Drew one of the rare Oklahoma Elk Tags...Help..

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Flintlock, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Flintlock

    Flintlock Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for some of you that might have drawn a tag in Oklahoma for either sex Elk in the Wichita Mountains. I'm sure there was thousands put in for one of the approx 65 tags drawn this year. I have been putting in for the draw for 35 years. I'm going to hold out for a bull until the last moment, not wanting to eat a once in a lifetime tag. I won't know what area until the day before the hunt but do any of you have some ideas or methods you used hunting there? I will be hunting Dec 7,8 & 9th.
    I using a TC Encore in 280 with 160 Accubonds and Burris Ballistic Plex scope. I have taken deer and some hogs at some pretty good distances with it.
    I have heard you might get a 50 yd shot or a 300+yd shot and I should be ready for any of them with my range finder and choice of firearm.
    I have had plenty of buddies volunteer to help me get the elk out after taking it. I'm sure they are cleaning out a spot in their freezer before they make the trip to help.
    I have hunted Elk 18 yrs in Colorado with my longbow and flintlock so I'm pretty sure I will have no problem finding them.
    I sure wich I could use one of my XP's but it just not going to happen.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  2. DanMan

    DanMan Well-Known Member

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    Thats a rare tag alright, wish I had some info for you but Ive never hunted anything in OK.
    I also have a once in a lifetime bull tag this year to hunt elk in my home state of
    Arkansas. After 13 years of waiting I finally get to do it! Right on the Buffalo National River I have about an 11 mile stretch all to myself in the Sept rut.
    Good Hunting. Keep us updated. :D
     

  3. Flintlock

    Flintlock Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on the draw hunt. I have been through some of that country you will be hunting. I work for Oklahoma Gas & Electric and work in Clarksville and around Russelville some and have taken that highway north through Compton to Branson MO and on to Springfield when I used to shoot muzzleloading competition.
    That is some tuff country, just like what the elk love. The area I will be hunting in SW Oklahoma is mountains, canyons and oak patches with giant boulders everywhere around Ft Sill military base.
    Sept is a great time for hunting elk. The get a little stupid when it comes to calling them. When I go to Colorado for bow or muzzleloader I always hunted the third week in Sept, usually during the rut there.
    Good luck with your hunt. What part of AR do you live?

    Mike
     
  4. DanMan

    DanMan Well-Known Member

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    Flintlock,
    I live just west of Conway so its only about a 2 hour drive to my hunt area.
    I have zone 4 which is from woolum down to tyler bend (hwy 65 ) if your familiar with the buffalo river. Through the years I have floated the river several times but never really left the water to go exploring. This year is different of course. There are the towering bluffs and hardwoods but I have been amazed at the network of field systems that are in the river corridor that the park service has been improving to keep the elk off of private land as much as possible. There are numerous glassing points from bluffs overlooking the river and field systems that I plan on using.
    I am really not familiar at all with OK elk program but I know it is gonna be a special hunt for you. What are your expectations for the hunt? Is it public land or private? What dates do you have? Will your buddies get to help with the spotting? Sharing special hunts with friends makes it even better.
    Good huntin.
     
  5. Flintlock

    Flintlock Well-Known Member

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    The hunt is a once in a lifetime draw. I have been putting in for it for 35 years. Finally, got it. There is only 65 tags draw per year with thousands from Oklahoma, TX and other states applying for them. Last year out of the 65 tags, there were 57 nice bulls killed and 8 cows. The tags are either sex. You get an area of about 8000 acres for your hunt for three days.
    The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is 59,020 acres established in 1901 in SW Oklahoma. Very rugged country. There are Bison, Elk, Whitetail and Longhorn, running wild on this place.
    The Elk drawing has been going on since the early 70's to keep the herd in check. The rangers and help at the hunts do everything they can to help you fill your tag, without shooting it for you. They draw areas you have to hunt and then they tell you where they have been seeing the elk. You can take as many friends to the camp area to hang out with but you hunt alone. It is centerfire Rifle, 270 caliber or larger and you only can take 5 shells to the field per day.
    I really wanted to hunt with one of my long range pistols but it won't happen.
    I expect I will get an elk, not sure what size but I have been told that if you see what you think is a good one, shot until he is down. The weather may change or they just disapear and you might not get another chance. My hunting partner was drawn two years back and took a 300+ class bull on the first day, three hours into the hunt. The next two days it snow, sleeted and rained while he waited for his Dad, which drew, to kill one. The Rangers drop you off at the area you drew and place and flag where you get out of their truck. If you kill one, you stand the flag up. They patrols the roads all day checking for flags. They take you back to camp, get your help and take you back to get the game out to the truck. They have a central gathering area at the camp that all elk are brought back to and a biologist takes samples and measurements of each elk for records. Lots of photos are taken and then it's time to load up and go home. It is a three day hunt, Tues, Wed and Thurs, and my hunt is Dec 7,8,9. I have a few guys that are taking off and going with me. One is bringing his camp trailer to stay in.
    Hope you do well on your hunt. I love hunting elk in Colorado with my longbows. I will stay as much at 10 days in the woods in a small camp, walking all day and chasing them.
    Good luck on your hunt.
     
  6. DanMan

    DanMan Well-Known Member

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    Great, sounds like 100% success there last year. Maybe you'll get one of the big boys on your hunt. Sounds like you will have plenty of help also, thats a good thing when you get one on the ground. After hunting CO with a long bow and flintlock this should be a piece of cake with a modern rifle! Keep us posted.
     
  7. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Congrats, good luck, and happy safe hunting. Enjoy!

    Ed
     
  8. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations, hope you get a chance to put it to good use.
     
  9. RioHondoHank

    RioHondoHank Well-Known Member

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    Mike,

    I drew for a cow last year and was successful and can put you in touch with someone who helps every year at the hunt. He helped me a lot in picking were to hunt and packing out my elk. I will PM my phone number.

    Hank
     
  10. Dan Bruce

    Dan Bruce New Member

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    I drew the same tag on the same dates, e-mail me and I will let you know the info I have found out. Good Luck, hope to meet you there tbruce@cotcwb.net
     
  11. Flintlock

    Flintlock Well-Known Member

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    Headed to my Elk Hunt in Oklahoma. I found out that Dan Bruce, on this site also drew a Bull/cow tag for this weekend. We are camped next to each other in the Refuge camp ground. He knows more about the place because he drew a Deer tag on the same property a year or so back.
    We are pumped. Rifles ready and all we need is some good weather and it looks like we are going to have high 50's for the days and low 30's for the nights with very little wind. We will try to keep updates coming if I can get service for my air card on my computer where we are.
    :D

    Mike
     
  12. RioHondoHank

    RioHondoHank Well-Known Member

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    Good luck Mike,

    Jeff Steele with the Elk Foundation should be there for orientation. He can really point you in the right direction once you get your area assignment. He will be the guy hanging around in a cowboy hat and will probably speak at orientation. Jeff has been helping down ther for years and knows the place like the back of his hand.

    I hunted areaq B last year and his advice was fantastic.

    Friend of mine named Obie White will also be hunting.

    Hank
     
  13. Flintlock

    Flintlock Well-Known Member

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    Just returned from my Elk Hunt in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma. I drew a either sex tag but was looking for a bull since waiting for 31 years to draw a tag. Hunted all day Tuesday and saw as many as 15 cows and a spike in a canyon I chose to hunt. Tuesday I hunted some ridges about 3.5 miles from the area I hunted the first day. Rough terrain and a long hike into the area in the dark but at day light I had 4 nice bulls across a canyon at 520 yds. By the time I could see them in my scope and get a good range reading the bulls moved off the back of the ridge, out of sight. I crossed the canyon, and up to the area they were when I saw them. No bulls in sight. I hunted the top of this mountain and back to the place I came up. I found a spot in the sun, out of the wind and took a break. About 30 min later I was watching a bench below me and two bulls came out of the canyon. One was a spike with about 12" horns and 6" brow tines. The one I shot was a 5x5 and pretty nice size.
    I ranged him at 232 yds and check my drop chart on my Encore 280. I put the second ballistic line on him and sent one. I heard the report of the hit and he humped up and dropped his head. I finally got another round in the chamber and when I touched it off he dropped before the bullet hit, and went over him into a rock. I jammed another round into the chamber and put it on his shoulder when he was trying to get to his feet. I hit square on his shoulder and dropped him. I was getting concerned because we are only allowed to carry 5 rounds into the hunt each day and they do spot checks on the hunters.
    The Game Warden estimated him at about 500lbs. I was about 3/4 mile back into the mountains and the Warden told me a better way to take the bull out in quarters to a truck he would send around to a gate.
    The fun was over and the work started. My help didn't show so my Conservation Officer, which was the driver of my unit and two others that work there helped me get my elk out. They had a little party when they started the aging check. One looked it the bulls mouth and at the teeth and called another and then another until there was about 10 people trying to look into the bulls mouth. They pulled a book with photos of Elk jaws at different ages and finally came to a decision that my elk was between 18 and 19 years old. The rifle is a Encore 280 with a Burris 4x12 Ballistic Plex. The first round was a Nosler Accubond, 140grn of my load and the others are 150 grn Hornady SP with H4831SC powder. Nikon 550 range finder and BlacksCreek Canadian "Jim Horn" pack.
    I had a great time and any one that can put in for this once in a lifetime hunt, should.
    Here are some photos and no, the rifle is not pointing at me. One of the photos show the meadow in the distance that I'm going to take the quarter down to for a pick up by one of the workers.

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  14. Flintlock

    Flintlock Well-Known Member

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    Another hunter that found this site, by doing a Google search for Oklahoma Elk Hunting, Dan Bruce from NE, Oklahoma contacted me via this site about him drawing a Elk Tag also. We visited back and forth on this site and by phone before the hunt. He drove down to the camp area a few days early and got a nice camp spot and reserved one for me. It was a pleasure to visit and swap info at the days end when having a nice meal. His friend Lyndol came down to help Dan and cook. Dan took a very nice bull on the second day of the hunt, just after I took mine. I had sent him a text message from the mountain and he was setting there thinking about his next move when one showed above him. Dan can qualify for one of the Long Range Hunter guys for this site. He ranged the bull at just a little over 600yds and after saying a prayer and checking his scope he sent one and dropped the bull. He was more than excited about his hunt. This was a once in a lifetime hunt and the first time he has ever hunted elk. His buddy, Lyndol had promised Dan that if he ever when Elk hunting, he would go and help him. That is a great buddy. Here is the only photo I have of Dan and his bull. I had a great time camping with him and his friend and some of the others in the camp that were all there for the same reason, ELK!
    Dan was using a 7mm Mag.
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