Looking for an option in the next 3 years

Majja

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Mar 30, 2016
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121
As I am starting to get up their in the age category, I have decided that I want to do an archery elk hunt in one of the three following states ID, CO or WY. I am leaning on doing this backpack style and hoping I can convince one of my hunting buddies to come along. I have just gotten back into archery hunting, as well as need to get into much better mountain shape then Couch shape for this to happen. Can i get some suggestions on which states would be best and general unit suggestions. I live in and hunt Utah now, so I know what to kind of expect with western hunting (except I may have to add in Grizzly defense and considerations)

I would love some suggestions on which state would be better for just opportunity. I am just as happy with a spike as I would with a monster (but if both were side by side I am shooting the one with more meat on it).
 

BrentD

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Feb 3, 2018
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2,255
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In the middle
If you can get a tag, Arizona. The ground is not as high or as steep, and the hunting is excellent. But I do not know if getting a tag is a few years is realistic.
 

Majja

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Mar 30, 2016
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121
Thanks all. I have also thought about putting in for NM rifle tag as well but will see.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
Curious about why you are venturing out of Utah... ie have you struggled to get tags, or rather are you looking to broaden your horizon's and if so is there something in particular you are looking for in the hunt.

E.g. I'm in CO and CO has plenty of bears but I hunted POW this summer because I wanted to go in the spring, and be on the ocean, and hunt bears in a totally different context.

I'm curious if your desire to hunt ID, CO, or WY stems from something other than trophy quality or even getting an animal.

Personally I'm not sure if I would do WY simply because you can't hunt wilderness areas as a NR, and during archery season elk will be up high and most of the places up high in WY are wilderness. Finding a spot that will hold elk in Sept, is in a General unit, and is not wilderness is going to be more logistically complicated. That said it also does help you narrow down hunting spots lol
 

dgc1963

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Feb 17, 2019
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I'd hunt OTC in CO/ID for 3yrs while building points in WY. When you do draw a tag, I'd hate to waste it b/c of rookie mistakes which will be learned fast and hard in the first couple trips out haha!
agree 100 %
 

LopeHunter

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May 31, 2007
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MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
You are a better packer than me if you are up to solo backpacking an elk out to a trailhead. Add in elevation and the 4 trips to get the elk out along with possibly a fifth trip to bring camp out then that is a total of 9 miles if are merely 1 miles from the trailhead when the elk tips over. Figure each pack is 80 pounds or heavier. Add in a longer distance, say are two miles in and the miles goes up to 18. If temps are warmer then need to get packing soon after get the animal cut up and get all the meat out and on ice soon.

If you have a buddy also with an elk tag along that can manage a heavy pack at elevation and perhaps also over uneven terrain then that speeds things up though after packing the elk out that may mean the end of the hunt for the buddy with the unpunched tag. Pack outs can beat up the body and not everyone will look forward to heading back out knowing what the pack out involves.

I would try for WY then MT then CO then ID. WY will likely be a general region tag drawn using your first choice though you can put in as a party if a buddy is also building points the next few years. If are willing to buy a landowner tag then would look at NM as you can pick with certainty the year you hunt with a limited entry tag.
 

Mtnhuntr

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Sep 26, 2017
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535
All great options, but there is so much to cover that I think it would be worth your time to listen to Randy's elk talk podcast. He lays out each state with its pros and cons. I think listening to those will give you the information you need to pick the hunt that is right for you.
 

Buffs35

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Jan 30, 2019
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122
Location
Denver, CO
All great options, but there is so much to cover that I think it would be worth your time to listen to Randy's elk talk podcast. He lays out each state with its pros and cons. I think listening to those will give you the information you need to pick the hunt that is right for you.
Great suggestion.
 

Majja

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Joined
Mar 30, 2016
Messages
121
Curious about why you are venturing out of Utah... ie have you struggled to get tags, or rather are you looking to broaden your horizon's and if so is there something in particular you are looking for in the hunt.

E.g. I'm in CO and CO has plenty of bears but I hunted POW this summer because I wanted to go in the spring, and be on the ocean, and hunt bears in a totally different context.

I'm curious if your desire to hunt ID, CO, or WY stems from something other than trophy quality or even getting an animal.

Personally I'm not sure if I would do WY simply because you can't hunt wilderness areas as a NR, and during archery season elk will be up high and most of the places up high in WY are wilderness. Finding a spot that will hold elk in Sept, is in a General unit, and is not wilderness is going to be more logistically complicated. That said it also does help you narrow down hunting spots lol
I would like to see what else is out there, and maybe experience something new. I hunt the any bull units here in Utah every year, and they seam to be getting more and more crowded by the minute. Some day I will draw my super tag. I like trying something new from time to time. I would like to actually be able to archery hunt in the Rut, instead of the bastard season we get here opening 8/17 to 9/13 this year. I will be up there chasing critters at the end of the summer for sure. I would love to experience some where else one year as well. And ID, WY and CO are all pretty easy drives from Salt Lake.

I am no killer by any means and have had opportunities and blown them and also converted on a few as well. I am getting to see that if I do not cross this one off the old bucket list that it may not become a reality. My friends and I have always side we need to go to Co and that is as far as it has ever gone. I am at the point where I am screw it I am going to XX and try this.

Thanks all for the info.
 

Majja

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Joined
Mar 30, 2016
Messages
121
You are a better packer than me if you are up to solo backpacking an elk out to a trailhead. Add in elevation and the 4 trips to get the elk out along with possibly a fifth trip to bring camp out then that is a total of 9 miles if are merely 1 miles from the trailhead when the elk tips over. Figure each pack is 80 pounds or heavier. Add in a longer distance, say are two miles in and the miles goes up to 18. If temps are warmer then need to get packing soon after get the animal cut up and get all the meat out and on ice soon.

If you have a buddy also with an elk tag along that can manage a heavy pack at elevation and perhaps also over uneven terrain then that speeds things up though after packing the elk out that may mean the end of the hunt for the buddy with the unpunched tag. Pack outs can beat up the body and not everyone will look forward to heading back out knowing what the pack out involves.

I would try for WY then MT then CO then ID. WY will likely be a general region tag drawn using your first choice though you can put in as a party if a buddy is also building points the next few years. If are willing to buy a landowner tag then would look at NM as you can pick with certainty the year you hunt with a limited entry tag.
Yea I see what you are saying as well as I have helped pack a few out a couple of miles before. Those quarters do get heavy. I think that is where the right hunting partner comes into play. You take turns if some one kills one we all celebrate do the work and share in the joy of a successful hunt. If not enjoy the encounters that you did have and take home some great memories of a wild place that not many people will ever experience.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
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42
Location
South Carolina
Yea I see what you are saying as well as I have helped pack a few out a couple of miles before. Those quarters do get heavy. I think that is where the right hunting partner comes into play. You take turns if some one kills one we all celebrate do the work and share in the joy of a successful hunt. If not enjoy the encounters that you did have and take home some great memories of a wild place that not many people will ever experience.
I'd hunt otc somewhere while applying in WY & NM. You've got to apply in NM! Some of the draw odds are pretty decent and someone has to draw. Also, solo is very doable if you're motivated. I do a majority of my hunts solo and I really enjoy it. I know all the decisions are on me and my success and failure are 100% dependent on me. I killed a good 5x5 bull last year on a backpack hunt. I was 4 miles from the trail head and got my bull, skull/antlers & camp out in 3 loads. I tried to man up and do it in 2, but I couldn't make I happen. The pack out sucked, but the suck is just part of the fun.

Pick somewhere to hunt. Train hard. Give it your all and HAVE FUN!
 

wytex

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May 17, 2016
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Wyoming
I'll say this about general areas in Wyoming, I have never hunted in wilderness areas and have yet to have an archery season where we didn't get into elk , in 32 years. How many have I harvested in general areas , not many, but have had opportunities.
Most general areas are any elk during the archery season and many are any elk for part of the rifle season, we pass on cows due to having private access to fill additional cow tags.
Elk are well distributed all over the NF , not just holed up in wilderness areas.
Don't forget while building PP in Wyoming you can apply for a LQ tag in hopes of getting a random draw.
And you can hunt archery season and rifle season on general elk licenses til your tag is filled ,in any general area around the entire state.

Kudos to all of you packing those animals out several miles ! Not sure I have that left in me at this point.
 

Wind Gypsy

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Mar 12, 2017
Messages
63
I'll say this about general areas in Wyoming, I have never hunted in wilderness areas and have yet to have an archery season where we didn't get into elk , in 32 years. How many have I harvested in general areas , not many, but have had opportunities.
Most general areas are any elk during the archery season and many are any elk for part of the rifle season, we pass on cows due to having private access to fill additional cow tags.
Elk are well distributed all over the NF , not just holed up in wilderness areas.
Don't forget while building PP in Wyoming you can apply for a LQ tag in hopes of getting a random draw.
And you can hunt archery season and rifle season on general elk licenses til your tag is filled ,in any general area around the entire state.

Kudos to all of you packing those animals out several miles ! Not sure I have that left in me at this point.
Hey man.. Let there be a little bad press on WY!:D

OP, 3 points might have got you a general tag in WY this year, but I wouldn't expect you'll draw one with 3 points by the time you actually get 3 points. For someone with 0 WY points right now I wouldn't be at all surprised if you're 5-6 years out on a guaranteed General tag.
 

ol_spark

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Feb 3, 2011
Messages
205
Location
NW Pa
There’s nothing like venturing into a new hunting area that helps you appreciate the area you are currently in more.
 
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