Solo diy archery hunt

kellerdairyhunter

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Mar 28, 2018
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I am thinking about next year heading out west to go elk hunting for my first time. I am thinking about doing archer either in wyoming Idaho or Montana. How hard is it to go solo in the rut?
 

genesis273

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If you've never been, that may be a little tough logistically, mentally, and physically. Of course we've never met and you may be fine, but it's pretty tough. Especially if you're successful!
 

elkhnter

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Somewhere in the camper!
Idaho’s sold out, maybe a leftover in Wyoming. Don’t know about about Montana.
OTC Colorado would be your best bet. Kinda late in the year to decide to take up elk hunting for the first time.
What state do you live in?
 

Brow Tine

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It's difficult to process an elk solo if you get one. You probably want a companion or switch to a smaller animal like deer or antelope for a first time solo hunt.

In regard to location, I would purchase WY preference point now (deadline is October 31st for 2019) and then apply for WY next year with one point. If you do not draw WY then buy MT or ID next summer.
 

kellerdairyhunter

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I am looking in the fall of 2020. I am also interested in borrowing some pack animals. Would that help? Is it doable? My wonder is with calling elk!
 

LopeHunter

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Pack animals logistically complicate things up until have a critter on the ground then become a plus. Have you worked with mountain horses or other pack animals? A mountain horse is not quite the same as a saddle horse can ride in the East or Midwest. I would say pack animals add two hours of work a day to a hunt.

You might be able to arrange to hire someone to pack you out (and maybe pack you in). An elk hunt that is 3 miles from the trail head adds up to around 12-15 miles of hiking after the kill with over half of that with 100 pounds of weight packing out if doing this on foot.

Pronghorn hunt is an easy pack out. Deer hunt is moderate. Elk is painful and in warm weather can result in risk of spoiled meat if a rough pack out is involved with a lot of distance or steep stuff or lots of debris to navigate.

Having the right gear to use during the pack in, to use at camp and for the hunt itself can get pricey if looking to cut weight and still have quality gear.

If you can tick enough of the boxes re caring for pack animals, having the right gear, etc, then lots of Western hunt you can draw in 2020 in various sorts of terrain, weapon type, number of other hunters, harvest rates and animal age/size. GoHunt is a good resource as can set variables as investigate a species in a state.
 

ntodwild

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In my eyes I don't see Elk hunting as a solo event. Specially a back pack hunt. Im not saying it can't be done. Plenty of people have done it. I have done a solo mule deer back pack hunt and tagged out. I found out very quickly that even a mule deer down 4 miles in as a solo hunter is a serious logistic challenge. Heck its difficult hunting out of a base camp of 4 guys and hauling an elk out that has been taken within a mile or two. Early Archery posses some very interesting challenges out west depending on where you hunt. Know how to process an elk using the gutless method and know how to bone out the meat in a timely manner. Early season will pose many challenges for a single hunter in the back country when it comes to processing meat (predators, heat, time and multiple trips).

A minimum of one partner would be my recommendation. Just my .02

A good strategy that can save you a ton of money would be an over the counter tag somewhere. Idaho comes to mind. Share the cost with a partner or two for the single tag, draw straws for who's name gets placed on the tag (who the shooter will be). All share in the experience and cost as well as the meat if an animal is taken. Obviously this doesn't work for those who wish to pull the trigger but if your looking to come out west and get a true taste of Elk hunting it's a great way to do it in a cost effective manner.
 

dgc1963

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lots of guys have a lot more experience on here but heres my 2 cents from a guy that is 35 hrs away from the area I go to hunt elk, solo would be real tough for a first trip if its a back country hunt, If you find a place that you are closer to your truck or have atv or motorcycle access it can be done . Having help in the back country can make or break a trip esp if you have never been Ive taken first timers out and they usually are over whelmed when they get their know matter how much they try to educated themselves those mtns are a lot bigger in person lol.
 

Brow Tine

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Calling in a bull will probably be one of the easier aspects of a solo elk hunt. Last season in Idaho we were stomping downhill through tall sagebrush and a bull heard us, bugled at us, and then came running to us! That was in rifle season on October 20th. It was my nephew's first elk hunt and he shot the bull. It was a five point. That kid followed me for days up and down those steep Idaho mountains without a complaint for days and to have it end that way was amazing.

It's like somebody told me at the workplace, "If they love you, you can't do anything wrong. If they hate you, you can't do anything right." Well it's like that with hunting elk, too. Sometimes you can do everything right still and get skunked. Great hunters seem to create a new level of luck within themselves to be successful. The right attitude is one of the most important ingredients to getting a bull.
 

RockinU

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I am looking in the fall of 2020. I am also interested in borrowing some pack animals. Would that help? Is it doable? My wonder is with calling elk!
I've worked with horses most every day of my life, and the thought of managing a pack string while trying to hunt does not appeal to me at all. Especially solo it will steal a lot of time. No experience with llamas though.
 

3855WIN

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I am looking in the fall of 2020. I am also interested in borrowing some pack animals. Would that help? Is it doable? My wonder is with calling elk!
You can learn how to call elk on your cross country drive.
Do you turkey hunt? If not, try to turkey hunt this spring.
You can also sit wallows and waterholes as well as spot and stalk.
 

Gila

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You can learn how to call elk on your cross country drive.
Do you turkey hunt? If not, try to turkey hunt this spring.
You can also sit wallows and waterholes as well as spot and stalk.
That is how I found elk to put in for next year. I had bronchitis this past spring so I couldn't hike very far from the truck. In fact I was only able to hunt a couple hours of one day so I didn't get a Merriams this year. It is in an unpopular area for elk hunts so I have a decent chance at drawing a 1st archery tag. The pack out would be steep but not far. Have game cart, will travel! 😁

If you are young and in decent shape, I don't see why you shouldn't go for a DIY hunt. I would think if you cut up the meat right away and then hang the meat in the shade with quality bags that several trips out would be feasible. Heck I'm an overweight, old fart and I prefer DIY hunts. I can't get out very far these days but somtimes you don't have to. Just plan your hunt and work your plan.
 

Gila

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I've worked with horses most every day of my life, and the thought of managing a pack string while trying to hunt does not appeal to me at all. Especially solo it will steal a lot of time. No experience with llamas though.
I wouldn't take any horses out there that I don't own and are not used to the trails. And if I would take horses I wouldn't go it alone.
 

kellerdairyhunter

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Mar 28, 2018
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After Watching randy newberg with Beau Beaty and his llamas I guess i am intrigued with using them. I have 2 points for wyoming and 1 point in montana. Is there a unit that anyone would recomend in either Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming that would be good for a first time hunt? I want a unit where I can back pack to the backcountry!
 
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Give Beau a call and rent a couple Llamas. They are easy to handle and make the hunt a lot easier. If thats not possible, hunting solo is very possible. Personally I think the hunt itself is easier solo. Hunt where you want and how you want without other opinions. The only thing that makes it tough happens after the elk is on the ground. Make sure you're in shape. One or two loads packing out an elk sucks, but the 3rd load is a killer. Most of my hunting is solo and I've been able to pack out a couple elk from deep in the back country. If you do get an elk down the best advise I can give you is don't try packing it out is as few loads as possible. I learned this lesson quick. First solo elk I loaded up my pack as heavy as I could figuring I would take the heavy load out while my legs were semi fresh. Ended up killing my muscles and joints which made the second load even worse, and then needed a day off to get the final load out which was still painful. I learned the best thing to do is pack out a boned out hind and front quarters. Next load take out the other hind and front quarters. And on the final load I take the head, backstraps, and other scraps. All very manageable to pack.
 

ChrisS

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Dec 29, 2016
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If you haven't camped solo before, try it. Go on a 3-day solo backcountry fishing trip. You've got time this year.

For you're first time, I'd recommend a deer or pronghorn hunt in an state/area you think you want to hunt elk in. They're typically easier to draw and cheaper. Plus, they don't weigh 500 lbs.
 
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