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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16494198 10/03/21
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My buddy is leaving for another fully outfitted Colorado elk hunt in a few weeks. This will be his fourth attempt to get a bull elk for himself. A couple of other guys in his party were successful over the years. Unfortunately for this guy he has yet to fire a shot. Hunting can be really unpredictable even when you do all the right things. Spending $30K over the course of a few years to get an elk and never firing a shot really sucks, but it happens.

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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16494497 10/03/21
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Walking up on a big ol' dead elk, miles from a road... that's pretty overwhelming too if you're alone.

It's not a 200 pound deer to deal with... Real good idea to go with someone who knows what they're doing. The logistics alone can be pretty staggering. I've only shot a couple of elk, real glad that I didn't have to do it all alone either time. The first time I was with a real experienced elk hunter. That was good. The next one, years later, I had a small group of friends with me, that too was good.

Elk meat is absolutely worth the effort! smile

I've read some great replies here on this thread. Best of luck to you.

Regards, Guy

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16498683 10/04/21
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The best hunt I've had for elk was in Colorado with some local guys. They were excellent hunters and sportsman and took to me like a brother. Find that and you've hit the jackpot!

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16499938 10/05/21
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We have a new guy going with us this year. Five experienced guys and one noob. He's a great kid, got a lovely wife and four kids. He will have a great time.

My best piece of advice for him is this: "When you get home, leave your [bleep] in the pickup, all of it. Walk in the door, hand your wife a HUGE bag with an entire outfit in it and in the other hand have bags with something really nice for each of your kids. Spend some time and thought on it, and on them, and no one will complain about you going hunting for a week ever again."

I've used that myself and given that tip to a handful of youngsters who went hunting with us, and it's worked every f'ing time.


"Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin.'"
Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: Cascade] #16500012 10/05/21
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Originally Posted by Cascade
Elk meat is absolutely worth the effort! smile


I cooked up an elk tenderloin last Sunday for the in-laws before they headed south for the winter.

The only question the MIL asked me was when was I going to go get some more of that!

IC-A

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ingwe] #16500425 10/05/21
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Originally Posted by ingwe
Originally Posted by copperking81
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As a new elk hunter, with no hands on experience in any state with elk, you need to ask yourself if you're willing to do a 9-11 day hunt without seeing a single elk or very few. Good probability that could be the outcome of your DIY trip. If that is unacceptable, then skip the learning curve and go straight to an outfitter. You could get lucky on a DIY hunt and get into elk quickly and with some ease or you may go several trips spending big money, time, and energy with no ROI. In the end, it may even be cheaper to go outfitter.





^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


THIS...in spades.



I watched three dudes from CA ( Im in Montana) rollin with their Motorhome, their trailer, their 4wd ATV,and their spare pickup to hunt elk DIY. They got one...a rag horn.

Do the math: Motorhome $100 K
Trailer 8 K
ATV- 12K
Pickup to haul this stuff-55K

Total $ 175K


They could go to Chama multiple times and bring home huge bulls for that price....just a for instance.

Knew another dude from back east, serious DIY dude, who killed an absolute MONSTER bull on public land....on his 23rd attempt.


Do you suppose that they bought all the stuff just for that one Elk hunt? lol

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16501878 10/05/21
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Thanks for all the replies, I’m not looking to kill monster elk . I’m not expecting to shoot one on the first day or anything like that. I know it will be hard work and lots off it. I just want to get to an area where I can get to know and learn the area so when my kids get old enough I kinda have that part figured out.

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16502104 10/05/21
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Like I said, find a unit or two and really put some work into it. Scouting and setting up trail cams. Maybe a guided hunt for a crash course.
Simply put, Boots on the ground and just making it happen.
You only get so many opening morning


All of them do something better than the 30-06, but none of them do everything as well.
Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16502997 10/06/21
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The first thing to know about elk is that the vast majority are taken on private land, while most hunters hunt on public land. Of the elk that are taken on public land, the majority are taken on outfitted hunts operating from wilderness camps put in place with horses. As a result, a small number of hunters who are one way or another paying for access get the the bulk of the elk. Which is not to say that elk are never taken DIY on public land - they are - but it's at a very low rate in most places.

As a general rule, if a state doesn't split out private vs public land hunting and simply gives a success rate for a unit, assume the actual success rate for a DIY public hunt is between 1/5th and 1/10th that. So for example CO rifle seasons have an across the board success rate of about 20%, so the DIY public land rate is about 2-4%.

Have a realistic view of what's going on, and decide up front if you're willing to pay for access vs. what success rate you expect.

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: Llama_Bob] #16503387 10/06/21
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Originally Posted by Llama_Bob
The first thing to know about elk is that the vast majority are taken on private land, while most hunters hunt on public land. Of the elk that are taken on public land, the majority are taken on outfitted hunts operating from wilderness camps put in place with horses. As a result, a small number of hunters who are one way or another paying for access get the the bulk of the elk. Which is not to say that elk are never taken DIY on public land - they are - but it's at a very low rate in most places.

As a general rule, if a state doesn't split out private vs public land hunting and simply gives a success rate for a unit, assume the actual success rate for a DIY public hunt is between 1/5th and 1/10th that. So for example CO rifle seasons have an across the board success rate of about 20%, so the DIY public land rate is about 2-4%.

Have a realistic view of what's going on, and decide up front if you're willing to pay for access vs. what success rate you expect.


I think you need to do some research your numbers.

Last edited by saddlesore; 10/06/21.

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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16503869 10/06/21
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In some states maybe. Idaho is 60% public land and most of the elk are on it during the season. They do move to private land in the winter. The vast majority are taken on public land without the services of outfitters.


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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: saddlesore] #16503974 10/06/21
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Originally Posted by saddlesore
Originally Posted by Llama_Bob
The first thing to know about elk is that the vast majority are taken on private land, while most hunters hunt on public land. Of the elk that are taken on public land, the majority are taken on outfitted hunts operating from wilderness camps put in place with horses. As a result, a small number of hunters who are one way or another paying for access get the the bulk of the elk. Which is not to say that elk are never taken DIY on public land - they are - but it's at a very low rate in most places.

As a general rule, if a state doesn't split out private vs public land hunting and simply gives a success rate for a unit, assume the actual success rate for a DIY public hunt is between 1/5th and 1/10th that. So for example CO rifle seasons have an across the board success rate of about 20%, so the DIY public land rate is about 2-4%.

Have a realistic view of what's going on, and decide up front if you're willing to pay for access vs. what success rate you expect.


I think you need to do some research your numbers.



You can "think" what you want, but facts are facts.

The FACT is that any outfitter or trespass fee operation that can't provide in excess of 50% success (and usually near 100%) will quickly go out of business in the era of internet reviews. In any state that accounts for those hunters in the same statistics as DIY public land hunters, the statistics will be completely warped since they reflect a mix of succeeding pay-to-play hunters and failing DIY hunters.

Personally I don't have a problem with the modern era of pay-to-play hunting, because when you have a scarce resource money is a good way to decide who gets it. But OP needs to understand what the game is.

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16504169 10/06/21
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Where your numbers get skewed is thinking that the "vast majority are taken on private land". May be true in some states, but not true in Colo. Far FAR more DIY'ers then there are private land/guided hunters. Hence, their success plays little in the over all success rate.


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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16504293 10/06/21
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Colorado kills about 60,000 elk a year.I can guarantee the majority are not on private land. Looking at a land status map of National Forest and BLM land the majority of land west of the continental divide is public land. Most outfitters operate on public land which is why they need a Forest Service permit to do so and cannot charge a trespass fee.


Kindly post the published date to support your claim that CO public land success is 2- 4%. CPW sells elk tags based on a 20% success rate ( 18-20% is their figure) means they sell about 300,000 elk tags a year, The majority are not on private land

Last edited by saddlesore; 10/06/21.

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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16504311 10/06/21
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In some states civilians can be drawn to hunt on military installations. There are elk hidden in places one wouldn't normally consider. Fort Sill, Oklahoma is a good example.


Medics bury their mistakes..
Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16504325 10/06/21
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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: saddlesore] #16504363 10/06/21
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Originally Posted by saddlesore

Kindly post the published date to support your claim that CO public land success is 2- 4%. CPW sells elk tags based on a 20% success rate ( 18-20% is their figure) means they sell about 300,000 elk tags a year, The majority are not on private land


The vast majority are private land or outfitters. It may actually be slightly higher than the 10 to 1 ratio I quoted in Colorado.

The fact that the majority of land by acres is public land is misleading. What matters is where the elk are taken, not how many elk-free public acres there are. Colorado publishes statistics which mix private and outfitted success with DIY failure to get the 20% number and then sells the dream to the rubes one $610.25 out of state tag (plus habitat stamp and qualifying license) at a time.

It's a good scam I suppose, but there's no reason OP shouldn't be aware of what's going on.

Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16504391 10/06/21
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Quote
The vast majority are private land or outfitters. It may actually be slightly higher than the 10 to 1 ratio I quoted in Colorado.


You're just wrong on this one. Hell, take a gander at all the guys that post just on this forum alone and see just how many of us are successful, year in and year out, all DIYer's. Killing elk on public isn't some magically hard thing to do on public ground. Sure the guys hunting private/guided have a higher success, but sure as hell the public DIY hunters are way more successful then you're giving them credit for.


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Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16504410 10/06/21
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Originally Posted by TRnCO
Quote
The vast majority are private land or outfitters. It may actually be slightly higher than the 10 to 1 ratio I quoted in Colorado.


You're just wrong on this one. Hell, take a gander at all the guys that post just on this forum alone and see just how many of us are successful, year in and year out, all DIYer's. Killing elk on public isn't some magically hard thing to do on public ground. Sure the guys hunting private/guided have a higher success, but sure as hell the public DIY hunters are way more successful then you're giving them credit for.



No, you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. I'm saying the success rate is shokingly low for DIYs, not zero. There's a difference.

The private land guys are able to say things like this:

"There are a ton of elk on this hunt and you will be in bucks every day deciding which one you will be shooting."
"These ranches are well roaded an you don’t have to be super fit to hunt this. Hunting is mostly out of UTV’s..."
"So whatever time frame you want to hunt we can get you in elk. If we get good snow the late hunt (fourth rifle) can be so insane with literally hundreds and hundreds of elk and your choosing the bull you want."
(taken from a random Craig outfitter... and not high fence)

While the DIY guy

Quote

Knew another dude from back east, serious DIY dude, who killed an absolute MONSTER bull on public land....on his 23rd attempt.


Decide which of those two hunting experiences you want, and pay accordingly.

Last edited by Llama_Bob; 10/06/21.
Re: Starting to elk hunt is overwhelming..... [Re: ND2506AI] #16504970 10/06/21
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Originally Posted by ND2506AI
I’m from ND and wanting to start putting in for elk somewhere as in another state but it’s so overwhelming to decide where and what not. I’d be going to rifle and would like to go every 2-3 years . Maybe cow tags for the first while then lol at going for a bull tag. Any pointers? Anyone from ND planning an elk hunt in the next couple years looking for a tag along or two? Thanks



Yup... Yup.... I have to tell you... If just planning a trip is overwhelming... you should just stay home.

With that said... I bought a left over bull tag for the 4th season in Colorado... I had never been to Colorado... I never hunted for a bull before... Hunt success for the 4th season in that area was 5%

I researched and planned... set camp 2 days early.... Shot a 6X7 bull at first light on the first day of the 4th season.

All I can tell you is quit crying about it being over whelming and just get going. Buy a tag... load the truck. and go.


If a good dog will last 15 years.... and a pick up will last you 10 years... then, by my math... I'm only good for three more trucks and two more dogs before I'm done.

They only win.... when they cheat.
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