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DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:52 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Allegan, MI
Posts: 1,181
Re: DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

Good decision! Do your own thing like you mentioned and you'll probably have an enjoyable hunt where you already know the area and can do it a whole lot cheaper than $1700 a piece in that cabin.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:38 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 867
Re: DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

I have a hard time trusing outfitters regardless of what state. I went one for 2 years he had a great private lease hunting was great but it was a place whee mickey mouse could of outfittted you. The last year with him he lost that lease price went from 2,500-3k hunting a crappy place on blm. Didnt pan out never again. Last season we went to a new unit and area we never hunted before unit 62 since afew buddys had quite afew points acrued and wanted to hunt 61 in future. There was 6 of us we rented a cabin from a outfitter he showed us on maps pretty easy to figure out and price was $50.00 per man per night. That was pretty cheap hunt we did our own food and hunted on own but price was right. Huting was not good to us only seen and took 1 bull lots of hunters little game. Talked to locals and they said the worst they seen in 10 years. But this hunting, I would want private ground before i will pay any money to anyone .
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:18 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 175
Re: DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

The best advice you can get for a guided, semi guided or drop camp hunt is to ask for references. Ask for people that were successful as well as folks that weren't. I'd put more stock in the opinions of folks that weren't as most folks who were successful will give favorable reviews. Who knows, you might be surprised...
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,954
Re: DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

If you saw bulls last year during the season and got a shot, I would suggest returning to country you are familiar with. Here in Montana, when the bullets start flying the elk make tracks quick to safe land. Finding elk, especially bulls, can be a real challenge on accessible land.
- Mark

You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it.
~ John Quincy Adams
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:36 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 9
Re: DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

the best advice is find where the nearst RMEF banquet is and go. you can talk face to face with alot of people that will give you some true facts plus there is usually a outfitter or two there also. i,ve hunted Colorado since 1987 and the only time i used a outfitter was for a drop camp. checked references from a list he gave us of people who hunted year before. everything checked out, got there a day before and stayed at his lodge and rode 8 hours on horeseback back into the wilderness. our feet were dragging in the snow up to camp, oly to find the tent caved in and everything frozen solid. had 2 choices of going lower and sleep in pack tent till he could pull that camp or ride back down and sleep on the floor and miss opening day. we decided to have a cold camp and sleep on top of about 2 feet of snow and about froze to death. opening morning a complete whiteout and all animals had gone lower. suppose to check up on us every other day, but gave us hand held walkie talkie that would not reach out to him. needless to say it was ****** experience but do to our hard work we did kill 3 elk out of 4 people. 2 small bulls and yearling cow. had deer tags and didn't even see a deer while hunting. all this for a mere $1200. if i wanted a good recommendation for a outfitter that is very reasonable look at Montana Safaries. that is who i would use if i went quided.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:39 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Re: DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

First and foremost is your goal to just shoot a bull? Is this going to be if possible a once or posibbly twice in your life adventure to aquire a nice bull for the wall? Are you possibly looking to go every year that you can to make a trip out west?

If your goal is to get a bull and be done it will be far cheaper to do a fully guided hunt in a area that will give you the best chance. As you can see the DIY hunt is going on its second year. But you did have a shot so that is good.

Private land hunts will be the most expensive. Back Country horse hunts second. Good back country hunts will be $5,000 to $6,000. which sounds like a lot but if you are succesful it may cut down on the 2 or more trips before you come home with your bull.

The thing that concerns me about the private land hunting public is that if there are roads around and it is easy access those elk will be pushed off as of opening day. So you will likely have to get aways back to have a good hunt.

It is hard trying to pick a good outfitter. I have a friend from Wisconsin that goes on a lot of ouffitted hunts. His best hunts have always come from people he knew who actually hunted with the outfitter and told him of the quality. If you dont have this opption it will be harder. An outfitter is not going to willingly give you numbers to someone who may have a negative thing to say.

As for your remark on what some people say about the guides very true. I guide myself and it is hard some times. I have found most people even if in good shape do not understand that elk hunting is about being out of breath and sweating your ass off weather your a marathon runner or a pencil pusher. You simply can not shoot an elk from the Lazy Boy and frankly this is not everyones bag and they find this out after they put down their hard earned money. So I think they become bitter. Guides also get tired of repeating themselves to hunters that don't seem to want to listen. Its their job to get you through your hunt with out getting you or the guide hurt. Dealing with horses just compounds aggravation when a hunter does not listen to instruction on how to ride. Let him do his job listen to what he says, don't second guess him and his abbility on knowing the country and elk and you will have a better relationship I promise. If you have limatations let him know and I am sure he will accomadate you.

Limited quota areas are always going to be better hunts. They may take years to draw but when you have one of these tags you really have something. The outfitter I guide for last year is in a limited quota unit. We have 2 camps that take about 4 hours to get to by horseback. We ran 5 hunters in each camp the first 2 weeks. We shot 8 bulls the first week I know are camp shot 5 bulls the second week and I think the other camp shot 5. Third week had 3 hunters all filled. The guys who did not get bulls passed or missed. It takes 5 or 6 points for non residents to draw but it is worth it. It is a Wilderness hunt so non residents must have a guide to hunt.

I hope you find some of this info helpfull. If you are going to do the DIY hunt I would say your best bet is to stick with an area and keep returning to that area. Jumping around is not going to do you good. It will take a bout 5 years to truely learn the country.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:49 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Allegan, MI
Posts: 1,181
Re: DIY/ semi guided/fully guided

Great advice Scott, especially the last paragraph on DIY hunting! We hunt the same fairly small area in Wyomng every year and are almost 100% on good 6x6 bulls (8 for 9 and the other guy passed on a bunch that year) when someone draws the tag because we know the area as well as the animals that use it!
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