WY Rifle - Hoback vs Sierra Madre

badlander

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Feb 18, 2014
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I posted here a few weeks back about my unsuccessful guided archery elk hunt that has left me planning on short notice a solo rifle elk hunt. I've spent a ton of time going thru the Job Completion reports, harvest stats, maps etc... and I think I have a decent plan in place for either of these areas.

These are 2 very different hunts between # of hunters, # of elk but my #1 priority is opportunity to harvest a legal elk. My last 2 elk tags/3 elk hunts have gone unfilled/unsuccessful and Id really like a freezer full of elk meat. A bull would be nice but the first adult cow that I have in range is in danger.

There are a few questions that I have regarding each that might help me make a final decision. If you've been in either recently and are willing to share some specifics, please drop me a PM. I can tell you what i'm wondering about either. Tons of basic info online here for one, not much for the other and Im pretty sure i've read it all, which tells me a lot right there. I'd rather not add too many specifics to the online database of info so please PM me if you're willing.

A big part of my decision making process is that I am solo and on foot so I wont be packing in and hunting 5-6miles back. As far as bears go i'm staying under my topper until I find something worth camping on then if necessary I have bear fence etc... If I decide to set up a more comfortable camp. I've got bear spray, a 12ga and a healthy respect for grizz and a clean camp after spending time in SW MT and on Kodiak island.

Thanks in advance for any help you can share!
 

TheTone

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Any reason not to hunt the area you were in for the archery hunt?
 

Pagosa

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No grizzlies in the Sienna Madre, but lots of beatle kill. I don’t have anymore specific information
 

2rocky

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SM because of
closeness to your home.
Lack of big bears
Somewhat gentler terrain
Better roads getting there in late season
Less wilderness
 
Last edited:

nrpate05

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So, I’ve read quite a bit about this area being better late than early. Any truth to that?

Missing opener craziness didn’t sound horrible.
I think there is truth to that, especially if you don't want to pack in aways. It is also a lot of Wilderness as I recall so may limit you if you are NR.The elk start migrating out closer to the road when there is snow but it will likely be November before any real migration.
 

badlander

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Feb 18, 2014
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I think there is truth to that, especially if you don't want to pack in aways. It is also a lot of Wilderness as I recall so may limit you if you are NR.The elk start migrating out closer to the road when there is snow but it will likely be November before any real migration.
Definitely wilderness in there but there is plenty of ground outside of it to roam as well and honestly, hunting alone and packing out alone, most of the access points don’t get close enough to matter for me.

Thank for the insight!
 

badlander

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Feb 18, 2014
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Later can/will bring snow in the SM. And lots of it. Be prepared.
And the wind, it does blow.
Yeah, either way I’ve got my schedule cleared to head out 10/15 because I had to start clearing my work schedule before I knew where I was headed.

I suspect that the potential for snow, rain, muddy roads etc… is similar in both places. That’s probably a check in the SM column. If I ever got stuck, with 5000+ people hunting there I’m sure another truck would be along to help within 10min or so…!
 

badlander

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973A5347-A0CA-45B9-8DAD-5640DB4196C1.jpeg I know everyone hates people asking for advice then never posting a follow up:

Everyone’s advice here was overwhelmingly pointing me one direction, so after battling weather to make it out there I was off to WY.

My goal was simply the first legal elk that gave me an opportunity and it didn’t take real long to find that. Looking forward to my next WY tag, would love to spend a little more time exploring the area!
 

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