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Joined: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by XBOLT51
actually right here in montana even though its not otc for non reidents has excellent hunting if you can draw a tag dont let the locals fool you
the state might not have 30 inch bucks or 350 inch bulls all over but it still has decent hunting, its not all doom and gloom here like they want you to think it is , and the wolves havn't killed all the game thats another load of horse manure this state does hold some big elk and deer


I'd bet the hunters success rate is much higher there than in Oregon as well. I can see why you left that state out. One thing about elk hunting, you are always learning. You learn from every mistake each year. At least that is the way its been for me. I also hunt in an area that only has a 4% hunters success rate, but get a bull about every other year. I don't pass on an opportunity to shoot a spike either. If you want elk where I hunt, you can't be too choosy.. Like someone else said, if you pass up a raghorn, maybe another elk may not come your way for the rest of the hunt. An over the counter first season tag is only good for about 4 days (first season). The second season Rocky mountain elk general bull tag in Oregon is a little longer, like 8 days. Last year right before I tagged my bull, I was thinking to myself, "I just need to see a damn bull, the rest is the easy part". Meaning making the shot and getting him on the ground. After that, its all work.. but damn rewarding. My best advice to the OP, is always stay positive. "Elk hunting separates the men from the boys", is what my elk hunting partner always says...


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
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Originally Posted by Nestucca
Iā€™m pretty sure that Oregon and Washington have OTC tags for Rosies as well. šŸ˜‰

There's definitely more to hunting in Washington than OTC tags. An out-of-state DIY hunter could probably get a deer and an elk on the same trip here if he could stay for a month. On a shorter trip, he'd have a better chance of getting a deer or an elk, plus a bear.

Both Washington and Oregon are divided into east and west by the Cascade mountains. Both have Roosevelt elk and blacktail deer west of the Cascades. East of the Cascades, both have Rocky Mountain elk, whitetails, and mule deer. Both states also have black bear on both sides of the mountains.

Washington is OTC for all three deer species, black bear, and both elk species. For deer and elk, you have to pick a method (archery, ML, modern firearm) for each species, then stick with it all year. You also have to pick one side of the crest for each species, then you only hunt that side that year. It's OK to hunt deer on one side and elk on the other if you want, and to use different methods for each species. With all of that in mind, deer and elk seasons don't overlap much when you stick to one method and one side of the mountains. You might be able to get more overlap by combining more than one method and by switching sides but I've never looked into that. Here's a summary of Washington seasons: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/summary-of-seasons

I haven't hunted the east side much, but getting access to the best places to hunt on the west side can be problematic, especially for elk. Nearly all of the huntable land west of the Cascades is tree farms. The elevation is low compared to the mountain states but it's steep and the brush is dense. You can see some of that here:
https://www.google.com/search?q=wes...mp;biw=1288&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS931US932

These farms are a mix of jungle and wide open space, and hunting them is an art unto itself. It will probably rain during deer season and it will definitely rain during elk season, so expect to combine spot-and-stalk hunting with old-school brush hunting in weather that's like getting sprayed with a hose. If you were in the military, then you might want to brush up on your lower mountaineering skills for meat recovery. Several campfire posters are experts at it; you should find and read their threads before you hunt here. I'm less of an expert, but I've written about it here: https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/11623852/First_Elk

Tree farms are privately owned. The vast majority of them are open to the public, so there's a lot of pressure from locals because they can scout so easily. There's also pressure from folks driving in from the major cities along the coast. Few if any of them scout, so they just get in the way. This pressure pushes game onto the parts of some farms that timber companies lease to third parties, so the hunting is better there. They also keep some farms gated and prohibit motorized access. Those areas have pressure in the mile closest to the edges but the hunting is pretty good if you can go deep. The best hunting is on private land with no public access, but good luck finding that.

The locals have a huge advantage on both sides of the Cascade crest because they can scout more easily and because they know how to work the edges of the restricted areas. Indian tribal members basically have no rules, so they hunt all the time. Poaching picks up when the economy tanks, so we've probably got some of that coming our way as well.

I'm pretty sure that Oregon is a draw state.


Okie John


Originally Posted by Brad
If Montana had a standing army, a 270 Win with Federal Blue Box 130's would be the standard issue.
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I grew up hunting elk and mule deer DIY on public land in CO. Things I think are important.

1) Learn how to track and read sign.
2) Get into the woods well before it gets light and don't come out of them until it is dark. Hunt the whole day and let others push game to you.
3) Hunt uphill that way you're packing meat downhill.
4) Learn your rifle/bow so you can make the shot.
5) Hunt cow elk because there are a lot more cows than bulls.
6) Never pass on any animal the first day that you will happily tag on the last day.
7) Always carry a pack frame so the first load of meat comes out when you do. This make 1 less trip.


You get out of life what you are willing to accept. If you ain't happy, do something about it!
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1982 and I was a young tough pup. Killed first bull above timberline in thigh deep snow in CO.

Lesson learned: Dem Sumbitches is heavy.

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