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Which would be toughest animal…
…to kill and make P&Y. Don’t consider the difficulty of getting tag, getting to hunting location, cost, or access issues. Only if you could hunt a location that has a good representation of species and you are there with your bow and tag in pocket. At that point which could be the hardest to kill and make Pope and Young.
Assume you can get a tag you'd be excited about does not matter if public/private or state. No I am not looking for killing a P&Y whitetail on public in FL or a Live from CT whitetail hunt. But you have a Iowa whitetail tag and good ground to hunt. Or you are hunting Sitka on public on Kodak. In other words you have the time and money to hunt them free range and getting a tag does not play into it but you need to kill a P&Y class animals which one would you bet the least amount of money on you could get in done a week hunt that you gave it your all.
Pronghorn , Sitka , whitetail
I think if you could figure the number of hunters that pursue a given species, and the number of P&Y entries for that species, I think you'd find that the "hardest" would probably be the most popular and most accessible--like elk and mulie and whitetail.
Just a guess.
Public? Private? Draw zones? OTC? What state/province? So many variables.
Comes down to your definition of "a location that has a good representation of species." I think that's pretty hard to define. With that said, I'd say whitetail.
To me I put whitetails and pronghorn as two of the easiest if you have a decent place to hunt. Lots of critters I have not hunted. But of the ones I have, sheep was the hardest. Even in a area with a lot of sheep you have to cover ground, a lot of times when you find them they are not in a stockable spot they spook easily. Success rate are fairly low even though almost no pressure from other hunters. But that just me.
Edited original post
As to APauls assume you can get a tag you'd be excited about does not matter if public/private or state. No I am not looking for killing a P&Y whitetail on public in FL or a Live from CT whitetail hunt. But you have a Iowa whitetail tag and good ground to hunt. Or you are hunting Sitka on public on Kodak. In other words you have the time and money to hunt them free range and getting a tag does not play into it but you need to kill a P&Y class animals which one would you bet the least amount of money on you could get in done a week hunt that you gave it your all.
Whitetail for me, hands down. Any consideration taken into account with a person’s familiarity with a particular species?
EDIT: I misinterpreted your question, John. I’d say one of the sheep species, or mtn goat, due to the potential terrain encountered, as the main factor.
Big Blacktails are tough….only saw one in my hunts for them. Then again maybe the right private ranch….??? Big interior mountain grizzlies were few and far between when we still had a season for them in BC. Central Barren Ground Caribou have been super tough due to lack of animals during my previous 17 days of hunting them. Hopefully this year, next week, is different! The species (plural) it took me the longest to bag….all taking around 60 - 70 bowhunting days over several seasons are: CO bighorns, BC grizzly, BC Stone Sheep, BC Mountain Caribou.
I’m going with Grizzly simply because they’re tough to find, have an incredible nose and will either disappear like smoke or decide you look yummy. To the last point, the dangerous game part adds a pucker factor that’d make it that much harder to maintain composure and close the deal at close range with archery gear.
The minimum for Pronghorn and even more so all the sheep are extremely low and you’d be hard pressed to kill a sheep that wouldn’t make minimum.
Hardest? Mature mule deer. Mule deer are in trouble!
Tilzbow, T-Roy can speak to the pucker factor. Check out his grizzly post from this season. Lol
Sheep id guess. Numbers, terrain, weather variables
If I recall Chuck Adams said his toughest was mountain lion. I would think it would be sheep and goat due to getting close enough in that terrain with a bow.
Definitely sheep IMO. Haven't hunted grizzly yet but from the other posters thier hard to get. Nick Muche might disagree since he shots them regularity.:)
All things being equal it would have to be an animal that lives in a demanding environment such as a Big Horn or Stone Sheep. Even elk and some alpine Mule deer could be in that category. There is mental toughness required to sit in a blind or tree stand, however that doesn't compare imo. Hard to guess on animals I've never hunted.
Most legal Stone Sheep will make P&Y but they have proven to be among the most difficult species for bowhunters to take. Legal sheep are tough to find, and tough to trick into bow range, just about every where they exist.
Another one that might surprise you is NT Coues Deer. Very few in the book, for such a ubiquitous species.
I’ve hunted taken desert and bighorn and have to say there were right up there as the EASIEST along with whitetail and pronghorn. Guided Dall and those weren’t much harder. I know everyone has there own experiences for difficulty, for me it would have to be something I know nothing about in unfamiliar territory. Saying that it I’m going with Colombia Blacktail and my personal kryptonite Black Bear. Ive taken several bears I just can’t get a good one. I know guys that hunt Blacktail will say they’re no problem.
I believe Sticksender is right but I’ll add any antlered species NT
Probably stone sheep. Gotta find one that’s legal first. Then make a good stalk and hold it together for the shot. Not sure if there are any areas where they are prolific.
True Colombian blacktail not benchlegs. Lewis and Clark cried and ran back east after spending time on the coast if the PNW. One became a drunk and the other killed himself because if the experience.
This would be a close second https://youtu.be/fNncy1mUx1k
Actually the only thing that makes any of the animals tough is terrain. Where they live makes or breaks the toughness of game to kill
If any bighorn sheep lived in Kansas they would not rate in toughness to kill
I believe you are wrong RK. Sheep have in credible eyesight which would make them harder in the open fields of Kansas. As opposed to the above timeline open mountains they live on where a hunter can come over the ridge or use boulders to stalk behind.
Every animal has its weakness.
That sad part is that most hunters that think they are good hunters are successful when the animal is dumbest. Think about it to kill a majority of antlered animals they are hunted during the rut when they are focusing on other activities than staying alive. Therefore the toughest hunts would be the hunts when they are on top of their game Not During The Rut!!!
So the question is which one is easiest to get? I'd say black Bear from my experience.
What is interesting with bear if you hunt were baiting is legal (especially if someone is doing it for you) it probably is the easiest. Hunt a state with no baiting or dogs it probably up there as a hard one.
Shouldn’t that be another thread. Let’s stay with toughest. So far the majority is sheep but then again that’s just their opinion. I placed them on the easiest list
According to you criteria: Brown bear, Stone, Rocky bighorn and then Columbian blacktail. IMO
High County, above timberline Muley buck as they are almost always in bachelor groups during the bow dates and so many eyes and swirling winds in those basins.
Good luck, Robb
You’re going to have a tough time filling a Quebec labrador tag today
probably a polar bear, Its really cold there id imagine. that would make it tough. I remember watching a video with Fred Bear hunting polar bear and it didn't look like a whole lot of fun with -40 deg weather and no trees.
While I do not have the experience hunting different animals like most of y’all do, I immediately figured sheep, goats, and Coues deer would be high on the list of toughest animals. Sheep and goats because of the terrain, and Coues deer because from what I’ve observed and read, they are as nervous as a tom cat in room full of rocking chairs. I would think whitetail deer and pronghorn would be among the easiest.
Honestly, with unlimited time and money none of them are really that hard. Having the time and money to hunt is the biggest obstacle most have to overcome. If someone wants to finance me I will be glad to hunt all species with primo access and tags then report back!!!
If I was going to pick the species I thought would take me the longest to kill a Pope and Young qualifier under the stated conditions I pick Stone's Sheep
The hardest animal is not listed in there… a big mature ground hog spot and stalk IMHO is as hard as it gets with a bow
The toughest species to kill that I've ever hunted is Colorado Bighorn sheep. Mountain goats present the same challenge in terms of terrain they live in, but they aren't particularly tough to stalk once you find them.
Because I believe that the Pope and Young minimum for mule deer might be too high, l would place them in the hard to get category under the above criteria. Too many factors involved for me to judge which one is actually the hardest to kill.
One of the least recorded is non-typical Elk due to the requirements for qualification.
Sheep hunting with archery is usually a great challenge, not as difficult with firearms. Of course everyone has their own experiences which can be much easier or more difficult than others.
ive never had the opportunity to hunt out west but I think the pronghorn would be tuff..just from wjat Ive heard n read