Starting out- advice welcome

Zim

Active member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Messages
613
Location
LaPorte, IN
Flat rock,
I’m up at 22 points most species in Nevada and apply for all the lowest rated units and still don’t draw. Their squared system will implode soon. That is why I’m trying to burn mine on anything. Every point state has cheapened points when they start losing ground floor coin. Only a matter of time in Nevada. Ground floor entry there worsens exponentially every year! Any newbie who jumps in there clearly has not done his homework.
 
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deer_shooter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
1,441
Location
Southwest Pa.
Again, Gerald said it very well. If it were me and I had a little cash to play with, I'd apply in New Mexico every year for elk and deer - no point system so its just luck of the draw. Buy points for elk and deer in Arizona as all you need to do is buy the AZ license and apply for the points for each species, I think a nominal fee applies for the point. Arizona also has OTC deer archery tags for the month of January so its a pretty good deal. I'd buy points for elk, deer and antelope in Colorado and Wyoming - in both states you can just buy the points for a small fee for each. I am not familiar with the point systems/opportunities in Montana or Idaho.
For gear, use what you have and upgrade slowly. Primary things to focus on are boots, optics, pack, GPS, sleep system, tent
Boots - get what fits, regardless of brand. REI, Scheels, Sportsmans warehouse carry a few of the good brands so go try some on. Among the best are Kenetrek, Crispi, Lowa, Scarpa, Hanwag and Zamberlan.
Packs - same as boots, try some on and buy what fits and is comfortable. Stone Glacier and Kifaru were already mentioned. Add Mystery Ranch and Exo to that list.
Optics - get the best binoculars you can when you are able. A spotter can wait. The best include Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica. Other good brands include Steiner, Maven, Leupold and Vortex. I may be forgetting a couple.
GPS - I prefer a handheld gps over a phone but both options are viable.
Sleep system and tent options are dependent on what style of hunting you plan to do.

One thing to think about is to cut your teeth on a couple antelope and/or a deer hunts. Nothing builds confidence like a little success early.
 

SgtTanner

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
36
Super interesting read, and relevant to where I’m at. I’m a couple years into the points game, but still pretty new to western hunting. Some really good insight here.

For what it’s worth, here’s what I do: in a couple states I build deer/elk/antelope points, with the intent that every year I can draw one of these. Meaning each individual state/species is probably once every 3-6 years. I’m not looking at top tier units, just a good hunt with decent public land and average or better success rates.

I’m an Idaho resident, so I put in there for hunts to do with my brothers. Again, not top tier trophy stuff.

I dabble in sheep and moose in a couple states, but in very limited ways. Sometime in the next decade I hope to hunt the MT unlimited.

I save money every month for a once ever 5-10 years trip to some place like Alaska or Canada.

As for gear, I’ll echo what the others have said. Buy once, cry once. And don’t be afraid to buy used on those higher end items.
 

clint6760

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
4
As a western newbie my plan is this:

MONTANA is easy to buy points but tags are expensive. Can draw a general tag with only a couple of points

Wyoming is easy and cheap to buy points. Can hunt general elk tag every 3-5 years. Can hunt mule deer or antelope sooner

Colorado and Idaho I’m not buying points and can just hunt otc

Arizona- no plan yet here but probably going to start building points and hopefully drawing an elk tag every 5-7 years from what I can tell. No special units though.

New Mexico- all luck of the draw.

Have no plan for Nevada or Utah.
 

LopeHunter

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,464
Location
MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
LopeHunter that's how I want to do it. Would like to be putting in for the OIL tags longterm while hunting as large a variety as I can in the short.

Not hung up on record books either. While I would love to complete the North American 29, one handed, with all Booners, I am more than happy shooting mature representative animals.

Currently putting in for every category in TX and OK. I think ID and CO are next as far as points building. I realize the long odds for the big ones, but I'll be kicking myself when I'm 60 if I don't try.

Do you DIY it most of the time? Would really like to hunt on my own as much as possible.

Thanks for the replies.
Just noticed the old thread here is active and I never replied. Hey, better late than never.

I did DIY most of the time until 2017. Drew my first bull moose tag in 2016 in ID a few weeks after replied above. Was a lot of pain for over a week after pack out and another guy carried half the meat out that day. Now, I am no longer planning on going solo for elk or moose. I am also more willing to pay to get on private for a more relaxed hunt with fewer orange vests to have to out-hustle before dawn to sunset.

I like to hunt and prefer to hunt sooner than later. That said, my plans this year for elk and deer is to only apply to rut hunts with rifle or muzzleloader tags. Odds will be tougher than under my past strategy of low tag numbers with good harvest rates with no rut focus. Not trying to draw pronghorn so building points this year. OIL are tough odds as usual. This may be the first year since 2002 where I do not draw one or more tags. This last hunt season before turn 60.
 
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morley.tyler

Active member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
122
Location
PDX
As a western newbie my plan is this:

MONTANA is easy to buy points but tags are expensive. Can draw a general tag with only a couple of points

Wyoming is easy and cheap to buy points. Can hunt general elk tag every 3-5 years. Can hunt mule deer or antelope sooner

Colorado and Idaho I’m not buying points and can just hunt otc

Arizona- no plan yet here but probably going to start building points and hopefully drawing an elk tag every 5-7 years from what I can tell. No special units though.

New Mexico- all luck of the draw.

Have no plan for Nevada or Utah.
This is a great example of a blue-collar plan to hunt a lot. w/ this, a guy could hunt at least two states a year if not 3. That is more than most, working-class, married hunters can do. Nicely laid out.
 

clint6760

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
4
This is a great example of a blue-collar plan to hunt a lot. w/ this, a guy could hunt at least two states a year if not 3. That is more than most, working-class, married hunters can do. Nicely laid out.
Thanks. I’m new so it’s good to hear I’m on the right track. Don’t really have a long term plan for some awesome unit in the future.
 

morley.tyler

Active member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
122
Location
PDX
Thanks. I’m new so it’s good to hear I’m on the right track. Don’t really have a long term plan for some awesome unit in the future.
You don’t need a plan for a long term dream hunt. It’s the experience, camaraderie, and the landscape. It’s the table fare we gather. It’s the sound of the woods waking up around you.
that Awesome Hunt can be every hunt you go on. It’s up to you.
(although... Murphy’s law can still foul things up from time to time.)
 
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