Contributors to this thread:
How to Select an Elk Outfitter??
I'm looking for elk outfitters in both CO and New Mexico but am open to others. This is stressful as there are so many options. Other than word of mouth and looking at the outfitter reviews on this site, what other research would you suggest and what other sites have good reviews of outfitters?
What "process" did you use to make an outfitter selection?
Also, does anyone know where I can find success rates by units?
Here in NM first check and make sure they are registered with the NMG&F and make sure their guides are too. Call a lot of references, when you talk to them after awhile you will be able to tell if the outfit is what your looking for “guys that had a great hunt won’t want to hang up”. There are quite a few very good outfitters in NM some have been in business for many years. What unit are you interested in ? Are you looking for a landowner tag ? NM is very hard to draw.
I'd rather talk to references that didn't fill their tag with an outfitter that I'm looking to hunt with, rather than one that had a great hunt and the only reason might be just because he killed a good animal.
Excellent point Topgun.
Jdee-I'm not looking for a landowner tag as the ones I have heard about are extremely expensive so I'm looking to draw a tag. I'm open in regard to units as well. Any suggestions? I've heard good things about unit 34.
No question NM, far far better chance at good bulls, more elk etc if you draw. If you do not draw a tag and go otc your hunt will not be good compared to even an average unit in NM = no comparison. The elk are not there like in NM. Tough part is drawing, outfitter app in NM is not to bad. The ONLY other way is buy a LO tag or pay a hefty trespass fee. $5,000 or more.
yes to have a good elk hunt you will pay more for a LO tag or trespass fee then you will pay an outfitter.
The best outfitter in CO otc cannot who you in 10 years what a so so outfitter in NM can show you in a good unit in 5 days.
Thanks Don- any suggestions for outfitters and units?
New Mexico sure does offer great elk hunting. Lots of good Outfitters and guides. Finding people who know or used the Outfitter and guides in the past is a solid way to feel someone out. I know good Outfitters who made the mistake of hiring a bad guide and ultimately the bad rap lands on the Outfitter. You can find LO tags anywhere from roughly$2500-15,000. Depends on the type of hunt you want. The quality of bull you're looking to take. Did you apply in NM?
When I first hunted elk , I joined the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. I read the Bugle magazine.... in the back they will list outfitter members by state. I went to the local chapter RMEF banquet and met a ton of guys that loved to hunt elk and had tons of experiences. It was a good start.
Pay attention to magazine articles and video shows as well as elk hunting threads on this website. They almost always tell you who they are hunting with. If they are getting into a lot of elk and getting lots of chances it may be worth your while to check them out more.
Call and book through Jack Atcheson and sons. You will not be disappointed.
Black mountain outfitters
Elk is probably the least probable guided hunt in the West, yet the first thing most guys want to bowhunt. It always amazes me that elk is usually #1- but generally speaking one of the lowest success rate species you could pick.
I know a CO OTC private land outfitter who had a success rate of 43 out of 53 hunters last year (bow, ML and rifle) with some bulls taken in the 320s and 330s. I used to hunt that ranch before it changed hands and they started outfitting, and it had a ton of elk. We killed a few archery bulls in the 340s and 350s and saw big bulls every year that we didn't kill.
I believe they charge around $5000 for a 6 day archery hunt but are generally booked out a year or two. Lots of repeat customers and some TV hunts are filmed there, if that tells you anything. They have 18,000 acres to hunt, fairly gradual terrain. You will be into elk every day. Bear Mountain Ranch in Kremmling CO.