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Extremely new to elk hunting. We hunted in SD last year in a left over cow tag and it was an absolute blast. To say I’m hooked is an understatement. Going forward I’ve been buying points in Montana and forgot to get a pint last year for Wyoming. I live in eastern SD and wondering on what to expect for an elk hunting experience in 116. I would make a couple trips in September for 4-5 days and primarily want to archery hunt but interested in a rifle hunt as well. Looking to hunt public. I’ve gathered that hunting pressure usually pushes elk to private and for that I’m not opposed to paying a treaspass fee. This year I’ll look at left overs and if that doesn’t pan out I’ll get to work on plans for the coming year. My question is this: how is the actual population of elk that holds in the national forest and is it true that every elk ends up on private and none call the Forrest home come fall? The BH is SD are full of elk and guys seem to find success when they draw a tag. I’m happy harvesting a cow or a bull. Love to kill a bull but meat is what I’m looking for in order to get a couple hints under my belt. Also for a non resident coming to hunt there what is the overall experience most guys get from hunting there? I already know it’s going to be hard like anything but I intend to make some scouting trips out there and do some homework. An 8 he drive isn’t bad when the family comes with and we can make a family vacation of it. If anyone wants to chat via pm vs on online forum I’m good with that as well. Thanks for any insight and help.
Are you talking about 116 in wyoming?
Yes I am. I know 116 and 117 are probably not the most desirable units but they’re close to home and looking for any input on them. I’ve been thru the country some but never looked at it in fine detail for actual hunting.
AK, the first thing I would point out having hunted the black hills for elk many times as well as having experience elk hunting in several other states is pretty straight forward. Lower your expectations significantly for an elk hunt in other states outside of the very top end units in those states. We are spoiled rotten with elk hunting in SD once we actually draw the tag. That said I still apply in many states each year and have a blast elk hunting no matter where we end up.
Specific to your WY questions, 116 and 117 will be tough, access issues, etc. Lots better options to hunt in other general units away from 116. 117 is a tougher draw that will take you 7 points give or take and you will still have private land issues. You had a blast hunting cows, there are excellent opportunities in WY for RP cow tags in some of the best units. I drew a cow tag last year in a great unit and we were elk every day, and lots of them. Great experience. Spend some time on the WY game and fish site, specifically their hunt planner page. Awesome info there. It will get you far. If you run into specific questions just shoot me a message, be happy to help.
Don’t base an elk hunt on driving distance. Many of us would love to live as close as you do to so many good hunting spots.
Hey Brotsky I think we’re friends on FB shoot me a message when u have time and let’s chat some off topic stuff. Phillip