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Hunt advice??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2004 at 19:09
chasseur106 View Drop Down
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A friend of mine and I want to go out west to hunt Elk, or buffalo or mule deer.  We are getting sticker shock from what some guys want to charge to do that.  I found out that Idaho has some very reasonable tag fees and licenses, and that they have a lot of public land that does not cost a great deal.

         I also thought of Alaska.  Anyone care to give me their experiences or can recommend a good guide witha high percentage of success? 

             That is what I put that new Burris Black Diamond on in 4-16 PA side focus.  A .300 Win Mag.  I have to get into shape, and really get into shape to walk around at an elevation of 6-8000 feet above sea level.  I also need to read about how best to hunt for elk, (primary target), so I know what to do and what not to do on the hunt, without feeling like so much of a newbie out in lands that I have never lived.  Any suggestions on what sort of books to read.?? 

         The hunt is about 14 months away, and i have some time to think about where to specifically go and what to specifically bring.

        Also, I was planning on driving out there so that I can take the meat home with me, not just a rack, and memories, or remorse.

    Since I drive truck, I have looked at flying as an only if I am going out to meet the relatives sort of a deal.  I have been to every state at least 3 times in a big rig.  Except for Florida

           Thanks,

                  Scott

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 21:34
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Just for the heck of it, look up Jim McCarthy adventures on the net. He really goes out of his way to tailor a hunt and your financial needs. I know how you feel about entering into something that represents your hard earned dollars. Jim McCarthy has been in the business for 20+ years and most of his clients are repeat.

 

I have heard of a lot of horror stories and it can be difficult to get reputable references. Ask about " Trophy Fee's, what their success was last year, how many " guides" per hunter and their accommodations. Jim will give you the straight scoop. There are a ton of "fly by night" outfitters that such in people and close shop when the heat is on. Also, look into the non-resident hunting rules. Hunting is becoming a rich man's sport. Whatever you decide on, I wish you good luck.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2004 at 15:31
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Chasseur, you have one part figured out, get into shape. Nothing will let you know how out of shape you are like an elk hunt. I have had a chance to go three times, one Idaho, two and three in Montana. The Idaho trip was my honeymoon, or part of it. We went with an outfitter north east of CordaLane, allmost to Canada. You could not have convinced me that we were not going to have two great elk on the way home. Turns out that the outfitter was just blowing smoke up my nether region. If you choose to go with an outfitter make sure to get LOTS of refrences. We did not see one elk, or deer, or bear, or mountain lion. You could at the time get all of those tags over the counter, without drawing. The trip was a lot of fun, but I should not have had the idea that we were going to get the chance to take one. In Montana we were hunting the northern border of Yellow Stone, outside of Gardner. We saw lots of elk, but all in the park. There were so many hunters there that I will never go back. I kept thinking I was going to get shot. You can get topos and great info by calling the Fish and Game department of which ever state you choose to hunt. I would start that asap, it is a huge help if you are not allready acustomed to the area. Mr Finn is right about the rich mans sport. I am trying to arange a hunt for next year and cannot find a reputable outfit for under 4 thousand, plus getting there and back. Its not a for sure thing but check out http://www.huntuso.com/pricing.shtml .Best of luck.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2004 at 17:54
chasseur106 View Drop Down
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Thanks Trigger Time,

       I was looking at the St. Anthony Idaho area.  I realize that it is mostly a spike only area, but for my first hunt out west I wanted something that I was probably going to be assured of an easy kill, if I were to do this one on my own.  I recently saw a video describing elk archery hunting, and wow do they get close.

       ANyway, I now have two more local guys to hunt with so that should ensure that everyone is going to be helping me plan, and cross check our equip list.  I have the dually, and one of the new guys has the fifth wheel.  All we need now is a hitch.  He probably has that as well.

          Thanks for sharing your experience about game guides and fly-by-nighters!  That is the one thing we are most afraid of getting involved with, without knowing anyone personally show can give us the details of his hunt.  I am going to try another search for Jim McCarthy on the internet, the last time I tried, I got a goose egg.

                 I'll let you know, and keep you posted. 

                               Chasseur106

          

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2004 at 20:56
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From St. Anthony go north to Ashton then go east thru Ashton until you find signs that say Upper Mesa Falls, either go north until you hit the park border or to the east until you hit Rockfeller parkway. When the elk start to migrate out of the park (right now) the locals will know, stop at a small cafe buy breakfast and ask.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2004 at 04:19
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On your own elk hunting isn't something most Easterner's can do.  Our western mountains will kill you, hire and outfitter at least the first time you go.  I gew up in Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana.  I have hunted elk, in Wyoming, Montana, and New Mexico.  Your better off undestanding that success isn't assured and only 50% of the locals will kill and elk.  I said locals, and that's important to remember, they know where the elk are.  We were 2 for 4 in 2003, and though I wasn't there they were 1 for 3 this year and that's in an area my family has been hunting for 50 years.

 

Most quality western deer are on private land or places like the Paunsaugnaunt, Kaibab, NW Wyoming, or those other hard to draw areas.

 

Subscribe to the Eastmans Journal, read it vigorously.  Mike Eastman puts quite a bit of how to info in the subscriber only sections.

 

The trophy connection has fair deals on trophy buffalo hunts on big ranches in Eastern Wyoming.  I beleive they are $2500.  You will be lucky to find a quality elk hunt for less than $5000 where success is 50-75% on 300 B&C bulls.  For 100% succes on 350+ bulls you'll spend $1000-15000.  It takes 375 to be in the all time Boone and Crocket book.  Boone and Crocket mule deer prices will be similar to those of elk on simliar private land.  You can hunt "free ranging" buffalo that qualify for B&C in South Dakota in Custer State Park.  The park charges $4000.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2004 at 21:43
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Try Jim McCarthy Adventures.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2004 at 23:17
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Read everything by Craig Boddington and Jim Zumbo.  Jim is the grand master of elk hunting.  Safari Outfitters in Cody Wyoming, Cabelas, the Trophy Connection, and the Hunting Consortium all have good outfitters they book for.  Call all of them maybe they will have a cancelation you can buy for cheaper. 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2004 at 13:43
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You could be like Chris (Swfa) and go kill a high fenced elk in Sasketchewan.  Probably pretty high dollar though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2004 at 18:48
chasseur106 View Drop Down
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Thanks. 

  I never thought of booking it through Cabelas.  I should have since I spend enough other money there for gear and the like. 

        I just acquired a 7mm WSM for a friend of mine that wants to go with me.  I am putting the Leupold Vari X III on it that used to be on my .300 Win Mag.  It came to me because another guy decided not to go out west and really could not justify it for the whitetail deer around here.  I have never owned a 7mm, so I hope it will be effective on elk, and not just deliver the energy of a .30 - '06.  Even though I know a .30- ' 06 will kill an elk, I am not sure that it will have the range necessary to poke them out to 500 yards.  I have shot that far with my ' 06 and so I know I could consistently group them in about a 4 inch circle, with carefully supported firing positions.

        I will try Cabelas.

             Scott

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2004 at 23:25
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Elk at 500 yards is 90% BS never killed one that far, never needed to.  The 30-06 with 180 grain premium bullets is a better elk killer than any 7mm until you get into that 7mm ultra or Lazeroni power.

 

Cabelas has a lot of decent deals on cancelation hunts

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/18/2004 at 09:33
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i dont beleave the 7WSM will fully penetrate an elk at 500 yards, a 30-06 might, but you have to step up to atleat 300 win mag to get full penetration at that distance. 500 yards is a LONG way for an elk, and they are big animals. ditto to kokdyer, use the 30-06 with i 180 scirrocco or something, there is no need for a shot over 200 yards, 300 at the maxumum.

 

cory



Edited by redneckbmxer24
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/18/2004 at 17:43
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500 yards is a long way for anything!

 

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/20/2004 at 00:52
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I think all the mentioned rounds will make a hole. Its a matter of where the hole ends up out at 500 yrds.

the 7mm wsm in 160g will hit with about 1,690 ft lbs of energy @ 2,180 fps.

the 30/06 in 180g is 1,490 ft lbs @1,900 fps

and the 300 wsm in 180g is 1830 ft lbs @2,144 fps.

The big issue is the drop. All are between -36" and -45". and that does not include the wind factor and load options.

I agree the 30/06 is top notch for elk although for an Alaska hunt I might opt for a bit more punch and take a .338.

 

As far as the hunt is concerned, My neighbor is a guide in Alaska 6 months out of the year and I will try to catch up with him for a card or web info. Not sure if he is back in town or not.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/24/2004 at 09:22
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If you have to shoot at 500 yards your probably not a very good hunter, or a very ethical one either.  Figure out a way to get closer before you go launching shots that far and the caliber becomes less of an issue.  Elk are big, but they are still thin-skinned game.  Any 30-06, 270, 7mag will kill elk at reasonable distance.  Bullet placement is key.  You'd be surprised how much bullet drift there is at long range even in light winds (10 mi/hr crosswinds).  Like I say, get closer or don't shoot.  There is no reason for the ranges you mention no matter where your hunting. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/24/2004 at 10:56
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This could easily turn into a 30-06 versus whatever debate.  That wasn't the intent.  (Besides Elmer Kieth said that the 270 made a damn fine coyote rifle).  All jokes aside!

 

I have plans to move back to Alaska in October of next year.  I am working on getting recruiting orders up there.  I think Fairbanks, but I am not too sure how things are going to work out.

 

Another possability and one not previously addressed.  Is that you could drive out to a western state.  Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, or where ever you draw a tag.  Show up 3 days before the opener, scout, camp, and try and figure them out.  Dont' put too much scent in the bush as elk don't like it.  Hunt for a week and if you killed a bull great, if  you didn't great too.  You would probably be out $2000 tops.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/07/2004 at 18:53
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To the original message I have a couple comments based on my limited experience hunting in the great state of Washington.  Clearly, not the state everyone thinks of when talking elk hunting, though we do rank ahead of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona in elk population.  We're actually 5th, right behind Wyoming.  The downside to elk hunting east of the mountains, where the numbers are better and so is the weather (i.e. not rainy), it is spike only unless you draw a branched antler tag.  West of the mountains, if you don't mind hunting in the rain most of the time you can take any bull.  Most all shots on elk in this state are under 200 yrds.  I would also imagine, judging from my fathers stories on hunting in MT, CO and ID for elk and mule deer that the shots in the hilly mountains are often at the same distance.  The two elk I've taken were with a 30-06 at about 80 yards and a 338 at about 200 yrds, neither one went more than 10 yards.  I'm sure the 7MM will provide the necessary horsepower at reasonable distances.

 

As far as mule deer go, we have some excellent hunting out here.  I'm attaching a picture my cousin sent me from his hunt this year with Okanogan Valley Guide Service www.okanoganvalleyguideservice.com (horribly long url).  Jim Zumbo was also with them filming one of his shows for the Outdoor Channel.  He took this nice 4x4 mulie that he said was one of the nicest he had taken (out of 190 that he has taken to date) and was going to have it mounted.  Weighed 300 lbs field dressed and was 26 inches wide (many might think that isn't very wide but looks nice to me).  Since Zumbo was mentioned in one of the posts and since the original post asked for Western mule deer and elk I thought I'd throw out Washington as a possible option.  In reality, I would go to Colorado, though the mule deer population has been on the decline, or so they say.  In fact that's where I'm planning my trip for next year as I have a buddy who lives in Steamboat who can hopefully help me find an elk in the Craig area.

Regardless of where you go, I think the basic question you need to answer is whether or not you and your buddies want a guided hunt and what that means to you.  For example, if you are planning on pulling your trailer all that way, perhaps you just want a spot to camp where you think you'll have a reasonable opportunity to see some game.  If you want a trophy and want to pay the money and have a guide show you where they have taken game in the past and where they have spotted them for the current season, that knowledge doesn't come cheap.  Another alternative that many horse packing guides offer are "drop camps" where for $500-600 per person they will pack you and your gear to a spot you'll likely see game and will come back and pick you up at a predetermined date.  This is one option i think looks very reasonable and probably offers a better chance of success than just going to a new place with little knowledge of the area.  Sorry for the long ramble.

 

 

resized the image to better fit the page. - CF



Edited by Chris
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