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Joined: 10/07/2005
Posts: 7
Where not to hunt for Elk.

Ford Creek Guest Ranch in Augusta, Montana. 19 hunters hunting for 6 days ended up shooting one Elk (a 6x6), 6 mule deer and one white tail deer. At the check in station other (happy) hunters said the Elk were in the North Fork watershed (and they had the Elk to prove it).

I learned alot but it was an expensive education. sad

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Where not to hunt for Elk.

Arghhh.

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Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
Joined: 07/05/2004
Posts: 186
Where not to hunt for Elk.

Sorry to hear the pickin's was slim.
I am curious as to how you were treated at the Ranch? Was the food worth eating? Were the guide's slack or were there just no elk in the area to be had while you were there?
I know of the outfit but never knew anyone that booked there.
Quite a few of the guys I have guided with out of Great Falls do their personal hunting by packing in from the Benchmark Trail head which is rather close the ranch there if I am not mistaken. They have brought in some rather nice bulls from the area in the past. If you were ever incline to return to the area you might check out the K bar L Resort. It set's right where the north and south forks of the Sun Rivers split off. I would think they would have access to either drainage. That would allow them to chase the elk which ever drainage they happened to be hanging in at the time. It's my guess they might tend to be hard to book with and at the higher end of the scale rate wise as well.
Do you have any idea as to where the guys were hunting that you ran into that had gotten their bulls? There are a lot of pack-in back-country camps that pass through Augusta and they do rather well. Not to say the chrome and leather guys out of the resorts and ranches do less, just wondering who got into them is all.

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Joined: 10/07/2005
Posts: 7
Where not to hunt for Elk.

The outfitter’s facility was OK. The Ranch was nice, very comfortable and clean with nice beds. The food was home cooked and was good but not gourmet. Lunches were a joke (two pieces of bread with some meat and cheese or peanut butter and jelly, that was it). The day guides worked well and tired hard but there were no elk (and after several days you could see that they knew it). I know there were no elk because each day my guide and I walked over 10 miles looking for them. We never busted an elk, any elk, cow or bull. We stalked for hours in the low thick timber along the creeks (Madez, Petty, Ford and the North Fork Ford Creek). We hit the high benches on Crown and Madez mountains. We went all the way up to where the trees stopped growing. We hunted and stalked in a big old burn area, nothing. We had hunters in the high meadows and in the low meadows and watching the thick gullies in between. Nothing, and not much fresh sign either. On the second form the last day my guide asked me where I wanted to hunt! WTF!!! That's his job to take me to the elk. Of all the folks we had in the field (19) only 9 cows were seen for the entire 6 days of hunting. The one person who shot the only bull (one of 19 hunters) took it into Augusta for recording. When he was there another outfitter came in with 4 bulls. He was in the North Fork of the Sun River. He said they saw hundreds of elk and that so far (it was the third day of their hunt) they were better than 50% success for their group. That outfitter asked where we were hunting and when told he said that the elk haven’t used Ford Creek Plateau for over 10 years. Yes it was hot with temps in the mid 70-degree range. The nights were clear and with bright moonlight. So what! The outfitter used that excuse as the reason as to why we were unsuccessful. I say BS because of the other success of other outfitters north of us. The other thing that didn’t sit well with me is the fact that the night before the first hunt the outfitter said that neither he nor any of his guides had been into the areas where we were going to be hunting. He didn’t know what to expect but said that he was excited because the privet ranch to the east was pushing out the elk off their ranch land and elk were expected to go into our area. I think he knew that there was no elk but used that story of not knowing to justify the lack of elk (after all it is a fair chase hunt, as he claims). It was all a bunch of bull. For the kind of money we paid I expected to see elk, or be taken to an area where elk were. That’s what I’m paying him for! I have also come to understand that the area where were hunting was open to the public and was hunted very hard during the rut bow season. We found three old bow kill remains. I’m now thinking that the pressure kicked everything (that was there) out! I asked the guide when, in his opinion, is the best time to hunt in this area. He said the rut (end of Sept.) and the last week of the season (end of Nov.) when they're going to the wintering areas. Whatever,

We did see some great scenery!

rambo's picture
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Location: Winnipeg,MB
Joined: 10/16/2005
Posts: 102
Where not to hunt for Elk.

Wow thats realy got to suck, 6 hunters 1 elk.

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Joined: 10/07/2005
Posts: 7
Where not to hunt for Elk.
rambo wrote:
Wow thats realy got to suck, 6 hunters 1 elk.

Ahhhh, how about 19 hunters, one elk!

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Location: Powderhorn, Colorado
Joined: 04/07/2003
Posts: 167
Where not to hunt for Elk.

next time do your homework or go on your own. Cry

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Joined: 12/13/2005
Posts: 6
Where not to hunt for Elk.

the area you hunted in has been overun with outfitters and local hunters since the 50,s,Im suprised any bulls were taken.The elk there know damn well when to head out,they see all the horses and head for the game refuge area,they had a late summer fire on the northfork and it made the elk easy to find,they moved in on the green sprouts that came up[ after the rain put the fire out and I know 2 guys who took GOOD bulls there without a guide.

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Location: Texas
Joined: 07/22/2005
Posts: 32
Where not to hunt for Elk.

dude, ........THats is exactly why i haven't been on a guide3d hunt........pay thousands of dollars only to hear excuses of why the animals are not there.........Im not asking for a canned hunt but dont taken advantage of me cause im not familure with the area either. Sucks dude.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3745
Where not to hunt for Elk.

OUCH!

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Location: Powderhorn, Colorado
Joined: 04/07/2003
Posts: 167
Where not to hunt for Elk.

are you sure your on the correct forum????? try XM radio............ eye roll

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