Dad wants to hunt elk..

Four22

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Apr 2, 2016
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281
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Ohio
I’m not sure how to word this all but here goes....

Dad wants to hunt elk together. I’m hoping for 2022 season which puts him at 69 years old. 2 replaced knees and he’s had a broken back so LONG hikes would be tough unless it’s mild terrain.

At application time in 2022 I’ll have 5 points in Wyoming and he’ll have 2 but definitely open to other states.

All we’ll be looking for is a branch antlered bull.

I guess I’m looking for suggestions. I’ve been researching Colorado but I’m afraid the terrain would be too hard for him.

I think we’d definitely be open to trespassing fees for access but would still like to stay DIY.

ANY suggestions to help in my research?

This sounds like another “where’s your spot” (I hate to even ask honestly but have to narrow things down fairly quickly) post but I don’t mean it like that. I was a bit caught off guard by him wanting to hunt elk as he’s not shown interest in it in years past 😁.

Thanks all, I appreciate any advice or direction you may have.
 

Big Sky Guy

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Dec 10, 2018
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The terrain will dictate where you hunt more than anything. My dad came out here to Montana in 2017 at age 62, similar health to your dad by the sounds of it. We were just hunting cow elk basically down around pivot fields. The furthest he had to walk from the truck was probably 1 mile. I was surprised how difficult it was for him, things I don’t even think about like walking up the side of an irrigation canal really took it out of him. I sorta felt bad because I had told him how “easy” hunting down low would be (and it is compared to hiking in the mountains).

I have nothing to offer for other states, but I would strongly consider getting on private if at all possible. Usually private land offers the ability to either get the animal out more easily or less gnarly terrain.

Another point I would suggest is having your dad go on a hike with you with a 40-50 lb pack to get an idea of what he is capable and comfortable doing.
 

PAhunter

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I don't know your dad's experience or fitness levels but in your situation I would double down on considering an outfitted hunt. My dad had never been in a position to be able to hunt the west. In 2009 I took him on an outfitted lope/deer combo hunt in Wyoming. By virtually anyone's accounting my wife and I could not afford it at that point in our lives. I certainly couldn't pay for two hunts so I bought him the hunt and tags and paid the 'tag-along' fee so that we could go together. I don't know if it was the best $6-7k I ever spent, but if not, it ranks right up there.

My dad was a dairy farmer for 30 years, and has all the back and leg issues that seem to accompany that resume. In 2009 he was in his mid-60s, and even the 'easy' (for a western hunt) terrain and access on the private ranches that we hunted challenged him. Both animals he tagged were young, and likely would've gotten a pass from many of you. But my dad was as pleased as he could be with them, and the two of us made some memories that I can't put a price tag on.

My mindset has always been heavily DIY, but I can tell you that humbling myself and just enjoying that outfitted hunt with my dad was a decision I'll never regret. (And this was an "easy" lope/deer hunt, not a bull elk hunt.) Within 3 years of that hunt, my dad was no longer in shape to make a western hunt at all. At this point he's stopped hunting here at home too; the drive is alive, but the gun is no longer steady enough to be sure...

I mounted those mediocre trophies and he proudly displays them in his sitting room. Sorry for the rambling response that wasn't even what you asked for! Just offering my rear view perspective.

DSC09853.JPG
 

Bullshot

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Two days into the rising sun
I took my Dad at the same age out to CO on his first elk hunt. Almost got him a screaming bull too, but it was not easy. In the end, he had a great memory but no elk. His health at the time was better than your father's sounds to be. That's just the way it goes and I sympathize. But seven years later my dad was gone. That was his only elk hunt. If I could do it over, I would have paid for the outfitter on good private ground, just that once. If you post on here for suggestions and get into some specific conversations with folks, I am sure they can point you in the right direction. And don't put all your eggs in one basket (WY) as bull tags may be more difficult than expected. An outfitter in an OTC unit in Colorado can put you on a beautiful ranch, no doubt, and you can take the worry of drawing a tag off your plate. If all goes well, you can always try drawing again in WY at another time and trying again. But bad legs and back are going to make a DIY hunt all that much harder. You can do it, but you need a lot of information to plan it properly.
 

devon deer

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Devon, England
I would also recommend a outfitter. You may only get one shot at this, you will likely have your dad run out of health before money.
This is the way to go, I can count myself lucky at 60 it's only my shoulders which pain me, if I had knackered knee's/hips I would be putting my hand in my pocket and go on an outfitted hunt.
Cheers
Richard
 

ChaosOneZero

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Dec 21, 2020
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184
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Pennsylvania, living in Virginia
I don't know your dad's experience or fitness levels but in your situation I would double down on considering an outfitted hunt. My dad had never been in a position to be able to hunt the west. In 2009 I took him on an outfitted lope/deer combo hunt in Wyoming. By virtually anyone's accounting my wife and I could not afford it at that point in our lives. I certainly couldn't pay for two hunts so I bought him the hunt and tags and paid the 'tag-along' fee so that we could go together. I don't know if it was the best $6-7k I ever spent, but if not, it ranks right up there.

My dad was a dairy farmer for 30 years, and has all the back and leg issues that seem to accompany that resume. In 2009 he was in his mid-60s, and even the 'easy' (for a western hunt) terrain and access on the private ranches that we hunted challenged him. Both animals he tagged were young, and likely would've gotten a pass from many of you. But my dad was as pleased as he could be with them, and the two of us made some memories that I can't put a price tag on.

My mindset has always been heavily DIY, but I can tell you that humbling myself and just enjoying that outfitted hunt with my dad was a decision I'll never regret. (And this was an "easy" lope/deer hunt, not a bull elk hunt.) Within 3 years of that hunt, my dad was no longer in shape to make a western hunt at all. At this point he's stopped hunting here at home too; the drive is alive, but the gun is no longer steady enough to be sure...

I mounted those mediocre trophies and he proudly displays them in his sitting room. Sorry for the rambling response that wasn't even what you asked for! Just offering my rear view perspective.

View attachment 175928
Good on you, man. Cool story, and def something I want to be able to do for my dad some day.
 

Randi

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Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
344
Consider Oregon/ OTC tags and some lowland opportunities.


I would also give this some consideration
Both of these suggestions are good ones

If Oregon, pm Salmonchaser for guidance, and there are also others here from Oregon that could give you an assist.

Also, as mentioned an outfitter would be a good idea. Depending on the availability of funds and if you decide to use an outfitter, pm Europe or Lv2hunt ( there is also another member from Arizona, but I dont recall their name at this moment ) I know you were not looking for a trophy bull, but the ones on the Navaho Nation Reservations are huge, excellent success percentage, and they would literally take him to a location where he could hunt with very little walking involved. If he is able to ride a horse, this would also put him into the mountains to a meadow, but again an outfitter would be required. But if he can ride, then WY and MT opens up for him

You will have a memorable trip together even if you dont find one, Enjoy
 

brownbear932008

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SWVA
With what you have explained I would seriously consider an outfitter if his mobility is really limited. Elk don't live in easy to get to areas and if they do the tag and wait is very long. If he is open to a cow hunt instead of a bull that changes things.
If you are seriously looking at WY you may want to read up on the current thread on changes that are most likely to occur there in 2022. I have a feeling your 5 points may only be halfway to a general elk tag if the changes occur that are being discussed.
 
Last edited:

Four22

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Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
281
Location
Ohio
Thanks for all the input guys! Keep it coming!!!

My head is swimming with thoughts of what to do and didn’t sleep much last night thinking about it all.
 

MT Bound

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Nov 20, 2014
Messages
401
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MT
Oufitter hunt or trespass fee on a Ranch in the States that do that, DIY will be a very very big challenge IMO
 

Nick28

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Jan 16, 2019
Messages
102
Location
North Dakota
One option for a DIY hunt would be New Mexico IMO. Obviously would be hard to draw but everyone has the same chance with no point program. Do some research on what units arn't as physically demanding and apply. Deadline is sneaking up fast though. You never know, you might just draw, my dad and I drew our first time putting in and had a great hunt. PM me if you want more of an idea about where to get started for units. Was in a similar scenario with my dad.
 

Keystone

New member
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
5
I’m not sure how to word this all but here goes....

Dad wants to hunt elk together. I’m hoping for 2022 season which puts him at 69 years old. 2 replaced knees and he’s had a broken back so LONG hikes would be tough unless it’s mild terrain.

At application time in 2022 I’ll have 5 points in Wyoming and he’ll have 2 but definitely open to other states.

All we’ll be looking for is a branch antlered bull.

I guess I’m looking for suggestions. I’ve been researching Colorado but I’m afraid the terrain would be too hard for him.

I think we’d definitely be open to trespassing fees for access but would still like to stay DIY.

ANY suggestions to help in my research?

This sounds like another “where’s your spot” (I hate to even ask honestly but have to narrow things down fairly quickly) post but I don’t mean it like that. I was a bit caught off guard by him wanting to hunt elk as he’s not shown interest in it in years past 😁.

Thanks all, I appreciate any advice or direction you may have.
2018 I killed my first Wyoming bull at age 67 and less then a year out from double knee replacements. Hunted with my two sons gen tag public land. I understand your concern for your dad’s well being but allow him to help in the decision making. Where ever you decide to hunt enjoy the time with your dad.
 

Four22

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Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
281
Location
Ohio
2018 I killed my first Wyoming bull at age 67 and less then a year out from double knee replacements. Hunted with my two sons gen tag public land. I understand your concern for your dad’s well being but allow him to help in the decision making. Where ever you decide to hunt enjoy the time with your dad.
That’s 100% the plan but wanted to bring a few good options to the table to discuss.
 

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