View Full Version : East vs West side of Bighorns for elk

10-18-2011, 08:51 AM
My research for WY elk units is starting to point me north. It's obvious the units are divided among the E and W sides of the mountains. Does anyone have thoughts on which side/units are tops? Eastmans does not rate the E units in the General draw very high. It looks like areas 38 and 40 on the west might be pretty good.

Also, I'm wondering about bow vs rifle as both are an option.

10-19-2011, 07:36 AM
This is a great question and I'm curious to see what others say. I don't know much about the eastern side but I think I know enough to say that 45 is probably the best area in the Bighorns. That goes for both bow and rifle.

10-19-2011, 11:39 AM
45 is considered one of the better units for trophy elk but you'll need points to get a tag, probably around 6 points. I hunted unit 35 last year which is to the east of 45 and killed the bull in my avatar. It took me 2 points + special license fee to draw the rifle tag. My buddy that went with me is declining in health so we paid the extra to go sooner. He killed a nice 300+ bull. the bighorns about killed him. This was a guided hunt but because we stayed at the outfitters cabin we never ventured into the wilderness area. Lots of ATVers and road hunters but if your willing to walk it was easy to get away from all the commotion. If I go back to the bighorns I'll probably go to 45, like I said 35 was the best unit we thought we could get for the amount of points that we had.

10-19-2011, 08:20 PM
45 is definitely a super good unit. 38 is also an awesome unit as long as you dont mind walking around. There are tons of road hunters in the area. You will definitely want to be in shape! The bighorns will eat you alive if you are not prepared. I think that for unit 38, bow hunting is definitely better.. unit 45, is pretty good for both.

10-19-2011, 08:50 PM
38 for sure..its actually more on the top and east side of the bighorns.. Great area and as Jen said. Come fit.

11-26-2011, 01:49 AM
For rifle and sometimes bow seasons I think it depends on the weather. If there is an early big snow, 38 is sometimes hard to hunt as the elk seem to migrate to the edge of the mountain. Most years the snow will melt off and warm up bringing the elk back. There was alot of elk in 38 and 39 this year in bow season. I think most people shot there elk in 39. We hunted 40. It was a slow start as there was alot of snow but it got better as it warmed up. My wife took her elk on OCT 21. Me and my father in law just got ours off of sleds November 22 on the lower benches from a heard of about 1000. I have also hunted 36 and 34 when I was younger. I remember 36? we hunted budlove and had great luck as the snow was piled up deep on top. Sum it up hunting 39 and 40 pray for snow, hunting 38 pry for warmer weather. Archery, pick a unit and have fun.