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Author Topic: western hunting  (Read 822 times)

Online zippo

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western hunting
« on: January 20, 2004, 08:36:00 AM »
Looking into planning a out west hunting trip and looking for some advice. I have narrowed it down to colorado or wyoming. A couple questions to be answered. Should I try it with the rifle first and then make another trip with the bow later after getting some western experience? What areas has everyone hunted in colorado and wyoming and what kind of success or experience did you have? Any other advice or opinions are welcome.
Thanks guys.

Offline joel smith

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2004, 11:45:00 AM »
Zippo, one of the things to keep in mind when choosing is that Colorado has many open license areas whereas Wyoming is draw only. Do you plan to self-guide or are you hiring an outfitter ? That can make a big difference in the advice you get. What are your goals for this hunt ? Budget ? Level of experience with bowhunting in general ? How successfully do you hunt the game in your own area and what methods do you use ?
"...some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I've had a good life all the way..."
Jimmy Buffet from HE WENT TO PARIS

Offline joe skipp

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2004, 08:35:00 PM »
I just applied for a Wyoming Elk tag ($492) and we hunt National Forest Land. If you don't succeed with your bow, you can go back out and rifle hunt the same area. Good thing about Wyoming, they notify you early enough if you fail to draw Elk so you can apply for deer or antelope. Do your homework...check out guides thoroughly, call the Fish&Game for info on public land access etc...Both states are a great place to hunt. Colorado is either/or...you can only hunt either a bow or gun during the specified seasons.
"Neal...is this heaven?" "No Piute but we are dam close". Top of the Mtn in Medicine Bow Nat Forest.

Offline Jeff Holchin

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2004, 08:52:00 PM »
Zippo, I recommend you forget the rifle and stick with your bow.  You will be surprised at the results, once you set your mind to the bow and its "limitations".  You didn't state your goals.  For my first western elk hunt, I just wanted a learning experience and ended up killing a cow elk with my recurve in Utah.  This year, I plan to hunt both CO and WY for the first time, for elk, deer and bear.  I can refer you to a very good book on hunting public land in CO if you want.  If you would be satisfied with a good learning experience, do it yourself on public land.  I can also tell you of some good areas in Utah, all public land with plenty of elk.
"He has also made me as a select arrow, He has hidden me in His quiver." - Isaiah 49:2

Offline Rooselk

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2004, 09:00:00 PM »
If you plan on hunting for elk in Wyoming you only have until the end of the month to apply. If you're planning for deer you have until mid-March. My advice is to get busy with your planning  right now.

You can get a copy of the latest Wyoming harvest records from WDG&F for about $12.00. It's a big book and is invaluable for helping to choose a hunting  area. I've hunted on both the west and east sides of the Bighorn Mountains. The east side of the Bighorns has lots of private land and access is difficult if not impossible unless you are willing to pay a hefty fee or know someone who owns land. Even though the Bighorn National Forest is big the game tend to head for private land when pressured. The west side is different because there's lots of BLM land so access isn't much of an issue. But keep in mind that you are not allowed to hunt in the wilderness areas without a guide and the elk tend to be in those areas during archery season. Even so, I've seen lots of elk in the units above the town of Ten Sleep. Problem is that it's tougher to draw an elk tag in that area. You might want to check the WDG&F website to check on the draw odds. By the way, if you haven't been there I can tell you that the Paint Rock area around Ten Sleep is one real beautiful area and the hunting is good.

What I did to get to know the area was to apply for a deer tag first because it was an easier draw. I then applied in the following years for elk and deer for the same areas. While I'll undoubtedly apply for the west side again in the future I don't think I'll apply for the eastern side (around Sheridan) again.

Hope this helps. And good luck.
Compton Traditional Bowhunters • Traditional Bowhunters of Montana • Montana Bowhunters Association

Offline Jake

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2004, 09:01:00 PM »
Not trying to Hi jack  but could you tell me the book I am trying to plan a hunt myself to CO or MT or WY.  Thanks.

Offline Rooselk

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2004, 09:20:00 PM »
For Wyoming what you want is a book called "The Annual Report of Big Game Harvest." It has the harvest reports for all game in every unit in Wyoming. It also has stats for success rates for resident and non-resident hunters in each unit, the number of tags issued in each unit, etc. You have to do your homework but it's a great book for planning your hunt. There's also a publication called the "Non-Resident Demand Index." This will tell you the number of tags issued for each unit, how many people applied, and what your odds are of being drawn for a tag in a particular unit. This is also useful in knowing your best chance of drawing a tag. Finally, the WDG&F has last years draw results posted under "License Draw Results." This is much of the same imformation that you will get from the Demand Index publication.

The publications I've mentioned are available from the WDF&G on this page:

 http://gf.state.wy.us/services/store/pubs.asp
Compton Traditional Bowhunters • Traditional Bowhunters of Montana • Montana Bowhunters Association

Offline Jeff Holchin

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2004, 07:05:00 AM »
There are 2 books about CO hunting.  The one I have is by Guy Collier called "CO Scouting Report" or something like that - a friend borrowed it.  He goes by "7X7" on the Bowsite and is very friendly, he describes many different public areas in detail.  I don't have details on the other one, although it may be on the following web site.  Also the DOW has a book "Guide to CO state wildlife areas" available on their web site.  For MT and ID, Ron Spomer has very detailed books, available at  www.wildadv.com  or 800-925-3339. Good luck.
"He has also made me as a select arrow, He has hidden me in His quiver." - Isaiah 49:2

Online zippo

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2004, 08:06:00 AM »
Thanks guys for the the info and advice. It would be a self-guided hunt on public land. I think it would be just a learning experience for the first year and I would not expect to get anything. What areas have you guys hunted in these states and what other advice can you give on preparing your body and the equipment needed for the hunt. Thanks again guys for the responses.

Offline Meathook

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2004, 08:44:00 AM »
I would second the take your bow comment. I have hunted CO three times and taken my bow (compound then) each time.  I think what you gain in having fewer people in the woods and game on natural paterns is worth it.

I have been toying with the idea of an ML hunt as I have enough preference points for the area I hunt but still not sure what I am going to do when I have the chance to go back again.  Keep in mind ML runs a week or so during the bow.

I have yet to kill an elk out there but have come close to some real slammers.

 
This bull was 80 yards away  braking trees and blowing snot out of his nose because his cows were coming in to us. Unfortunately when my friend shot the pictures the cows heard it and left before I got a shot.
"Go ahead and run ya gotta sleep sometime." - Meathook's Mom

Offline joel smith

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2004, 02:31:00 PM »
Meat, did you put a marker on his grave (your photographer friend) or just leave him for the magpies to fight over ?
"...some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I've had a good life all the way..."
Jimmy Buffet from HE WENT TO PARIS

Offline the Ferret

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2004, 04:42:00 PM »
I have hunted the west many times and the first thing I learned is it ain't like hunting in the mid west where farms are the rule and woodlots are here and there and game is usually not too far away. The west is a BIG place. It is also varied. Elk reside in the mountains as do Mulies although Mulies also reside on the prairies as do antelope, and whitetails reside in the river bottoms.The first time I elk hunted I never walked far enough from a road to find elk. The "road elk" get shot early and the others learn to get a ways back in there so as not to be bothered. If you want one, then you have to go aways back in there to find them..sometimes quite aways!

Pick one specie and concentrate on it. You don't want to get distracted and divide up your time chasing one critter this way and another critter that way on the same hunt, although sometimes it's not bad to have a second specie tag in your pocket just in case. Just remember NR tags out west are getting very pricey.


Get a GPS and learn how to use it or take an orienting course for compass and maps. Like I said the west is BIG and many drainages and mountain tops look alike. Nothing like spending the night all alone, lost, worried and leaving fellow hunters back in camp wondering if you're still alive.

Just a few tips.
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

Offline the Ferret

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2004, 04:47:00 PM »
BTW look at the picture above on the ad for Hill Country Archery and realize he's looking in one bowl for game and may have to walk over the ridge in the background for a look as well...or the ridge beyond that.

You want to be in shape. Walk a lot before you leave. At least 2 or 3 miles morning and night.
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

Offline Mason

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2004, 05:32:00 PM »
Like Micky said,get in GOOD shape,and if you can try to arrive a couple extra day's early to help getting use to the thinner air.

Also even if you use a GPS,make sure you carry 2 compasses and know how to use them,also carry 2 way's of starting a fire.

Most of the time on public land you are going to have to get way back away from the roads to have quality hunting,that being said,you need to know in advance how your going to get your meat out if you get one.Your not just going to drag it out of there like a deer-them things is like a Clydesdale with horns   :D  !Seriously,depending on the weather,terrain,your health and several other things,your only going to pack an elk so far on your back!

Go for it,but put the time into research before you go and you will have better hunt because of it.  :)

Offline Chad Lewis

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2004, 05:33:00 PM »
In agreement with Ferret, hunting elk can be the best thing you ever do, or the worst. From the time you put your foot on the ground, to the time you're tracking or packing, it's work. But it is ohhhhhh so sweet. Even though the West is big, don't forget that a lot of tactics used on WT work well on elk. Don't let anyone tell you they won't.  The best thing you can do is learn an area year in and year out. Once you get the "big" picture on what the elk are doing they can be taken with much consistency. Unlike deer when an elk is spooked they can and do go a long ways so caution is always the best rule to follow. If you're in an area with lots of people just go for them you don't have anything to loose because within a day or two they'll be gone anyways. If you happen upon some elk that are in a remote spot and things aren't going right back off and wait to the next day if needed. When they aren't pushed they don't seem to move far at all.  Above all have fun and take in the mountains.
How I love Colorado!

Offline olFatGuy KenWood

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Re: western hunting
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2004, 05:44:00 PM »
I live in Colorado.  Hunting is good but you have to make sure you are not in a CWD Area.  Here is an E-Mail Newsletter I got awhile back.  Does this help any?


Despite being home to the largest elk herd in North America and offering plenty of additional opportunity through additional licenses, preliminary results would indicate that harvest rates during Colorado’s 2003 big game season didn’t reach the high expectations of both hunters and biologists. Never the less, there will be no special post season hunts offered to adult hunters who didn’t fill their tags during their designated season.

Unseasonably mild weather lasting through the first three of Colorado’s four rifle seasons gave the state’s elk herd the upper hand allowing them to avoid hunting pressure from most of the state’s nearly 300,000 hunters. While Division of Wildlife (DOW) biologists worked hard to offer as much opportunity to hunters as possible in the form of additional either-sex and cow tags, as always, weather was the major factor for success.

Last year, by emergency regulation, the DOW opened the entirety of game management units 54 and 55 to late season hunters and those who had not filled their antlerless elk licenses to hunt those areas during the late season. This change in regulations along with several other regulation changes throughout the state allowed hunters to harvest significant numbers of elk in those units, bringing the population down to the long-term objective. Consequently, the DOW will not be allowing hunters who did not fill a tag during the regular seasons to hunt during the late season, with the only exception being those with unfilled youth licenses. And only the original portions of these units outlined in the big game regulation brochure will be open for hunting.

Those who applied for and received a license for the late season hunts during the draw last April will have the opportunity after Nov. 12. Also, the late season youth hunts will continue this year. This allows any hunter holding an unfilled youth cow elk tag or either sex elk tag to hunt during any late season cow elk hunt (those hunts that begin after Nov. 12). If the youth holds an unfilled either sex license, the license must be brought to a DOW office and exchanged for a cow elk license.

There are still some leftover licenses left for both deer and elk, but hunters should be aware that many of these are only good for hunting on private land. Please consult the DOW Web site at  http://wildlife.state.co.us/LeftoverLicenses/  or call a DOW customer service representative at (303) 297-1192 for additional information.

John Ellenberger, state big game coordinator for the DOW, said he expects the elk harvest to be similar to 2001 levels when just over 42,000 elk were harvested. Ellenberger believes that while low harvest numbers will keep the elk population over objective for the time being, strides will be made in the future. The effort to get elk numbers closer to objective is one that both hunters and the DOW will have to work toward over several seasons. Over the past several years a season with low success rates has been followed by a record year, such was the case in both the 2000 and in 2002 seasons.

“The results from the harvest this year will be factored into next year’s season setting process,” said Ellenberger. “We are in the process of planning that right now and if we have to include more licenses with different seasons that is what we’ll do.”

To opt out of future emails please visit  http://wildlife.state.co.us

KenWood
KenWood

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