Contributors to this thread:
Good friend of mine finally drew the tag. I am going along to help him and pretty much its gonna be on me to try and get a bull in front of him. He has never been elk hunting and I have been at it for 25 ish years. Have called in bulls for friends and killed a handful myself. By no means a whisperer but I feel like I am decent at calling. Way better at setups and the rest of it. I usually hunt an area that is full of people and completely timbered so glassing was out. Being from the MI we won't be doing any scouting. Good news is we have an unlimited amount of time as we are both self employed and have already cleared the whole month. Plan is to break things up with some fishing so he doesn't get burned out and can go home after an enjoyable hunt. We have vacationed together and hunted turkeys and whitetails and fished together in some wild seas so I know his character can handle it. Gonna be a simple truck camp that we can relocate easily based on findings. I have a few questions about the unit if anyone who has hunted it in the past would like to help out. Is glassing a good tactic? I mean do we need to bring spotting scopes and spend time glassing? That would be new to both of us and if its the way to go I want to be prepared. I am used to using ears and boots to find the elk. Bivy hunting is something I have done a bunch of and I enjoy it. With all the road access in the unit I have been looking for areas that we could possibly get away from the crowd and have a few picked out that I would love to discuss with someone that has hunted the unit. PM may be more appropriate for that? If someone is willing to share. I am sitting on 5 points that I will be burning next year most likely with the same guy in a general if point creep doesn't get us by then. After that I am done with the point game so I will likely never hunt the unit myself unless a wild swing hits its mark so to speak.
Really just looking for some general information if someone is willing to help us out. I have already done lots of e scouting but that doesn't equate to boots on the ground. I understand its a busy place and we knew that going in. Lots of ATV traffic and I am sure hunting pressure will be there as well. He is not gonna be a fussy guy and likely will shoot the first bull he has an opportunity on if we are lucky enough to get there.
Current plan is to stay mobile and hunt likely looking areas until we turn something up. Hunt mornings and more listen-scout the evenings from higher vantage points.
Super excited about this hunt!!
In that unit it would likely be a mistake shooting the first legal bull he finds IMHO. Especially with the amount of points it takes to get a tag. Have fun and good luck!
SteveB thanks for the advice. Unless I am missing something there are no antler or spike restrictions in the unit? I have been working with him on making sure he doesn't jump the gun. I would hate for him to end his hunt early and miss out on the real fun.
Yes, 38 has some nice bulls and I for one wouldn't settle for anything under 300 inches, probably a bit larger. Especially with having the full month. Otherwise it's likely your hunt could be over in the first few days. I'm not saying there are bulls around every corner, as I haven't been there. But those I know that have indicate it's a pretty sweet unit with some intel and scouting.
You will see plenty of elk. You won't need a spotter if your not trying to evaluate a bull down to the inch but you should have good binos. Plenty of spots to glass medium distance. Good road system and can get busy at times. Friend of mine will be hunting 38 so can't give you specifics.
He has never elk hunted and his first tag is 38-9? Lol. I was on 350’s daily. If you have an ATV and can hike a bit 380” is not out of the question.
Things can change dramatically as the season progresses! Where there are hundreds of elk early there may be nothing once hunting pressure and/or the first snow moves them. I moose hunted the unit several years ago and was amazed at all the hunting pressure along roads during archery. It's crazy how many camps are along many of the roads.
I was also totally amazed at how much those elk moved from all the hunting pressure. They pretty much vanished! I would take advantage of the early season or they may be gone! Believe me, there could be 0 elk in some of that country later in the archery season. There was snow and I saw 0 tracks where there were elk running everywhere the first week or so!
I think you would be a lot smarter getting there early to scout because you may be totally disappointed spinning your wheels when you first arrive learning access and where the elk are. Once they move out you are screwed!
Keep in mind that the roads can turn to gumbo when wet! If it's dry when you arrive it could turn to gumbo at any time so keep that in mind if you camp or drive to remote locations.
I wouldn't expect to see 340+ bulls unless you are super lucky. There aren't many and you will have competition! A 300 bull is doable and will likely take a lot of luck and work. There are a few monsters taken through the years but they tend to know what's going on!
Listen to what Jims said. I'd go early.
I did not hunt the public land in 38 last year but I did hunt a great ranch that bordered the NF. Hundreds of elk came off the NF and were on the ranch and didn't leave. Every day the season went more and more elk would show up. The outfitter said about 50% of the elk that are on NF before in the season in 38 end up on that ranch within the first 2 weeks of the season. I hunted the ranch the last week of the season.
I agree with others get there early and scout a few days. And beat the pressure. I did not have issues with elk being pushed out from where I hunted, but I could see that happening. I did get snowed out the last three days of my hunt. Earlier is better not as many cow eyes on you. Lots of elk though.
Thanks everyone for the information I certainly appreciate it!! I was hesitant to go early but that sounds like something to strongly consider. And yes never elk hunted and has 38 type 9. I have been trying to get him to go for oh about 12 years now and he finally said he was ready so with his points it made sense.
350's daily??? Lol hahaha
my friend in sheridan has hunted 38 for 30 yrs and never shot a 350
I thought the same thing: "350s daily!" Obviously doesn't know how big a 350 bull truly is! I hunted it probably 12 years ago, I did see one bull that would go 350" or a touch more. That was in 3 weeks of hunting my butt off and it was only once that I saw it.
Our group of three was lucky last year to draw a 38-9 tags and hunted the Sept.12th thru the 24th. We went 2 for 3 on the hunt and were into elk everyday. Saw lots of mature bulls and one in the 350 class. I was blessed on the 17th to take a bull that went 338 and my partners son took a 325 6X6. It is a great unit with lots of elk. Tell your friend to enjoy the experience!!!
“I thought the same thing: "350s daily!" Obviously doesn't know how big a 350 bull truly is!”
Uhhhhh……guess again. May be from Indiana but bust my arse and go where others won’t or can’t. Have taken six bulls with my bow 320-350 all DIY. The one in the photo grossed 350 3/8”. You need to see the P&Y scoresheet? Lol. Cause I got it. I’m not an expert but I think I know what a 350 looks like. There were no other hunters in the area of 38 I hunted until the last day of my hunt. Was 2013 I believe. Was hunting the same area each morning, so could have been the same bull for all I know. This was the 3rd best elk hunt I ever drew. Was quite amazing.
BTW - I cyber aided an Idaho guy to a 399" bull in this same NV unit area last year. I think he was glad he followed an Indiana guy's instructions.
BTW - I don’t have a horse in this race. I got 7 points and will never draw 38 again due to point creep and 90/10, etc. Not even thinking about it. But others commenting have their own agendas. I don’t pay too much mind to what others comment on forums. Hell I’m highly likely to finally draw my Colorado elk unit next year with 25 points. So I’m going to go scout it myself for a week this September rather than rely on forum comments. Lol
"my friend in sheridan has hunted 38 for 30 yrs and never shot a 350"
Archery or rifle? And how hardcore of a hunter is he? Does he kill the first 6 point that steps in front of him like most people do?
And saying someone has hunted 38 for 30 years is a little misleading, seeing as it's a draw unit that usually hangs around 23% draw odds for residents. I'm sure he's not hunted it 30 of 30 years... By odds, if he put 38-9 as first choice for 30 years, he's hunted it about 7-8 times based on modern draw odds, although probably a bit more based on 30 years ago. Still...
One person's experience means nothing in hunting. 10% of hunters get 90% of the game and the remaining 90% eek by with 10% of the game.
I was with Zim on this hunt and I can say that he must have typed a mistake as he meant 250, not 350. Yes multiple 250's here, nothing big, everyone please quit applying for this unit as there is nothing worth going for here..........
Ya Don could be right 250.
The advice that comes to mind is there is no such thing as "unlimited time." That month will be one of the fastest of your life. Over and gone before you know it.
iwa my friend is very hardcore. good friends with mike barrett i'm sure he's passed or more elk then you've killed. a 350 bull isn't around every corner. i've hunted the cloud peak wilderness quite a bit maybe saw 1 350 bull. best bull i saw came out of kaycee about 400 with a rifle my friend is 72 yrs old so alot of his hunting was done before the modern draw
lamb, you’re doing yourself no favors by continuing to post statements that are meaningless. As was previously pointed out, the fact your friend hasn’t killed a 350 bull, for whatever reason, doesn’t mean they don’t exist…regardless of who he’s friends with. By the same token, not once has someone posted there’s a 350 bull “around every corner” as you suggested. Just curious, how do you know how many elk idyll has killed, or anyone else for that matter?’ Pretty bold statement.
Thanks again for all the PM's and replies here. The information is going to be very useful to us.
Weather or not there are 350's running around everywhere is pretty irrelevant to us but I will post back how the hunt went and I may even comment on antler size but don't hold your breath on that.
September is only 2 months away!!!
Hey Zim if you've taken that many bulls then an apology is warranted. I've been at this bowhunting thing for over 40 years and typically when I hear comments like being into 350" bulls daily or other guys talking about 150" whitetails running everywhere I turn on the BS meter. I've hunted some of the best units in AZ (3x) and I don't see 350" bulls even there on a daily basis. You have the proof and congratulations on an awesome bull!! The one thing I can say about 38 is I had the best day of elk hunting in my life there. It started raining right at first light and the bulls were on fire. I came close on 3 different bulls that morning all 300" or better. It was amazing and when I got back to Bear Lodge that night and started asking other guys how their day went you would have thought I was crazy. They didn't hunt because "it was raining!" All I can say is if it rains you better be out chasing those bulls in the rain......
I absolutely LOVE a September rain in the elk woods!
NMM, NP. Yes I’ve also been fortunate to draw many great areas in UT, AZ(2), NM(5), NV, OR, as well as WY. In that many hunts I’ve had many over 350” I either could not get a shot at or had to pass due to angle. Including a few 380”-400”. I’m just not gonna take a quartering towards shot. But wheels are falling off now. Not much left in the tank.