Wyoming general elk tag units

I spent 4-5 yrs living and doing fisheries work in the NW corner of WY where bear densities are very high. We didn't have an encounter in those years while seeing fresh sign basically every day.

1. Keep a clean camp. Nothing with smells ever in your tent, period. I also piss around my tent. Beware, this can attract deer, etc. I've been terrified of a mtn goat licking up my piss in the middle of the night outside my tent. But, I think it makes a difference with predators.
2. If we cooked, it was away from where we slept. Best case is MTN house type stuff, much less aromatic than cooking food.
3. Hang food at least 100 yds from camp. I also piss around the bear hang.
4. Know what areas bears are using. They use riparian areas as travel corridors, you could try to avoid them around dusk or daylight.
5. If you kill an animal, pay attention while cleaning it. If you have to leave an animal over night, we always leave a sweaty base layer and piss all around the meat. Separate the meat from the body/guts, leaving it in an open area you can approach and see any bear activity. DO NOT drag anything you are leaving overnight. Dragging things increases the likelihood a bear will come across the scent exponentially.
6. If possible, make noise. If you are packing out, I would be yelling "Hey Bear" with regularity.
7. Just pay attention in general. Look for movement, smells, wind direction etc. I'm always amazed by how many people we see in the woods that have no idea of our presence until I announce it. I'm talking close range, less than 50 yards.
Good list. Seems like a lot of pissing. How much water do you drink on these trips. ;)
My advice is don't hunt alone and keep your head on a swivel. Also if you do get a elk on the ground know how to break it down in a timely manner.
I would add don't become complacent if you aren't seeing bear sign, practice all your safety procedures all the time.

I'd say archery is slightly riskier just because you don't have a rifle, you're sneaking around being quite in more cover a lot and probably calling which can sometimes attract them, and it's easy to get excited and forget about bears when there's screaming bulls. Just things to keep in mind.

Have lightweight carabiners and paracord for each elk you might harvest, learn how to make block and tackle, I've been able to hang half a cow or smaller bull per setup lifting by myself. It's worth practicing before you kill something so you can be efficient in the field. I like to leapfrog the meat away from the carcass as I go, pile quarters about 100 yards away, then start moving them about 1/4 mile away and hang if possible, then locate a good hanging spot about a mile away if you have a longer pack out that will take a couple/few days. Most of my kills have been in the afternoon, but I haven't hunted real dense bear country, I'd be pretty nervous working on one after dark where the bears are thick.


Also always have your meat hauling pack so you can get a load the first trip, I made the mistake of hunting with a daypack while spiked in about 3 miles and ended up killing a cow 3 or 4 miles deeper and lost a whole day to not being able to take a load first trip.
You’re more likely to die from a car crash driving to your hunt then running into a grizzly encounter. Just be smart and cautious. I’m always amazed how grizzly bears are never talked about on Alaska hunts but are a big deal around yellowstone and in the bob.
Not necessarily, depending on the area he chooses. I've been charged by two sows with cubs in the past 3 years.
I’ll be 100% honest, during my one and only hunting trip in one of the units near the park, the grizzlies took some of the fun out of it.

The entire hunt is (better be) planned around dealing with G bears. It can take away from your focus on elk.
Have you considered looking at areas where there are no grizzlies if its a general tag, thats what I did.

Yes and no, we choose the units based off info we were given and thought they might be are best chance at seeing possibly getting a elk. Living in Florida are actual chance of scouting before the hunt is not going to happen.
Yes and no, we choose the units based off info we were given and thought they might be are best chance at seeing possibly getting a elk. Living in Florida are actual chance of scouting before the hunt is not going to happen.
If your coming from florida why would you drive past all that elk filled areas in south east Wyoming only to get into more difficult country and deal with predators? If this is your first elk hunt, my suggestion would be stick to planning a hunt in easier country and focus on getting in better shape to be able to hunt harder. If your not to size picky Wy general elk are not that hard to kill if your willing to work in any unit, why add the stress of constant bear concerns?
Yes and no, we choose the units based off info we were given and thought they might be are best chance at seeing possibly getting an elk. Living in Florida are actual chance of scouting before the hunt is not going to happen.
Your info is bad. There is a lot of opportunity to see and get an elk not in grizzly country. I would say more of an opportunity in non grizzly country. We saw bulls everyday and everyone who could walk had opportunities.
Absolutely not. I have no interest in killing a bear for simply being a bear.
Nothing wrong with predator management. You can eat it too. Just because the anti’s don’t want us to hunt them and manage them doesn’t make it right. Bears are not people. They’re animals the same as elk and deer.
Lot of really good advice on this thread. The post that sclancy27 did was especially good. Here are a few of my thoughts:

On the optimistic side:

When you consider how many hunters, hikers, horse packers, and backpackers are in the field every summer and fall and then look at the the number of published fatalities and serious maulings that have occurred, the numeric odds are GREATLY in your favor that you will not die or be injured by a Grizzly.

On the pessimistic side:
  • I feel that bears become more predatory in the fall of the year than they are during the summer. During the fall they are trying to store up calories and fat for a long winter. Elk and deer hunters are in the woods during the time of year that bears are the most predatory.
  • I have spent plenty of time at the gun club I am a member of and have found that MANY hunters that carry pistols do not spend the practice time to become accurate and effective with them. Many hunters do not understand bullet construction and often carry ammo that was designed for personal defense rather than woods defense.
  • Grizzlies are an Apex predator. They have no species of animal that preys on them (other than the very rare time that a wolf pack takes down a Grizzly). Since they are on the the ESA they cannot be hunted and over time that has changed their behavior. Since they are not accustomed to being hunted by humans in the lower 48 they way they are in Alaska I believe Grizzlies in the Lower 48 do not have the fear of man that they would if hunting was allowed down here.

So, is there some risk. YES there is risk, but I am not going to let that keep me out of the woods. I usually hunt alone. I usually backpack alone. That is more risky, but I am willing to accept that risk. Hunters like Jack O'Conner hunted all over the rockies during the 1950s with guns, bullets, and optics that are inferior to what we have today. I have a Glock 20 that I carry in Grizzly country. Jack did not have that. My opinion is be educated and informed about bear behavior. Practice and become proficient with your handgun, rifle, bear spray or whatever your carry and then go out in the woods and and hunt.
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Elite, having spent a good amount of time hunting in both wy and the far north you will notice a Big difference in the way lower 48 bears behave. If those northern bears pull that crap they end up front and center in a grip and grin. These greater Yellowstone rascals feel entitled.
we need a griz season, a little hunting they will fear man
I have no experience in Grizz country…but everytime I read one of these posts it makes me wanna go more and more!😁

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