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wapiti66
12-09-2012, 07:02 PM
Im a NR with 5 preference points for elk and am wanting to burn them and start over but the initial unit we (Dad, brother, and I) started chasing (45) takes 6 preference points according to the MRS. I think we've decided to hire an outfitter since scouting isn't a likely option for us in the summer and dad is really ready to get into some heavy elk action after many OTC attempts in Co with limited success. My question is should we keep chasing 45 knowing that wyoming is cutting back on tags or is there a "better" or "equal" option with our points and a reputable outfitter elsewhere? Any recommendations on outfitters in other units? Most of my research is pointing towards North Central Wyo (Units 38 or 45) or central (units 19, 23, or 120). Both 19 and 23 we could draw now according to the MRS with a type 1 tag, which is what we are after. We would prefer to draw the type 1 tag and go hunt the rut in archery season, with the chance to come back in rifle if we were not all successful. We are all in good shape and would prefer the "backcountry wall-tent" type hunt over the "ranch lodge" hunts. My research is showing most of these hunts costing $4,000-$5000. The two outfitters that catch my eye are A Double J and Beaver Trap Outfitters. Any comments on either of these? I have read through dozens of outfitters web pages but thought I would try to get some insight from you guys on a good guided backcountry elk hunt with the possibilities of 300 plus inch bull? Thanks in advance for any input.

mntnguide
12-09-2012, 08:55 PM
If you are looking for "backcountry" what i see on Beaver traps website about their hunts doesnt really equal that. They use wall tents with generators and ATV's and Pick-ups for hunting. If that is fine for your group then no worries, but when i hear backcountry i usually think of a string of horses and mules. All depends on what you are looking for though. . As a guide I can tell you if i ever make enough to be a client instead what my line of questions for an outfitter would be from my experiences....

1. Success/Opportunity rate 2. Quality of bulls (example of all their hunters last year how many bulls went over 300) 3. How long have their guides been with the outfit (if you have an outfitter who doesnt have a single guide of long standing...there is usually a reason behind that). 4. Number of hunters in camp each hunt if booked full 5. Amount of pressure from other hunters in the area.

I guess those would be my most thought about questions to narrow down an outfitter. The outfit I work for doesnt have a single guide with less than 4 years for them, and that is me. The other 3 guides have been there 10-20 years respectively. For my hunting area, we are a backcountry outfitter whose camp is 18 miles from the trailhead via pack strings. We dont have to worry about the point system much because we are in a general tag area so many of our hunters can hunt with us every year if they put in for the special draw, or can easily get lucky and draw with 0 points in the general draw. That being said, for an area you are looking to hunt this question probably will not be as relevant, But the amount of Return clients an outfitter draws in really shows what kind of outfitter they are. We bring in roughly 85% return hunters every year if not more. Our first 3 hunts are usually booked with returns. Its a good thing and shows prospective hunters confidence in booking.

Years ago I worked for an outfit in Idaho for 2 years that had nearly all new clients each year..there was a reason. Hunting was tough, bulls werent big and the outfitter made a lot of big claims in his phone calls that a client could have noticed was false just be adhering to some of the above questions. I left that outfitter mainly for the reason of not being able to stand new people every year with false expectations. There are definitely great outfitters, and bad ones. Using some of those questions can hopefully help you get a good idea of the outfitter. I personally believe the amount of years their guides have been with them truly shows a lot about the outfitter. If you have any other questions Id be happy to try and help or answer. I do not know much about outfitters in those areas otherwise I would give you a reference if I had a good one. Good Luck.

Kapaapala
12-10-2012, 12:12 AM
I hunted with Rusty Bogers from Adoublej outfitters last year.Honest,great guy who will give 110 % to his clients.

wapiti66
12-10-2012, 08:09 AM
Mtnguide-Thanks for all the info. It's definately a long process of acquiring all the info before I can even begin to narrow down the options. I agree that "backcountry hunts" are riding in on a pack line several miles to a remote camp away from roads, generators, and people. I have been on one guided elk hunt in Co that was this type of hunt...two guides, two hunters, and nobody else for miles but the elk. It was a blast and that is what I am after again if possible. I have tried to contact the guys at Beaver Trap but am still waiting to hear back from them, your list of questions is similar to the things Im wanting to ask. Do you have any experience with unit 45? Or do you have any recommendations for my 5 pref. points. Im also wondering about some of the blue chip units like 108 that would take 7 points as of now? Again, thanks for your insight, nice talking to someone in the business. I'll continue my search to try and narrow down options.
Kapaapala-that's encouraging news. What unit did you hunt in? Did you take a nice bull/buck? Ive noticed Adoublej will be in Denver at the ISE, we plan to go talk to some outfitters there, so I will get to see them in person and compare them to other potential outfitters. Thanks for your info.

Fink
12-10-2012, 09:17 AM
Unit 45 also has a type 9 season, so if you were planning on hunting the archery portion, there would be up to an additional 150 tags for the archery season. I think you could only hunt the second half of September, I believe after the 15th, on the type 1.. Probably not a deal breaker, but something to think about.

MWScott72
12-10-2012, 11:35 AM
Be aware that there is a large landowner in Area 23 that does not allow hunting...and the elk know it. Once they start to feel pressure, guess where they go. I found this out talking to the wildlife biologist for 23 last year during the application process. Since you're going archery, this may not be as relevant, but I'd definitely ask the question if you're thinking about 23....especially if you decide to do something DIY.

Kapaapala
12-10-2012, 11:59 AM
Unit 45 archery,had a bad shot a bull ):

wapiti66
12-10-2012, 12:54 PM
Ive considered the type 9 for unit 45, but it looks like it takes the same points as type 1, so I think that is my "safer" route since Ive never hunted elk in wyo. Although, I didn't know you had to wait til the 15th to start. Thats really not a big deal, as that is usually when we would head to Co on our typical years with an OTC tag. I would really like to time the hunt with the "peak" of the rut, but Im reading that could be early september more so than later sept. in wyo. compared to Colorado?? When would you say the average peak of the rut happens? And was this year similar to the average? In Co I like to hunt the last week of archery season/sep., that seems to be the best chance for bugling bulls, am I safe to assume the same for Northcentral wyo?

As for Unit 23 the more I read I am realizing that it has a lot more Private, may not be an issue with the right outfitter, so I won't rule it out completely. It looks like we will most likely be hiring an outfitter, my dad feels like he is running out of "elk hunting time" and wants to get a bull sooner than later, so an outfitter definately helps our odds filling our tags in a state we know little about hunting elk in. Thanks for all your info again folks.

HuskyMusky
12-10-2012, 04:02 PM
not sure I'd want to burn them this year after this drought, any thoughts?

I plan for a year of points coming up...

Fink
12-10-2012, 05:04 PM
A mild winter and a nice wet spring and summer would probably fix any drought issues from this past year, I would think. We do need the current drought to let up though..

buckbull
12-10-2012, 08:25 PM
I hunted with Rusty Bogers in 2010, unit 35. Killed the bull thats my profile on the last day of the hunt. My buddy shot a nice 300+ bull on that hunt as well. I had a chance at a 300+ bull but my darn scope fogged up and I couldn't locate him. Rusty runs a top notch operation and as mentioned above will give 110% to get you into bulls. We stayed at his lodge on our hunt but I know he packs into unit 45 as well. My partner at the time doesn't like horses and isn't in the best of shape so we picked the lodge to hunt out of. I know his guides at the time were very professional and had quite a bit of experience. The food in camp was amazing.

wapiti66
12-10-2012, 08:51 PM
Pretty sure most of the country could use some drought relief. We are farmers so we feel the pain pretty bad here in ks too, it's been months without any moisture here. If the drought don't break, we won't have much to harvest next fall, so that leaves Sep. pretty open for hunting. We were in a record drought here this year, but I didn't think it hurt our antler growth on our deer too much, still saw about the usual amount of good deer. Anybody else notice it having much of an effect on antler growth?
We are leaning on 45 for now, so I don't think we would draw it this year anyways. But...we could get lucky, and it's never too early to start doing my research. Either way, I'll keep building points and going OTC in Co until I draw.

Fink
12-10-2012, 09:09 PM
I don't think it affected antler growth here much in Missouri, but it sure did affect corn growth. I got 90 bushel corn this fall, 10 year average on my farm is over 160. What few rains we got this summer were very timely, and saved our bean crop.

I saw just as many big deer hit the ground this fall as I have in years past, even though I feel like we had far fewer deer than in years prior.

wapiti66
12-10-2012, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the input buckbull, sounds like a good hunt. Im getting excited to hunt Wyo, nice change from what Im used to.

brooks
12-13-2012, 09:44 AM
If you draw area 38 you can bow hunt there in sept. with a bow only tag or you can rifle/bow hunt starting oct. 15. 38 is one of the areas you can not bow hunt the rut in sept. then rifle hunt later in the year. 38 is CROWED come rifle season. Bull elk, cow elk and deer season all open up at the same time oct. 15 in area 38. Beaver Trap Outfitters would be the way to go if you want to hunt 38 with an outfitter.

jenbickel
12-13-2012, 12:34 PM
If you draw area 38 you can bow hunt there in sept. with a bow only tag or you can rifle/bow hunt starting oct. 15. 38 is one of the areas you can not bow hunt the rut in sept. then rifle hunt later in the year. 38 is CROWED come rifle season. Bull elk, cow elk and deer season all open up at the same time oct. 15 in area 38. Beaver Trap Outfitters would be the way to go if you want to hunt 38 with an outfitter.

38 is crowded during archery season too! You have the archery elk hunters, archery deer hunters, rifle bear hunters and fire wood getters lol

chuckar
12-14-2012, 10:06 AM
If you really want a true backcountry hunt, its not gonna happen in the Bighorns. With that said, I would take a good look at Beaver Trap. I know the owner, Ross and he really works his butt off for his clients. This fall he killed some really good bulls . I helped him pack out 1 bull that was pushing 340. If your having trouble getting a hold of him, its because he is chasing lions this time of year.
If you want to look at a good outfitter for a wilderness horseback hunt, I would get with Bob Sundeen at Trailswest Outfitters. They pack into a very good area and have a good reputation. The area that he hunts allows archery and rifle with the same tag, in fact you can bow hunt until the end of September then rifle hunt the 1st of Oct. I don't personaly know him, but have hunted in the same area that he does for years. Good Luck

jenbickel
12-14-2012, 01:11 PM
If you really want a true backcountry hunt, its not gonna happen in the Bighorns. With that said, I would take a good look at Beaver Trap. I know the owner, Ross and he really works his butt off for his clients. This fall he killed some really good bulls . I helped him pack out 1 bull that was pushing 340. If your having trouble getting a hold of him, its because he is chasing lions this time of year.
If you want to look at a good outfitter for a wilderness horseback hunt, I would get with Bob Sundeen at Trailswest Outfitters. They pack into a very good area and have a good reputation. The area that he hunts allows archery and rifle with the same tag, in fact you can bow hunt until the end of September then rifle hunt the 1st of Oct. I don't personaly know him, but have hunted in the same area that he does for years. Good Luck

I agree... Ross is one of my personal friends and he is awesome. He will put you on elk without a doubt.

elkocd
12-14-2012, 08:35 PM
I hunted unit 23 a couple years ago and would stay away unless you can spend a couple weeks out there waiting for a bull. The elk know exaclty where the private land is and will hover back on forth with even slight hunting pressure. It's just not a fun hunt watching bulls on private land waiting for them to venture onto public. I had a better time on my WY general unit hunt.

wapiti66
12-16-2012, 09:21 AM
Thanks again to all....lots of good info. coming in to add to my list of notes. Bob Sundeen/Trails West Outfitters is one of the outfitters on my list, so I will definitely keep him there and try to get in contact with him. Any idea of how many points it takes to draw his area? As for Ross with Beaver Trap, you are right, he did finally call me back and I was unavailable, but he said he is hard to reach this time of year. That's all ok, that's why Im trying to get an early start to sort through all this info. As for 23, I'll probably cross it off the list, thanks elkocd...I agree I don't want to play the private/public game with the elk. Ive done that in CO and it's a loosing game too often. It's encouraging to know Im looking in most the right places, and the good people on the forum have good knowledge to help back up my thoughts. Thanks to all of you.

Elkoholic307
12-16-2012, 07:50 PM
If you really want a true backcountry hunt, its not gonna happen in the Bighorns.

That may be true for 38 but not for some of the other Bighorn areas... plenty of wilderness to pack into.