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Joined: 01/24/2010
Posts: 59
First time elk hunter needs help!!

I am trying to set up an elk hunt for this coming fall. My first hunt. Coordinating this is more than I expected, as it is tough to figure out where to go and how to go about finding a good outfitter with good quality elk opportunities.

The Wyoming applications are due next week, so time is of the essence.

Any recommendations for Wyoming or Montana elk hunts? I want to go guided my first time. Would like a total hunt cost in the $4000-$6000 range. Thinking a class 300 + elk desired but know probably 300+/_ 20 range is realistic.

Also......7mm Rem Magor 300WSM? Any preferences? I have narrowed it down to one of these.

Help!!!

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Joined: 01/24/2010
Posts: 59
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

Another thing.......I am going with a friend and we are both in our early 50"s. We do not want a wilderness hunt that requires a days ride into the woods. We don't think we take take the physical needs for such a hunt. We are fine with a few hours ride each day. We want free ranging elk, and we want to hunt them. Spot and stalk is good, hiking a while is OK. Nothing too radical. I would say "medium".

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

You're kind of asking for a tall order, but it's doable. First, I'd recommend a general tag in Wyoming. If you pay the special price you are guaranteed the tag. This will give you time to narrow down an outfitter. It is possible to find a ranch hunt in your price range, but I think your trophy goals are a little lofty for your price range( 320 will not happen at that price, 280-300 might). And you'd have to come close to doubling your price range for a wilderness hunt. I also think you might miss out on what we love about elk hunting by doing a ranch hunt. So do your due dilligence, investigate the terrain that you will be hunting on. Most ranch hunts involve driving around in the guide's pickup, glassing from the truck or getting out for a few minutes at a time to glass.
For guns, I know you've heard it before, but take which ever shoots best. You likely won't be carrying it very far, so weight doesn't matter in this kind of hunt.

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Joined: 07/23/2008
Posts: 15
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

Do you only want to hunt in Wyoming or Montana or are other states a possibility.

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Joined: 01/24/2010
Posts: 59
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

Elk777.......other states are a possibility. I have considered New Mexico as well. Thought of Colorado, but that seems a far stretch considering no preference points. Wyoming and Montana are better states for us only from the standpoint it is better for us to drive there than Utah or Arizona, or New Mexico.

Exbiologist.....I agree. I don't want to drive around and find something to shoot. That to me is not hunting at this time in my life. My goal is not to shoot an elk..........it is to hunt an elk (within my physical capabilities), and work for opportunities to shoot an elk. Yes, I really want to shoot an elk, but that is the icing on the cake. What an animal this is! I think you are right. Get the Wyo. general tag (special) and then buy some time to find the right outfitter.

Thanks.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

Or you could get an OTC tag in Colorado(and the vast majority of Colorado's tags do not require preference points). Colorado also has transferable landowner tags. Montana has outfitter sponsored tags, as does New Mexico (I think). But you'll have to find your outfitter first. Or you could put in for Wyoming's general tag at the normal price so it isn't gauranteed, then buy a Colorado OTC tag if you don't draw.

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Joined: 01/22/2007
Posts: 120
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

Since I'm in Utah, i won't suggest hunts. Although I'd steer away from hunts around Yellowstone since the wolves showed up people I've talked to have not had great success in that area.

I can suggest that either gun will do the job. I've shot several elk with a 25-06 and a bunch of elk with my 270WSM. My hunting partner has killed several using my 300WSM While his boys use his 30-06. Point being most modern centerifre rifles will do the job if you place the bullet properly.

I hunt with horses. Mostly to pack my camp in/out and to haul elk off the mountain. Most of my daily hunting is done on foot, the horses are left highlined in camp. It will really depend on where your camp is how much time you need to spend in the saddle.

Wyoming in October can be cold and snowy, I can't tell you how many mornings I've climbed the mountain in 10-15* temps. I've also spent some 70* afternoons on the mountain. My hunts in new mexico have usually been warmer than my hunts in Wyoming. They don't get the same storms and snow in the southern states as those farther north.

I've never hired a guide. Feeling that I knew enough about elk hunting to be successful myself. I've done well in Utah and Wyoming and the hunting stye was similar. But I was humbled when I tried to hunting elk in New Mexico. It was much different and different technics were needed. If you are coming to hunt an game animal that your are not experienced with. A guide can short cut your learning curve.

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Joined: 02/02/2010
Posts: 28
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

Josh Carlbom. Sun Canyon Lodge and Outfitting/Augusta Montana/406-562-3604, 562-3654. $3500, 7days, elk and deer combo. It is back country though. However, not like what you are thinking. This is a very good hunt. He takes people well into their 60's every year. Not a well advertised hunt because he only does a couple of shows every year. He's been in business since the 80's. Took the place over from his dad. The herd is large and healthy. Most of his hunters are return clients and booking is usually done a year in advance. However, he does have room for small last minute groups here and there. He doesn't take anymore then 8 at one camp. 1 guide per 2 hunters. You would be doing yourself a big injustice not to atleast call.

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Joined: 02/06/2010
Posts: 3
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

I know it is a little after the fact now since the application period is over but it sounds like some of the hunts I offer in the Big Horn mountains of wyoming are just what you are looking for. We have alot of 300- 350 bulls and some alot bigger. It can be a little tough to draw but it is a quality hunt when you do. Let me know what area you drew if I can't help you I could help suggesting another honest dependable outfitter in the area you drew.

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Location: Texas
Joined: 08/26/2009
Posts: 3
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

Sir, unfortunately I just ran across your posting and its too late for the New Mexico draw. I saw where you are open to hunting in New Mexico for Elk.
Next year call Black Range Outfitters in Winston NM. 575-772-5210. They are well within your price range and physical requirements. A gentleman that I believe will be 86 this year goes back every year. Last year their first rifle hunt, all 8 hunters were successful by the third day.
They are definitely worth checking out if you want a great hunt.

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Location: Brighton, Colorado
Joined: 03/14/2010
Posts: 30
Re: First time elk hunter needs help!!

The Colorado draw is over to but there will be the leftover list that comes out in July. I've been putting in for points and then buy a left over cow tag. Fill my tag the first weekend every year. This past year I was done 5 minutes after first light. Had the animal off the mountain and hanging in the horse trailer by lunch. Might be an idea??

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