

Colorado is the best bet to draw tags, many are limited but there are fall back tags OTC too.

Wyoming is a bitch if you don't have buddies there as residents, the wilderness areas are off limits without guides for big game, and while there are plenty of hunting spots outside the Wilderness signs there is more inside them.

Utah is hard to get tags and hard to get access in some places. But worth it.

In September I  hunt Colorado every year, Utah also, and Wyoming about every 3 years, each state has something good to offer and some kind of draw back.

For pronghorns I'd go Wyoming, tons of public land, and tons of private land open to safe well mannered hunters.

Mule Deer is tops in Colorado but I'd go Utah with bow first. Southern utah is tops in muleys and land access.

Top 5 places for elk is 1.Colorado, 2. Colorado, 3.Colorado, then Wyoming and Utah tied for 4th place and 5th is Colorado.

I have buddies that drive from VT, MA, ME and PA to Idaho for elk every year. I won't go, no way I am driving PAST Colorado to elk hunt.

There are more elk in Colorado than the whole world combined, tons of hunters, but tons of elk. Put in for a draw tag, and then take an OTC if you don't draw.

Bowhunting is a tough one there, I like Muzzleloading better and the bugling is hotter then too, PLUS this new muzzleloading permit that is by the unit vs. whole state might be a good thing for us who dislike hunters around us....have to see on that.

If you tell me what weapon you want to hunt with I can tell you a spot to go on the map and look for whatever you want to hunt. Keeping in mind that some areas boast an 8% success rate, I won't say you will fill a tag, but by gar, you'll be hunting and seeing game!

drop me an email, its a year or more til I remember this place exists and check in!Confused

jim boyd's picture
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Wow!

Gee whiz - I just learned more in 2 minutes than I knew in total about western hunting!!!

First of all - whether it was you or your brothers - or all of you - that served in Vietnam, I want to offer you a genuine and heartfelt thank you - that is a debt that no spoken word can repay...and with little other way - all I can do is say thanks.

Muie deer and elk... pronghorns do little for me... I want to hunt the first two species, for sure.

I would be far more interested in a great hunt, even if I did not get a shot.

I went to Illinois for the first ever Midwest hunt this year - in fact, I went twice - and did not get a shot and that was ok... i was talking to my wife and equated that set of trips to my first ever Bahamas fishing trip... I did not catch a fish... but then on subsequent trips, I started to learn and caught plenty of them.... you gotta know what you are doing and then the successes will come.

I would say that muzzleloader or rifle would be my primary interests for a western trip, rather than the bow....

I will certainly email you as long as I can find your email in your profile and I genuinely appreciate the feedback!

 

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Hold the phone Jim... what do

Hold the phone Jim... what do you have against pronghorn? I'm just kidding but they serve as a great first western hunt for many easterners that haven't hunted out here before. It's a great way to get your feet wet in western hunting. But I can see what you are saying about wanting to hunt elk and mule deer above a pronghorn, especially if you are maybe only looking at being able to come out here once because of age, financial or any other reasons. Wyoming is a great option for what you guys are looking to do but do not overlook Colorado. We also have the party hunt option where either all of you will draw or none of you will. Our over the counter bull tags are great too. Although I would suggest putting in for cow tags as a party and then adding over the counter bull tags once you guys draw the cow tags. Our deer hunts have gone to a total draw system so there are no over the counter tags. Just put in for the same units that you guys try to draw cow tags in. Hop on the CDOW's statistics page and start planning.

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