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Umpqua Hunter's picture
Joined: 05/26/2011
Posts: 64
A Wyoming elk hunt for my wife?

Personally, I'm positioned to enjoy some "top tier" hunts over the next several years that have taken 12 to 20 points to draw.  In 2010 I married a wonderful gal and she loves to hunt.  She got a bow that first summer, and did some rifle hunting that first fall.  In 2010, she took a cow elk, 14" antelope, and a 4 point mule deer. This past fall she mainly helped me on my two mule deer hunts.  Next fall she will draw a rut muzzleloader blacktail hunt here in Oregon.  Now most of my new hunt research is looking for good limited entry hunts where she can draw in the next few years, since she is only a couple years into the point game.

More than anything she would really like to get a nice bull elk, something say in the 260+ class. I'm researching quality "mid-tier" do-it-yourself hunts that she could draw with 3 to 5 points.  She has two points in Wyoming and Arizona, and she has finished her hunters safety, so now she can build points in Colorado as well.  

I need to find areas that will be enjoyable for her to hunt, and that does NOT include backcountry backpack hunts.  That DOES include getting off of the road for day hikes in moderately difficult terrain.  A unit with say 40% hunter success, reasonably open terrain (where you can actually glass), and hills you can hike is awesome.  I'm comfortable navigating around private land to access good public hunting land.  

With the Wyoming apps due next month, I'm focused there.  I'd like to find a unit with an October 10 or earlier opener so she can bow hunt the last few days of archery season, and then rifle hunt.

1)  The units around the Bighorn mountains looks interesting.  Are any of these units better for what we are looking for?

2)   The SE corner looks interesting.  Unit 7 looks good but that would be exclusively a bowhunt (due to the October 15 opener).

Do you have any suggestions in Wyoming?  I am certainly not looking for your "spot" but general areas, suggestions of units would be very generous.  Feel free to PM me.


Topgun 30-06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 693
You won't be drawing unit 7

You won't be drawing unit 7 or any of the BigHorn units for a few years with only 2PPs!  The rifle seasons in the BigHorns also open later in October.  You might look at putting in for a unit that is impossible to get with that amount of PPs as a first choice in the higher priced special draw and put the general tag down as second choice.  That gives you a real good chance of hunting this year in a lot of different units that would easily meet your 260" or better goal and you would keep the PPs to build for a better LE unit in several years.  You could keep doing that and hunting every year in WY for a while before drawing that LE tag.

Umpqua Hunter's picture
Joined: 05/26/2011
Posts: 64
Not expecting to elk hunt next year

Hey Topgun, thanks a bunch for your reply.  As I mentioned in my original post, we're not looking for a unit where she will draw with 2 points, but rather a unit she can potentially draw with 3 to 5 points (in the future).  Here are my thoughts.

She will be putting in for several hunts through out the west this fall.  Between WY, UT, AZ, NM, NV and OR I'm calculating that she has about a 1 in 3 chance of drawing a very good elk tag this fall.  With the other hunts she is applying for, she will certainly get a great hunt next fall.

For WY elk, she will be applying for the special license to increase her odds, and she should have a 4 to 10% chance to draw, depending on the unit.  I don't expect that she will draw WY elk, but want to have in mind what unit she is shooting for with 3 to 5 points.  If I know what unit she is shooting for, we will put in the time to learn it, for instance we will likely hunt antelope in Wyoming this fall, so after the hunt we could spend a few days scouting the unit for elk.  Another option is if there is good deer hunting in the elk unit we choose for her, is to try to draw for deer and learn the unit that way.

One more thought, I am on the verge of drawing top elk hunts in CO, UT and AZ the next few years, so I could share my six Wyoming elk points with her.  I have been also holding out in Wyoming for the best units where I can hunt for a 350+ class bull.  If I find a mid-tier unit where I think I'd have a good chance at a 330 class bull I would seriously consider applying as a party with my wife, which would give the two of us 4.5 points this coming year. With that many points I think she would have a great shot at a tag next fall or the year after.

I guess at this point I am just trying to nail down what unit in Wyoming to apply her in for elk.  Do you have any experience in the SE units or in the Bighorns?  Some of the units in the southern part of the Bighorns look interesting due to the early October rifle opener.  If you have any thoughts I'd apreciate it, feel free to PM me if you prefer.