Snowys vs the Madres

isu22andy

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Jun 23, 2017
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Iowa
Never stepped foot in any of this area or been elk hunting for that matter so bear (ha) with me ...Hopefully drawing a WY General tag , Im curious on whats the difference between the two as far as terrain and hunting pressure ? One steeper dryer more blown down ect ??? Ive heard these areas compared to Colorado OTC and then Ive heard bugles keep ya up all night.... Which is it in your experience? I hate to sound repetitive but Im just looking to get my feet wet in hunting bugling bulls...

How much better of quality of hunt is in Grizz country ? The harvest odds of non griz country in the south is relatively pretty similar to the stuff up north. Is this something Non residents make a big deal of that isnt a big deal ? Thoughts help and advice appreciated. PMs are welcome too.

Thanks
 

MNElkNut

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I hunted the madres in 2020 and the number of people was insane. I had hunted it twice before but this last time was crazy. It was hard to find a place to camp even. Dont know what happened in 2021, but between the blowdown and the people, it was not like our previous trips.


Never hunted the Snowys, so I cannot comment on that area.
 

nettereo16

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I imagine they are very similar in terms of elk, terrain, pressure. I've only hunted the Snowies. It got crowded for sure. Some days elk were active and others were dead.
 

Dougfirtree

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I really don't want to de-rail your thread, but I think someone should come up with a system of measurement for hunter crowding. When I read about crazy crowds, I need some way to quantify. I'm picturing some complicated algorithm that does 'hunters per acre' and then cross references that with the number of acres within 3 miles of an access point, then factors in estimated mileage of ATV accessible trails, to create a value that means something.
 
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MNElkNut

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obviously there is some interpretation. what is crowded to some is paradise to others. But when every trailhead has lots of vehicles, ATVs are constantly running the trails, and every place to camp is full it is crowded. We saw people camping where they shouldnt have, but there was no where else to go. The atv traffic was constant. Their had to be hundreds of people hunting the 10? square miles where we were.
 

Cornell Cowboy

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Laramie, WY
Both the Sierras and the Snowies are pretty crowded and the blowdown is bad in both. I think the blowdown is contributing the feeling of being crowded--in many places no one can really walk through the timber anymore, so everyone is on the edges where you can see them. On opening morning in the Snowies last year, I only glassed one elk (they seemed to have moved out a week earlier, which was unusual) but I counted 12 other hunters between me and that elk.
 

huntindawg

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I haven't hunted either but have been there during the season and would say in general the madres are more crowded than the snowies.

We pulled out the evening before the gun opener and the traffic of folks headed in to the madres to make camp was unbelievable.
 

Cornell Cowboy

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Laramie, WY
I haven't hunted either but have been there during the season and would say in general the madres are more crowded than the snowies.

We pulled out the evening before the gun opener and the traffic of folks headed in to the madres to make camp was unbelievable.
The traffic is at least as bad in the Snowies. But lots of guys will just drive up to the Snowies and hunt for the day -- the Sierras are a bit too far for that, so my experience is that more of the hunters in the Sierras are also camping.
 

thomas89

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Busier than is enjoyable. Don’t bother.

Pro Tip: find the guys who live in Wyoming, PM them for advice. These units are all already blown up. An easily searchable topic that adds several groups to one area or another just because someone was searching blanket advice.
 

Carl 9.3x62

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I hunted the madres in 2020 and the number of people was insane. I had hunted it twice before but this last time was crazy. It was hard to find a place to camp even. Dont know what happened in 2021, but between the blowdown and the people, it was not like our previous trips.


Never hunted the Snowys, so I cannot comment on that area.
I think the fire in the Snowies in 2020 caused a lot of folks to hunt the Madres, as half the Snowies was shut down.

I've hunted both with mixed success. Both hold elk. Both can be crowded. Get away from the roads.
 

BRETTPSU

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Dec 12, 2013
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Both are very hard to get away from hunters. I've mostly road camped in both ranges but have spiked out at times. When you hike 4 miles back in and find 3 different camps spread 1/2 mile to 1 mile apart from one another that's deflating. Like someone else mentioned above it can be hard to even find a roadside camping spot. Hunted mule deer in the Salt River Range 5 or 6 years ago and didn't see nearly the hunters that the Snowies and Madres get but didn't see a ton of elk in there either. Do believe my next general tag I will try the western side for a little more solitude.....or at least I hope for more solitude.
 

JAG

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Alabama
I really don't want to de-rail your thread, but I think someone should come up with a system of measurement for hunter crowding. When I read about crazy crowds, I need some way to quantify. I'm picturing some complicated algorithm that does 'hunters per acre' and then cross references that with the number of acres within 3 miles of an access point, then factors in estimated mileage of ATV accessible trails, to create a value that means something.
I agree. I went to a wilderness area in Colorado that was notorious for having lots of crowds and found a place where nobody was around except an outfitter tent across the valley. The crowds were there in this unit, but not in our hunted area.
 

Dougfirtree

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I agree. I went to a wilderness area in Colorado that was notorious for having lots of crowds and found a place where nobody was around except an outfitter tent across the valley. The crowds were there in this unit, but not in our hunted area.
Yes, and someone from rural Pennsylvania might look at the same level of pressure a Wyoming resident called "insane" and just call it, "kinda quiet, must be a good football game on."
 

JAG

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When you win a General Tag for WY, can you just go into any of the General units during the given season and hunt, or do you have to indicate on your tag or application which one you will hunt in?
 

FoodIsMemories

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SW MT
I really don't want to de-rail your thread, but I think someone should come up with a system of measurement for hunter crowding. When I read about crazy crowds, I need some way to quantify. I'm picturing some complicated algorithm that does 'hunters per acre' and then cross references that with the number of acres within 3 miles of an access point, then factors in estimated mileage of ATV accessible trails, to create a value that means something.
This was 8:40 AM.. I’d say at least 5-6 left within the hour prior to this photo. It was insanity. And still, I got an elk that day at that spot.. can’t have quit in your heart, brother lol
 

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BuzzH

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When you win a General Tag for WY, can you just go into any of the General units during the given season and hunt, or do you have to indicate on your tag or application which one you will hunt in?
Any, and its a coin flip between the Madres and Snowies...if you can't find an elk in either don't bother applying in any other state with elk.
 

Dougfirtree

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This was 8:40 AM.. I’d say at least 5-6 left within the hour prior to this photo. It was insanity. And still, I got an elk that day at that spot.. can’t have quit in your heart, brother lol
I get it, and congrats on the elk! All I'm saying is everything is relative. This is a picture of anglers on the Salmon river in Pulaski, NY.
pulaski.png
 

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