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bgh
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Joined: 12/28/2004
Posts: 6
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

I am from Pa & I have never been west of Ohio. I have been told that Colorado is one of the best places for Elk, but I have no clue where to go.
I have never hunted elk before & I am planning to go next fall.

I hope I can get some pointers from you fellows who have hunted them before. I want to go unguided, do-it-yourself, sleep in a tent if I need to, save as much money as I can, doesn't have to be a monarch, I just want to harvest a nice elk.
Let er rip.
Thanks! Wink

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/14/2004
Posts: 17
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

Live here in Colorado and go elk hunting every year. I go up in units 12, 231, around there. I have been hunting this area for about 10yrs. now and have seen some big elk. Actually got a huge 6x6 2 yrs ago and another big 5x5 this year. Usually I draw for a cow tag, but the last two yrs. I have drawn a either sex tag and both years seen more than just one big bull. I love the no outfitter approach. Big smile . Makes you feel a lot better when you get something knowing you did yourself.

bgh
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Joined: 12/28/2004
Posts: 6
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

Thanks elkbuster,
that reply is really getting me fired up to head out your way!! I could not agree more with you to go without a guide - I want the satisfaction of knowing that it was my determination , my hunting ability, my hard work, my tracking, my outsmarting, & me harvesting that elk on my own. I don't want someone holding my hand & leading me to an animal & then tell me what & when to shoot. To me, that is NOT hunting.

Man, it's gonna be a long year! Big smile

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/14/2004
Posts: 17
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

I hear ya. The season just can't come fast enough. Here is a pic of the 6x6. Have you looked into elk hunting much?

bgh
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Joined: 12/28/2004
Posts: 6
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

Hey, nice bull.

No, I don't know much about elk hunting at all.
There are 3 of us planning to go together & we all are obsessed with the outdoors & hunting. I am trying to learn as much as I can for the upcoming season. Thanx!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/14/2004
Posts: 17
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

Well where ever you go. Good luck!

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

Depends on what you mean by "best". CO can't be beat for raw head count on elk. If you want a crack at the b&c or p&y, AZ and NM seem to be all the rage, the cost of admission though is $$$$ or a decade or more of waiting.

ID and CO offer OTC elk tags to non-residents. WY, MT, and UT might too but I'm not sure.

If you plan on hunting CO, remember the app deadline for limited draws is April.

bgh
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Joined: 12/28/2004
Posts: 6
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

When I say best, I mean where do I go to have the BEST chance of harvesting a bull.
Maybe I should ask this question.

You want to harvest a nice bull - no trophy - maybe 5x5.
Would you go to Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana?

Thanks

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Location: black hills, wyoming
Joined: 12/02/2004
Posts: 3
i agree

i live in wyoming, and agree with these guys, get to know the land as good as you can, to just show up and think you will get one is, well you better have some very good luck on your side, many of us have been hunting the same area's for 10 years or more. we have learned there habits, travel routes etc...
all of these states are good, i have hunted here in wyo, and montana, looking to try colo, and new mexico next. where ever you go good luck, if you come out to wyoming feel free to e mail, i will help you as much as i can, mike

bgh
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Joined: 12/28/2004
Posts: 6
Re: i agree

I figured as much. I know it is a slim, - very slim, possibility to just show up out west somewhere & shoot an Elk. That is one reason I am asking questions here & besides that - I need to start somewhere, right.
I always set my expectations low, so when I get lucky enough to harvest an animal I am very satisfied.

Thanks everyone for all your help so far. I am still not sure what the heck I am doing yet, but thats HUNTING! Big smile

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Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
Joined: 07/05/2004
Posts: 186
What is the best state to hunt Elk?

bgh,

I think you could do just fine with your western hunt if you are a skilled hunter.

I've traveled many times to many different states and headed out into terrain I was completely unfamiliar with chasing game I was unfamiliar with and had success.
The biggest barrier I have ever encountered has been time. You will need as much of it as you can spare.

I would think the "Best State" in your situation might be judged by a combination of things such as the availability of licenses and tags that fit your hunting budget as well as the areas you find the information and support that you feel comes closest to matching the type of hunting you enjoy the most.
I think I would have to make my choice first by the area which might offer the best opportunities
for the quality of the over all time spent, any other priorities such as trophy qualities and so on would have to be considered at a lesser level of importance.

Even with your goal being the harvesting of elk the act of doing this can completely ruin a perfectly good hunt . After the kill you have to get your game out of the woods and suddenly there is a time frame your hunt becomes controlled by with the need not only to remove the beast from the location he fell but possibly a race to a processor before the meat spoil's if the weather dictates such, then there can be need to check you game in with fish and game in some states. This is just the tip of the iceberg after you actually kill some thing so keep the idea of having a good time at the top of the list.

I have some experience in the state of Montana that I would be willing to share if you find yourself thinking of heading there to hunt.
My knowledge of elk hunting in Montana is more so based in the wilderness areas in the northwest section of the state and some of the areas surrounding.

Just for note, I took notice after 20+ years of outfitting and guiding that some quite successful guides I hired had never hunted our areas before. Just due to the skills they had for hunting in general they were able to come into new country and take elk out of areas completely overlooked by many of us that had been hunting the same country for years. Everyone looks at and area in their own unique way when planning their hunting strategies for the day. Your lack of experience in new country can as easily be a positive aspect as a negative if you are skilled in hunting and stalking of wildlife.

I'll never forget one of my more embarrassing moments as a elk hunting guide came one day when I was guiding a brush scouring whitetail hunter from Penn. As I was diligently glassing a distant snow-slide for elk he tapped me on the shoulder and asked if it would be ok if he shot the bull elk standing in the brush 50 yards from us.
I'm sure you will find lot's of support from many on which ever state you choose to hunt. Feel free to drop me a line if you have questions about the areas I am familiar with and have a good time where ever you go.

~Jeff~

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