4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/19/2011
Posts: 1
Where to start?

hello from texas. first let me apologize for the lack of capitalization. my phone apparently doesn't want to cooperate.  anyway, my uncle and i are wanting to plan an elk hunt for 2014, and we have no idea how or where to start.  we are trying for 2014, because it will take us that long to save up.  being from far away, and being the father of 3 kids that will all need college educations, my guess is that this is going to be a one-time shot for me, so its good that we're giving ourselves 3 years to learn and plan to hopefully give us the best chance for success.


so, where do we start? is it even reasonable to expect to get a tag within 3 years?  how much time should we plan for, and is this something that we can do ourselves being from out of state and low altitude, or should we hire a guide?

i'm sure i'll have many many more questions as the planning gets underway, and we would be very appreciative of any help you could offer to get us pointed in the right direction.  as far as experience goes, my uncle and i are both suburbanites with families and city jobs. i've backpacked in the grand canyon, zion, big bend, and i have hunted solo on most of my hunts.  my uncle owns land that we hunt on, but neither of us is a rancher or farmer by any stretch of the imagination. i guess what i'm trying to say is that i have fairly solid backcountry experience and minimalist hunting experience, but my uncle does not.


okay, that's it for now, thanks in advance 

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
welcome to BGH

Well, you came to the right place... Start by reading through some of my blog, many of the articles address some of your questions:


The Colorado Division of Wildlife is also reposting one of my articles on the same subject, but focused only on Colorado:


Of course they edited out the plug for my own website for when you're ready to really start narrowing down the units  you're interested in.

Yes you can get a tag this year, next year, in 2013 and 2014 if you wanted one.  You just have to come to grips with the trade offs with the available tags in each state.  Do not expect to get an easy, high success, trophy hunt over the counter.  You can get yourself into areas of high trophy quality without many, or any preference points, but expect an extrememly difficult, low success proposition.  Or you can get into areas with higher success, easier hunting, but low trophy potential.  

So, those are some good places to start, when you're ready to ask specifics, we're here to help.


Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
Do you have a state that you

Do you have a state that you want to hunt in?

niceshot_smitty's picture
Location: Los Alamos, NM
Joined: 06/08/2011
Posts: 452
if you are looking at hunting

if you are looking at hunting New Mexico, i would look in to trying to get a tag for the Valles Caldera in Northern New Mexico.  it is a lottery hunt seprite for the state draw.  It is a dream hunt.

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
I would hate to see you look

I would hate to see you look at this as a once in  a lifetime thing. Since you are looking at diy and outfitters yoa can look at the price difference and realized that for the cost of one guided hunt yuo could come out here to Colorado at least 3 times unguided for one person and even more than that if you add up the cost of two people. With a lot of research and the sites available posted already you can put a good hunt together.

You can drive out here in a day from many parts of Texas depending on where you are. I have driven down there many times now from between 10 to 20 hours depending on where I'm hunting. Again look at it long trrem as once you go once you will want to come back many times in the future.

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