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Author Topic: Need some advice for first elk hunt  (Read 997 times)

Offline Madgomer

  • 2016 TH Turkey Champion
  • 14 Point
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 5213
  • Location: Central IL
Need some advice for first elk hunt
« on: November 26, 2019, 03:26:10 PM »
Well, after decades of talking about it, I think the bro in law and I have finally convinced ourselves that before we get any older/slower/gimpier we better go do an elk hunt.  Neither of us have done it before.  We've hunted about everything you can hunt in IL, but basically flatland deer & turkey hunters. 

We are looking for a fair chase hunt, no high fence stuff, trying to decide between a fully guided or do it yourself hunt or something in between.  Have not yet done much study on the permitting processes state by state to know where we have a realistic chance of drawing a tag, and have nothing to go on at the moment with respect to reputable outfitters.  Wyoming and Colorado are our main thoughts at the moment, but that's not based on any real knowledge. 

I would welcome any advice you ladies and gents have to offer on this topic based on your own experiences.
One of God's greatest gifts to us is
the great outdoors - get out there
and enjoy it!

Offline yari

  • TH Staff - Contest Team
  • TalkHunting Dominant Buck
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  • Join Date: Apr 2010
  • Posts: 13740
  • Location: wisconsin
Re: Need some advice for first elk hunt
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 04:30:16 PM »
I have several buddies that went to CO this year on their own. all were a complete bust. NOT was the only success I heard in CO out of 6 groups. 3 of those groups didn't see an elk. one of the groups was in a draw area and still didn't see an elk. if you go to CO I would make sure I could get way off the beaten path.

MT would be a good option away from grizzly country. same w/ WY. good bulls and good populations

NM got tough to draw. forget AZ and UT unless you have time to burn. there are areas w/ smaller bulls that are easier to draw if you don't care about antlers

I would at least get a semi-guided/ drop camp. you need to get away from the crowds. personally, I would do a fully guided unless you plan to go several years. there is a learning curve. gun if you are going once. bow is 25% at best.

research will be key. there are a lot of poor/lazy outfitters out there. I've had a couple bad situations and that is miserable. good luck 
MUSKY hunter

Offline notsams

  • Mar/11 Prize Winner
  • 7 Point
  • Join Date: Dec 2010
  • Posts: 740
  • Location: minnesota
Re: Need some advice for first elk hunt
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 08:06:10 PM »
Mad    I agree with Yari. Research is key. If you think its a once in a lifetime hunt then go guided. If you know someone that goes every year or every other year and are successful ask about joining the group one year. Its not easy finding hunting buddys that can go every year and sometimes a group might need someone to fill in.   Years ago a new acquaintance asked if I would be interested in going on a Elk hunt. They wanted a couple more hunters that were reliable and to  split the gas costs. Now we are very good friends and I've been there hunting 9 times.         I have hunted Elk in Montana before in the Bob Marshall wilderness area. It was all trees. the only openings were avalance slides. I like the area we hunt in Colorado because there are lots of meadows to hunt and we can ride wheelers on the trails to get away from other hunters.   My favorite spot to hunt is a 50 minute wheeler ride from camp and then a 20 minute walk.           Start researching now.   Good luck and enjoy the whole experience.


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