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I am from the eastern part of the US and have only had the pleasure of pursing whitetails.I am interested in hunting for Elk in the next couple of years.Where do I start?I do like the do it your self type of hunts.I was just wondering where a first timer would start to put the odds in his favor....Any suggestions?
 

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I went to MONTANA

Me and 2 buddies applied together and we got tags the first year we ever applied(2004). Elk/deer combo cost about $700 for license, the tags are good for the archery season and the rifle season. There is 1000's of acres that is public. We did a do it yourself hunt, and we came home with 5x5 bull and a nice 120" whitetail. If you look back through threads I have started or contibuted to you can find picture and all the information of where we hunted.
Also if your really serious about doing a hunt without a guide I suggest you goto www.sagecreekforums.com the site is geared towards hunting out west and doing it yourself. Good luck, hunting out west is worth the time and money
 

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I too went to MT

Went 2 years ago and I am going this year, can't wait. The best place to start IMHO is your endurance. Get into shape. The more ground you can cover the better your chances will be. When I went 2 years ago I was walking with a loaded backpack all over, helps to break in shoes and gets you accustommed to carrying wieght. Biking or running are also good ones. Next would be your maxium shooting ranges.. go as far as you feel comfortable. My max is 60 yds and I practice every other day at that range. 3rd thing is set realistic goals. My first trip all I wanted was an elk. Calf, cow, spike or mature bull it didn't matter the first one that gave me a broadside shot I was shooting. Call which ever state you plan to hunt and talk to thier fish and game dept. they can send you out a regulation booklet and may also offer area that have easier access or better odds than other areas. Other than that practice, practice, practcie and good luck.

Rodney what part of MT did you and your buddies hunt in? My group applied to the Charles M. Russel NWR .
 

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Most western states

BB,

The states I know for sure are Montana, Wyoming,Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Californa, Washington. As for their tag policies don't know all of them, MT, NM, CA, WY are a draw as are certain units in CO. Idaho is over the counter, I think. Best way to find out is to call the states Fish and Game Dept.
 

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Id go with a guide to be safe :thumbs_up Yeah you can do a self hunt but it can be risky for your self and others.

Id call a guy up named Ron Dube (Doo-Bay) in WY, hes probably one of the best outfitters in the lower 48! Might be guiding for him next year so I might get the chance to help ya bag a big one! :thumbs_up
Ron Dube
Pretty impressive animals!

Don't know too much about guides in Montana but there is a guide school down in Darby and most schools are run by outfitters.
 

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Archerytalk is a great all around archery foarm, but for hunting elk, log on hear;
http://www.bowsite.com/BOWSITE/TF/bgforums/THREADS.CFM
be humbel and ask questions, lots of experinced elk hunters.

This site also has individule state foarms with links to the different state game & fish agencys, I suggest you call or write and get the regulation booklets for Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Idaho & Montana.
As stated, Colorado & Idaho have some "over the counter tags, the other states are by drawing. Other states with great elk hunting are Arizona & Nevada, but it takes lots of money (bonus points) and years to draw a tag.
You can do a "do-it-yourself" elk hunt, but you need to be in good condition, and have good camping equipment. Weather in the "rockies" in Sept. can run from 90% in the shade to snowing and below freezing, and it can change in the blink of an eye. An average day can include hikeing 10+ miles, up and down mountians at 11,000 ft, where the air is really thin.
Don't try a western elk hunt alone, get a commited friend or two, or find an experinced elk hunter to go with. Another reason to go with several people is if you get one, it will most likley go down miles from the nearest road, and could weight over 700 lbs. ( it isn't like draging a whitetail 400 yds over flat ground to your truck )
For now, get the regulation books, and pick up an elk hunting DVD like Primos "The Truth 8, big bulls", and keep asking questions.
I gotta go now, and finish packing my truck. Heading to New Mexico in a week to bow hunt elk. :shade:
 

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Dont let Anaconda scare ya. The area I hunt elk isnt nearly so rough in terrian. If you can find a spot where I hunt that is more than a mile from a road then you most have found the only one. Elevvations are in the 8000-9900 range. Not alot of steep climbing.

However, he does point out something that can't be stressed enough. The drag/pack out. On elk, it is tough. Heck I would classify it as very tough work. Last year it took me and a friend 20 minutes to drag halfs of a large bodied bull a measly 60 yards and load into truck. Now imagine you are by yourself and are a couple hundred yards, a 1000 yards...miles? Bring at least one friend. Elk meat will spoil in a hurry if the temps are in 70's or higher.

Of course if you have a game cart, enough people and only hunt a few hundred yards off the road it take hardly anytime at all. Either way, read as much as you can on the subject.
 

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unit 393

Luckybuck1 said:
Went 2 years ago and I am going this year, can't wait. The best place to start IMHO is your endurance. Get into shape. The more ground you can cover the better your chances will be. When I went 2 years ago I was walking with a loaded backpack all over, helps to break in shoes and gets you accustommed to carrying wieght. Biking or running are also good ones. Next would be your maxium shooting ranges.. go as far as you feel comfortable. My max is 60 yds and I practice every other day at that range. 3rd thing is set realistic goals. My first trip all I wanted was an elk. Calf, cow, spike or mature bull it didn't matter the first one that gave me a broadside shot I was shooting. Call which ever state you plan to hunt and talk to thier fish and game dept. they can send you out a regulation booklet and may also offer area that have easier access or better odds than other areas. Other than that practice, practice, practcie and good luck.

Rodney what part of MT did you and your buddies hunt in? My group applied to the Charles M. Russel NWR .
I think that was the unit number, anyway we were hunting the Bridger Mountains and the Crazy Mountains just north of Livingston Montana thats a little north and east of Bozeman. Going to Oregon this year.
 
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