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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?

I have been a member of SCI for many years and I know their record book entries are classified differently for free range and high-fence, or estate hunting as the refer to it these days. I will be the first one to say that SCI does a lot of good work world wide on behalf of hunters and wildlife management, but that does not mean I have to agree with everything about the organization. It is also some of the SCI boys that drive up to Saskatchewan to 'hunt' 400+ point bull elk on the private elk ranches. Most of those trophy elk hunts take place in kill pens that are not very large and the 'hunts' rarely take more than one day.

They know the score on these animals before the trigger is even pulled, in fact they call up the bwanas and advise them what they have on the ranch and what they score and the price tag. After the short hunt the ear tag is cut off for pictures and the shooter heads for town, back on the plane and back to business.

The Sanctuary is a high-fenced deer operation that is approximately 4 square miles in size. No I have not hunted there..........I am afraid that the $8,500 to $17,000 price tag for a Gold Metal hunt of 5 days duration is a bit out of my price league. Even if I could afford it, I would not do it. If someone else wants to.....it is their money and their decision. The deer densities and in fact the trophy buck densities on this property are extremely high and no......I do not consider it to be even remotely close to the difficulty a hunter faces in taking a huge buck free range.

I do not begrudge these ranchers the right to kill their stock or to offer it to someone for a price......and there are obviously people out there willing to pay for it, lots of them.

But please, lets not make it out to be more than it is. I have seen it and to me personally as a hunter, it is embarrassing.

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Joined: 02/11/2009
Posts: 2
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?

I find a lot of Hunters to be somewhat naive to the reasons others may want to hunt high fence ranches. But before I give you my reasons let me ask you this do any of you hunt over fod plots for deer? How big of an area do you hunt in acreage wise in your area. I doubt many go over 10,000 acres. Have you ever road hunted? If you can say yes to any of these what is the difference in hunting high fence. If you have ever used a guide even on public land they know where the animals are don't kid yourself into thinking they are just blessed with tracking ability. Now for me the decision to hunt high fence was easy. My Father is 78 and has always wanted to hunt Bull Elk. He has never even come close to drawing a tag in Nevada. Neither have I for that matter but I have time to wait and he may not. So I choose Broad Mouth Canyon Ranch in Utah. It offered what I feel will be the most bang for the bull (sorry). 20,000 acres of wild country with 5000 acres of high fence and a choice to hunt either. In my opinion it's no less ethical that riding that atv all over the hills to take that nice buck in the food plot or racing across public land to take an animal from a truck. Many do this every year and think that is hunting. For the purist out there, and I mean the hard core guy with the back pack and lungs of steel you may not like my choice but you don't have to do what I do either. Hunters in general need to spend less time arguing amongst each other and more time supporting the sport and bringing new members in.

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?

I find it interesting that the two most recent posts defending it are first time posters that just happen to show up on this topic. It is also amusing that the old "we need to stick together" speech is being used to help justify it.

I don't think anyone is fighting here. Most are just expressing an opinion and most have said if that is what you want to do, go ahead and do it. It is a personal choice but it is also an example of how things have changed over the years and peoples perception of what is OK and what is not.

My knees are shot and I can't chase sheep any more but that would never be reason enough for me to go and shoot a ram in a high fenced game farm. And as for elk, I would much prefer to go and pack in to the mountains with my horses or on foot and enjoy the hunt and the scenery and hunting those big deer on their own turf. If I didn't get one, oh well, next time. That is hunting. When did hunting change and become all about the guaranteed kill?

I am not sure how you manage to draw a parallel between shooting an elk in a high fenced area and idiots chasing game on BLM land with a pickup........ is that really the comparison you wanted to make???? As for food plots..........well where I live they are illegal and it is called baiting. You would have to catch a huge buck out in some farmers field ......oh and have permission to be there in the first place......and there would be no roaring around on an ATV to get there and if you were the big old bucks wouldn't be there to get. Real wild elk don't like ATV's much either.

As for the 10,000 acres.....uh that is only about 15 1/2 square miles.......oh yes, I certainly hunt a lot more country than that. Where I use to hunt elk in British Columbia we packed in for about 15 miles one way just to get to the spike camp. My old mountain caribou hot spot was thirty miles by horse to get to.....oh ya and we even took a few 80 year old hunters in there for caribou and they were successful.

Where I guide for caribou in the Northwest Territories we hunt hundreds of square miles.I have guided a few 80+ year old hunters there as well and they killed their bulls. No I didn't make them pack out their bulls, I did it. Hopefully that somehow didn't ruin their hunt and make if fall into the same class as a high-fenced hunt by my doing that.

Heck where I hunt elk and moose at home on or near our ranch we do it on foot or horse and have many square miles to hunt. Botch up the stalk and spook a big bull and he is gone.....you will not be getting a second chance at him later in the day or the next day because he is going to hit an 8 foot high piece of page wire and be forced to turn. Nor am I likely to get a chance at another huge bull because in the real unfenced world there are not several dozen 6 points per square mile.

Your example of using a guide on a hunt being somehow a form of justification for hunting behind high-fence is one that I find to be very humorous. I have been a licenced big game guide for over 30 years and when you are hunting in remote wilderness it is still hunting and nothing is a sure thing. I guess I could throw it back at you then and say if you are hunting behind high-fence in Utah what do you need a guide for? The elk certainly are not going to get spooked and be two mountains over and out of reach the next morning.

This is always a contentious issue and I imagine that if most of the high fenced hunts took place in rugged habitat on areas that were 5000 acres or larger then fewer comments would be made. Sadly that is not the norm, it is the exception.

All I was saying really and what others are saying is if you want to do it go ahead but don't think that it is comparable to the real thing. You are the one that is going to have to look at the head on your wall.....you know how you got it...........and it will never rate with the elk trophies taken out in the great green forest where the wolves and grizzlies live. If you can find ways to justify it, well be my guest.

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Joined: 02/11/2009
Posts: 2
High Fence Elk

Well Makwa to be where you live sounds like a great place to be from and to live. Now out west where the game is getting harder and harder to draw a tag for it's not so easy. ( relative term not an insult) If I could take the time to draw i would. Personally I have the time but Dad doesn't which is the reason again that I choose this type of hunt. I have spoken to many that hae hunted this Ranch and all have said that while the Elk are very large they are all still very wild. You do make a good point about the fence and turning the elk. That is where my compromise has given me the most concern. AS a guide you have enjoyed hunts that most of us average guys probably couldn't afford or have the time off for each year. So when you say you would rather pack in and take a 5x5 on public land I don't really buy that. If I had your job just being there would be almost good enough for me. By the way where I live it does seem that 280 plus 6x6 bulls grow on trees. This past season i had the good fortune of seeing over 7 very large bulls and one that quite possibly topped 400 inches at a range of 200 yds. Now I may not have mde my points as eloquently as you but I would much rather take Dad to my home state and his and hunt the big guys that I already know about. But damed if the tags aren't available. Which makes high fence a viable alternative to me. Happy Hunting to you I may be new on here but I have over 37 years in the field with the greatest sportsman I know. See you around.

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?

Well I hope you guys have a great hunt. I have put in for draws and hunted in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and a few others. Tags are getting tough to get for sure in some areas and for some things.....Arizona is a tough one for the better elk, mule deer and antelope hunts. Desert sheep....I gave up. I have never hunted in Utah, but I have been through there a time or two and there is some extraordinary country in that state.

Oh and by the way....being a guide where I am and what I have done.....it took a lot of hard work and putting my money, substantial amounts, into achieving what I wanted. We even sold and moved great distances several times, lock stock and barrel, and built up new ranches and businesses so we could hunt different species of game. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. It was my career choice and we all make those and have to live with the pros and cons of what we pick.

Anyways, again, I hope you and your Dad have a good hunt and it is everything you want it to be.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1746
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?
LVHunter wrote:
I find a lot of Hunters to be somewhat naive to the reasons others may want to hunt high fence ranches. But before I give you my reasons let me ask you this do any of you hunt over fod plots for deer? How big of an area do you hunt in acreage wise in your area. I doubt many go over 10,000 acres. Have you ever road hunted? If you can say yes to any of these what is the difference in hunting high fence. If you have ever used a guide even on public land they know where the animals are don't kid yourself into thinking they are just blessed with tracking ability. Now for me the decision to hunt high fence was easy. My Father is 78 and has always wanted to hunt Bull Elk. He has never even come close to drawing a tag in Nevada. Neither have I for that matter but I have time to wait and he may not. So I choose Broad Mouth Canyon Ranch in Utah. It offered what I feel will be the most bang for the bull (sorry). 20,000 acres of wild country with 5000 acres of high fence and a choice to hunt either. In my opinion it's no less ethical that riding that atv all over the hills to take that nice buck in the food plot or racing across public land to take an animal from a truck. Many do this every year and think that is hunting. For the purist out there, and I mean the hard core guy with the back pack and lungs of steel you may not like my choice but you don't have to do what I do either. Hunters in general need to spend less time arguing amongst each other and more time supporting the sport and bringing new members in.

Just had to comment your rationale reminded me of the guy who can't pick up a woman on his own so he plops down three grand to visit the bunny ranch. He may really enjoy it and have a grand ol time, but he still had to pay for it because he couldn't land a date and charm his way into the bedroom on his own.

Sorry, didn't mean to be disrespectful if you took it that way, but that's what it reminded me of.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1746
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?

And, I agree with you about food plots. Also, in your dads case I kinda sorta understand, but one could have plopped down a fraction of that money to put in for a Colo. tag drive there and really hunt an Elk in years past.

This is ego talking on my part, but when I see those hunting shows where guys are hunting high fence and easily walking to and killing huge bulls and bucks it, I think to myself other viewers must think this is really easy stuff here.

I think to myself they don't know about the years eating tag soup after humping ridge after ridge getting up at o dark thirty busting my ass up a mountain day after day for a week to catch one glance at an elk or not even seeing one for the week. And, then the feeling after you've learned and finally put a little experience and work together to get one on your own that you bled and sweated for.

I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but to me that is the true nature of hunting.

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Joined: 01/15/2007
Posts: 30
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?

Hiah Makwa,

Just wanted to say you make your points very well, and I appreciate it. I feel pretty much on the same page with you. I guess as Canadians we have had a siver spoon in our mouths as far as hunting opportunities go and I have always wondered why hunting in the US is getting so tough when supposadly the number of hunters is going way down.
I aggree the "we gotta stick together " argument is getting a bit old. I would be much happier if the Estate Shooting crowd dropped all references to Hunting and Hunters. It is what it is and it is not hunting.
Those SCI estate shooters are probably the same Ducks Unlimited members who use to shoot ducks in Mexico because there was no limit on the number of birds killed, but hey we gotta stick together....right.

Keep it fair chase

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Location: Newport Maine
Joined: 01/18/2003
Posts: 58
Hunt Preserves in Maine live on...........

Hunt Preserves in Maine live on........... The bill to kill our hunt preserve, L.D. 560 was killed in committee. A unanimous vote from the 13 member committee of "ought not to pass L.D. 560" rang out!......The bill to kill our hunt preserves was dead!

Game parks still open

BY SUSAN M. COVER
Staff Writer

03/26/2009

AUGUSTA -- The Legislature's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee voted 12-0 Wednesday against a bill that would have required large-game shooting areas to close within two years.

The bill, LD 560, is sponsored by Rep. Alan Casavant, D-Biddeford.

Committee member Rep. Benjamin Pratt, D-Eddington, was not present for the vote, but said afterward he was likely to vote with the rest of the committee to defeat the bill.

Earlier this month, shooting-area owners and animal-rights activists presented sharply divided views of what happens on these types of ranches.

Owners said they provide a safe hunting experience for people who want to hunt deer, bison and boar. Casavant described them as "barbaric and designed to satisfy the blood lust of a handful of out-of-staters."

In the end, committee members said the industry has a perception problem that should be addressed through an educational campaign.

"This issue has a lot to do with public perception," said Rep. Peter Kent, D-Woolwich. "They want to know what controls there are in place that make this hunting and not just sitting on a fence shooting cows."

In 2000, Maine passed a law to allow existing game preserves to continue to operate but that does not allow for new ones to open. http://www.hindsite-deer.com

House Chairwoman Rep. Wendy Pieh, D-Bremen, said she visited one of the parks and found it to be well run. She said whether it's fair-chase hunting or farming, or whether it offends the morals of some, is not for the Legislature to decide.

"I think those are issues the market can handle," she said, noting that many of these businesses have made major investments.

Maine has nine licensed facilities, two of which are inactive, according to the Department of Agriculture, which regulates the preserves.

Casavant said many of his constituents wanted the preserves to be closed, and the only calls he got in favor of them were from northern Maine or out of state.

"It triggered some debate, which was good," he said. "As long as it educated, that's the bottom line for a lot of bills."

Susan Cover --207- 620-7015

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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3741
High Fence Elk Hunt - How do you feel?

"No fences here"

If there are fences I will not hunt there!

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