Myself and a few friends are looking at putting together a hunting trip for the 2012 season.
We are not looking for a trophy in particular, we are all non-residents and would be looking for an area with OTC tags, landowner voucher, or at least a very good chance of drawing.
We are also trying to keep costs down, so we are mostly looking at drop camps.
Due to the distances involved, scouting and setting up our own camp is not really an option.
We are all in TX, looking at CO and NM primarily, mostly to keep the drive time somewhat reasonable.
Elk or Pronghorn would be the game of choice, but we're really up for just about anything.
It does not seem that there are OTC antelope tags available. Is that correct?
Can anyone recommend an outfitter that will set us up in a decent area? I know that drop camps are sometimes set off the game, while the good spots are reserved for guided hunts, so a personal recommendation would be great.
I posted this in the West area, but there is so much more traffic through this forum I thought maybe I'd have some better luck.
I know my brother-in-law, his brother, and couple of their buddies go to Idaho and do self guided hunts. They shoot mostly mule deer and elk. They drive from PA and go to some ground they have hunted before. Not sure how they got the info, but they always seem to get bull elk takes and mule buck tags. I know its not CO, or NM, but maybe something to consider.
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I know an outfitter in Pagosa Springs, Colorado who runs a relatively small operation, but is very good. He does guided day hunts, drop camps and fully guided hunts. Bugle'em Up Outfitting, PO Box 2076, Pagose Springs, Co. 81147. bugleemupoutfitting.com is their website. I am planning a 2012 hunt with them. There are over the counter bull tags available for the 2nd & 3rd rifle seasons.
Colo pronghorn and mule deerr and whitetails are all draw. BUT if you didnt get in the draw by APril 5 there's a 'leftover list' comes out in maybe July. Usually theres a few pronghorn tags on it for public land but MOST leftovers are for private land so you'd need permission ahead or something. Good luck.
Thanks for the info guys.
I'm looking at an outfitter that offers drop camps in unit 74.
I looked on the Colorado DOW site, and it looks like first rifle draw was 100% success in 2010, with about 25% of tags filled.
That is the way we're leaning now. I know there probably isn't a realistic chance of getting a trophy, but from what I've read it seems like we have a decent opportunity at seeing some game if we put in some work.
Wyoming requires a draw but also has some leftover tags once the official results are posted. My Dad + uncle went out last fall after both drew 2 doe tags and had 4 in 3 days. A week ago one of my friends who lives in western WY was here to visit and confirmed that generally the pronghorn are so plentiful that to pay someone to guide you is not worth the money.
WY has private land that is publicly accessible if you get permission ahead of time (Hunter Management Area Permits). That is what my Dad + uncle did and you get access to large blocks of land. I believe that info is available on the WY Game & Fish site. Using easily available maps that you can install in your Garmin you can find where you need to go and it's really quite easy.
They stayed at a hotel, drove out each day to shoot, and dropped off the animals at a local processor so that they were ready for when they went home. Best shooting was first in the AM and last light in the evening as they tend to lay down during the day and there is much less wind.
If I do not draw for NM elk this fall I will try and pull together a WY pronghorn hunt using leftover tags.
Lots of easily accessable public land in units 80, 81 and 82. Lots more than unit 74. Also the accomodations and commodities are more reasonably priced than in Durango. No reservations and rez cops to deal with and pretty good chances of doing well. You can do elk or leftover pronghorn doe tags in 80 and 82.