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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Unit 16 wyoming elk hunt

    I just got back from my elk hunt in unit 16 Shirley mountain elk hunt. My dad used to live in Casper for a long time and shot his first elk in the shirleys 34 years ago this year, and I got my first elk there 19 years ago. We try to go back every other year and dad draws a cow license mainly because he likes to go see his old buddies and enjoys the meat. Its just amazing to see how things have changed in that unit over the years. Dad says when he first started going up there in the 80s the elk hunting was just ridiculous. Says the local guys he worked with in the Shirley basin mine had the saying that they "shoot in the morning and gut and drag in the afternoon" because there were that many elk in the mountains. Over the years the hunting has definitely gotten tougher and tougher. Talking to my dad and his buddies who live there a lot of the blame gets put on the invention of the ATV and increased activity on the mountain during the summer (locals are all over the mountain in the summer and labor day weekend its packed with campers) and the rise in popularity of bow hunting. Plus the Q creek ranch now has bought out and owns 700,00 acres surrounding the mountain. It definitely appears that over the years the elk have gotten more and more sensitive to the human pressure in the mountains and know that as soon as the four wheelers and campers show up its time to head off the mountain and get onto Q creek where its nice and quiet.
    We still have managed to be fairly successful hunting there because of the years of experience, we pretty much know where to look for the elk but this year was worse than we have ever seen. Even in our go to hot spots we could barely find a track much less see an elk. This may have something to do with the fact that we ran into 2 different trucks that each had a box full of hounds and told us they were running cougars.. in the middle of elk season.. Again we have never seen this before and almost have to wonder if the Q Creek hired these guys to come up. I cant imagine that anything could run elk off better than a pack of screaming hounds rolling through the mountain, the guy said they were up there doing it all summer and when I saw the tread on his tire I realized that Id seen that tread on every road and trail in the mountain. We ran into a game warden and asked him about that and he acted like it was perfectly legal for them to do it.
    Kind of discouraging to say the least. I read some other posts on unit 16 and some guys make it sound like its a turkey shoot if you draw the bull tag in that mountain. There are quality bulls in the unit but I would caution anyone that unless your willing to shell out the 6 grand to hunt the Q creek ranch it can be a very difficult hunt. And if this year is a trend then you may not see an elk without a lot of local knowledge and scouting. Ive been building bull points and have 8 but am at kind of a crossroads as to whether I want to keep going down the road of trying to draw the tag there or go somewhere else. I think the Q creek hunt would be loaded with all the elk that have been ran off the mountain but Ive always liked the DIY hunts and don't really want to spend 6 k plus the 1200 license on a hunt.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Bend, Orygun
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    I saw 1 fresh track in there but didn't hit it very hard. Primarily scouting for a future archery hunt.
    I saw 3 bulls and heard more than that up north antelope hunting a few days before.



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