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Elk Options

bobert421bobert421 Posts: 400 Deckhand
Curious to see if anyone has an experience with Elk hunting. Seriously considering trying to get an elk permit or two for my dad and myself. Primarily for my Dad before he decides he doesn't want to hike way out into the woods in search of meat and possibly a new mount for the wall. I think he is getting a little tired of Bear at the moment. The outfitters we go to have lots of bears, we tagged out on the first day last season and there wasn't much left to do for the remaining 4 days of the trip. Too many rugs already, plus I imagine elk taste better. 

Prices for applying for tags are fairly straight forward. The little research that I have started seems like Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming give non-residents decent odds for getting a tag. 

If we get drawn, the first year I think I would prefer to have a guide to help the learning curve. If a second opportunity presents itself then I would consider doing it on our own. Any recommendations on guides? I don't mind loading up a pack and hiking out into the woods and staying out there to get to the harder to reach and less pressured areas. But we are not looking to spend a fortune either. We always have deer to fall back on at some different family properties each year. 

We would be bow hunting. 

I appreciate any input. 
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Replies

  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,671 Admiral
    The hardest part on a DIY Hunt is getting all the gear you need out there. We would fly into SW Colorado and go to Wal Mart and buy cheap Tents , Sleeping bags ect and have at it.
    Another way is to UPS  all your gear there and have it waiting.
    Big Country and you better do it before Dad get's to old to hike at 10 Thousand feet...You too
    Makes Deer hunting look easy...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 6,590 Admiral
    I am interested in this thread also as a Elk Hunt has always been on my bucket list before I croak. May be a pipe dream but who knows, it may happen or not. My favorite game to eat for sure.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,393 Captain
    edited December 2019 #4
    Never forget harvesting this trophy in the tall timber, cold, mountains of New Mexico.  

    That was many years ago. I am sure it's a lot different now. 
    TIP:
    Photobucket has been down for days. That's why the picture did not publish. 
    On F/S it's extremely easy to post pictures directly... Photobucket not needed.

    Simply click on the picture to be published; that's it!
    Once you have done it a few times it's extremely easy.  
  • josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 528 Officer
    Yampa, CO seems to be a popular area for Elk. Have some family and separately some friends who both take trips out there yearly for Elk. Personally have no experience with Elk yet.
  • bobert421bobert421 Posts: 400 Deckhand
    The hardest part on a DIY Hunt is getting all the gear you need out there. We would fly into SW Colorado and go to Wal Mart and buy cheap Tents , Sleeping bags ect and have at it.
    Another way is to UPS  all your gear there and have it waiting.
    Big Country and you better do it before Dad get's to old to hike at 10 Thousand feet...You too
    Makes Deer hunting look easy...
    Definitely will need to be ready for a challenge. My dad can hike circles around me still. I spent a week on the Appalachian trail with him trying to keep up. He finished the trail at 65. Some places offer a semi guided hunt. Maybe a good middle ground compared to the expense of a fully guided hunt.  They provide the gear and the means to get into the back country and some local knowledge but leave the majority of the hunting to you.

    If we did a full DIY hunt we would probably drive, bring the trailer, four wheeler, and gear. That would cut down on hunting time for those if us that still work. If we flew we already have full packs for camping already packed from some hiking trips. Two checked bags wouldn't be too bad. I'm worried that we know nothing about elk and may be in over our heads for a DIY hunt. Colorado is looking like a good option. The wide open space of Montana seems like it would be amazing though. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,671 Admiral
    If you bring your 4 Wheeler and go to a place you can use it..expect a bunch of other hunters doing the same thing.
    Leave the 4 Wheeler at home and take metal Backpack frames.
    Go to the steep Country where you have to hike in. You'll be a lot less crowded and have undisturbed Elk.
    You blow off an Elk , He'll be in the next County in an hour.
    They don't run 100 yards and stop like a Deer.
    Steep , Hard Country is where they'll stop..so just start there.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,659 AG
    I thought to hunt Colorado you needed all these preference points, or whatever you get when you put in for a hunt but don't get the draw.   I have heard of people waiting for 6-7 years for an elk tag, is there another way to get one?
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 164 Deckhand
    Yes you are going to need a bunch of points for a trophy area or buy a landowner tag for $$$.  I hunt and apply in 9 states and this allows me a good hunt or 2 each year.  Only Ak and nm don't have points.  Montana is just raised their prices.  A elk license and special elk tag are $1100.  Add in 3-5 years of applying (mt takes the money upfront and gives you an 80% refund 4 months later) and your around $1800-2400 just for the tags for limited entry elk hunt.

    Don't even get me started on nv, I need 10-14 points for non res elk.  Have to buy a license for $200 just to apply each year..
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,659 AG
    That's what I thought, heck might be easier to just do a canned hunt for $3500-$4500
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 713 Officer
    I guess I am glad that I got to go elk hunting in the west when over the counter tags were still doable. Sometimes it was just a cow tag usually muzzleloader but there where rage available
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 971 Officer
    My cousins been applying for Montana tags for I think 4 years now. His dad lives there so hes already got place to stay and couple of his buddies are gonna do alot of leg work for him once he gets a tag. Those limited states that are harder to come by for tags obviously have alot better quality animals running around but he sent a pic this year of elk killed in Montana in same areas my cousin is trying to go to guess this is common elk in that area. Hes good one.  I also have another cousin who's lived in colorado for 20 years and he told me anytime I wanna come hunt where he lives I could get a nonresident tag over the counter for his area no questions asked. He didnt shoot one this year but his boy did and between the 2 or 3 of them atleast 1 person gets one every year. The elk killed in colorado was much smaller but unless you were trophy hunting I would be just as happy with that elk as any.
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 971 Officer
    here's another pic of my cousin packing the elk out in colorado last year. Another thing to consider if you wanna DIY. For the DIYers the bigger the elk you kill the more work you have after the fact  I guess about 2 days after this pic was taken they got dumped on with 2 more feet of snow. Woulda had to use snowshoes then to pack it out 
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 6,590 Admiral
    Looks like it can be expensive as well as time consuming. As a second hunt, I wonder how much a Pronghorn hunt would be. I have no experience in long shots though.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,393 Captain
    Absolutely fantastic.  Thanks for sharing!

  • stc1993stc1993 Albany, GA Carrabelle, FLPosts: 7,300 Admiral
    No way I could afford one of those trips.  I can dream though.
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,927 Captain
    On the colorado hunting website they have a big game hunt planner. Its available for download in .pdf

    I highly suggest reading it. They also have plenty of literature on the draw statistics and success rate of every unit.
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,374 Captain
    stc1993 said:
    No way I could afford one of those trips.  I can dream though.
    Yeah, I think that ship may have sailed for me as well... I can't seem to put the three things needed to hunt elk together at the same time; money, free time, and a svelte physique.

    I did encourage a couple youngsters (who I started off duck hunting a few years ago) that work for me to go now while they are in shape, free from family obligations, and less strapped with financial obligations. They are going next year, DIY. They are training for it and saving money this year. I think they are even planning a "scouting" mission when they get back from spending a week in the Ecuadorian jungle on a camping and hiking trip. Ahhh... To be 24 again....
  • plumber1969plumber1969 Posts: 329 Deckhand
    Me and my wife have hunted out west for a few years now. There is nothing cheap about it. I will give you a basic rundown for two people:
    Gas from Florida to New Mexico or Colorado cost me/wife round trip = $600 (3000 miles round trip)
    Clothes - you will not get by with our base layers from the the southeast - merino wool - $150 each
    Tent/Sleeping Systems - $1000
    Tags (Co) - $650 x 2 = $1300

    I really don't consider the food because you are going to eat no matter were you are. Again, my cost is for 2 people but this gives you a very basic idea. If you factor in packs, this could easily cost you $500 each, boots - $300, rain gear $100. Platypus drinking systems - $50 each.  A good GPS as a back up to Onx Maps on your cell phone. This list could go on for ever. 

    I made a commitment to myself that I would hunt/hike the Rockies before I was 50 and I did it. That first year, we never killed anything. We called a bull moose in to 9 yards, saw a semi truck load of mule deer, and had elk bugle at us. I spent 5 nights under the stars in the Rocky Mountains and loved every tired and achy minute of it. 

    We have managed to kill 4 cow elk the last two years on gun hunts in New Mexico. If you keep putting it off, you will never go. Look for units that are a draw but required no PP's or just throw a dart at the map and go for it. Also, do not overlook the low lands for the elk. They are not always in the mountains. 
    2019 Frontier 2014 
  • Steve_raleighSteve_raleigh Posts: 233 Deckhand
    I just called to the Colorado hunt planner ‭(303) 291-7526‬
    Denver, CO it’s an official state office they gave me some pretty good information 

    you can buy an elk tag over the counter and also apply for certain areas that have drawings 

    thanks for starting this thread 
    I now have a new itch to scratch

  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,671 Admiral
    You sure need High Teck Camo and a Rifle that will shoot a Mile...and a $3000 dollar Scope , with a Tripod.

    I didn,t know any of that and still managed to stumble upon a 6x6 and a 5x5.

    Sometimes all it take is Heart and Willpower..Don't get caught up in the money or Time , You'll never have enough..And you'll never forget the satisfaction of Just Do It..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 6,590 Admiral
    You sure need High Teck Camo and a Rifle that will shoot a Mile...and a $3000 dollar Scope , with a Tripod.

    I didn,t know any of that and still managed to stumble upon a 6x6 and a 5x5.

    Sometimes all it take is Heart and Willpower..Don't get caught up in the money or Time , You'll never have enough..And you'll never forget the satisfaction of Just Do It..

    Dang TRT. you look like a normal person in that picture. Not what I imagined. Nice job though.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 971 Officer
    You sure need High Teck Camo and a Rifle that will shoot a Mile...and a $3000 dollar Scope , with a Tripod.

    I didn,t know any of that and still managed to stumble upon a 6x6 and a 5x5.

    Sometimes all it take is Heart and Willpower..Don't get caught up in the money or Time , You'll never have enough..And you'll never forget the satisfaction of Just Do It..

    Dang TRT. you look like a normal person in that picture. Not what I imagined. Nice job though.
    Oh man same I was thinking. Well done though trt memories for a lifetime that most will never do.  
  • Crkr23Crkr23 MelrosePosts: 41 Deckhand
    Check out by"Born and Raised Outdoors" on You Tube. You can gather a lot of info watching these guys hunt on public land.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,671 Admiral
    edited January 1 #25
    I may look Normal...But I'm not...winning...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 3,065 Moderator
    I love that you killed an elk with an 1100. Were you using #4 buckshot in front of dogs?
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,761 Captain
    james 14 said:
    I love that you killed an elk with an 1100. Were you using #4 buckshot in front of dogs?
    Yepper- I done seen that too.......shotgun. I was still fooled some, thought might be an 870.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • meateatermeateater south flaPosts: 517 Officer
    I thought to hunt Colorado you needed all these preference points, or whatever you get when you put in for a hunt but don't get the draw.   I have heard of people waiting for 6-7 years for an elk tag, is there another way to get one?
    colorado      you can buy tags and license over the counter      several public land areas to hunt during archery        not sure bout gun season           don,t make the mistake of not buying a mule deer tag with your elk tag      only buy a elk tag guarantees you will be covered with mule deer.
  • plumber1969plumber1969 Posts: 329 Deckhand
    I made the mistake of not getting the mule deer tag and we were covered up, I mean like mosquitoes on an early season teal hunt covered up. I started throwing rocks at them. It made me appreciate how spooky our whitetails are. 
    2019 Frontier 2014 
  • josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 528 Officer
    edited January 2 #30
    I thought you could buy CO Elk tags over the counter. My in law was telling me they do every year around October but I didn't want to speak up when I don't personally know one way or the other. I was invited out for the next trip in 2020. I'll make sure to see about a Mule tag too from the suggestions above. CO Mule tags I was told were draw for non residents but again no personal experience there either.
  • meateatermeateater south flaPosts: 517 Officer
    elk tags are over the counter    700.00 bucks       mule deer are a drawing so depending on what area you are hunting depends on how many tags they sell for that area       gotta just do little research and make a few calls        not gonna say what area but 5 guys go every year all 5 put in for mule deer and at least 2 will get a tag    not the greatest of odds but not 5 to 7 years as some people think        there is a lot of public land there.     
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