I have read many articles that recommend calling the local game biologist for an area and picking his brain, along with talking to other folks via phone for info on a unit. I have hunted elk for 20+ years but just switched over to archery. After two years of tag soup in a new unit I am thinking there may be something to this research idea, never done it before so where do I start? If any of you work the phone to research a hunting area, or drop in on a biologist, what types of questions should I ask? Besides, "Where will the elk be during archery season?"
Thanks for ALL thoughts and suggestions!
The first thing I'd recommend is getting Mike's book "Elk Hunting The West". He has some great questions lined out to ask and are great for getting the discussion started. It has helped me a lot with getting the general background of the unit and to start a repore with the bio. I'd also recommend calling the Forest Service game bio for the ranger district that you'll be hunitng in. I have found that they get more boots on the ground in the units and have some great info. I also like to follow up with both after I have scouted the area with any new questions and share info that shows I am willing to do the grunt work. Goes a long way with them. Hope this helps.
Thanks CrookedR, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond! I was surprised no one else was willing to help out. I will check out Mike's book and follow your other suggestions.
I've called the area biologists when I start to hunt a new area every time. The guys I've spoke with were very happy to help. I've had more then one tell me that they wish more guys would ask them for help and they are surprised how often they won't get a single call during a whole season. As far as questions go I just explain that I'm hunting this area and it's the first time hunting there and just need a place to start. Then just go with the conversation. I've asked lots of questions and also times haven't had to ask very many because they tell me everything I need to know. I also see it as I pay their salary and they should tell me everything I want to know. I have no problem asking detailed question about the area. And honestly all of the info I've ever gotten from them have been rite on the money. But also your own scoutting and hard work will be the best way to learn the area,
I have seen in my area where the local game officials are not necessarily honest about areas to hunt. Not saying it is on purpose or trying to decieve, but I wouldn't rely only on fish and game people! Talk to as many people as you can as well as doing your own scouting!