For the record, I had 25 points and my wife had 15. Hard to believe I’ll have a gun in my hand again. How do those work?
Edit: we also drew turkey tags at Cross Timbers WMA next spring. My wife drew 11/29 cow elk tag. Crazy!
I got lucky and drew Hominy Oct 21-23. It'll be my 4th time there.
Wife pulled a elk tag.
I am going back to MCAAP in November on my doe kill last year so it ain't all bad. Good luck on a big bull.
Cool that you'll be able to hunt for Lana's cow then back in another week for your bull.
I had to start looking and ruining my afternoon! https://www.wideopenspaces.com/14-year-old-harvests-new-oklahoma-record-elk/ 377 3/4" rifle typical https://www.gameandfishmag.com/editorial/Oklahoma-bowhunter-sets-nontypical-elk-state-record/358764 344 7/8" archery non typical
I’ve gained a lot of intel on this place and can help anyone in the future. Just let me know if I can help.
With rains moving in the second day, I knew it would squelch opportunities, so I chose to shoot the first decent branch antlered bull I saw. Pack out wasn’t bad at 1/2 mile in too. Two trips and we were done. Lots of elk meat to get us through to next year.
Glad I was able to get drawn on this hunt and I’m extremely grateful to the state for putting on this hunt. Also, success rates are way down. I heard this first hand from the Fish and wildlife employees and the wardens down there.
Great experience, keep putting in if you haven’t drawn. ;)
FYI - orange is NOT your color although the flatbrim is cool! :)
I drew area I and saw several bulls and a few cows before taking the 283 yard shot on my bull. I drew the week before Rick's hunt and was told that antler quality was down a little from years past. Great experience and a fun hunt. The guys and gals that help with the hunt, and the area leaders that drive the hunters in and out of the field were super helpful and do a great job. My packing helper got hung up at the airport so the first 4 trips out were on my own! It is rough country in most places.
I also gained quite a bit of knowledge about the area that I drew so please don't hesitate to pm me and we will talk. DO NOT FAIL TO PUT IN FOR THIS HUNT! It will be the cheapest elk hunt you will ever go on and you will enjoy it!
Does the ODWC web page explain the difference in the hunt codes you guys drew vs the 'walk in only' ones which have a slightly better odds? Is the walk in only going to be a much more strenuous hunt or more so just a harder pack out?
On the controlled hunts, they drive you into the areas that you are assigned. Then you hunt from there. Where I was dropped off it was an easy enough hike to get into the elk. The controlled hunt also opens up areas south of the highway that is “public use” area. They shut them off and put up signs at entry points. They also held more cow elk, in my opinion. Most cow hunters in the northern tier units were coming back saying they only saw bulls.
I’m not sure how the numbers work as far as odds go. I do know this, your odds are increasing every year at a better clip, because many folks that had/have multiple points, have opted for a cow tag or the walk in hunts.
Cord and myself talked last night and agreed the average age was around 60. Many were much older, in their 70’s. I had 3 guys in my group of 10 that were over 65 and possibly in their 70’s. Personally, I’d keep putting in for a bull tag and the “controlled hunt” until my health or mobility was decreased. Glad I wasn’t in my 60’s or 70’s when I drew. That being said, we did see multiple folks in their 70’s getting it done.
I’ll be curious to what the total numbers of bull/cows were when the results come out. The cow hunters were having a tough time if they weren’t mobile.
Rick pretty much covered it all. I had a buddy that drew the first walk-in hunt this year and hunted the same area that I ended up hunting. He was having to walk close to 4 miles just to get to the area that he hunted. From where I was dropped off, I got to the same general area by walking less than 1 mile. One cool thing about the walk-in hunt is that your helper can actually accompany you on the hunt. The draw odds are slightly better on the walk-in hunt but the distance traveled would definitely make it a harder hunt imo. I'm sure there are bulls killed much closer but like Rick said, most of the better areas seem to be on the far northern and northwest parts of the hunt area.
I'm almost 50 and was close to, if not the youngest in my group of 10 hunters. I had 2 ladies in my group that had cow tags. One was 73 and one was 75. 4 of the hunters in my group had applied for well over 20 years but put in for a cow tag this year and drew their first time.
A buddy sent me these stats. Not sure how accurate but interesting.
The herd is estimated to be around 1300. No telling how many are on the surrounding private lands.
Up to 30,000 entries each year. 408 tags issued this year. 110 bull tags and 298 cow tags.
70-80% success rate on bulls, 50-60% on cows. Approximately 250 elk will be harvested in any given year.
I will also be curious of the final stats for this year's hunt. Keep Applying!!
When I got the notice that my credit card had been hit back in the spring, this was all I could think about. After 26 years of applying, I was going to hunt bull elk at the Wichita Mountains!
Well, I might’ve fibbed a bit… I had a wreck, jacked up shoulder, rotator cuff surgery, lost my job, and my injury attorney passed away two weeks ago. Anyhow… tough times creates tough people. Moving on…
Myself being a bowhunter exclusively, I started thinking of what gun I would use. I don’t have many to choose from and I knew that my .223 or .243 wasn’t going to be large enough, so the search began. Then, I remembered my step-father had a 7mm that he used years ago when hunting for elk in Colorado and whitetails here at home. I had actually shot it when I was a 120 lb 12 year and it was more than I wanted to shoot. I think that might’ve been the point where I was more interested in bows and arrows. Heck, I don’t know. :)
I called him up and asked him to use it, and he ended up giving it to me. Saying… “it’s yours now son, I’ll never use it again”. We both were welled up with tears. Why? Because my step-father is failing in health and doesn’t have a lot of time left on this ball. He knows it, I know it. It is life.
This summer, I got the gun cleaned up real good and put a lot of rounds through it. Satisfied with the grouping, and knowing it would do the job if given the opportunity.
My GOAL was to kill an elk with his gun before he goes from this life. I was focused, and a decent legal bull, would suffice.
Monday the 5th of December was orientation and I was put in area “E”. I had done some mapping intel and also through talking with others that were there the week before, on Lana’s cow hunt. I had a game plan and was ready for the morning of the 6th.
My plan was to get to the North end of E and hunt into the wind, find high points, and glass… and move. Early that morning there was a dense fog and it was hard to see past 100 yards. Around 8:30-9am the fog finally lifted and I knew I needed to be in areas to find the elk moving/feeding…
As I was making my way up to find higher ground, I ran smack into a bull and we saw each other about the same time at 75 yards. No dice. I kept moving to get across to a south facing slope and glass. The north wind was hitting me in the face and I figured the elk were going to be out of the wind, mid mountain, and in the bowls out of the wind.
As I approached the canyon, I glassed two small bulls, a 2x2 and 3x3, across the canyon. Along with a lone cow just ahead of them.
Again, my goal was to kill an elk with my stepfathers gun and bring home elk meat. The antlers were a bonus if it happened.
As I moved around to get lower and not get spotted, I noticed a few more elk to the west of me. I threw up the binos and noticed a branch antlered bull that I would be satisfied with. I moved quickly using the oak brush to keep me hidden along the north facing slope.
I got to level elevation with the bull as he started to work up the mountain. I found an old stump and leveled the rifle, and got the bull in my sights. I clicked off the safety and tried to zero in, but my crosshairs were all over him, not good. I then scrambled to find a better rest. Looking just ahead of me, I saw a flat rock about 10 yards ahead and laid down to the prone position. This was it!
As the bull paralleled the opposite mountain, I found him again and when he stopped, the crosshairs were on him. This felt solid. I took one short breath and the bullet was on its way.
At impact, the bull jumped about 5 steps with his opposing leg up. He was facing me and I didn’t want to take a follow up shot head on. Fortunately, I wasn’t forced to as he fell right there and tumbled down the mountain about 40 yards or so, piling up in a group of rocks. The hunt was over at 10:20 in the morning on the first day!
Bird in the hand as I said to others. Especially with the rain moving in on the second day, you just don’t know what’s in store. The pack out was about 1/2 mile and plenty of rocks to navigate. All in all, a pretty easy pack out. We were out with all the meat and head by 4:15 pm and my legs were done! (Aaron’s too) :)
Going in to this 2-1/2 day hunt, my expectations were throttled and my ultimate goal was to take an elk before my step-fathers time and to bring home delicious elk meat. I did both and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity!
I’d like to say thanks to my buddy, Aaron Johnson, for the help getting him off of the mountain, which took all of two trips. Im very appreciative!
To anyone else that might have concerns about this hunt in the future, PM me and I’d be glad to help you out with what I know. I was also there last week and gained lots of valuable info.
Sadly, I’ll never fill out controlled elk hunts at the Wichita Mountains again. But, that’s okay. :)
By the way… I called my step-father the evening of, and he was sure excited!
This was my friends bull he killed the week prior. He works for ODWC. Good dude!
Rick, I see you've got the ivories. Don't know how much time your father in law has left but maybe use one of the ivories for him a ring or something? Just a thought. You could give it to him along with a nice elk steak dinner.
Thank you guys for checking out the story. Much appreciated!