Archery OTC Dilemma

SBAHunts

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Joined
Sep 21, 2018
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11
Hi Everyone. I have a major dilemma and would appreciate some input. I really, really want to do an OTC Archery hunt this year, not particularly picky what state but I can’t seem to round up any interested hunting partners. Living on the Central Coast of CA, any state I drive to is a rather long haul (15 hrs+), and while I have hunted mule deer solo, I haven’t hunted ELK solo. So for these reasons, my preference would be to have a hunting partner(s) …and besides, it usually makes the overall drive & hunting experience enjoyable.

I’ve thought about posting a “Hunting Partner wanted” but I am a bit reluctant without getting some feedback on any similar experiences.…or do I suck it up and go it alone. I have rifle hunted one CO GMU last year south of Grand Junction during 4th rifle season so I am familiar with a portion of that area….

While I will be doing a rifle hunt in Montana, the thought of not doing an OTC archery or even a rifle hunt has me sick to my stomach.

What to do?
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
269
Location
Colorado
I drive a long ways and hunt solo all the time, even for elk. Finding reliable partners with the same plan as yours is very difficult so I've learned to mostly rely on myself. If I were you I know where I would be in September and it certainly wouldn't be at home.
 

JohnCushman

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Nov 27, 2009
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9,823
Location
South East Colorado
You can't shoot a bull sitting on the couch :cool: Get an inReach and onX and give it hell. Also, I'd suggest getting a bit active on here. With only 9 posts people can't get a feel for you. Talk, post pics, share stories...let us get to know you. After a while you might find a partner. Maybe not for this year, but possibly for next year.
 

ElkFever2

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Mar 4, 2019
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370
Location
Iowa
my preference would be to have a hunting partner(s) …and besides, it usually makes the overall drive & hunting experience enjoyable.
The hunting experience can become VERY unenjoyable real quick if the person you just met turns out to be poor company, poacher, drug addict, thief, or makes sexual advances, etc.

Some folks share the drive, but split up once they arrive in the hunt area. Best of both worlds, maybe...

I have gone on many long distance solo trips, but usually am not "alone." I am open to meeting people unexpectedly, and am pretty gregarious. Some people I meet prefer to be left alone and not talk, as they are there for the solitude. Others I might end up swapping stories, scouting notes, sharing a camp meal, or helping with transportation or get an animal out.
 

Kearnsie14

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Mar 17, 2018
Messages
33
Location
Ohio
Honestly... I would prefer to hunt solo than take a chance on a partner being a turd.

Deciding to go on an out-of-state elk hunt with someone you just met is like going all the way on a first date.
Exactly. To me it's either 1) hunt with reliable guys that I already know, or 2) hunt solo.
 

Coloradoshedhead

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Sep 17, 2017
Messages
29
Location
Colorado
Hunting solo can sometimes put me into an almost metatative state of mind. I tune in to the country so much more clearly and I think I enjoy it more. The only thing you really have to watch out for is the distance you travel from a road or the truck.
There are a few measures you can take to combat this though; set up a packer to have on standby who has stock that can come save the day at the drop of a phone call. Like elkfever I believe was leading to you can arrange a packing out buddy once you get there. Last but sometimes the hardest one I find to deal with is not getting any further away from the truck than you can realistically pack a whole elk out to. It can be tough to not bonsai in 4 miles once you find the elk, but I regularly hunt an otc unit in Colorado where I am within shouting distance of the county road and chasing bugling bulls on national forest. These spots are out there it may just take a few seasons to find them.
Good luck on your hunt!
 

dgc1963

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Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
60
I have always hunted out west by myself and had some great trips most time folks just bail out
would never hunt with someone I dont know well it could be a big mistake, even with good friends sometime things are challenging , taking a few friends on my next trip and some are serious and some well lets just say glad they will be in another canyon lol
 

nwihunter

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Feb 8, 2015
Messages
159
Location
Valparaiso, IN
I was able to find two different hunting partners off this site. Made some good friends. Had I not found anyone I was planning on going solo, but it would have tough having never set foot in the mountains before. After two trips I would be comfortable on my own now I think.
 

ccc23454

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Sep 22, 2010
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824
Location
Wyoming
Go solo have fun, you already have hunted a area if it has otc archery it will be even easier. Wife got me a inreach mini for xmas and its great like john said get one. Its pays for its self fast in peace of mind.....
 

Bullshot

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Dec 21, 2018
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93
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Two days into the rising sun
I drive a lot farther than 15 hours to get out there and if going solo is what it takes, than solo I will go. A buddy or hunting partner can make the drive more enjoyable and helps with camp and packing, but if I had to be honest, once the hunting party exceeds 1, the focus on the hunt goes down and you have to balance another person's needs/wants/issues. Not saying I advocate being selfish, but some YOU time alone in the woods can lead to the best overall hunting experience. Just don't do anything too dumb when nobody knows where to find you!
 

Western Traveler1

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Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Rocky Mountain Front Montana
Unless there is something special about your Montana Rifle hunt this year I.E. private property, deep into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, most Elk permits in Montana allow you to hunt archery as well as rifle in the unit. I've hunted elk solo many more times than with a partner in multiple states.. Also I like going with my instincts and not having to compromise on the plan and being on my own schedule day to day. In recent years I began carrying a personal locater beacon and don't hike in as far but I have usually been able to get on elk at some point in the trip, and if not? So what. Something magical happens when out there. Buy a reed cow call and a Montana Decoy, practiice calling on the drive out and go have some fun. If you end up in the same GMU as your rifle hunt this year you will be that much further ahead...
 
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marshman

Active member
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
120
Location
Southwest Washington
Hi Everyone. I have a major dilemma and would appreciate some input. I really, really want to do an OTC Archery hunt this year, not particularly picky what state but I can’t seem to round up any interested hunting partners. Living on the Central Coast of CA, any state I drive to is a rather long haul (15 hrs+), and while I have hunted mule deer solo, I haven’t hunted ELK solo. So for these reasons, my preference would be to have a hunting partner(s) …and besides, it usually makes the overall drive & hunting experience enjoyable.

I’ve thought about posting a “Hunting Partner wanted” but I am a bit reluctant without getting some feedback on any similar experiences.…or do I suck it up and go it alone. I have rifle hunted one CO GMU last year south of Grand Junction during 4th rifle season so I am familiar with a portion of that area….

While I will be doing a rifle hunt in Montana, the thought of not doing an OTC archery or even a rifle hunt has me sick to my stomach.

What to do?
I have done these solo out of state trip several times when my sons work and family life does not allow him to go, for both deer and elk. Some trip successful, some not. But I do take a lot of pride in, and really get off on getting it done solo.
 

Goatshoes

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Joined
May 18, 2016
Messages
372
To the OP. I can understand your dilemma. I found myself in the same situation this year for antelope. I planned to go solo, and literally the day before the draw closed a friend suggested I take an acquaintance of his. We had a long and frank conversation about my expectations and his and I think it will work out well enough.

I am not sure what might keep you from going solo, but my only concern is having a safety net in case something bad happens off the beaten path. My suggestion is that you plan to make the solo trip and create a plan to cya in case something happens (there may be plenty of ways of doing that) and then continue to seek someone out in your local area that you can familiarize yourself with before you go.

Good luck.
 

JohnCushman

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Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
9,823
Location
South East Colorado
With you being into archery, look into joining a local league or 3-D shoots and get to talking to people. I would also suggest joining your local BHA chapter, and as many conservation groups as you can and start doing some networking. You never know, there might be someone in your exact position looking for a possible partner.
 
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