Recommended Elk Guide

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by kimberyote, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. kimberyote

    kimberyote Well-Known Member

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    Looking to book a guided rifle elk hunt in the fall of this year. 3-5 hunters. Im not particular where.
    What would be the going rate in a high percentage area?
    Thank You for your suggestions!
     
  2. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    Colorado and Idaho are two states that have various OTC tags. Idaho is limited and it's on a first come-first served basis. Colorado has unlimited tag numbers for certain seasons, but they are only five days long. Most of the other states have PP systems wher you need to be in a draw and tags may take years to draw. New Mexico may be the place to go because their outfitters get set aside tags for their clients that book with them, so it's a pretty good state to go to if you are late in the game like it sounds you guys are. Colorado also has a Ranching for Wildife (RFW) program where ranches that are enrolled in it set their own seasons and have guaranteed tags. However, you're talking 5 figures in most of them for an elk hunt. Google elk hunting outfitters and you'll get more than what you need for information. Then when you pick out one or two that suit your fancy contact them and ask for a full list of past hunters the last couple years and not just ones that filled their tag as that can lead to problems. Be aware that unless you do a DIY hunt in CO or ID that you will be paying big bucks for a guided elk hunt nowadays.
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    5 to 6 K per hunter plus tags out here.

    Jeff
     
  4. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    I guide for my friend who is an outfitter. Most hunts in Idaho range from 5500-6500. You can also do a drop camp and hunt on your own from an outfitter camp. Cost depends a little more on the 1 on 1 or 1 on 2 guided hunts. Also, it depends on the class of bull you are looking for and whether it is rut or not hunt. Options are endless really, it is just a matter of budget. We have some trophy hunts but they can be priced pretty high due to the amount of networking and time spent locating 350 plus bulls. If you want big bulls with high success rates AZ, NM, etc have that......and it will cost you dearly.
     
  5. LostInSpace278

    LostInSpace278 Well-Known Member

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    These guys are spot on with how much money you will have to put up for a guided hunt. Just a small correction on some information in one of the above post. The Ranching For Wildlife program in Colorado is only open to residents of Colorado. This information can be found on page 6 of their Big Game Brochure.
     
  6. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    The last post is INCORRECT regarding the Colorado Ranching For Wildlife program. The public draw for free hunts that amounts to 10% of the tags they are given is what is no longer open to nonresidents. The ranches will gladly take an NRs money to set you up with one of those 5 figure hunts if you can afford it!
     
  7. kimberyote

    kimberyote Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the replies. My next question is this; With the increase from $6500 to $9500, would it be more of a sure thing with a trophy size bull? Spending $6500 and coming home with a spike bull or a cow, would be a disappointment for the $$ spent in the big picture.
     
  8. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    If you are refering to this area the option of a cow or spike is not likely to happen. Most units are branch antlered only. The unfortunate thing is that no hunts are garuntee'd on public land. The big ranches usually can go that route in the south but those hunts are usually well into the 5 digits.

    We typically have gone 75% hunter success with 100% shot opportunity. If you look at the Idaho statistics DIY hunters usually have 10-15% success rates. Guided/outfitted hunts usually run into the 50% mark. If you are looking at 350 plus it is going to be quite challenging, but doable. Typically here, if you pass on a 330 class bull that is not good. I passed on 22 bulls last year during archery season in an attempt to take one of the 3 bulls I found all over 360. I came home empty handed. : ) It was worth it. Of the hunters in our group we ran 100% shot opportunity. Good statistics for sure.

    Back to the question, will paying more help......usually. If the outfitter and hunter are very clear on the desire the outfitter can go to 2 or 3 guides to 1 hunter etc. For example on the expensive hunts I might just be spotter and looking for quality animals and the outfitter is guiding the hunter. We team up to cover country and find a good bull. That extra guide costs the outfitter about 700-1000 per week.

    BTW- no decent outfitter is going to ever consider a spike or cow a shot opportunity or part of the equation you are looking for. EVER.
     
  9. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    Click on this link and you can see all of the ranches involved in the Ranching for Wildlife program in Colorado. If you click on each ranch you can see the acreage, contact person, etc. Don't pay any attention to the rest of the PPs needed in the graphs as that is for those public drawings reserved for residents only. I'd seriously consider one of those ranches if you're talking about spending more than $6K or $7K for a hunt since all of them will generally result in a great hunt for a trophy animal for that type of money and they control all the hunting on the property.


    Participating Ranches | Colorado Parks and Wildlife
     
  10. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    I am not well enough versed in the ranch hunts to help you much. I just don't have that sort of budget for elk hunting and don't really see myself planning for one. I tend to think ranch hunts are for well to do folks who consider the accomodations just about as important as the hunt alone or should I say kill. I have guided some of those well off folks who do the ranch hunts, in fact they do several hunts back to back in the same year, and they really just want to kill a big elk. They really don't care too much for the actual hunt.

    My advice might be just to figure out the most important thing and set your mind for it. If you want an crazy adventure do a wilderness hunt with an outfitter that is just plain ol certifiably nuts. You may not take home a huge bull but you will likely have an experience you will never forget. It is truely about the hunt. If you want to kill, sleep in a lodge, drive around in a truck etc, and eat gormet food, go to a big ranch. The bigger and more expensive the better.

    You can call me if you wish to discuss the wilderness type hunts. I have no skin the game so it will just be honest info from my experiences.

    Ok, back to dreaming about winning the lotto and being someone important...
     
  11. LostInSpace278

    LostInSpace278 Well-Known Member

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    Since we are splitting hairs. When you refer to 5 figure hunts, this has nothing to do with the Ranching for Wildlife Program. You are referring to 2 different things. These same ranches do guide hunters for a fee. I will not disagree that point. This is the last post I will make on the subject. I will not turn this into an argument, just providing for facts for already confusing process.

    This being taken from Colorado DOW website:

    Species hunted and available to hunters by limited license draw include: Elk, Deer, Pronghorn, Bear, Turkey, Moose, and Bighorn Sheep. Ranching for Wildlife licenses are open to Colorado residents only. The number of licenses on each ranch is determined by negotiations between the landowner and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Public licenses on each ranch are available to the public through Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s draw process. The hunts are very popular with hunters and it can often require five or more points to draw male or either sex licenses. See the estimated points needed to draw by going to the Participating Ranches page.
    Licenses issued for these ranches may only be used on the specified ranch. Hunters obtaining a license to hunt on these private ranches are given access to private property that would otherwise be closed to the public. When agreed to by CPW managers the ranches may impose additional conditions to distribute hunters and harvest across the ranch for hunt quality and harvest management reasons. Ranches may also require the use of guides – but when required the guide service is provided free of charge and tipping guides for free services is strictly forbidden. Some ranches may offer additional optional services such as packing, guiding, or lodging and may charge for these optional services.
     
  12. old goat

    old goat Member

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    i've not personally hunted with him but met him at the Little Rock RMEF banquet. talked to some of the members there that have hunted with him and comes highly recomended. Rocky Heckman owner of Montana Safaries is who i speak of. check out his web site, very reasonable rates, this is who i would book with for a elk hunt. i've hunted Colorado since 87 on my own, used an outfitter once for a drop camp that was a joke. i would give him a call, i don't think you could go wrong.
     
  13. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    There is no argument and there was no need for your last post as everything I stated in my other posts was absolutely correct!!! The entire RFW program the ranches are in includes the free hunts that are in the draw, as well as the ones that cost big bucks that I mentioned. The reason they get in the RFW program is to get guaranteed tags and set their own seasons and to do that they have to agree to give 10% of the tags free for residents only. The free ones discussed above ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO NONRESIDENTS just like I stated in my other post and many take a lot of PPs to be in the drawing to get a tag. The only tag the NR in this thread could get would be one of the high priced guided hunts that I spoke of that you just said were available and they are available to ANYONE if they have the $$$.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  14. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

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    I guide hunts in CO and NM and Top gun 30-06 you are very much correct. When
    you speak of hunts on RFW ranches, the ranchers also lease out their tags to outfitters and yes out of staters can purchase the hunts from the outfitters. Also
    something that is little known---- If a CO resident draws one of these potentially great tags, be aware that that does not mean you have free range of the RFW ranch. The ranches can be very restrictive and place hunters in areas they choose for you to be in. This can still be a rewarding hunt and sometimes a disappointment.
    You might check on this if you are a CO resident with a good # of preference points looking at one of these ranches. Anyway just for your info.

    You might check with Pat Lancaster if you are interested in a good bull hunt in CO.
    You can find him under Lancaster outfitting Colorado. He has many references and
    hunts on some of the best and bigggest ranches in the state.