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Elk Hunting For The Layman - Part 1

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Unread 04-19-2011, 07:26 PM
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Elk Hunting For The Layman - Part 1

Elk are plentiful in most western states and can be hunted on private or public land, with or without a guide service, and in pre-established drop camps or camps of your own means. Private land hunts are usually guided hunts unless you are a native to the state and area you are hunting in. Locals or people with local knowledge can gain permission to hunt elk on private land sometimes for self-guided hunts by paying a parking or day pass fee to the property owner. Hunting on public land is usually more conducive to self-guided hunts.
This is a thread for discussion of the article, Elk Hunting For The Layman, By T. W. "Tommy" Cornelison. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 09:20 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 13
Re: Elk Hunting For The Layman - Part 1

I have been hunting elk for just a couple years now, as I've recently moved to the southwest and most of my hunting experience has been northeast deer. One question I could never find an answer to was how much bullet energy is needed to bring down an elk with a well placed shot. This has been the first article I've found to address that question. Thanks...great read!
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Unread 04-21-2011, 07:17 PM
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Re: Elk Hunting For The Layman - Part 1

I have been trying to check into land owners that allow hunters to hunt on their land for little or no cost. The state that I was told about was Wy. I went on line to the Wildlife departments web site. But not being very familiar will the locations and the different types of hunting availble I was reluctant to lay out the tag investment. I believe that a small group in a guided hunt would be best for the first time, that is what i take from your article.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 07:54 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: charlo, MT
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Re: Elk Hunting For The Layman - Part 1

i have hunted and lived in wyoming, colorado, montana and alaska. i was an elk and deer guide out of Hell's canyon in idaho.
the minimum elk rifle is one that you can shoot well and know your shot placement. i have seen women who shot their elk everyyear with a 243. usiing a super penetrator like combitech's or barnes, it will penetrate even on a quartering shot. as a guide we preferred to see someone show up with a 280 or 270 than a 300 WM or bigger. most people cannot handle the recoil of the bigger guns and get flinchy. plus, a lot of people who have hunted a lot get "bull" fever when they are close to an elk, so we want someone who is smart enough to know their limits and have chosen a smaller caliber/cartridge than one who is trying to show off with a cannon that they cannot control EVERY time in the most demanding situations.
there are elk in the black hills of wyoming and s.d. a first year hunter(teenager) shot a monarch in 1985. several taken there that year, but the majority are in the wind river, teton, and big horn mountains. a reputable guide outfit will willingly and ofter insist on giving out references. get other references from those and talk to people that havent been referenced from the outfitter.
this is an excellent article for the beginner elk hunter. if you were on a once in a lifetime hunt, he has excellent advice. younger hunters wanting to learn on their own or more experienced hunters that feel that they can do this themselves may want to venture out on their own. if you havent hunted in the mountains of wyoming, newmex, ariz, montana, etc. i would get a guide irregardless of how much you have hunted back east. we used to run into these guys all the time in hell's canyon. always got their deer back east and was a legend in their state. more often than not, they went home empty and usually were the only ones who didnt get anything. this isnt kansas, nor the appalacians. weather is severe and changes rapidly. bears and pumas are plentiful, as well as wolves and the like. and elk like territory that would make a dall sheep look twice at and a mountaineer look at his gear. elk are very hard to hunt (barring the occasional camp or road elk) but when you know how they think, they are very easy to figure out. outside of rut, in heavily hunted areas, they will find the most inaccessible areas that no one in their right minds would go into. in some states like oregon, that is often right next to the interstate as they have learned that the safest place to be is often there or in town during hunting season. a guide will know these things that are peculiar to their areas, which areas are not safe to be in, where the animals are moving this year, etc. and they will WANT you to be successful.
hope this helps. have a great hunt.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 04:19 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: White Mountains, AZ.
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Re: Elk Hunting For The Layman - Part 1

Great article! You seemed to cover preparation very well.
As with anything in life, preparation can and does mean success or failure.
I did like that you stressed that a single hunter in unfamiliar country is not advisable!!
I am not a guide but all my family and friends from the big city seem to think I am, this year I taught my oldest grandson (12) to hunt big game and he got a 345 6X6 bull elk, last year I took my uncle and his 2 older friends out on their cow elk hunt and they all 3 tagged out and the elk were skinned, quartered and wraped by 5pm.
Elk hunting is some of the most strenous hunting as you said because of the distance, altitude and size of the animal when packing it out!

Thanks for an interesting article that was a good read with lots of practicle advise!
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Unread 05-28-2013, 11:24 PM
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Posts: 160
Re: Elk Hunting For The Layman - Part 1

Awesome information! Will definitely take all of this into account in the future.
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