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).
As stated you can modify your app still .
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.