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2018 OTC archery hunting
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I am looking for any assistance in finding an OTC unit that holds good numbers of elk, with the animals being a little harder to access (require a hike 5-8 miles to access). I am tired of running in to high hunter numbers and pressured elk. I am not afraid of putting in leg work, but have limited time to scout and elk experience. I am not looking for any ones given honey hole, just a place to start. Thank you
Start with the statistics page on the cpw website. Click on 2016 harvest stats. Study those.
Jb, "limited elk experience". Do you understand the effort to pack out an elk (200 # of boned out elk meat) 5-8 miles from your truck and over a variety of terrain. If you find this area, try to find a licensed packer unless you have your own animals. 8 pt has suggest a good starting point.
In addition to the meat, most OTC units are 4pt or better so you have to bring the head out Even if it's a spike with long brow tines.
I hate to bring a somewhat negative tone to the thread but...What you're asking for is exactly what 90% of archery guys are out there searching for. There's no such thing as going "deep" enough anymore, to get away from the masses. Also, as was previously stated...If you've never packed out an elk, you're eyes might just be bigger than you can handle. Look at maps, go where it's the nastiest country you can find. Then you might find your own set of holes.
Sounds like great trip but I wouldn't be stuck on the 5-8 miles thing. As stated above, being that deep with a dead elk and camp to get out alone can turn out bad pretty easily.
In a whole bunch of our wilderness areas, if you hike in 8 miles the folks you run into hiked in fewer miles from the other side. Sometimes one big hill is enough to have an area 1 mile from the road all to yourself.
Backpack hunting is a great adventure but most elk are killed by guys who started hiking from a road that morning. I don't have any secret wilderness spots to share but the Zirkels and West Elk would be on my list.
I apprecate the help and input, I have taken 3 elk with the rifle in draw units and had to pack them out over distances ranging from 4 to 6 miles solo. I am no stranger to the work it takes to get the animal out. I will use the info provided here to help narrow down a GMU for OTC archery hunting next year. Thank you all again.
I concentrate my elk hunting to 1/2 - 3/4 mi from my truck. Nary a soul, just elk.
Love it when everyone wants to go deep
Good luck in your hunts/hikes
I have killed 6 bulls and 4 cows in view of the road and 1 cow 4.5 miles back in. I will never shoot another elk that I have to carry out by myself 4.5 miles back in. Good luck trying that 5-8 mile hike.
Cant be Done!!!
You go back 5-8 miles and there are outfitters there, otc hunters, sometimes more hunters than 1/4 mile from the road?? If there was a place and it was told over the internet then there would be at least 10 people hunting back there. Even if its a PM.
Learn to hunt pressured elk as that's all there is on otc public land anyway. Kind of like rifle hunting back east. Take a stand and let the elk come to you. In the right spots it gets almost too good! Twenty years ago calling and stalking was the way to go, not now in my experience anyway. A little calling though can still help. Spot and Stalk alert elk is harder than it used to be also. I used to get a good shot from at least 50% of my stalks in the eighties. Now I don't waste my time even trying. Too many alert eyes. Except if I can circle ahead and let them walk into me. Like said above more people back in than ever. If you're on the east slope areas with less elk have fewer hunters and bigger bulls if that's what you're after. Hunting areas with less elk overall can give you what you seek. Large numbers of elk draw large numbers of hunters. Knowing the country well that you hunt as well as the elk in your area is more important than the numbers of elk.