Southern Hunter with questions about Hunting out West

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Comprido, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Comprido

    Comprido Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Hi All,

    I joined a long time ago but haven't been an active participant. I hope ya'll can tolerate a few beginner questions.

    I grew up hunting in thickets in the South, but reading Field & Stream and Outdoor Life and dreaming of a 'Western hunt.'

    I'm trying to make my first DIY foray this year, but it's problematic. Due to work commitment, the earliest I can get away is mid-October. I may or may not be able to get away in November.

    I'd love to hunt elk, but am also interested in mule deer. I have no tag.

    I'm not necessarily a long range hunter, but I do want the classic experience of glassing from the ridge and then stalking.

    Do I have any options? Which state and game management units should I start researching? I'm just asking ya'll to help me narrow it down and give me some ideas (or a reality check).

    Many thanks.
     
  2. 4bycamper

    4bycamper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    607
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Hey Comprido, welcome to LRH

    I have been hunting in Colorado since the early 70's
    Got to eat my share of elk too, that does not mean every year. :D

    Your biggest challenge may be getting a license to hunt out here
    and finding the time to use it. Being accurate with your rifle to at least 300 yards
    wouldn't hurt either. Then there is the physical fitness thing...
    I think you still can get a bull elk license in Colorado.

    Please don't expect to shoot your perfect bull your first time out. It could happen but it's unlikely. Finding elk is a long process. Having a guide, or friends who live in your hunting area is a BIG help. So go for it. Maybe you can meet some people out here and improve your chances for next year.
     

  3. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,475
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    First off, when it comes to big game, you will need a tag/license. As far as I know, the draw for all the westerns states are closed. Typically you can enter the draw in January and they close in March with results delivered in June/July. This means you will likely need to plan to get out next year if you are lucky.

    For the most part, elk tags are tough to come by. The easier tag to get most of them time is antelope. They are fun to hunt especially as a beginner as they like to stand out in pastures. All you have to do is figure out how to stalk up on them to get a shot.

    Two years ago me and a buddy went to Wyoming....

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/2-va-lrhers-eastern-wy-78874/
     
  4. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    I am slowly working on the same type of trip. I say slowly because I am building preference points for an Elk tag as I do my homework. WY will let you purchase preference points for $50 a year without actually entering the draw. After a couple of three years you have a much better chance of drawing the unit you want. In the meantime, it gives you a chance to research, plan, and if you are ambitious you can take a scouting trip.

    Good luck!
     
  5. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    819
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    I cannot comment on other states, but you could still easily hunt Colorado this year if you wanted to. Check out Big Game | Colorado Parks and Wildlife. You will find everything you need there including season dates and fees, statistics from previous years (to help you pick an area to hunt), etc. There are a bunch of units with over-the-counter bull tags available for 2nd and 3rd season, so it's not a big deal that you missed the application deadline. There are also leftover tags that will be available starting next month. Do some digging around on there and you should be able to find everything you need. Good luck!
     
  6. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    819
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    To add on to that previous post of mine, I will say that you definitely have your work cut out for you to make a trip like this. It has been mentioned, but you need to make sure that you are in good shape as the altitude change coming from sea level is pretty extreme. You also need to make sure you get a good gathering of gear that will prepare you for temperatures ranging from 60 degrees and sunny to 0 degrees and snowing sideways. You will also want to be sure to do as much 'internet scouting' as you can once you pick which unit to hunt. I would get topo maps ahead of time and use google earth like crazy. Not that it will make all of the decisions for you, but it will definitely help get you into the right areas before you make it out. I would also plan to spend a few days scouting before your actual hunt, whether that is a separate trip out or it is a couple of days before you hunt. There are a bunch of other things as well, but this should at least give you a good start. Do some research on here as well as other sites and you should be able to find a ton of information.
     
  7. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    NM offers land owner permits. You can search through the G and F website's list of ranch owners selling tags for elk and antelope. It isn't cheap especially for a bull elk BUT you can still apply. I found a land owner that sold us cow tags which were $500 plus state license. We got to hunt elk the years we didn't get drawn for Az , our home state.

    If you decide to contact a land owner be aware that some units are muzzleloader or bow only.

    NMDGF

    Be aware most western states require a hunter safety certificate depending on your birthdate.
    Hunter Education Requirements
     
  8. Comprido

    Comprido Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Many thanks. I've got some homework to do to pull this off. Much obliged for the responses.
     
  9. porkchop401

    porkchop401 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Colorado is a easy ticket with over the counter Bull elk as well as a generous left over tag list that is available in early Aug.
    My trips from Louisiana (1200 miles ) typically cost me $1500 total and that is not splitting fuel cost of $250 each way . The Colorado division of wildlife can steer you in the right direction rougher the terrain the fewer the people but the better the physical condition required .
    flexibility is one of the best assets you can have.
    Also a over the counter license offers many GMU units to hunt with the same license should you need to abandon your chosen GMU for what ever the reason . The down side is you are pretty much limited to the 2nd and 3rd rifle season.