Well fellas , this past year I tryed a DIY elk hunt in gmu 65 near Ridgeway CO. I saw a few bulls before season , a couple more during season and got a shot but was unable to recover the bull. It is time to start looking at next year , I just recieved a outfitters info dvd I requested and am considering a semiguided hunt where I am told that they will provide lodging , meals , a guide to consult with and review map locations aswell as packout service . The price is $1700 per hunter. with a min of 4 and a max of 6 in a over the counter gmu.
I have never payed a soul a nickle to guide me to hunt a thing in what I consider a decent hunting carreer of 35 years . My decision to consider a semiguided hunt is the hassle of lugging a truck and trailer loaded with gear/ supples 20 hrs. so that I can come in way after dark to cook somthing to eat and be 10pm getting to bed . Now I am not above this, but the idea of getting more rest in order to hunt harder appeals.
I don't have a clue about these types of hunts and about all I here is "read reviews" and the reviews say 66% positive on fully guided hunts and 33% gripeing about the guides insensetivity to thier physical condition and his dry personality.
Right now fully guided hunts are a stretch for me and not having any preference points I wander if I would be any better than a DIY hunt.
I would appreciate your thoughts on the hole situation. I hate to pay $1700 and all I realy get is some pricey room and board sold as "semi guided"
Couple eof questions for you:
- is this hunt on private or public land?
- if it is on public, where is the private because elk will find the no pressure zones?
- do you have any option of relocating if after the first days things look pretty dim?
- will the guy give you ALL the names/phone numbers of last years clients?
Closest I've ever come to a hunt like this was I went to Alaska, had a plane drop us off in the middle of the tundra and came back to pick us up a week later.
The hunt is on public land, the cabin is on private land, I am not sure where the nearest private land is in relation to the GMU we will be hunting but over the counter tags are valid state wide in over the counter GMU's and the area I hunted last year is about a hour's drive are at least it is my best estimate and it's a backup plan if there is no elk to be found in the areas recmended . As for as referrences go this isthere first year to offer this kind of hunt but they have a reference list in the paperwork provided though I am some what skeptical of references provided ( kind of like a car dealer )that they choose for you. I realize that there are good outfitters out there I am just aware that there are those that are not so good!
Before I would ever go with an outfitter that I'm not totally familiar with I would want a list of EVERY person he had in his last two camps and not just ones that he picks out and gives me! You need to know what people that didn't take game think of the operation and if they woud go back. Just talking to people that took a good animal is iffy because it might be a lousy setup and yet they are happy because they filled their tag.
If I go on this hunt and pay $1700, sleep in a warm heated wall tent, have 3 meals prepared for me each day, get game packed out, and am hunting good looking ground with elk potential, and not be surrounded by 4 wheelers, masses of other hunters, Will I be happy coming home with-out an elk?
if you answer is yes than call the outfitter and make him PROMISE you just that, that you will have all of the above conditions. He CAN NOT magically make elk appear but he is in 100% in control of all the above. I would suspect for $1700 he is horse packing you in a good distance from the trails, where most hunters will not walk in and out on a day hunt.
This notion about moving camp if there are no elk in your area after a couple days???
get that out of your head it's not going to happen. Some of my best DIY hunts were down right crappy for 5 days then like magic a pile of elk showed up and we killed 3 bulls in 3 days with 4 hunters. So it is more about never quit then getting discouraged.