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  1. #1
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    Looking to Hunt the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

    By way of introduction... this year my friends and I are looking to go on a backcountry elk hunt. We're from Kansas, all experienced whitetail hunters, active outdoorsman, and one of our group has been on a guided elk hunt in Colorado. We know the hunt itself will be a great challenge, but that's half of the draw for us. I guess a middle-aged macho thing.

    We are hoping to get the early rifle combo tags for September and have been torn between the Bob Marshal Wilderness and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness... leaning toward the latter. Either way, we have up to two weeks of vacation already scheduled and are looking to hike in at least a few miles from the roads or trails.

    That said, we won't be able to go early to scout the area so we'll be going in blind, so to speak, with maps and a GPS.
    Any tips and pointers--especially places to shoot for--would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I would suggest bringing some horses as you will more than likely have to go pretty deep to find the elk. They open those areas early bc they are pretty tough hunts and are not your typical hike 2 or 3 miles and find an elk, not saying that it can't be done but it will be tough. If I remember right there was a good story from Anaconda Pintler about his Bob elk hunt which I believe might have been in the early season.
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  3. #3
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    Yep I just went back and read his story, he was 20 miles in when he shot his bull and had some grizzlies to deal with.
    JJenness
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  4. #4
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    +1 on horses! Both are big, steep, rough country and getting an elk out with out them would be very difficult at best, never mind if you all filled tags and the weather could do anything in those areas even in september. If you really what to hunt either of them I would recommend a drop camp or guided hunt.

  5. #5
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    I am with the others.

    If you want to hike "at least a few miles" from the road, you will still have a few miles to go to get into the open district. Packing out an elk that distance that time of year is no quick and easy task.

    I also recommend an outfitter or drop camp if you really want to hunt those districts and seasons.

    If you want a DIY hunt, look into some districts with better access in the general season.

  6. #6
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    I am also with everyone else. You need horses for that country. Plus lots of Bears, Big Bears. Awesome country but very rough.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for quick response guys. Right now, a couple of our friends are working on getting some pack llamas but no horses as yet. I'm looking into renting horses but I don't know that we can afford both riding and pack horses. We briefly considered drop camps, but it looks like the prices become prohibitive after a week and we intend to spend a full weeks.

    I may be the voice of reason in the group, even in we are in good shape, there's a lot of ground to cover on foot, but money is limited.

  8. #8
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    Do you guys have experience with horses or hunting in a wilderness?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langadune View Post
    Thanks for quick response guys. Right now, a couple of our friends are working on getting some pack llamas but no horses as yet. I'm looking into renting horses but I don't know that we can afford both riding and pack horses. We briefly considered drop camps, but it looks like the prices become prohibitive after a week and we intend to spend a full weeks.

    I may be the voice of reason in the group, even in we are in good shape, there's a lot of ground to cover on foot, but money is limited.
    Langadune,

    I have rented horses. Renting horses is going to get as expensive as a drop camp when you get the amount of stock needed to do the trip, plus you will be responsible for transportation, feed, vet, etc.

    This is still my advice:

    Hunt a general district with better access. You can still have a great backcountry experience with a good shot at a bull.

    or

    Hire an outfitter for your backcountry hunt.

    However, it sounds like you are set on attempting the early backcountry hunt. In any case I sincerely wish you the best!

  10. #10
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    I understand your concern and I am definitely not disregarding your advice. September is the only time this year we can all get off from work together. I'm pushing for at a minimum a drop camp, at the very least, someone will be able to help us haul out our kills, if we get any.

    Do you guys have experience with horses or hunting in a wilderness?
    I grew up around horses. My grandfather used to raise appaloosas and I used to help quite a bit... have not had a horse around for hunting. Hunting in a wilderness, no. And I know what a major undertaking that is. We've been backpack camping in Colorado but not on a hunt.

 

 

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