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Old June 15, 2000, 03:07 PM   #1
Rob43
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A friend and I are looking into going on an elk hunt(Eastern whitetails are looking small) but being very blue collar we are also very tight moneywise. Does anyone know of a good cheap guided or semi guided elk hunt. I know that sounds like an oxymoron but the more thrifty we are the less our wives will howl. I would greatly appreciate any and all responses.
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Old June 15, 2000, 05:05 PM   #2
anodes
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You know this may sound crazy, but I remember reading about a guy on AR15.com that said he would trade a Guided Elk Hunt in Colo. for an AR15. He was the would be guide.

Hmm, lower ~$140, kit ~$425 (approx.), your time for assy.

The kicker is I thought he said, "No Elk, no AR." Perhaps a search of General Disscusion forum? Thread might have been, "AR for Elk?"
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Old June 15, 2000, 06:22 PM   #3
SnakeLover
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What is your definition of "Cheap"? Often times, you get what you pay for, so keep that in mind.

For a few hundred dollars, you can be put in an area that usually has elk and pointed in the general direction. Results may not be the best, so if success is a requirement of the hunt, factor that cost in as well. I have hunted Utah, WY, and MT for elk, some successful taking game and others not. While I enjoyed myself each time, I still ended up paying a few extra dollars for meat that I may not have had to if I'd spent more money to go on the hunt where success chances were better.

Also, if you want to go to a state that requires a draw tag, you may have to spend more than a state like CO where you can purchase a tag over the counter. The elk tags are increasing each year, most states charge over $400 per out of stater now.

If you want to give it some more thought, I can probably recommend a few names of outfitters based on your decisions.

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Old June 15, 2000, 08:39 PM   #4
Rutgers
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Hi Rob,

I guess since you asked, this aint spammin. I used to guide for an outfitter in Taylor Park, CO. for a company called Adventure Experiences Inc. Cost for a 1x2 (1 Guide, 2 hunters) runs about $2300 last I knew. Hunts are 5 days, and the price includes lodging in a heated cabin, with a soft bunk, 3 hot meals (if you go hungry, it's your own fault) Wood fired hot tub and sweat lodge, stand hunting if your feet get tired. They also got hot showers, and you dont have to ride horses all day. Excellent flyfishing if you like that sort of thing, and top notch guides and packers. Expect to pay $250.25 for your liscence last I knew. Dont know how to put a hyperlink in but website is www.advexp.com or you can call Tim Kempfe (owner/outfitter) at 970-641-4708. nearest airport is gunnison, CO and they provide transportation to and from the airport. 26 hour drive from Kalamazoo, MI, and YOU PASS A CABELA"S ON THE WAY THERE!!!! e-mail me if you have any more questions. tell Tim I sent ya and He'll take real good care of ya. May even be back guiding this fall myself. Best of Luck

Paul Rutgers.

p.s. as far as a rifle goes, anything .270, 308, 30-06 and up will work just fine. Unguided hunts (everything above but the guide) are available at a lower price too
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Old June 16, 2000, 05:21 PM   #5
Paul B.
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Rob43. You can get licenses and tags over the counter in Colorado again tghis year and guide yourself. Ain't the best way, but probably the cheapest. I may do this myself, if I don't get drawn here in Arizona. Another option is thw White Mountain Apache Reservation in AZ. A bull elk is out of reach except for German industrialists and Arab oil sheiks, but you can sometimes get a cow permit for $350. No other license required. I'm looking into that one as well.
If you are woods wise, a drop hunt is the least expensive way to go and get into good country.
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Old June 16, 2000, 11:02 PM   #6
Rob43
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Well I was looking at more toward the $1500 and down range. And I'll probobly need the guide to provide the accomodations be they tent, lodge, etc. Flying is almost out of the question (I also dont like baggage tossers checking out and maybe keeping my rifle) as driving is far cheaper. Can you possibly trade or sell the meat to help with expenses? An aquaintence said he did this in Alaska. Any more ideas? Caribou??? Moose?? No bears unless I gotta. Thanks again in advance for your answers.
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Old June 17, 2000, 12:22 AM   #7
Rutgers
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In regards to my last post (not trying to pester ya) You can definately get an unguided hunt at before said outfitter for under that. This includes packing out your meat. as for tading or selling meat to offset your expenses, I know selling meat is prohibited in many states, so check with the state you wish to hunt. BTW, thre truths to elk hunting as told to me by an OLD elk hunter

1. The only fresh elk dropping are those that are rolling down hill

2. There is no trick to locating elk, they are where they are.

3. Every elk is a trophy.

Good luck on your hunt. It's an experience you will never forget.

Paul
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Old June 18, 2000, 10:11 PM   #8
Rob43
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No way are you a bother. The more I hear the more questions I have. As for packing out my own meat, thats why you get a guide aint it??? Seriously, I hear that some guides go in by horseback, 4 wheeler, or other and back here in WV we clean deer hangin from a tree. I dont think I'll be lifting an elk to tree limb level. Then is there any advice on where elk are plentiful? Are they like deer back here where the farther north you go the bigger they seem to get? I still like the guide idea though. Speak to me Rutgers
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Old June 19, 2000, 01:04 AM   #9
Rutgers
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Rob,

First off, as far as learning to hunt elk, I would STRONGLY reccomend any book from Don Laubach and Mark Henckle such as Elk Talk or Elk Tactics. There is also one called Elk Tales, but it is more stories. The Zumbo books and Videos are pretty good too. Forget about learning to bugle if you are going on a late season hunt (October Rifle season) as the rut is over, though I know guides who have had good results with a cow call in this time frame. I recomend a hyper hot. All of the elk hunting I have done has been at higher altitudes (between 10,ooo feet and 14,400 feet), so I cant speak for lower elevation hunting. I will take you through an "Ideal" hunt.
The day starts around 3 a.m. and a light breakfast. after eating, head to the drop of point in a 4wd or 4 wheeler and start the treck up the mountain by 4:30 or 5:00. Keep in mind that you are hunting "up" as the thermal currents in the morning and evening bring a downward draft, and beleive me, playing the wind is CRUCIAL to success. For the nest few hours your legs tire, your body sweats (even in -10 degrees f) and your lungs burn due to oxygen starvation. Drink water to keep from becoming sick. by about 30 minutes before leagal shooting the timber begins to come alive with an erie light, and you begin to see the end of the timber and near the rocky mountain tops. By this time you have covered about 4 miles, but it feels more like forty. You manage to get above timberline with 15 minutes to spare, and catch your breath. You see the sun begining to come up in the east over the continental divide, and dont really care if you even see an elk, it is the coolest thing you have ever seen, and you are right in the middle of it. This is better (ok, as good)as sex. (ok, almost as good). The goal here is to cross as many drainages (valleys running down the mountain) in the next hour before the elk head to the timber to bed down. After not seing elk, It is going on 9:00 and you take a break for snacks and more water. Then take a nap till about 11:00. around 11, the thermal currents will shift upwards and you can begin hunting down. For the rest of the afternoon, you are stalking. each step is planned and taken deliberately. stop and look carefully every couple steps. Listen, and be perfectly silent. Even wispering is not acceptable, hand and arm signals are good. Traverse a bit, and look for the nastiest stuff you cand find. That's where the elk are. Use your nose, Elk Stink, and you can smell them. I have spelled elk in areas long after they had left. Around 5:30, you have become tired, hungry and cold, you want nothing more than to get back to camp for a 16 ounce ribeye, and you're moving less cautiously. You have concluded that you are not gonna kill an elk today when you see something move in you perifial vision. Slowly you turn to look and see a beautiful bull. Counting the points through the steam from his nostrils, you see that he is legal and put your gun to your shoulder. Brown hair fills the scope, and you se each powerful muscle ripple under his hide. Put the cross hairs on the vitals. Now is where you must be at your most patient. A bad shot could mean spending the next few days on your hands and knees looking for little drops of blood and replaying the shot in your head. This hunt is no longer that much fun at this point. After being certain with your sight picture, you squeeze the trigger, and the (insert your gun of choice here) thunders, but you dont hear the shot or feel the recoil. The elk runs off, and you here him pile up 100 yards away, but you cant see him. Wait a couple hours and let him bleed out. This is the longest 2 hours of your life to date. Guarenteed. The waiting period up, you silently walk up to him. You are in the heavy timber, and it is almost pitch black, but your eyes have adjusted and you can make out forms and shapes. you find the elk, and he is dead. You put on your lightweight halogen head lamp and examine your trophy. He is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. After congratulations from your buddy, you take a roll of pictures in every immaginable pose. Now comes the work. You are 3 miles from the nearest road. You gut the animal while your and your buddy goes for help to hoist it into the tree. You are in the wilderness by yourself and cyotes houling and strange sounds are everywhere. I dont care how "tuff" or whatever you are... You are starting to get scared. Help arives and you hoist the elk up into a tree to cool and keep it from some of the scavengers, though with human scent everywhere they should stay away. You get back to camp about midnight to find the cook has left a huge plate of food covered with tinfoil warming in the oven. Damn does that taste good! Make a note to tip the cook. You get back to your cabin about 1:00 and peel off your boots, but you cant sleep because in a few hours you'll be packing out your reward for a hard days work. Remember how you felt on christmas eve at 10 years old? Multiply that times a billion. You and 4 others walk back out to the elk, and of course, more pictures. then bone it out, and pack it in hefty sacks to be packed into backpacks. Chances are that as the successfull hunter you have the honor of carrying out the head and hide (about 100#). The pack cuts into your shoulders, and yo are soaked with sweat. well below freezing and your wearing a t-shirt with steam coming off your body. Finaly back to the truck, and you guessed it, more pictures. Kodak's scock climbed 1/2 point because of you. Ride back to the camp to find all of the other hunters tired and eating lunch, and be prepared to tell the story about 50 times for the rest of the day. Then head to town and drop it off to be butchered and frozen for the trip home, backstraps and onions for supper tonite (with heart for the appitizer, IMHO, this is the best portion of meat on an elk) Be sure to tell everyone not to make too much noise the next morning because you'll be sleeping in. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions, you are now the resident elk aficinado till someboedy else scores. spend the rest of the week doing WHATEVER the hell you want, WHENEVER the hell you want, after all your on vacation! Sorry to write a novel, hope this helps. e-mail me if you have any questions I LOVE TO TALK ELK!!!!

Best of luck,

Rutgers

P.S. As far as numbers of elk, I cant speak with cerainty as to nubers per specific region. Areas of AZ an NM seem to produce large elk, but hunting national forest, you are cometing with lots of other hunters. remember that with 4 wheelers being very common, the closer you are to trails, the more hunters you will see. use this to your advantage by getting yourself in excellent shape and being able to cover lots of ground on foot. as far as spcif information on elk numbers, The rocky mountain Elk foundation can provide you with those resourses. Be very careful of information provided to you by outfitters. While many are honest guys, most will tell you whatever it takes to get your money.


[This message has been edited by Rutgers (edited June 19, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Rutgers (edited June 19, 2000).]
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Old June 19, 2000, 10:35 AM   #10
dZ
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They are releasing a ton of Elk in the east coast now. I expect a PA limited lottery for Elk tags in 3 years...

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Old June 19, 2000, 01:46 PM   #11
Jay Baker
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Ditto what Rutgers said. Except... "Drink water..." No, drink LOTS OF WATER. I've had altitude sickness at 10,500 feet in s.w. Colo., on an outfitted elk hunt... and I was really, really sick! Later, after some research on altitude sickness, I realized I had become dehydrated, because of not drinking much water. On later hunts in high altitudes, I've practically flooded my insides with water, and I've never had that problem again.

Stay away from booze and coffee! Both are astringents.

Take a small water purifier with you and USE it! I like Katadyn, but Pur is also good. You will enjoy your hunt far more, if you keep hydrated. Good luck. FWIW. J.B.
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Old June 19, 2000, 11:20 PM   #12
Matrix
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I'm going on my first elk hunt this fall.
We'll be bowhunting in Montana. We're using Wayne Hill outfitting, a guide with a great reputation. We're hunting public land, so it's not as expensive as most private land hunts.

Their web site is www.waynehilloutfitting.com

I'm using the mountain bike to get in shape, and getting a camelback for water. Any other advice for getting ready for the mountains?
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Old June 20, 2000, 09:09 PM   #13
Rutgers
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what elevation are you going to be hunting in? I found that really pushing myself in the cardiovascular department helped me a lot. this was acjeived by running until my lungs burned and going a little more before i stopped, then walking at a fast pace and repeating for about 4 miles a day. you can do the same on yor bike.
It is very important to make sure that you have a good pair of boots that are WELL broken in. I prefer danner elk hunters because they lace to the toes and i can get a better all around fit. the soles are meaty too, and you will be able to run when others are slipping. lots of my buddies used rockies and were pretty happy with them to. i used a pair of polypropylene socks covered with a heavy pair of acrylic socks in 400 gram thinsulate gortex boots. my feet never got too hot or cold nor did i get blisters. Pack the gear you plan to use in a good pack or large fanny pack that hugs your body and jog with it a bit (dont run with the weapon though) Listen for anything loose and rattling so you dont sound like a company of national guard clerks out for weekend war games and correct it. This way you dont spend the first 2 days with a first aid kit poking you in the small of your back and not being able to find your headlamp in the dark because it's in the bottom of your pack. spend time in the woods and train yourself to notice things. Make looking at the ground and ahead of you second nature without conciously having to do so. last but not least, before practicing shooting sometime, do jumpingjacks until you are out of breath, and pick up your bow. look at the sight picture. things may seem awkward, and make a plan to deal with it in the field. practice shooting wearing the gear you would hunt in. hope this helps

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Old June 20, 2000, 10:20 PM   #14
Matrix
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Thanks for the input.
Not sure about the elevation yet, but sounds like it may be cause for concern. We're getting into the area a couple of days early for fishing, hopefully long enough to get used to the altitude. I have a couple of pairs of Danners, one is for hiking and the other is a heavy hunting boot. I'm planning on taking both. The outfitter suggests wearing wool. We're hunting the second week of Sept., so the temp. may be very warm or really cool.

I started stepping up the bike workouts a couple of weeks ago, and I'll be able to use a stairmaster after I move.
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Old June 21, 2000, 12:58 AM   #15
Rutgers
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Have a good time. Looking forward to the stories.

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Old June 21, 2000, 01:01 AM   #16
Rutgers
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BTW, what bank do you work for? We had a number of clients form 1st tennesee there in Memphis. Proud to say I became friends with a few of them. Best of Luck,

Rutgers

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Old June 21, 2000, 05:41 PM   #17
REDMISTMD
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Elk hunting is a art,and you dont usually get one by luck. It takes alot scouting and knowing the area well to be successful at a good elk hunt. I talk to too many hunter who go out unprepared and dont see a thing. here in utah we have a great elk heard. The elk range in elevation from 6500 ft to 12000ft many areas have a draw some real good area just needd some good scouting.I have 2 places I hunt.In one place on opening morning the elk herd up and move up one paticular area I have seen many 300 class bulls there in one 3 day huunt.If I wanted to I could take a bull by 9 am on any opening morn.Its just knowing the routine and habits of the elk that you want to hunt in any paticular area. It is not usually by chance that you see one maybe back east not here. Last year my stepgrandfater drew out in the Book Cliffs and we scouted it out 4 different times and come opening morn he had down a330 class bull by 9 am its knowing the area!! Its knowing the herds routine and their habits.Theyre really not as hard to hunt as people think but some big elk just hang out in some tough areas. my shots usually are less than 200 yds so a good 30 caliber does the trick.I have a good friend who has killed over 40 elk last year he got a 360 and 340 class bulls on public land not bad for a bunch a guys from utah.
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