If you could start over...

mr_steve

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Joined
Jan 28, 2013
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350
Location
North Dakota
Well I am 23 and have begun planning future hunts and looking for advice from all you experienced Hunt Talkers. One of my main goals is to get one of each on the Big 10 North American animals. A big part is building points and I figure if I begin now I will have better odds. Can't draw if you don't apply right? I will break it down by specie and any advice would be appreciated.

QUESTION: If you were to plan your hunts at my age how would you focus your efforts/funds?

Bear- We went to MT for spot and talk black bear hunting spring of 2012 but went too early we heard. Need to go the last week of the season for the best odds. We are going back in 2014 because NW MT is awesome. I have no desire to shoot one from a stand. We went near Kalispell but I wonder if the Libby area or anything along that northwest MT border would be better?

Moutain lion- Will try to get one without dogs but may eventually have to get a guide and go to ID or something?

Deer- Grew up shooting deer and love bow hunting whitetails back in ND. Went muley hunting this year in the badlands with a friend. He got one first but I have not yet. Next year will be my year. Might wonder over to MT or go western NE since I live in NE right now.

Moose- Not exactly sure what to do here. AK would be awesome but would like to do it DIY. I am thinking MT or ID is a good option. Don't think I will try to build points for this but open to suggestions?

Caribou- This looks fun but I think I will do it once and that will be good. Will probably go to central Canada to get the Barren Ground Caribou.

Bison- Will there be a season in a few years? Is that a fun hunt or just like shooting something in a pen? This one is the least likely to happen but like I said I want to get all 10.

Antelope- Went to WY last year and had a blast. I don't see a reason to go anywhere but WY. I have one point and plan to build up 4-5 points and get a decent unit. My third year I think I will try bow. Rather do spot and stalk with bow.

Goat- I planned on building points in MT, possibly UT. I can't afford to fork up enough cash up front for multiple states. If I could I would do CO too. When I am a little older I will apply for ID since it doesn't have a point system. How impossible will it be for me too draw?

Sheep- I will do the same as well for this. Build points in MT. Has anyone ever done the general tag for this where there is a quota? Is it possible or just a waste of time? If I read right sometimes the don't fill the quota. Should I apply/build points in other states? IS it a waste of time to build points in WY? I will also eventually apply in ID.

Elk- I saved this til last because this is what I am most interested in it and would like to go every year while I am young with no kids. I plan on building points in WY and UT. I want to obviously go in MT too but the points system confuses me. I am not concerned about getting a tag for the most desirable units. I would rather wait 4 years per state to get good units. Back to MT, do I have to buy a elk/deer tag if I don't draw the non-general tags or pay the 20%? I enjoy bow hunting but not certain if I have the skill to call them in on my first year. I want to go bow elk hunting in MT next year but uncertain what my odds are with it being my first year. Should I get a cow tag to start? MT is slightly confusing to me so any advice would be appreciated.

Biggest thing for me is no guides, reasonable budget (no desert sheep hunts), and lots of fun. With being from ND I didn't have much experience in the west so I will learn a lot by just going but looking for any help I can get!


http://www.youtube.com/user/701Outdoors?feature=mhee
 

DoubleU

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Aug 7, 2012
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If I were 23...... I'd save as much money as I could every month, hands-off no question money. After one year of saving, I would take half of those funds and apply for the point system species which are on the list of 10. I would continue to build the other half of the fund to pay for the epic adventures to be found in hunting, land owner tags, drop camp hunts, or guided hunts when your goals change, your knees quit, or the point creep has you blocked from drawing a tag. Your goals are likely to change, or expand. At 23 years old I never thought of sheep hunting and was happy with one out-of-state hunt each year. After more than three decades, I drew a desert sheep tag last year, am hunting a Dall sheep this year. You get the picture, things change and planning with that in mind could prove pivotal.
 

MNHunter

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Dec 21, 2005
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Rosemount, MN
Do what you can to start building points everywhere. Don't focus on 1 state...for things like sheep/Mt Goat you will need every app you can afford. I started at 24 and now 10 years later I've drawn a few sweet tags and have more points and youth on my side than most in this game.

For everything other than OIL species...just go hunt. I'd rather hunt many times OTC or in a "lesser" unit than hold out for a top unit any day.
 

Dinkshooter

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Oct 5, 2005
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Location
Colorado
You can kill a moose in AK non-guided.

You probably should still move to AK.

Maybe find another fiancé?

J/K…………maybe.
 

Gerald Martin

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Jul 3, 2009
Messages
4,039
For Shiras moose, I think Idaho is your best bet as a NR. For black bear you've got a solid game plan. May 15-31 is a great time in NW Montana. Find clearcuts and new grass and you'll find a bear eventually. For sheep as a NR, I think I would just start saving up and plan a guided hunt in AK as soon as I could afford it or else plan to hunt the unlimited areas in Montana until you kill a ram. It is doable if a guy puts several years into it.

If I was 23 again.... Did you ever consider moving to AK for a year or two? How about having your fiance land a job in Anchorage after she graduates from med school? :)
 

THWAK1

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Jul 25, 2011
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"If you could start over..." at 23...

I would take Bambistew's advice...and never look back....
I agree 100%! And as far as women go, as long as you have a full set of teeth, you'll find a good one up there (and she'll probably hunt your flatland @$$ into the ground!).
 

idnative1948

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May 10, 2010
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Location
Boise, Idaho
Have to agree to a point with JLS, but Idaho doesn't any of the big stuff. Serious, give Idaho a try before we get all screwed by our legislature. Starting over at 23? I would have been hanging out with dad trapping instead of being in Da Nang.Save your money and buy good equipment. If you an OYO it will pay off in the long run.You will be better for it. Hand full of guys on here will give you good info. Find a mentor and you will be better for it than going off half cocked and wanting to shoot yourself in the foot for blowing a hunt you have saved for.
End of rant from the old guy.
 

mr_steve

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Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
350
Location
North Dakota
For Shiras moose, I think Idaho is your best bet as a NR. For black bear you've got a solid game plan. May 15-31 is a great time in NW Montana. Find clearcuts and new grass and you'll find a bear eventually. For sheep as a NR, I think I would just start saving up and plan a guided hunt in AK as soon as I could afford it or else plan to hunt the unlimited areas in Montana until you kill a ram. It is doable if a guy puts several years into it.

If I was 23 again.... Did you ever consider moving to AK for a year or two? How about having your fiance land a job in Anchorage after she graduates from med school? :)
I threw it out there and didn't get much response which is good. I am slowly working in the idea. Looks like decent paying jobs up there. She wants to move to MT so we may have to settle for that.
 

PonoHunt

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Jan 15, 2013
Messages
64
Location
Westminster, CO
Move to Alaska and you'll soon forget all that other stuff..
Bambi, stop putting those kinds of ideas in his head. At 23 he hasn't earned the right to be happy every fall just yet. He needs to stay down here with the rest of us and watch our legislators ruin every good hunt opportunity in all the states he is applying for now. Misery loves company down here in the lower 48.
 

Carrion Carrier

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Jun 14, 2011
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In the mountains, Western MT
You really don't need points to hunt elk/deer in MT. There were licenses leftover last year (thousands). Many units require a permit to hunt mule deer, but even most of those are unlimited. There are very few units in MT for elk/deer that are not possible every year. Go late. Deer are rutting and elk are moving.
 

Papa-Zulu

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Sep 8, 2011
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mr steve: There have been some very good suggestions given to you on previous posts on this thread. But one very important point you need to consider is your fiance's attitude about your hunting plans. I don't care if she is making $150,000 a year after she becomes a physician, if she doesn't approve of your hunting you are headed toward problems and likely a divorce. I was married to a woman for seven years who didn't like all my hunting, and we got divorced in 1981. Next week I'll celebrate my 30th anniversary with my second wife. When I go hunting, the first thing she asks is, "How can I help you pack up?" Believe me, there is a hell of a difference in being married to the right woman.
 

PonoHunt

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Jan 15, 2013
Messages
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Location
Westminster, CO
mr steve: There have been some very good suggestions given to you on previous posts on this thread. But one very important point you need to consider is your fiance's attitude about your hunting plans. I don't care if she is making $150,000 a year after she becomes a physician, if she doesn't approve of your hunting you are headed toward problems and likely a divorce. I was married to a woman for seven years who didn't like all my hunting, and we got divorced in 1981. Next week I'll celebrate my 30th anniversary with my second wife. When I go hunting, the first thing she asks is, "How can I help you pack up?" Believe me, there is a hell of a difference in being married to the right woman.
Agree completely.
 

mr_steve

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Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
350
Location
North Dakota
You can kill a moose in AK non-guided.

You probably should still move to AK.

Maybe find another fiancé?

J/K…………maybe.
Ha I think I will keep her around. I just need to figure out how to convince her to move to AK. Need to work on the selling points for her up there. Any ideas?
 

mr_steve

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Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
350
Location
North Dakota
You really don't need points to hunt elk/deer in MT. There were licenses leftover last year (thousands). Many units require a permit to hunt mule deer, but even most of those are unlimited. There are very few units in MT for elk/deer that are not possible every year. Go late. Deer are rutting and elk are moving.
This year I am going with the elk/deer combo tag in MT. We are going bow hunting elk for the first time for a week which will be a learning experience. I will also get a WY & UT elk pref point and probably go for MT points in Bighorn Sheep/Mountain Goat. Looking into UT for those as well.

What's better for your first time elk hunting, bow during the rut or gun in the later part of the season when they are moving?
 
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