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I am truly blessed! After many years of applying, I drew a coveted Valle Vidal first season (Sept. 1-14) archery elk tag! I am humbled and in awe to have drawn this OIL tag. I’m excited beyond words. Now, 2 1/2 weeks after drawing, I’m still pinching myself and wondering if it’s actually real!
First, a little background.....I’m a long time Bowsite reader and a rather infrequent poster. I’m 69 years old and had my second total knee replacement just over 4 months ago in December. My hunting partner (Castle Oak) and I both live in NC and are lifelong whitetail bowhunters that have become addicted to bowhunting elk out west. We are primarily DIY hunters.
Preparation has already begun for this hunt. I’m trying to get these old legs and knees in the best shape I can by September. I’ve reserved a camp site on the Cimarron Campground, ordered USFS maps, topo maps, and satellite maps of the VV, and am researching every old thread I can on the area. E-scouting is already taking place as well. We plan to arrive a few days early to scout and are prepared to stay the entire season if necessary.
With that bit of background, I would like to ask fellow Bowsiters who may have previously hunted the VV for any tips or pointers you might be willing to share. General information on areas to avoid or areas to focus our scouting on would be graciously appreciated. Private messages are actually preferred. Thank you in advance and I will try to do a Bowsite write up about this OIL hunt
Ooooooh boy! Congrats on the amazing tag!
Congrats on an awesome tag! Best of luck on your hunt!
Thank you guys! I am over the top excited!
Grats. Did you and Castle Oak draw together?
Idyll, I believe there was only 2 tags available for nonresidents for each season and one would go to a hunter through an outfitter. So, we’ve been applying separately - one for the first season and one for second season - with the understanding that if either of us drew, the other would go along to assist and call.
Outstanding! Congrats on a wonderful tag.
Sunset, Congrats on a great tag. I hope you both enjoy the ride!
Can’t help other than to wish you the best!! Have a great hunt!!
Congrats on drawing a great tag, sunset! I don’t know anything about the area, other than it is definitely a coveted area to hunt elk. You said you are prepared to stay the entire season, if necessary. Sounds like you have plenty of time at your fingertips. Any thoughts on going out to scout more than just a few days before season?
Absolutely, t-roy, a lot of thought. Heck, I think of little else right now! Logistically, it will be difficult being so far away but certainly not outside the realm of possibilities.
Best hunt I have ever been on for elk. Mine was the second archery hunt. Really cool place! You need to check out all the history about it as well. We stayed at Cimarron Campground as well. If I could do it again I would take a camp and backpack in a few miles. You still need to get quite a ways from the main road because there is a lot of traffic on it.
It’s fairly easy to get around on the high side. Lots of old overgrown logging roads
Congratulations and enjoy your hunt. Please post the story and pics after the hunt!!!
Something that really helped me out was having a poster sized map. Wished I had it prior to my hunt, but ended up buying it from a gentleman who had just finished his hunt. I’d lend you mine, but it’d probably be easier to just buy one. But offer stands, any suggestions on a shipping tube?
Pm me, I was there last year for second rifle.
I sent several of you guys PMs. Thanks.
Awesome! Good luck bud!
Many thanks for all the well wishes and congratulations! And very special gratitude to several of you for your private messages! Bowsiters are the best!!
I would contact Robert Ortega with USO Outfitters. He has been guiding elk hunter on the VV for 20 plus years. I used him a couple years ago and was very pleased with him and Tiny. He has options for fully guided or you bring your own camp. Plus he keeps horses up there to pack your bull out. 575 770 2441. And I am saying this even though I did not kill a bull.
I second what deserthunter said. We used Robert Ortega and Tiny for my son's VV hunt and had a great experience. We provided our own camp and everything else and they guided us during the day. We actually hunted on our own for the first 2 days and then hunted with them for the last 3 days. We only paid for the 3 days, but they still gave us info on where to go and how to hunt for the first 2 days. Then when we killed on day 4, they had horses and packed us out, which was really good since we were 3-4 miles back in the actual Valle Vidal. Awesome hunt and great memories!
We just backpacked ours to a logging road then took them out with a good deer carrier. A few more trips in and out but saved some money. If you will be by yourself then hiring someone to just pack your elk with horses might be a good idea
Congrats, I wish I am so lucky in CA. Have 19 pts and may never draw a tag in my lifetime.