Yeti

Remoteness?

ida homer

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Apr 4, 2013
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1,726
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Boise, Idaho
Does anyone else seem to be running into other hunters more often, pretty far from the trailhead? Especially over the last 2-4 seasons.

My guess is that word has spread and the gear/clothing advancements have made it more accessible. What do you guys think?

The backcountry doesn't seem quite as remote as what you used to read about, in the 80's and 90's, since I wasn't hunting then I'm not sure. We've had good luck filling tags in that kind of middle ground side country, overlooked stuff 1-3 miles from the road. Thoughts?
 

BuzzH

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Jan 9, 2001
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Laramie, WY
I think outfitters have a lot to do with it.

Past clients either hunting on their own, or sharing information with their buddies.

Plus, there's just a lot more outfitters now than in the past, as well as a lot of NR hunters that are willing to shell out the money.

I still think the average resident hunter spends more time within a couple miles of trailheads than beyond that. IME, DIY NR hunters seem to be more motivated and willing to go the extra mile than most residents.

My theory is, that it takes a pretty serious NR to drive a long way, pay for the higher priced tag, do all the research, take vacation, may not be able to draw the tag again, etc.

There is a major commitment to do a NR hunt, and I think it weeds out the less serious hunters and those that take on the challenge of a DIY NR hunt, they take that opportunity seriously. Many resident hunters are pretty "casual" about the effort they put in.

My 2 cents.
 

ida homer

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Boise, Idaho
Makes sense, good points, most people aren't gonna road hunt with a NR tag.

On my bull hunt last year I ran into some NR's, that only had general spike tags, way up on these ridges. Despite the fact that they very easily could have killed their spikes from the road. I like seeing guys back there if it's not archery, since I feel that they earned it.
 

mixedbag

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Nov 22, 2009
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I think buzz is right on.I don't think1-3 miles is in between land though.Alot of NR talk on line they are planning to go 5-10 miles back but very few do itI think the 3 mile range is best from all my hunts.Outfitters are deeper in and most guys don't go past 1-2 miles.Of allthe states I've hunted,Montana had the highest amount of guys spiking in.I don't think I ever ran into anyone in the woods in Wy;alot of road guys though.Co had a few guys back in but still nothing like Montana.All the talk about crowded otc tags in Co,but I've been lonely on my archery hunts there
I'll be drawing a popular unit for 3rd rifle deer in Co this year and will look for areas a mile or 2 off road to hunt.I think most deer hunters are road hunting from what I've seen in the past.So by getting out and walking,I expect to be alone.You'd be surprised how good the deer and antelope hunting is just one rise off a road.Hike to top of that rise and you see animals the road hunters cant,yet still easy pack out.I do that a lot for deer/lopes.Elk aren't usually that accessible where I hunt
 

Outdoor Junkie

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Jun 24, 2012
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318
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Forest Lake, MN
I think this is spot on. I've come out 2 times for remote backpack trips in Colorado and Idaho . We hiked in 7 miles and made camp in Idaho last year then hiked out 6 days later. Most of my local hunter friends think we were crazy, but then again none of them hunt outside of Minnesota/ Wisconsin. If a person is willing to take a weeks vacation, spend a lot of money on a nonresident tag and the expense of getting out there, then they are probably more willing to hike back in 5-8 miles and camp in the back country for 4-6 days. Quite honestly, web sites like this and shows like Fresh Tracks and Western Hunter make these types of trips seem possible. Without this information, we probably never would have taken the leap and started to go on these types of hunts.


I think outfitters have a lot to do with it.

Past clients either hunting on their own, or sharing information with their buddies.

Plus, there's just a lot more outfitters now than in the past, as well as a lot of NR hunters that are willing to shell out the money.

I still think the average resident hunter spends more time within a couple miles of trailheads than beyond that. IME, DIY NR hunters seem to be more motivated and willing to go the extra mile than most residents.

My theory is, that it takes a pretty serious NR to drive a long way, pay for the higher priced tag, do all the research, take vacation, may not be able to draw the tag again, etc.

There is a major commitment to do a NR hunt, and I think it weeds out the less serious hunters and those that take on the challenge of a DIY NR hunt, they take that opportunity seriously. Many resident hunters are pretty "casual" about the effort they put in.

My 2 cents.
 

HighDesertSage

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Apr 6, 2013
Messages
3,535
Location
Sage Brush to Corn Fields
Does anyone else seem to be running into other hunters more often, pretty far from the trailhead? Especially over the last 2-4 seasons.

My guess is that word has spread and the gear/clothing advancements have made it more accessible. What do you guys think?

The backcountry doesn't seem quite as remote as what you used to read about, in the 80's and 90's, since I wasn't hunting then I'm not sure. We've had good luck filling tags in that kind of middle ground side country, overlooked stuff 1-3 miles from the road. Thoughts?

I seem to have bad luck when it comes to running into people. 1st & 4th rifle in CO I see people every where I go. Whether it's back 6 miles, at the trail head or anywhere in between. I do hunt popular units, with alot of elk, so it's to be expected. I definitely have learned how to switch up my tactics. Chunks of public surrounded on most sides by private, with no roads or trails into them catch my eye now, rather than attempting to go 5+ miles back. Iv'e found that trails are just as bad as roads in CO.
 

Jezz

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Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
323
Location
Udaho
Quite honestly, web sites like this and shows like Fresh Tracks and Western Hunter make these types of trips seem possible. Without this information, we probably never would have taken the leap and started to go on these types of hunts.

Gee thx Randy
 

beginnerhunter

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Feb 15, 2016
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I think the usage of GPS and phone maps makes it easier and less scary going in further. Learning to use a compass and map is a lot harder for young people. But as long as I know where I am on a map, I don't mind going a further into the woods/hills.
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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6,237
Location
SW NM
I rarely run into other hunters away from a road here in NM. Like after a mile....,seriously.
Popular areas,I see some folks .Prime units,Trailheads ,accessable water etc..
Not much elsewhere.

Haven't hunted any other states in 7 yrs.
 

bwcatripper

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Feb 28, 2016
Messages
86
I think this is a collective movement for hunters as we gain the knowledge and ability to get further and deeper into the wilderness. Google earth, OnX, GPS, lighter and more effective gear, increasing desire to get further away from other people. These all play a role. People want to experience more and see fewer folks. I'm still a newb to big game hunting, but if i'm going to use a week of hard earned vacation, I sure am going to try and get away from the crowds.
 

cedahm

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Sep 22, 2015
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1,131
Location
Colorado
I think the usage of GPS and phone maps makes it easier and less scary going in further. Learning to use a compass and map is a lot harder for young people. But as long as I know where I am on a map, I don't mind going a further into the woods/hills.

This is for sure a big one. I have friends who I would consider 'woods skills capable' that used to still get very nervous if they were well off trail in unknown country. With a map on their phone - even some free apps show private/public boundaries and aerial views these days - combined with those basic survival skills, they're willing to go over that next ridge and into new areas now.

I do wonder how many of the relatively 'new' backcountry hunters that are smart, have good gps programs and today's high quality gear are truly prepared to deal with a dead elk that far back though. I frequently run across ML and archery guys while I'm grouse hunting a few miles in that don't have much more with them than a water bottle and their weapon.
 

HalfAce

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Jul 6, 2013
Messages
547
Good observation. Ive noticed the same the last 3 or so years. I had a good opening morning elk spot, about 6 miles in, that used to have little traffic. Two seasons ago I got in there before grey light. When it got light enough to see i was scared for my life and had to find a new spot to sit because there were a minimum of 7 other guys doted all over on both sides of where some elk always come through. Didn't want to get in the cross fire for when the elk would inevitably show and the hunters inevitably turn into werewolves every time they see an elk, forgetting all the rules of safe hunting.
 
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