11 Points in WY

Grainbelt

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Aug 27, 2010
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5
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Beulah, ND
Been doing tons of research, thinking its about time to spend some points. Struggling with deciding what to do. Guide, no guide, type 9 or type 1. Have been archery hunting elk in the past, but its been a few years due to life.... Never been on a back-country horse type hunt which sounds appealing, but I'm more of a DYI type guy. All the websites in the world are no substitute for some first hand opinions. Being a non res I understand the wilderness requirements but I don't want to squander a once in a lifetime tag. Seems to me the more prestigious units there is no chance of me pulling a tag.

Been a member here for quite some time, although I don't do much posting, figured there has to be someone out there that can provide a little guidance. Not looking for a hotspot, just looking for a quality experience that may get me an opportunity.

Thanks.
 

BlakeA

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Dec 13, 2012
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North Dakota
Sounds like all of your research hasn't done much for you. I would get your checkbook out and pay a guide. 11 years worth of points and a tag would be a shame to piss away.
 

Grainbelt

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Aug 27, 2010
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Beulah, ND
The guide or DIY is the biggest hang up for me. I guess my real question is this, I'm sitting on 11 pts, never been on a guided hunt, don't know a thing about it worth the $. I would like to believe that I could get one DIY but as you point out, really don't want to piss it away.
 

BrentD

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In the middle
Grainbelt (boy does that bring flashbacks), the whole point (pun warning) of having 11 points is so that you are in good country where it is hard to "piss away" your tag. I bet you can pull it off. Lots of others have, even me.
 

lastlight

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Mar 30, 2018
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Northern California
I wouldnt over think it, there are great units to be drawn with those points and you can DIY. Use gohunt or similar platform and filter out your options, choose one, throw a dart on the map and start scouting.
 

wytex

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May 17, 2016
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Wyoming
A Type 9 tag in the right area, DIY will be your once in a lifetime hunt. Hunt it early and the entire 2 weeks before any Type 1 tags get in. Some somewhat sleeper areas out there so do some digging on past posts to find them. September elk hunting is very doable DIY without much specialized gear. You may find an area with cow/calf tags for a friend to accompany you without adding the pressure of filling 2 bull tags.
 

MNElkNut

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Jan 27, 2012
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Minnesota
Just a random thought, but how about grabbing a cow/calf license and hunting the area next year with that to get to know the area and come back the following year with a bull license (if you like it)?
 

Sawtooth

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Jan 14, 2012
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Boise, Idaho
Just a random thought, but how about grabbing a cow/calf license and hunting the area next year with that to get to know the area and come back the following year with a bull license (if you like it)?
This is a good idea. Use the money you would have spent on a guide and go get a cow this year, figure out the area, and be ready to fill the bull tag the following year.
 

Greenhorn

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This is a good idea. Use the money you would have spent on a guide and go get a cow this year, figure out the area, and be ready to fill the bull tag the following year.
Depending on the time of year you'd be hunting, where you'll see cows/calves may be completely different than where you'd be hunting for an older bull. Not saying there wouldn't be value/enjoyment in making a preliminary trip and hunting though.
 

forkhunter

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Sep 1, 2010
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My advice - Don't stress it. I think you need to figure out your personal goal and then be comfortable going after it in that fashion. Do you need a big animal to feel like you didn't waste your points or will you be ok if you don't? Personally, I treasure the DIY experience. When I use my max points, maybe I will get a big one, but more than likely I won't (that has been my history....). Of course, I would love to get the biggest animal in the unit, but it just isn't that important to me. I have no problem with anyone who measures success that way, though. If that is what you strive for and interests you, by all means, do it that way.

Figure out what you goal is and go for it! If you can get yourself comfortable with what your true goal is, you will have a much better time with the process. Best of luck. Hope it works out just like you decide you want it to!
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
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Vinton, Ohio
My advice - Don't stress it. I think you need to figure out your personal goal and then be comfortable going after it in that fashion. Do you need a big animal to feel like you didn't waste your points or will you be ok if you don't? Personally, I treasure the DIY experience. When I use my max points, maybe I will get a big one, but more than likely I won't (that has been my history....). Of course, I would love to get the biggest animal in the unit, but it just isn't that important to me. I have no problem with anyone who measures success that way, though. If that is what you strive for and interests you, by all means, do it that way.

Figure out what you goal is and go for it! If you can get yourself comfortable with what your true goal is, you will have a much better time with the process. Best of luck. Hope it works out just like you decide you want it to!
^^^That's how I would approach it. With 11 points, killing a bull DIY shouldn't be a problem............killing a big boy is a different story.
 

Goatshoes

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May 18, 2016
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To the OP.

I have been going through the same heartache trying to make a decision. I was considering hunting the cow tag in the same unit as MNElknut suggested, but some of the units I was considering either have no cow/calf tags or the cow/calf tags are for subsections of the unit that are not the same as where you would likely be hunting your bull. I have determined that the best solution for me is to plan a pure scouting trip in the right parts of the unit at the right time of year one year prior and enjoy it twice. Maybe that will work for you. Set up a cozy camp and make nice with the hunters in the area and you'll learn more than you could expect.

Good luck.
 
Last edited:

LopeHunter

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May 31, 2007
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NW U.S.
What is you goal? Shot at bull of a lifetime? Testing your skills in a solo environment? Would you be hugely disappointed if do not fill the tag?

Elk hunting is not easy on public land when solo. I think the harvest rate is around 20% in the West on elk hunts. A minority of hunters kill elk frequently so a hunter that chases elk once or twice a decade on public land on their own is likely to be under 20%.

Even hunters that hunt the same patch of land year after year encounter different behaviors by elk from year to year as weather can be a factor and migrations can change timing and paths. Rut activity can be off the hook one year and nocturnal the next. Antler growth can vary. Forest fires can close areas or change behaviors. Federal government shutdowns can close areas.

If your goal is test yourself against the elk and the mountain and the conditions then is no better way than solo on public. If you want a chance at a big elk then you have to go where big elk are during the season. The elk may be on public for the entire season though if there is private then is not unusual for elk (or deer or pronghorn) to get bumped on public until end up on private where get bumped less or not at all the rest of the season.

I have done the solo approach though having two people when calling bulls in during the rut is a huge advantage since can place the main caller 50 yards or so behind the shooter. A second person also helps with glassing and going over plans if Plan A and B did not work so are looking at the maps after dark trying to figure out where want to be as the sun rises tomorrow. Oh, and that 2nd person is nice after the shot when breaking down the elk and then packing out an elk.

Once you figure out what your goal is then your options for what tag should try to get will funnel down to a handful.
 

kstitz

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Apr 10, 2016
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31
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Colorado
I have hunted 45 & 61 with a rifle. Both good units. Personally I liked the terrain in 61 alot better and if I had 11 points that is where i would go. But there is a very high concentration of griz that you have to deal with. 45 is a great unit is you are planning a solo archery hunt and you do not have griz to deal with.
 

Grainbelt

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Aug 27, 2010
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Beulah, ND
Deep down, opportunity is more valuable than bull size. Love to archery hunt them, but based upon my lack of success over the years, thought it may be best if able to return with a rifle if archery didn't pan out. Appreciate everyones thoughts, believe it or not it helps shed some light on the decision making process.
 

chadv

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Nov 11, 2015
Messages
88
Im in similar boat as you Grainbelt. Ive been looking at 39 (almost guaranteed with my 7 points) or cow hunt with my boys for three years and go for bull with all three as we build points for us all. Im trying to find 20min to call Game and Fish to see if cow tags are avail without burning points. Good luck to you. Ive decided my first bull will be DIY but I too struggled with guide or no. keep us posted.
 

bigsky2

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Feb 17, 2016
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235
Never spent any time in 22, but a friend and his three boys drew as a party and they all shot nice 6 points.
 

Russp17

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Jun 12, 2018
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You will not have a enough points for unit 22. It will take max points and then probably only 10% of people with max points will draw a tag.
 

Trial153

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Jan 4, 2016
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New York
if you can deal with some big furry critters in the area, draw a 53 or 54 type nine and go hunt. might take a couple more points to draw a type one in those units
 
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