Summit Treestands
First Time Cow Elk Hunt
Contributors to this thread:
Goldy 10-Feb-21
LKH 10-Feb-21
Bowfreak 11-Feb-21
Old School 11-Feb-21
midwest 11-Feb-21
Habitat 11-Feb-21
Jethro 11-Feb-21
wytex 11-Feb-21
wyobullshooter 11-Feb-21
Goldy 11-Feb-21
wyobullshooter 11-Feb-21
Brotsky 12-Feb-21
From: Goldy
Hi All,

I'm from northern Minnesota, have rifle hunted deer for 10+ years and bowhunted deer here for 4 years. I'm attempting to put together my first DIY elk bowhunt and as is expected I feel I've made a mistake right off the bat.

I figured I would enter the draw for a cow/calf tag in 2 WY wind river units for my 1st and 2nd choices with draw odds of ~99% and submitted my application with ease. Like an idiot though, I didn't research enough the law in WY regarding the restriction of hunting wilderness areas without a resident or guide.

(again, stupid mistake on my part even though I think that it's a complete BS law. I get the support for guides and outfitters but it just chafes me the wrong way. I grew up on the edge of the boundary waters and couldn't imagine someone telling me I had to have someone supervise me.)

So moving past the rant....

The units I applied for though have significant national forest on the edge of the wilderness. So my question is:

Would it be a better idea for me to hunt in WY on the national forest land (assuming I draw) or look at Colorado/Montana for hunting? I wouldn't be opposed to hiring someone but doubt it would fall into my student budget (late to college).

From: LKH
Okay, all is not lost. You should check but I believe you have quite a bit of time to modify/withdraw your app. Give them a call.

From: Bowfreak
You can still modify your application.

From: Old School
As stated above you have almost 3 months left to modify or withdraw your application if that’s what you want to do. Not a big deal.

From: midwest
Depending on what hunt areas you're looking at, there may be plenty of NF to hunt. Not all the elk are in the WA's.

From: Habitat
I think alot of the areas like that in WY is because of bears also.You can hike and picnic and fish in bear areas but you can't hunt without a guide.

From: Jethro
Without knowing the specifics of your chosen units.......I'd pick NF in WY over CO.

From: wytex
Goldy, where were you looking to hunt ? I'm in Laramie and could help with some info for this part of the state. pm me your areas and I'll see if I know something for you.

As stated you can modify your app still .

wytex, he posted a similar thread on the Wyoming Forum. He says he applied for a couple Wind River areas, 138 and 139. One slight such thing as areas 138 or 139. I agree that Wyoming would be a much better option than CO OTC, but need correct areas to give a definitive answer. His definition of "significant national forest" may be different than ours.

From: Goldy
Haha yeah, I screwed up on the unit numbers when posting on the forum. I was using the onX layers when I posted here and they defaulted to mule deer. I applied for elk units 98 and 97. As I'm sure you know there're several square miles of NF and BLM land in these units on the edge of the wilderness. I just don't want to shoot myself in the foot about trying to hunt here if the elk are up at higher elevations earlier in the season. Again, very much a novice at this.

No worries Goldy, we were all novices at one time, although for some of us that one time was a long time ago. lol!

I'd still take Wyoming over a CO OTC any day, although if it were me, I'd change areas. First off, I wouldn't let elevation dictate where I was going to hunt. Elk will be high, low, and everywhere in-between. The thing I would worry about is the limited amount of nat'l forest outside the wilderness area. Keep in mind that it may look fairly large on a map, but you'll also be sharing that limited area with every other NR that can't go into the wilderness. You could very well run into elk there, but if it were me, I would be very hesitant to limit myself to such a relatively small area. Id look further to the west in areas such as 90, 91, 94, etc. It's been several years now, but when I drew my moose license over on the west side of the state, I saw lots of elk every time I went over there scouting. If you're interested in any specifics, feel free to shoot me a PM.

From: Brotsky
If I were doing a cow elk hunt in WY I would look at high quality limited entry areas that have reduced price tags available and I'd roll the dice on areas with closer to 50%ish draw odds. Could have an amazing hunt on some of those tags.

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