BlackOvis.com
Drop camp
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Pyrannah 04-Dec-20
Dale06 04-Dec-20
Aspen Ghost 04-Dec-20
skibuoy 05-Dec-20
Treeline 05-Dec-20
FORESTBOWS 05-Dec-20
Pyrannah 08-Dec-20
coelker 10-Dec-20
Percy 10-Dec-20
FORESTBOWS 10-Dec-20
txhunter58 13-Dec-20
altitude sick 14-Dec-20
FORESTBOWS 14-Dec-20
altitude sick 14-Dec-20
Bowboy 14-Dec-20
Surfbow 14-Dec-20
brunse 16-Dec-20
Zim 16-Dec-20
Pyrannah 16-Dec-20
Pyrannah 19-Jan-22
Michael 19-Jan-22
Ollie 19-Jan-22
azelkhntr 20-Jan-22
bigeasygator 20-Jan-22
FORESTBOWS 20-Jan-22
azelkhntr 20-Jan-22
Pyrannah 20-Jan-22
BowmanMD 20-Jan-22
BowmanMD 20-Jan-22
FORESTBOWS 20-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 21-Jan-22
Jaquomo 21-Jan-22
Pyrannah 21-Jan-22
azelkhntr 21-Jan-22
FORESTBOWS 21-Jan-22
DonVathome 22-Jan-22
txhunter58 22-Jan-22
txhunter58 22-Jan-22
txhunter58 22-Jan-22
DiRTY MiKE 22-Jan-22
From: Pyrannah
04-Dec-20
So I am 0for2 on elk hunts right now

One in Montana, “guided” that was kind of a joke and one in wyo as DIY...

I am not 100% in on paying for a guide again, but I thought about maybe a drop camp?

I’m looking for thoughts and ideas... I really want to get in on some action..

What has your experiences been with drop camps? Do you really get placed in ideal locations? How do you end up trusting the person that you select? Is it better to just go guided or diy?

Open to any thoughts or suggestions

Thanks so much

From: Dale06
04-Dec-20
I’ve been on a couple drop camps, years ago. Never saw an elk. I was pretty inexperienced at that time. I’d save up and go guided on a private land hunt.

From: Aspen Ghost
04-Dec-20
I imagine there are good drop camps out there. I've never tried a drop camp though out of concern that if you get "dropped" in the wrong place it's kinda like being a dog on a tether.

From: skibuoy
05-Dec-20
I have done plenty of drop camps. It totally depends on the location. Some outfitters have great drop camp spots. Others put you in the (not so great) places where they don't guide...guided clients usually get better terrain.

The key questions are what is the terrain like, and how many Joe Public guys can get in there? If its not a limited draw unit, proceed with caution. You'll need really nasty terrain, quite a ways back in. Otherwise too many people . (Although all of my experience is in CO, possibly different some place else...but I doubt it.)

1/2 way through my last drop camp in an OTC unit in a Wilderness area, 4-5 hour ride in on horseback I swore I would NEVER hunt public land again. I have now modified that to say never in an OTC unit again. Next fall I hope to try again in a limited draw unit. We'll see if I'm swearing again after that.... Then just ask what they are providing, how often they will check on you, whether the price includes packing out an elk, how many days, how much gap between your hunt and the people before you, how long of a ride in. Then look at the maps and figure out how easy/hard for backpackers to get in. Good luck

From: Treeline
05-Dec-20
Talk to Forest!

Goes by Forestbows on here and picked up an outfitter license in the Flattops last year.

He is solid, trustworthy and can set you up where you will get into elk.

05-Dec-20
Would love to talk to ya about elk hunting.

From: Pyrannah
08-Dec-20
Aspen ghost, that is my concern as well.. I would hate to be “stuck” with nothing in the area..

Skibuoy, thanks for some good screening questions... very appreciated

Forest, I have reached out to you a few different times.. you said you were filling up fast and I followed up with a question or two and my email address but haven’t heard anything since

I just have to keep looking or go rifle or something... I know elk hunting is tough, but damn, finding the right place to go when you live on the east coast has to be just as tough

Thanks guys

From: coelker
10-Dec-20
You do realize that overall archery success on elk across all types of hunts is less than 10%? And in most cases below 5%. Just to put it in perspective. That being said I would quit hoping around and just pick a hunt and repeat. As mentioned Forrest Bows has a great operation from what I can see and seems to be a respectable hard working guy. But in all honesty if you are really worried about success then find and area and learn the area well and keep going back.

There is something about the idea that less than 10% success over all is met by the same 90% of hunters every year. Meaning that there are some of us archery elk hunters who kill every year... I would bet that those who are in the category of killing every year or close to every year tend to hunt the same places every year and avoid getting into the trap of bouncing around to new places all the time. If you are really considering elk hunting on regular basis then investing into an area and getting to know it will pay off. I went 9 bulls in a row with archery on an OTC tag in a low quality unit in Colorado. I have killed 13 bulls in 18 years of marriage. 11 of the bulls were from the same OTC lower quality unit in CO. One year I had a quality tag and did not kill and the other 2 years I spent a lot more time after certain bucks and all but ignored the deer. There really is not replacement for knowledge and experience in an area.

From: Percy
10-Dec-20
Drop camps are a waste of money and time. Been there, done that twice and finally learned my lesson. Do some homework and go DIY, in my opinion you will be a lot better off.

10-Dec-20
Pm sent. Sorry been busy killing whitetail in Kansas!

From: txhunter58
13-Dec-20
Money better spent for a private land DIY trespass hunt.

14-Dec-20
If you find the right drop camp and you have the skills needed. They are worth the money.

Im booking with Forest this year and giving him a try

14-Dec-20
"Get some scouting done that way, for next year on your own. G.p.s is a good thing." What a chicken shit move that would be..........

14-Dec-20
That’s not shocking at all. I’ve had people I took to my hard found spots. Go back without me and take others with them. I’ve always moved on and found other locations. But spots are much harder to find now.

From: Bowboy
14-Dec-20
People always trying to find out areas the easy way. That's why very few people know my areas!

From: Surfbow
14-Dec-20
Drop camps can be great!

From: brunse
16-Dec-20
Txhunter, any suggestions on HOW to go about finding a quality trespass hunt? With so many areas in CO and WY difficult to draw I would drop a few bucks to hunt either a large tract of private or a track that backs into private land locked public. I’m just not sure how to go about it. I’m not familiar with all the states landowner vouchers and the like. How much should someone expect yo pay for 10-14 days of access with no provided amenities??

From: Zim
16-Dec-20
Been applying for the same unit for ten years can’t draw despite 50% odds. But I backpack hunted it 4 times previously so I know it very well. Difference now is two compressed discs so must use drop camp.

From: Pyrannah
16-Dec-20
i must have missed something earlier with the "gps" thing..

yeah i see benefits of a drop first and foremost more affordable, but i suck at elk hunting so guided would certainly be better, but damn it stings when pay for guide and dont see shit....

thanks for all the comments

From: Pyrannah
19-Jan-22

From: Michael
19-Jan-22
I have never hunted in a drop camp. However I used to hunt an area that had a drop camp in the same drainage I hunted.

Me personally I wouldn’t do it. I would rather be mobile then locked into one area.

Case in point the drainage that had the drop camp was a good area. But if the elk had moved off for a few days it was nice to be able to hike out and hit a couple different basins as well.

Bottom line. I would rather have 3, 4, 5 etc areas I could hunt then be locked into one.

From: Ollie
19-Jan-22
Drop camps can be very good but you must do your homework to find those outfitters who consistently put their clients in elk and those who just give you a horse ride and camp. Same applies to guided hunts. Do your homework and check references.

From: azelkhntr
20-Jan-22
Outfitters aren't generally going to be dropping you in their prime areas so you shouldn't expect that at all. They also won't take a single out so you'll need 1-3 other buds to go along and make it worth their time. That said when you find one get on the list to partner up with guys who need others to round out. If you pick a good isolated area another great option is to set-up a spike camp back in the hills from your main camp. If you need a partner(s) post up here. Good luck.

From: bigeasygator
20-Jan-22
I've been on three drop camp elk hunts, all in the Flat Tops. They were also all rifle hunts for context. Obviously a lot can impact how successful the hunt is - where they drop you, where the elk are, what the weather is doing, what kind of pressure there is, etc. My first two drop camps we killed multiple elk. The last drop camp I was on we failed to kill (it also happened to be the same exact camp we were in two years earlier when we killed multiple elk). So it just depends.

I feel the outfitters I've worked with pick their camps with care - the whole point of their business is to get you to kill elk so I've never understood the comments that they're saving their good locations. But just because an area is "prime" one year doesn't mean the conditions are right to guarantee it'll be prime the next year. Happy to share more info about the outfitters I've used and my experiences.

20-Jan-22
Every drop camp we had last year killed elk

From: azelkhntr
20-Jan-22
Forest can you post up some pics of what your drop camps look like please?

From: Pyrannah
20-Jan-22
i actually bumped this with a snarky comment and then deleted it...

i made another mistake last year, i won't be making the same..

spend your money carefully with the right place, and yes it's hard to get it correct, and i failed, again.

0 for 2 on elk outfitters, both found here with good reviews...

From: BowmanMD
20-Jan-22
I’m not a fan. Think about a wheel with a central hub and spokes coming out from that central hub. Your camp is the hub and the spokes represent all the places that you can walk from that central hub every day. If you are the only guys there hunting it or that have hunted that season, it can work out well. But if the outfitter uses the same drop camp you’re in for multiple different groups on different weeks, you can imagine what happens to the elk after seeing the guys come and go every day, week after week. Been there, done that. I’ve also hunted in a unit in Colorado where we drove back in and then hiked a few miles from the road and hit a drop camp that an outfitter had packed somebody into on horses. They thought they were way back in there in the middle of the elk and had no idea that they were a short walk from a fairly well used road.

From: BowmanMD
20-Jan-22
I’m not a fan. Think about a wheel with a central hub and spokes coming out from that central hub. Your camp is the hub and the spokes represent all the places that you can walk from that central hub every day. If you are the only guys there hunting it or that have hunted that season, it can work out well. But if the outfitter uses the same drop camp you’re in for multiple different groups on different weeks, you can imagine what happens to the elk after seeing the guys come and go every day, week after week. Been there, done that. I’ve also hunted in a unit in Colorado where we drove back in and then hiked a few miles from the road and hit a drop camp that an outfitter had packed somebody into on horses. They thought they were way back in there in the middle of the elk and had no idea that they were a short walk from a fairly well used road.

20-Jan-22
If you make your entire elk hunting experience good or bad just based on killing a elk you will have lots of bad elk hunts.

From: Grey Ghost
21-Jan-22
Bowman,

I know an outfitter who does the same thing. He deliberately packs his hunters in on horseback on a trail that is 6-8 miles long, giving the hunters the illusion they are in deep. Of course, that illusion quickly fades when the hunters run into a small army of DIY hunters who drove within 1/2 mile of their drop camps. I've hunted the same area for over a decade, and I've never spoke with one of the outfitters hunters who were satisfied with his service. I have no idea how he keeps clients coming back.

Matt

From: Jaquomo
21-Jan-22
GG, different situation since it's a huge private ranch, but they meet the sports at a front gate, load everything on horseback, pack them in several miles around the mountain, ending up at the rustic cabin that's a mile from a state highway and you can drive right to it through the ranch. Gives them the "wilderness experience" I guess...

From: Pyrannah
21-Jan-22
my expectations aren't based on a kill, though i would like to at least see an elk... I would expect to have a hunt similar to what was agreed to upfront...

From: azelkhntr
21-Jan-22
From: Pyrannah21-Jan-22Private Reply my expectations aren't based on a kill, though i would like to at least see an elk... I would expect to have a hunt similar to what was agreed to upfront...

Public land elk hunting is tough most of the time. You have to work at it every day you're out there to increase your chances. If the elk are in the area you'll sooner or later connect; or not. Outfitters on public dirt provide you with assistance but they can't guarantee you'll score. This past season we ran into a bull with a few cows heading to bed and I started calling to him. We were probably 100 yds or so away but my partner forgot the drill and froze up on the spot. That was his chance, but he flubbed it. 5 mins later they were gone. Ce la vie! We never got close again.

21-Jan-22

FORESTBOWS 's embedded Photo
FORESTBOWS 's embedded Photo

From: DonVathome
22-Jan-22
I think your return on investment buying a landowner tag vs a drop camp will be significant. There are great drop camps out there but the odds of you getting one and not an average, at best, camp are very very low IMO. Unless you have a really good "in" with someone. If you do tell no one. Ever.

From: txhunter58
22-Jan-22
I’ve been on both, and I would take a private land trespass fee do it yourself hunt over a drop camp every day of the week. That said, a wilderness drop camp hunt has so many more intangibles to just killing an elk. But I have been on drop camp hunts where none of us ever saw an elk or fresh elk sign. Never had that experience on private, but I am sure that is possible too

From: txhunter58
22-Jan-22

From: txhunter58
22-Jan-22
But if I was looking, I would first talk to forestbows. He had some killer deals on some good DIY properties last year

22-Jan-22
Listen to Forest

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