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I love hunting the west, my buddy and I went this October on a DIY in Colorado and both got bulls and a coyote chased a mulie fawn by me too close. This is my fifth DIY out west and second bull , also

My buddy got a cow tag in PA this year. He shot this one two days ago. I was suppose to go as help but life got in the way. This was state land no outfitter. 

I went on a diy bow hunt this year in South western Montana. It was awsome to say the least.  You can do it on a shoe string budget or go full send on a outfitter. You will pay though if you do the ou

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7 minutes ago, GreeneHunter said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Pennsylvania have a small huntable Elk herd ?  I heard its by Lottery only ?

Very low odds of getting a tag.  It's not a bad idea to apply or buy bonus points, but it really should be treated as a gamble that may work out, while planning a hunt out west. 

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I had the pleasure of going out this year and tagging along with a friend on a hunt and it was incredible to say the least. 

Hunting in Wyoming, at a good family friends guide outfit. https://www.cqoutfitters.com/

Give them a call. Ask to speak with Nick and tell him Brendan Fahy sent you. 

If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know in advanced. 

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8 minutes ago, johnplav said:

Very low odds of getting a tag.  It's not a bad idea to apply or buy bonus points, but it really should be treated as a gamble that may work out, while planning a hunt out west. 

My buddy got a cow tag in PA this year. He shot this one two days ago. I was suppose to go as help but life got in the way. This was state land no outfitter. Screenshot_20210105-170712_Gallery.thumb.jpg.363c90841ae37f16b9e5267cff0464bf.jpg

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23 minutes ago, corydd7 said:

My buddy got a cow tag in PA this year. He shot this one two days ago. I was suppose to go as help but life got in the way. This was state land no outfitter. Screenshot_20210105-170712_Gallery.thumb.jpg.363c90841ae37f16b9e5267cff0464bf.jpg

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That’s awesome!  Cow tags definitely better odds than bull.  

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PA is a huge long shot but if you are pulled, it’s almost a guaranteed giant. 
 

I think NM, AZ and Utah have really good bulls.  Just not sure if tags are assigned to outfitters who charge a lot for them or if you have only the lottery options.   

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1 hour ago, GreeneHunter said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Pennsylvania have a small huntable Elk herd ?  I heard its by Lottery only ?

You are more likely to win the lottery for 12 million or so, than to draw a PA elk tag, especially if you are a non-resident.........

If you want to hunt elk, you should hunt elk in the rocky mountains.....I realize that in colonial times there were elk here in the east, but since the mid 1800s  most elk hunting has been done west of the great plains..

lots of good elk hunting  out west, and in my opinion, a big part of the hunting is experiencing The Rockies...

I'd rather shoot a raghorn bull  in  the west than shoot a monster 6X6  in somebody's backyard in Benezet, PA...

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I also looked into an elk hunt several years ago. Never booked a hunt, but had almost decided on NM or AZ, not as mountainous. If you have your heart set on a true mountain man elk hunt in the Rockies (CO, ID, etc), better start your fitness routine now. Lotta mountainous terrain & thin air!

IRC, KY also has an elk hunt lottery, but not sure of the odds. Think KY only issues ~600 elk permits and PA issues ~165 permits with very few antlered tags. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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2 minutes ago, nyslowhand said:

I also looked into an elk hunt several years ago. Never booked a hunt, but had almost decided on NM or AZ, not as mountainous. If you have your heart set on a true mountain man elk hunt in the Rockies (CO, ID, etc), better start your fitness routine now. Lotta mountainous terrain & thin air!

IRC, KY also has an elk hunt lottery, but not sure of the odds. Think KY only issues ~600 elk permits and PA issues ~165 permits with very few antlered tags. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Most anyplace you can draw a tag in Arizona is an excellent place to kill a big bull, but it may well take you 12 or 15 years to draw a tag...

NM  also has great elk hunting and the odds of drawing are somewhat better than AZ, but still not great in the better units...

Never hunted AZ, but hunted NM 3 times and terrain is definitely more east to navigate than Colorado, where I hunted twice...

A buddy of mine  hunted AZ a few years ago and said where he hunted, the terrain was not too difficult, and he had the hunt of a lifetime..Into big bulls every day and finally killed a slammer P&Y  bull....However it took him 15 years to draw the tag and he paid quite a lot for the hunt to boot...

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28 minutes ago, Pygmy said:

You are more likely to win the lottery for 12 million or so, than to draw a PA elk tag, especially if you are a non-resident.........

If you want to hunt elk, you should hunt elk in the rocky mountains.....I realize that in colonial times there were elk here in the east, but since the mid 1800s  most elk hunting has been done west of the great plains..

lots of good elk hunting  out west, and in my opinion, a big part of the hunting is experiencing The Rockies...

I'd rather shoot a raghorn bull  in  the west than shoot a monster 6X6  in somebody's backyard in Benezet, PA...

I'd comment more on what's contained in this post.

It's very important when booking a hunt to get the experience you want; ask questions and if using an outfitter get one that fits your expectations.

I book the experience first and foremost, finding successful operators who can fit that bill tends to produce results.

All my questions to former clients are about the day to day. Hardly ever about if they got something or not.

 

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I love hunting the west, my buddy and I went this October on a DIY in Colorado and both got bulls and a coyote chased a mulie fawn by me too close. This is my fifth DIY out west and second bull , also took a nice mule a couple years ago.   Can’t wait to go back. 

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Two buddies did a diy  bow elk hunt in Colorado and both took bulls . My good friend went to Utah and took a bull, but it’s was pricey, he was the only guy in camp that didn’t fly in by privet jet . Friend in Montana takes one here there .

Out of the three the DIY hunters seems like a hunt I’d do, and they’ve invited me in the future, seems like a lot of work to fill the freezer. 
 

That and I’ve no desire to put a giant head on my small walls . 
 

That’s said I’m grilling Elk tomorrow night .

When I was in Montana,we went elk hunting prior to,our deer hunt , single digit temps, thigh deep snow,  steep steep terrain. I said I don’t care how big the bull is ,no way will I shoot one and have to deal with getting it out . Lol 

Now my friends hunt  in Utah, they call up the wranglers ,who bring it out , the processor cuts it up and ships it to your home , the taxi will also,ship the head home . But you’ll be looking at 14k   or more all in .

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If you’re looking for a guided, private land (no points or drawing) elk hunt, I’ve hunted at Fishtail Ranch in Chama NM. It is right on the northern border of NM near the San Juan mountains in CO. Lee Weiss is the owner and guide and he is a real pro. Much of the hunting is at 8,000 to 11,000 feet elevation so you need to be in decent shape but they drive trucks or four wheelers to different hunting areas. That said, private land hunting is great. No competition from other hunters and no packing out after a kill. The lodge is absolutely great in terms of comfort and food.

You can contact me if you have any questions but if this is the hunt you’re interested in, give them a call and talk to Lee. Good luck on picking your hunt. Nothing more exciting in my mind than hunting elk in the Rockies.

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51 minutes ago, Nomad said:

Two buddies did a diy  bow elk hunt in Colorado and both took bulls . My good friend went to Utah and took a bull, but it’s was pricey, he was the only guy in camp that didn’t fly in by privet jet . Friend in Montana takes one here there .

Out of the three the DIY hunters seems like a hunt I’d do, and they’ve invited me in the future, seems like a lot of work to fill the freezer. 
 

That and I’ve no desire to put a giant head on my small walls . 
 

That’s said I’m grilling Elk tomorrow night .

When I was in Montana,we went elk hunting prior to,our deer hunt , single digit temps, thigh deep snow,  steep steep terrain. I said I don’t care how big the bull is ,no way will I shoot one and have to deal with getting it out . Lol 

Now my friends hunt  in Utah, they call up the wranglers ,who bring it out , the processor cuts it up and ships it to your home , the taxi will also,ship the head home . But you’ll be looking at 14k   or more all in .

Yeh thats about dbl of what I am looking to spend. It is on my bucket list but dont want it to break my bucket either..lol

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I'd rather shoot a raghorn bull  in  the west than shoot a monster 6X6  in somebody's backyard in Benezet, PA...


Not I! I'll take any PA bull

#ThankYouForLessOverzealousModding #WeDemandUnlimitedLikes
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Like others have said, you have plenty of options out west to hunt elk. First you should answer some questions for yourself:

  • When do you want to hunt? If next year, you need to look for places with OTC tags (over the counter).
    • If you thinking years down the road, start buying preference points. For example, I have 7 for elk points in Wyoming because they are reasonably priced and no license purchase needed. Someday I'll go, but not sure when.
  • Next is what type of weapon? Bow or Rifle? This likely will give you your answer for dates on when you can go.
  • Next is price range & type of hunt?
    • Airfare, Hotels, Licenses, Stateland? you'll need to some scouting, etc.
    • Airfare, Licenses, Outfitter? you'll want to do lots of research and read reviews, etc. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions and don't be afraid to negotiate on price. Maybe you can combine it with a mule deer or antelope hunt depending on the season.
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I have a cousin who with some buddies have gone out west on DIY elk/muley hunts a couple years. It can be a tough trip. It all comes down to your expectations and how you want to do it and what you want to spend. If you want to do public land DIY you can be successful but it takes some doing. It takes time to learn the land, it takes time to learn elk. Scouting improves your odds so does being in good shape, having local knowledge of herd behavior and realistic expectations. They did a lot of hiking.

The first year from them was a complete learning experience and nothing taken, the second year they saw more, hunted better and got a couple smaller mulies and a cow elk. They base camped at a hotel and drove and hiked in/out every day. They did say the best decision they made was having a preplanned local with pack team to call when they downed the cow. Helped cut up and packed it right to the butcher.

The other route is guided either partially or fully. Which is your basically paying more for that scouting, gear, knowledge that otherwise takes you years to learn. As well as Room and board if you go that route.

 

Lots of options, I've tossed around going out but I feel I may like the Rockies so much I don't return lol!

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38 minutes ago, Fletch said:

I have a cousin who with some buddies have gone out west on DIY elk/muley hunts a couple years. It can be a tough trip. It all comes down to your expectations and how you want to do it and what you want to spend. If you want to do public land DIY you can be successful but it takes some doing. It takes time to learn the land, it takes time to learn elk. Scouting improves your odds so does being in good shape, having local knowledge of herd behavior and realistic expectations. They did a lot of hiking.

The first year from them was a complete learning experience and nothing taken, the second year they saw more, hunted better and got a couple smaller mulies and a cow elk. They base camped at a hotel and drove and hiked in/out every day. They did say the best decision they made was having a preplanned local with pack team to call when they downed the cow. Helped cut up and packed it right to the butcher.

The other route is guided either partially or fully. Which is your basically paying more for that scouting, gear, knowledge that otherwise takes you years to learn. As well as Room and board if you go that route.

 

Lots of options, I've tossed around going out but I feel I may like the Rockies so much I don't return lol!

That is my biggest fear also. I will love Gods country so much that I will leave NY behind forever.

I am in no rush but would like to do it by 2022 , being  employed with a job with only gives 3 week vacation in a yr I cant take  too much time scouting. 

Short term I will apply for the PA lotto but will keep the plan in motion for some place west. I would prefer to bow hunt but given that I wont be able to go every yr will try my luck with Rifle for the first time around.

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I know you can't win if you are not in,  and certainly  I do not want to discourage people from applying for PA elk tags, because ya never know....However  your odds are about a jillion to one of ever drawing one, so if you are really seriously interested in an elk hunt, set your sights out west...

Many people have applied for 20 or 30 years for Maine moose permits and  never drawn ( like me)  and the odds of drawing  a Maine moose permit are MUCH higher than the odds of  ever drawing a PA elk tag...

As an old fart who is no longer physically nor financially able  to do most out of state hunts,  if you want to do it, do it NOW while you still can...

I never could afford one until I was nearly 40, and by the time I got to be 60, I was running out of resources, both physically and financially.....

Over about a 20 year period, I had lots of wonderful adventures in some of the most beautiful places in North America, and I am damned glad that I did it while I could...

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/\ Good advice there. /\

Don't put things off for down the road if you can figure out a way to do it now. Sometimes you just need to be creative. Kinda like Phades' economy tent set up in another thread. If I have learned one thing, and being diagnosed with cancer in my 30's and surviving, is you never know how long you are able. I am surely saving for retirement but I am making sure I give myself some rewards along the way. 

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I have actually stopped contributing to 401k. Whats there can continue to grow but definitely plan to reward myself in the few good yrs that I have left ahead before health gives way.

The famous words by Randy Newberg" you will run out of health before wealth"

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I've been thinking of Rockies elk hunt next year.

Possibly this year.. One option I've seen are drop camps. Where they will pack you in and out of a set up camp They seem to start around around $1600.

Being in good physical shape seems like a requirement in most areas.

I had a friend drive to utah with another.. they spent 1 day hiking in,camped,and 1 hiking out and drove  home. They realized too late that they just couldn't handle the terrain (they happened to pick one of the most rugged units in Utah) and it just about killed them.lol

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