Contributors to this thread:
WY outfitters near Hoback Junction
I am likely to draw my moose tag and before I draw I would like an outfitter lined up to pack me and camp in and my moose out. I do not need a guide. I just want to be able to chase a moose most places without fear of a long pack out. The area I am heading into is EASY access but 5 or 6 miles of wide, worn trail. I have reached out to the forest service but I am looking for any ideas who to contact.
I do not want to rent horses or llamas. I want to spend all my time hunting & sleeping not caring for stock I know little about. I am not opposed to llamas but I have never used one or bend around them much. I also suspect delivery to a TH and renting will be at least as expensive as hiring a packer. I can easily get me and my gear in on foot.
You will NOT find an outfitter in that area to do that. They are busy and would tell you to book a guided hunt. But for the record every outfitter I know in that National Forest is not authorized to provide drop camp or just pack gear and meat for you. I tried. I talked to outfitters who wanted to and we tried everything to get it authorized but the Forest Service would not budge. Guided pine squirrel hunts didn’t fly either! Good luck Don.
To tell the truth we’re all better off that they can’t do that. You don’t need packed in to hunt moose anyway! Set up a base camp at the truck and hit the trail early. Not even as early as you would if you were elk hunting. Moose stand around doing nothing a lot longer. Especially during the rut.
Here’s a solution to your meat packing: Call my horse lease guy. Tell him when and where you’re hunting and give him a heads up. He’ll deliver two horses saddled for packing with panniers. You don’t have to ride. Lead them to your kill site where your meat is ready to go. Flop the meat into the panniers and then flop the panniers back onto the sawbuck (pack saddle) and walk the horses back out. Have him drop 1 bale of hay ($10) so you can tie them off that night after watering them and he’ll pick them up the next morning. Depending on how far in you are and what his schedule is you might be able to have him pick them up the same day. But that’s a tall oder for sure. Horses are $500 each plus delivery which will be about $375 to the Hoback area. That’s about as good as you can expect to do. If that scares the shit out of you I know a hippie or three that might walk them in and out for you. Disclaimer:For free. (Wink)
Totally agree with Mule, outfitters want to guide guys that draw a moose tag, want nothing to do packing. Outfitters charge a premium for those kind of tags. I have a couple good friends in the industry and when they heard I drew my UT moose tag thought they could “hook me up” with an outfitter at a decent price. NOPE, they were surprised but I totally understood. I decided to fly out for a week in the summer to scout and it was the best thing I could have done. I met forestry people and landowners that set an entire new tone for my hunt. Unbelievable what and how that set me up for my trip back in Sept.
MP, I married one of those yoga hippies and now she helps me pack my elk out, and I help pack hers..
DV, what area are you putting in for?
I am keeping my app secret until I draw. Mulepower I agree but I am hoping. I used to look around for packers before elk hunts. Never worked out, not once. I fully understand and I do not expect to find one but it is worth asking. I know exactly where I want to hunt and was in there last fall by coincidence. I do know outfitters who have provided drop camps in other states on national forest? Is WY different? Has it changed? I know many guys who have done drop camps? I understand that it is less and less common and I completely understand why. I cannot imagine the train wreck outfitters have walked into packing out something. Wrong place. No trail. Hunter gone. Elk not where they said the list goes on and on.
DonV, they do exist, at least in my part of WY (far from where you're asking). Last fall I ran into one packing one out, and have friends that do it. I don't think either of them are "official" but if you call them with GPS coords and some money, they'll come pack.
Thanks! I know it is very difficult to find someone.
I can tell you that in the Bridger Teton National Forest they do not authorize drop camps. Like I said I tried working with an outfitter before. At first just to pack my gear. His answer from the USFS was a quick no. So he asked about a drop camp instead and the answer was the same. No. Guided hunters only. The outfitter wanted to do it as much as I did.
Obviously this can vary by National Forest and by state. When I was outfitting in Montana we could do drop camp, semi guided hunts….. and wouldn’t even ask about packing gear for someone, although I’d never do that for a couple reasons.
As I mentioned in my first post, I’m actually glad they’re tough about that. You can’t fault Wyoming for doing whatever they feel is necessary to maintain the quality of hunting. Who needs another Colorado right.
See if Lou’s wife has any hippie friends that would serve as sherpas for you. Even cowboys are busy during hunting season. I guarantee that when you called and asked the Forest Service (tree huggers) they laughed and high fived after they hung up. It might be different if Fish and Game called the shots. Then again it’s Wyoming so maybe not.
Maybe see if Paul at the Fort will lease out his Pack Mule. . I’d rather trust my life to a horse personally. I’m telling you though if you can walk a dog you can walk two horses in and out of anywhere.
I had a packer lined up in WY a couple years ago. Came highly recommended, met him for coffee, he knew my area really well.
Anyway, I was on a big bull way too far in for me to pack out (even with my yoga-hippie-hunter-backpacker wife). I got cell signal and called him to make sure he was available when I killed that bull in the next day or so. Oops, he forgot to text me that he was Nebraska for a couple weeks.... Good thing I called first.
In the mountains depend on nobody but yourself and it pays to be.a McGyver. A cell phone comes in handy… for a flashlight. Lol
Thanks guys! Mule power I believed you - it just seemed odd. I assumed all national forest had exactly the same rules. I never knew it varied. I have always packed everything myself. I will be prepared too. I do agree about walking horses. I do not want them in camp the entire time, to much work IMO.
The words we use to attempt to get our proposals approved is “uniform policy”. Since it’s federal it is supposed to be the same on all national forests. But try telling them that. Since when has a federal organization played by the rules??? Packing out meat isn’t worth going to Supreme Court over. Lol
Yeah, in dealing with NF policy it seems like the Ranger District Supervisor can make up (or enforce) rules for their RD however they see fit. Here in NoCo they closed off a huge area of NF last summer because of the fire the year before. Even many miles from where it burned. Hiking in from a county road risked a trespassing ticket. I kid you not.
Nobody could scout the post-fire areas, nobody knew what would be open for hunting. A week before archery season they decided what to open and what to keep closed. Meanwhile, CPW gave out the same number of tags. So everybody was compressed into the smaller area that was open. We still don't know what will be open this coming year, and license apps are due in a couple weeks
Thanks guys! Good info to know.
Don, I use my offspring for that heavy lifting. Any of your relatives interested in a little backwoods trip? Jaq, sounds like you took the route mentioned on another thread and "married right", Badbull.
Don, feel free to reach out if you get lucky on the tag. I can put you in contact with who I had on “retainer” for my moose hunt in UT.
U might want to rethink your hunting stragedy. Wyoming moose are here today and gone tomorrow. U need to cover lots of ground to find one. I suggest a side by side and then stop and call. U may be able to walk one in, but my experience was covering 50 to 100 miles daily. I killed a 46" moose after hunting for 10 days.
How many miles in did you get the side by side? Lol Kidding… I don’t think he’s interested in road hunting.
Trad Mike that is a good point. I have been thinking about this a lot and I found a lot of moose last fall BUT luck comes into play a lot given I hope to only hunt 7 days.
Also FYI Forest Service confirmed no drop camps, no hauling camp in and out - guided hunts only. However I can hire someone to pack game out. Luckily if I draw I know a resident who can give me several places to look at.
I do strongly agree I am going to need to cover ground. Even if moose did not move around finding a good bull on foot in ROUGH country is not a high success approach.
First I have to draw......................................