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  1. #1
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    Wyoming elk points?

    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.

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    I hunted with Rusty Bogers from Adoublej outfitters last year.Honest,great guy who will give 110 % to his clients.

  4. #4
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    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.

  5. #5
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
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    Unit 45 archery,had a bad shot a bull ):

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    not sure I'd want to burn them this year after this drought, any thoughts?

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

  10. #10
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    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..

 

 

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