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Montana Elk Helicopter access

Southwind

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Randy,

Maybe I missed this somewhere along the way and I know there can be big differences from place to place etc. but, approximately what did the copter ride cost you on this hunt?

That was a "I could of had a V8" moment for me.


Thanks
 
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Big Fin

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Round trip, bringing us in in two loads, hauling us out in three loads, was just over $700 per guy. Less than a non-resident pays for an elk tag in Montana.

I think I should have mentioned that cost in the show, being I have been asked that question more than any question in the three years the show has aired.
 

Ben Lamb

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Public lands that are landlocked are a function of the Homestead acts of the late 19th century, and early 20th century. States were given parcels to help fund schools, and the rest were sold off. The remaining lands were then placed under the trust of whatever applicable government agency. That means that as States and the Fed traded, sold, consolidated, etc, land parcels, some got left in a quandry related to access, and we ended up with our wonderful checkerboard lands, and landlocked public lands.

State F&G agencies don't really have many tools to open these lands. In MT, we have the Hunting Access Enhancement fund, which purchases either small pieces of fee title land, or provides for easements across private land, to open up that blocked public land. Not sure how other states deal with it.
 

MTFysherman

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Hated to see you guys run into the other hunters who ran you off but good to see I'm not the only one it happens to. Last season I ran into a guy who didn't want me hunting "in his area". He also ran off another guy. He ran off the wrong guy as the other guy he ran off was a ranch hand at the ranch that allows access. He won't be hunting there again. Oh and yes, I got a cow that day and he got nothing! :)
 

onpoint

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This is one "on your own, DIY, Joe Public hunter" who probably won't be spending $700 for transportation cost for one hunt anytime soon:eek:.................that's probably what me (and a lotta others) spend on fuel for an entire season:rolleyes:.

OK, at $3.50+ per gallon, maybe a little more than $700 for the entire season.......
 
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Big Fin

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This is one "on your own, DIY, Joe Public hunter" who probably won't be spending $700 for transportation cost for one hunt anytime soon:eek:.................that's probably what me (and a lotta others) spend on fuel for an entire season:rolleyes:.

If it was for a grouse hunt, I suspect you would at least give it some consideration. :D

The best $700 I have spent this year. You and I are spoiled to live in MT where we can hunt elk every year, for the cost of a tag and a couple tanks of gas. Not all have jobs like you and I where we spend 100+ days a year out in the fields and hills, so they are willing to travel and spend more for some of the things you and I get to do as part of our daily routine.

A friend (and a lotta others) who are "on your own, DIY, Joe Public hunter" guys spend that much, or more, just in fuel and food, to come to MT and hunt on one of our $1,000 combo tags. Best time they have each year.

Understand it is not for everyone, but most guys, if they made it an item on their priority list, could scrape up the funds to do something like that. Surely understand if they wouldn't and completely understand if they wanted to.
 

wingman1

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Hated to see you guys run into the other hunters who ran you off but good to see I'm not the only one it happens to. Last season I ran into a guy who didn't want me hunting "in his area". He also ran off another guy. He ran off the wrong guy as the other guy he ran off was a ranch hand at the ranch that allows access. He won't be hunting there again. Oh and yes, I got a cow that day and he got nothing! :)

What guys ran who off? Is that the impression you got off the show? That's not what happened. I have yet to see the episode but I think you got the wrong idea.
 

npaden

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It was never mentioned in the show, but it was clear in the video footage that the other hunters actually had a pretty decent bull on the ground. Based on the footage it didn't look like Randy and crew even talked to the other hunters, they just decided they would prefer to hunt in a different area instead of dealing with other hunters in the same general area they were hunting.

I would have made the 1/4 mile walk over to them and chit chatted for a bit. I am probably too open and honest with other hunters in the area I'm hunting, I don't go out of my way to provide them information, but I won't lie to them if they ask me a direct question. No doubt I've been lied to quite often talking with other hunters though! ;)

I spent more on gas to get there ($800ish) and more on my "special" general elk license in Wyoming this year (way too much) than the $700 porportional cost for the helicopter and the $900 general tag for Montana this year.

I'm going to look into this in some other states. I know there is a lot of land locked public land in New Mexico, but the drawing odds on the tags there are going to go way down for next year too.
 

Mudranger1

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seems Np doesn't know it was you Wingman ;) from the show it didn't seems as bad as the hubub that happened here last year but he could have left that out for a reason..or it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be.
 

kansasdad

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It was never mentioned in the show, but it was clear in the video footage that the other hunters actually had a pretty decent bull on the ground. Based on the footage it didn't look like Randy and crew even talked to the other hunters, they just decided they would prefer to hunt in a different area instead of dealing with other hunters in the same general area they were hunting.


Reading the "live" thread of the hunt, and watching the TV episode, there were two interactions between OYOA crew and the "other hunters". The first one came on Fin's first morning to actually hunt, was face to face, and rather heated, to read the thread. Fin and crew decided to leave the area they had previously scouted, and later commented on air how the elk herd had gone a different way than they had seen previously seen them go, so had they stayed, there would have not been a success, as well as the "other hunters" striking out as well.

The second time Fin and crew saw the "other hunters" was when there were in good position to take a nice bull, but for no apparent reason, the lead cow spooked out and the rest of the herd followed her away to "private" and safety. Fin and crew at first couldn't see why the herd spooked, then they saw the "other hunters" working on their downed bull. I surmise that after the first face to face meeting, there wasn't much to be gained by going down to have a chit chat. ;)
 

npaden

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I'll have to go back and read that Live thread. All that went down before I was on the forum.

Right now I have to go run 4 1/2 miles in a stiff wind to keep working on getting in shape for my New Mexico hunt coming up! ;)
 

Craig S.

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Great answer Ben! It's an epidemic across the west that will be very tough to solve, in order to keep some great places open for future generations.
 

Lawnboy

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I bet I'm at $300 spent this year so far on fuel. I still have to go grouse hunting as well;) I think we would all be amazed if we actually (honestly) kept track of all our costs that go into a hunting season. Tags,fuel,gear.bullets, etc.. We don't do it because it's the economical thing to do. We all have our reasons I suspect.

I would think that the helicopter style hunt would be a big expense for most but one that you would save and anticipate for the entire year. No different than a big fishing trip or a hunt in another state. Just have to prioritize things based on your time and funds. It was a fun hunt and one I'll always remember.
 

Southwind

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My whitetail spot is only an hour away but I normally spend $60 a trip on gas and have been six times already and have yet to really start hunting. I would guess I will have over $1000.00 in gas just for this spot before it is all done.

You don't even want to know what my grouse hunt cost.
 

npaden

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Okay, the live thread on that hunt was a pretty interesting read. I guess he did talk to them on opening morning.

I wonder how bad the outfitters who hunt the same spot that my buddy and I hunt in Wyoming cuss us. I know they cuss each other. They need to find a new spot farther from the road and we wouldn't mess with them, besides we were there first! ;)
 

Horn Seeker

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I have tried to avoid adding up my gas costs for my moose hunt this year. Its 4 hours there, then while there, you drive and glass, drive and glass, drive and glass... Then its a 70 mile round trip to town to refuel so you can go back and drive and glass some more. Plus I contributed to some other's fuel as well... in the 11 days I hunted it, I think I probably ended up near a K in gas money. Then add in a buddy that drove 650 miles from Yakima, WA to help call and look... and a couple other buddies that came in from closer areas... Yikes!

I wont be doing this particular fly in hunt, as it seems a little too popular now, but given the conditions just a couple years ago, I'd have Gladly spent $700 to hunt it...
 

thecrittergitter

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I'm probably at nearly $800 in fuel this year alone and i haven't even hunted for myself yet;)
Been helping a buddy with many days afield for moose and also some for goat.....

With a drive to KS for whitetail this november, i'm guessing it will be a $2,000 bill easy by time its all said and done......
 
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