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Discussion Starter #1
I want to go on a guided archery elk hunt in the next 3-4 years. How do you recommend narrowing down states/units/guides? I don’t want to put in for points in like 5 states for 5 years since that will waste a lot of money. But I don’t know where to even begin. Should I be looking for an outfitter first or a unit/state that I want? I don’t think I’m hard to please I just would like a good experience and a reasonable chance at any bull.

I guess a good starting place would be: would you look for a guide first? I don’t care if it’s New Mexico or Montana. Then figure out what it took?
 

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Bowsite for sure. Join it and then use the search function. Be forewarned that if you join and then immediately start asking for help and recommendations you may get a less than cordial welcome. The outfitter forum is a good place to start but searching old threads will get you all the information you need. Spend as much time as possible on each state's DNR site. Read the regs to familiarize yourself with draw rules etc. It can be quit daunting but if you do the research yourself, you will be way ahead of the game when it comes time to pick an outfitter. I've been on one outfitted hunt so that I could begin learning how to hunt elk and now I'm completely DIY.
 

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I should have mentioned that there are several online "services" that will help you learn each state. I use Toprut and have been pleased with the level of info they provide. Gohunt is another good source. Hit with any questions via PM and I'll help as much as I can.
 

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I've been considering an OOS spring turkey hunt for a few years and began my research by going to the state DNR website. Many have a list of recommended outfitters that is a solid starting point. Check out locations and cost.....then collate with harvest data, preference points, draw results, etc. As mentioned, if you go to a website such as the Bowsite and hope someone else is going to spoon feed you the results of their hard work.....well that probably won't fly. Watch for AT threads on the state and ask informed questions. Don't be shy about emailing outfitters and asking questions, but presume they are giving you best case scenario. Watching a TV hunting show of what Michael Waddell or Lee Lakosky sees on an elk hunt is no more indicative of what the average guy is going to see, then comparing your deer hunting at home with one of their "farms". Some of those hunts are on very exclusive high dollar operations or even preserves.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys! I’m not looking to be spoon fed, and I can do the research. Just didn’t know where to start. I’ll explore bow site.

GENERALLY, do you book an outfitter before you draw the tag? Or do you start trying to find a tag you want and then figure out the hunt after?
 

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Thanks guys! I’m not looking to be spoon fed, and I can do the research. Just didn’t know where to start. I’ll explore bow site.

GENERALLY, do you book an outfitter before you draw the tag? Or do you start trying to find a tag you want and then figure out the hunt after?
You typically get working on preference points if those are necessary, then make arrangements with an outfitter about a year ahead of time. In the case of a state that has a draw, but no preference points....the outfitter should offer you a year extension on a deposit, should you not be drawn. I am in contact with a whitetail outfitter in KS where I hope to be drawn for 2020, as well as a bear guide in MN where I am accruing preference points. In some areas you may be able to buy OTC tags in a draw state, but your outfitter needs to have access to that specific zone/region or else you are DIY. Each situation is pretty specific, which means you narrow down your options and make some core decisions.
 

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I would look at Colorado for Over the Counter tags Grand Mesa to Rifle region.
 

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All depends on your budget and expectations. Have to decide what you want to spend and what you want to shoot. If you have unlimited funds NM or White Mountain.
 

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Bowsites Outfitter forum.
Don't leave home without it.
I will add to this Bowsite is good. I really like to look at the outfitters that do not sponsor Bowsite. Those reviews mean more to me.

Also I am just starting the process for a Elk hunt. I am going to be using a service. I will do some research and pick a ultimate Dream tag, and then I will be looking at one or two places that I want to hunt and should not take as long as my number 1 choice. I will use the service because then I don't have to worry about application deadlines and all that stuff. Lots of deadlines and other details that I hate to deal with when it comes to applying for elk tags. I also find one that I don't have to us their guide when I draw a tag.
 
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Hi....I did this in hopes that I would be able to go on an elk hunt in the high country some day. I took into consideration my physical condition in relation to the types of hunts that I would like to go on. I looked at Montana hard because of the sheer beauty of the terrain....not to say that other states offer less but rather that country appealed to me...always wanted to fly fish in Montana as well. There are some hunts in that country I just could not do now based on age but most I could. Consider the preparation you need to make...physically....because at an altitude of 10,800 I can tell you first hand that when you go up hill you will need to catch your breath every once in a while. Also, consider the budget you need to maintain...or are willing to maintain....as this is a sticking point with folks for a hunt of a lifetime....sometimes you truly do get what you pay for. So far as sites....I just started looking online to see who offered what and then started contacting folks. Just a few ideas...hope they help. Cheers!
Fred
 
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