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WY Elk w/Outfitter - Backcountry or no?
Ok I've got 10 elk points and have gotten some great info from bowsiters. I read through Eastman's MRS section yesterday and would like your opinion. Should I look at wilderness/back country hunts or easy terrain?
I always thought I'd want to do a wilderness hunt for the experience and get to places where few others go. I know there'd be grizzly issues (that's another reason I'd pay an outfitter). I'm a midwest boy that lives in the flat woods so I always envisioned a western hunt on horseback where I'd hear elk bugling outside the camp and having elk walk into my tent. jk Hiring an outfitter and using my 10 points, I would expect an opportunity at a branch antlered bull. I don't care about making B&C as long as there's good quantity and an opportunity for a nice bull. The only elk I've ever taken was a spike so a "nice bull" to me means (I am guessing here) a large 5x5 or any 6x6 or bigger.
I want to emphasize the kill is part of the hunt where it's not expected but certainly I would expect an opportunity to shoot one. I want an overall experience that will keep in my memory for a lifetime. I've gotten input from some guys that indicate places where the elk are thick and it'd be darn near a slam dunk. However, it's open country and easy terrain (not a bad thing of course!). Appreciate your opinion on the virtues of different types of hunts out there and then I'll call some outfitters and narrow it down so I can put my application in by the 31st. What do you think is an ideal outfitter hunt situation? Private land, easy terrain, wilderness etc.
Many of the units worth 10 points are not back country hunts, but there are some. Look at 61-1. You could probably draw it with 10 points this year, but your odds would be better in the Special draw at the higher price. It's a quality hunt and you could go during the archery season with a guide into the wilderness and you'd get your remote wilderness experience and should be able to have plenty of room to yourself.
That said, with 10 points, there's really nice hunts in Southern and Central WY that you could draw. They'd be great hunts with little difficulty getting into nice bulls. But you wouldn't be riding a horse in to get to them. You don't need to go in to get a great bull with 10 points so you need to decide if you want a back country experience with good bulls or an easier experience with good bulls, then choose your unit.
I would use my 10 points on one of the "slam dunk" hunts you speak of, then draw a general tag and hunt wilderness. With an outfitter of course because its the law.
Yup. Greg's idea is better than mine.
We hunted 61 in 2015 and it was amazing, then we hunted 59 general in 2016 and was not even close in quantity or quality of hunt. Hardest part was high altitude but best hunt in 61 of my life.
Just know you will probably have to wait until the third year to draw that General with the idea above. Is there anyone that you would like to share the hunt with? Maybe split your points up and hunt the wilderness if you like the thought of that better. Could still probably draw a "quality" hunt with reduced points.
Royboy did you hunt with an outfitter in 61?
Mule - Budget - I really don't have a set budget. Sky is NOT the limit but I recognize that I've been buying points for 10 years for a "trip of a lifetime" and know I can't go cheap. Now, if a bowsiter contacted me to join them on a great hunt that appealed to me and my total cost was to split expenses with a trespass fee or whatever I'd definitely jump on it over spending thousands on an outfitter. I've hunted elk only 4 times in my life with friends using a rifle in the Bitteroots so this isn't really something I want to do on my own and end up wasting my 10 points due to my lack of knowledge elk hunting in WY.
Cbfromnd, no outfitter we had a couple buddies from Wyoming that joined us and we rented horses
Have you considered hunting reduced price cow elk with an outfitter you think you might like. The hunts are generally fairly cheap and would let you see what you are in for. Then you could make a very informed decision the next year.