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Preacherdan's picture
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Suggestions for hunts?

Hey guys, i am looking for help and advice on hunting trips. I live in south central illinois and have hunted out of state pronghorn and wild boar.  they are reasonably cheap hunts while still being out of state experience and different terrain.  But other than those is there any other hunt that a guy can do that is reasonably affordable? I know nothing will be cheap , but i am looking for advice on what to hunt next, guided , or drop camp , and areas that would be good, i am considering a black bear hunt,( spot and stalk only ) bu. I think some of them are fairly reasonable, any help is greatly appreciated

thanks and God bless

preacher

exbiologist's picture
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Elk or deer

I can't suggest outfitters, but you might be interested in a drop camp elk/deer hunt.  The Salmon River country of Idaho has airstrips where pilots can drop you off if you don't like horses.  Factor in around $600 for elk licenses and $350ish for deer licenses in most states.  If you want Wyoming, you'll have to factor in another year for preference points too.  Plus you'll have to be guided if you want to do a wilderness hunt in that state.  Montana has easy to come by licenses, so does Idaho and Colorado.  So in reality, those will be your best options.  Colorado has OTC licenses, Montana has pretty much a guaranteed draw now that an elk license will set you back $900.  Idaho and Montana offer September rifle elk hunts (so you can hunt rutting bulls) but only in major league backcountry units. 

Preacherdan's picture
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Thanks for the help, I have

Thanks for the help, I have looked in to the drop camps a little bit and it looks like they pack you in and come get you a week later? Is there a plus side to that verses hunting public ground? Are they packing you in to private ground or public? From what ive had the chance to look at te drop camp hunts ive seen are around $2000, sounds reasonable, but i also dont know how hard it is to find a " good" peice of public ground. are you mainly paying for the spot?

exbiologist's picture
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Public

drop camps are typically on public ground.  You are paying for the outfitters time, stick and equipment.  It might be worth it if you don't have access to a lot of the gear you'd need, but most of us are do it yourself public land hunters.  I borrow or rent horses and pack myself in during early season hunts, and hunt from a car camp later in the year

Preacherdan's picture
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Okay that makes sence, , and

Okay that makes sence, , and yea id rather go on a non guided hunt myself , these " car camps " you speak of, are they just off rock roads through the public ground ? Because i could see my only problem being getting ahold of any stock, unless i could rent some , which would be better? Im aure much harder physical hunt from a vehicle accessable camp right?

Critter's picture
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Car or truck camping is just

Car or truck camping is just that, camping where your vehicle can take you. Here in Colorado there is ample public ground to hunt and good Forest Service roads into the areas. You do take the chance of not finding a good camping spot since a lot of hunters will pull into the area 3 or 4 days early to do a little pre hunt scouting but there are still a lot of places to pitch a tent. I have even seen one tent camper pitch his tent just barley off of the road using his own vehicle as a buffer between his tent and the road.

Hunting these area can be as simple as taking a hike for a half mile from camp and shooting a animal to hiking in several miles and then having fun getting the animals out on your back. You don't have to have horses or other pack animals but the further back in you go from a road the nicer they are. Just as a example the last bull elk that I shot gave me 360 pounds of boned out meat for me and my hunting partner to pack out. A lot of them are not that large but you need to be prepared.

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Wow, 360 lbs of meat is a

Wow, 360 lbs of meat is a lot!  We have averaged about 160 lbs. of meat, not including ribs (most of the time the ribs have holes in them), from our last few cows.  As a general rule, we figure about 30% of the hoof weight is meat in the freezer.  That means your bull was probably over 1000 lbs. on the hoof.  Holy cow, Critter, that's a big bull.

Car camping can be OK too.  Not as much adventure as a drop camp or simple spike camp, but certainly easier to do on a first trip to a new state.  If it were me, I'd probably go with a cow tag and plan on car camping for the first trip.  After I learned a bit more about the area and the animals I'm hunting, I'd make plans for a bigger, more significant hunt requiring more commitment, time and expense.  Keep it simple for the first hunt.

Critter's picture
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Elk

COMeatHunter wrote:

  Holy cow, Critter, that's a big bull.

 

That's what I said when I finally found him laying in the oak brush where he died.  And then again when I tried to pull him out of it to start to work on him only to find out that I needed to roll him into a opening. 

He was a huge elk.  He was a 6x6 with a eye guard on the right side, one of the few elk that I have ever seen with one.  When I took the head to the taxidermist he even said that it look like he was a huge elk.  It took his larges form and even then he had to add a little to the neck area to get the cape to fit right. 

The area that I shot him in is known for huge bodied elk.  My hunting partner took one in the same range the next year but it wasn't quite as large.   

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That was a huge elk.

That was a huge elk.

Striker's picture
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Joined: 10/29/2012
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Hunting

I would recommend packing in unless you draw a rifle hunt late. Of course it all varies depending on where you hunt. That fly in area exbiologist was talking about would be a fun hunt. I had a buddy go on a week long hunt there a few years back and they had: wolf, bear, elk, and deer tags. Either way realize if your headed to the rockies the better physical shape you're in the better. If your not in decent shape you better stick to car camping. There's other posts on this, on choosing the best area for you and your style of hunting. Good luck. If you want success I suggest a guide if you haven't hunted the animal before or get a friend with some experience to take you.

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