2020 LRH group hunt for elk with non-typical outfitters in western wyoming

dogz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
388
Location
SWMT
Thanks much for the report Rob, our weathers been tough up here this fall (Mt) as well.

Any chance you'd expound a bit on this? Range, bullets, perceived placement?

We had another hunt that was also difficult with some wounded bulls that got away after being down on the ground for 10-20 minutes after the shot.
 

Robb Wiley

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
7
Location
wyoming
Dogz,

All I have to tell you is Bull Elk are dirty tough, as we all know. In approaching 30 years of guiding Elk hunts I am not comfortable that a bull is really down until all 4 legs are pointed in the air, sometimes that is not even enough. So if we can, we always shoot again, even if it looked like a good first hit. These two bulls were hit in the ribs somewhere, both were shot under 350 yards. Not sure about bullets used, sorry. In my opinion there is nothing worse than a wounded animal getting away. It's the fundamental reason we started offering shooting classes to our clients and recommend our hunters to hold off shooting unless they feel 90 percent confident in a good hit.
Respectfully,
 

dogz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
388
Location
SWMT
Thx Robb---totally underforstand, I've been hunting the buggers for 42 years now and they can most certainly be tough to keep on the turf!

Thx for your response

(side note, do you have moose or sheep in your area?)

I'll send you a pm to talk about some points I have, again thanks for your time
 
Last edited:

Smokinjbe

Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
Messages
12
Location
Springfield, Va
My journey from LRH group hunt member to NTO team member.

I contacted Long Range Hunting (LRH) in 2016 in the search for a new custom rifle. After working with Len Backus, I purchased a LRH 33 Nosler. He introduced me to Non-Typical Outfitter’s (NTO) via their shooting course and included me in their 2017 LRH group elk hunt. (Thank you Len and Andy, the rifle is still an absolute hammer, love it!)
I’d only done DIY elk hunts to this point and this being my first guided hunt, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I arrived as scheduled and was promptly welcomed and shown a nice semi-permanent wall tent with solid walls and a lit wood-burning stove ready to go. After getting settled in, we were all taken over to the range and given time to verify our rifles and practice shooting positions out to 800 yds. As dinner time came around, we all gathered in the heated mess tent where Robb Wiley and team introduced themselves and covered basic horsemanship, what we could expect for a routine, and Q&A time. After Dinner we mingled out at the fire pit and met our paired guide who covered final details and what time to be ready in the morning.
The generator kicked the lights on about 0430 the first morning. This was the sign to get up and head in to get breakfast and pack our lunches for the day. My guide Nick loaded the horses in a trailer and we drove for about 20 minutes. We mounted our horses in the dark and rode for about an hour. Nick had me dismount, tied the horses up and we set out on foot slowly moving to a meadow at first light. We were just entering the opening when Nick said, “There is a shooter at the top of the draw to our right.” He ranged him at 250 yds while I was quickly setting up my shot. I got the bull in my crosshairs and dropped the hammer and him where he stood. Now the real work began! It took us just over 30 minutes to climb up to where he was. After pictures, Nick dove into quartering him, and after several trips we got everything down to where I had taken the shot. Nick hiked back and got the horses and loaded them up with the elk and gear. We then hiked back out to the truck and trailer, arriving back at camp about 1600. Nick took care of everything once we got back to camp. I spoke to Mr. Wiley that evening and offered to stick around the for a couple more days and help spot for Nick and another hunter, Bob (who nailedanother very nice elk later).
I had such a blast on my first hunt in Wyoming and an amazing experience with the NTO family that I signed up for an archery hunt with them for 2020. I had expressed an interest in how to get into guiding to Mr. Wiley. While I was waiting for 2020 to arrive, I really started thinking hard about what I wanted to do after I retired from the Marine Corps in 2021, and hunting guide kept coming to mind. Finally 2020 came and I was prepped and ready to go hunt with NTO again, but the draw did not play out in my favor. When I got the notice I didn’t get drawn, Mr. Wiley and I spoke, and I again expressed interest in wanting to learn how to guide. I told him of an internship program the Marine Corps offered. If he was willing to take me on, I could come work full time for him starting June of 2021. He said, “That sounds like a great plan. Why don’t you come out for elk season this year to be a spotter for the team and see if it’s something you really want to do.” This brings us to the second part of my story, from client to NTO family.
I arrived for the first week of elk rifle season this year as green as they come. Sure I knew how to hunt and find elk, but I was a rookie in all other aspects of guiding with horses. I met all the guides, and Jacob the camp leader (or as I called him, the Camp Commandant) took me under his wing. He showed me all the basics for the horses, knots, and how the daily routine worked. I was immediately impressed with this young man’s knowledge, professionalism, and patience. My first day came early. At 0400 the team was up before the lights came on, prepping horses and gear for the day. The hunters came tobreakfast where their guides spoke to them about last minute details reminding them about the essentials - tag, rifle, ammo etc. Once everyone was ready we rode off toour assigned areas. Day 1 brought in two bulls and lots of smiles around camp. After helping get all the meat hung on the meat pole, little Joe, another spotter and myself volunteered to work on finishing the capes with supervision from Jacob for our two hunters. As the others returned, dinner was prepped and ready for them. As the clients ate, the NTO team worked together to take care of horses, put away saddles, and discuss the plan of attack for the next day, going to bed long after the lights went out and the hunters were asleep. I was impressed once again. It was evident It wasn’t just about the individual guide and his hunters or just getting the job done. This group of menand women genuinely cared about the success of each hunter and the team as a whole. As the week went on and clients tagged out, the guide that was finished would join in with the hunters that were still in search to help findthem an elk.
The first two weeks flew by. I was more tired and sorethan I have been in a long time, but I was starting to get the swing of things. We were coming off some great success and spirits were high. Mr. Wiley and I went to his other camp now run by Nick (my guide) the last day to help tear down and close it for the season. We worked from sunup to sundown packing everything up. The logistics in place to make this happen and the organization of gear placement for storage was remarkable. I frankly had no idea the amount of work and planning it took to make a successful camp. Everything had an assigned place and each member pitched in to make a smooth transition. I can say with 100% confidence that Mr. Wiley is an expert in his craft, and he has passed that down to each one of his team members.
Now for the week I had been waiting for - the LRH group! I was excited that Bob was coming back out and I was going to get to join him and Nick again. The weather was gearing up to picture perfect for the first two days, but the rest of the week was worrisome with 60-degreeweather and a full moon in store. Day 1 of this week found Bob, Nick, and me staring at a very nice 5x6. Only issue, he was a far away and there were about 50 other elk around him. Bob decided this was one he wanted to go after. We rode hard and Nick expertly guided us to arim overlooking the bull at just over 700 yds. Knowing the caliber of shot Bob is we weren’t worried when he decided to take this shot. Bob sent the round down range and it looked to be a kill shot. Nick took Bob down to the elk while I climbed back to where we left the horses. As I was coming down with the horses, Nick messaged me to meet them at the trailhead. There was good blood but we needed to play it safe and back out for the night.
We got back to camp and watched the video of the shot several times; all agreed he was a dead bull and Bob and I would find him first thing in the morning light. Well elk are **** tough animals. Bob and I spent the next few days following solid blood over many miles and some horrific terrain, finally losing him as the snow melted. Conclusion was that Bob’s round penciled through him.
To be blunt, the rest of the week was tough with the weather, moon, and several missed opportunities.

So my big take aways from going from hunter to guide are:
1. There is so much that happens behind the scenes. Know that the NTO team busts their asses to give each hunter the best opportunity to be successful. These men and woman are experts in their field and have grit the Duke would admire. To be honest, they want you to be successful more than you do and are willing to go the distance if you are.

2. Come prepared physically and mentally.

3. Know your weapon system and arrive confident with it.

4. As good as this area is for elk and mule deer, it is still hunting.

5. Take care of your guides. They busted their butt for you; don’t forget to tip them.


J.B. ELLIS
 

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