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  1. #1
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    New Elk Hunter Intro

    Hey everybody!
    I'm Antun, a new elk hunter from Virginia. I've hunted deer across the southeast for about 15 years now, and I happened across an elk episode of a hunting show and now I'm afraid I've got the bug. I've been joining forums, listening to all the podcasts I can soak in, trying to figure out how to bugle (boy, does that seems daunting). I've also been pestering the small number of people I know who've elk hunted...ever... (Which apparently comes out to about three, of whom, only one has really opened up at all about it).

    I know some forums are hostile to newbs asking for advice (like when I hunted MD, some of those forums were downright nasty), but so far it seems like Eastmans (which I just subscribed to as well) seems like a generous, knowledgeable bunch of guys. I sure hope so. I know information differs from year to year, but I wouldn't think by much, right?

    A little background on me: As I mentioned, I'm a longtime whitetail hunter and have a freezer of meat, but I'd like to up my game a bit, and decided to start elk hunting. I've been in the Army for a while (getting out soon) and have done everything from humping long guns to flying a desk.

    I settled initially on Idaho due to the disabled vet options, but I'm now considering Oregon and Wyoming. Still trying to figure out the "A" v "B" tags in ID, the "1" thru "4" options in Wyoming, so if anyone can provide some insight into those differences, I'd appreciate it.

    It seems like the best bet is to go OTC in one of those states and find a spot to hump in, which I'm completely willing to do. I'd rather sleep in a fart sack out in the boonies than camp in the truck (though no offense to you guys who do that, its just not my style and I'm too tall to sleep comfortably in most trucks).

    Not super interested in sticking a MONSTER elk my first time out. I got lucky with my first whitetail and it's kind of been underwhelming to hunt smaller deer since, and I'd really be okay with shooting a smaller elk my first time (but not really looking for a raghorn, either)... that said, anything bigger than a raghorn is still a monster for me, you know?

    I'm also super curious about y'alls collective experiences with bear/wolves/cougar, and how much of a threat they really pose to a smart hunter (by smart, I'm assuming the normal backpacking practice of hanging bear bags at night and changing clothes after dinner is the norm, right? That kind of thing?) Outside of that, I don't really know what to expect, but would like to have some idea of what to expect. Mainly so I don't over pack. I learned in Afghanistan that "ounces equal pounds", and don't want to carry a hand cannon if bear spray's truly more effective, or neglect to bring it if wolves are going to test my boundaries. Seems like the cats don't really bother you too much if you go about your business normally. I remember being in the Boy Scouts out in Philmont, woke up in the morning and big paw prints in the dew around my tent, went out to pee during the night and never got chewed up, so I figure they're not as scary as the rep they get. But that's why I'm asking y'all.

    Anyway, I look forward to chatting with y'all and learning as much as I can in the next 8 months!

    Regards,
    Rad

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum Rad. That was a good intro; stick with us and you will learn a lot. Your best bet will be to hook up with someone who has some experience hunting out west and who will hunt the way that you do. I also looked closely at Idaho because of the disabled vet (USMC) option, but have been occupied with CO and WY, and unless I am reincarnated as a single 20 year old will likely never be able to branch out further. For a starter, buy points for antelope, deer, and elk in Wyoming. You can buy them later in the year. CO pts. I believe need to be purchased by April. Good luck. Rick

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  4. #3
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    Welcome to the site!

  5. #4
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    Welcome to the forum- Have fun in your research. There are a ton of forum topics on here that cover just about everything. Have fun reading and searching all the information. The one bit of advice I can give you is that any public land elk is a trophy. There are many residents in all the western states that eat tag soup so don't get your sights set so high that they become unrealistic. Come out west for the experience with low expectations are you are much more likely to enjoy the hunt. Don't stress the lions and wolves but don't take grizzly bears lightly. They can and do impact many peoples hunts yearly.

  6. #5
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    Welcome to the forum. Like others have said stick around your in the right place.

    Just like our magazines we are here to help. No judgment no harassment here. Occasionally we can give some jabs and do a little crap talking but it’s all in good taste.
    I go to the Mountains to loose my mind and find my soul.

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  8. #6
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    Welcome. Like Hilltop said, have realistic expectations. I've been hunting for 50 some years and took up elk hunting 3 years ago. I live here in my zone. Saw but never got a shot the first year. Hit and lost a small 5 point last year. This year I had some encounters and called in a couple with no luck. I did shoot a cow with a rifle in the bonus season. Haven't had any problems with bears, wolves or lions. They get shot at around here too much I guess. Just get after it and have fun.

  9. #7
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    Welcome to the forum!
    "Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself." -unknown

  10. #8
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    From a disabled vet....welcome Brother.

    I have hunted (very successfully) mule deer for over 60 years. Elk are a different critter. Their habits are different and you'll have a learning curve for sure. Keep asking questions and I'm sure you'll get some answers, especially here.

    When I retired from 40 years in aerospace in California, my wife and I retired in Colorado. If you would like some pros & cons, PM me. We spent 20 years looking in the western states for our retirement home. It's been 18 years now in Colorado and I am pretty happy about it.

    Good luck.
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA, NRA certified Range Safety Officer, Pistol Instructor, Rifle Instructor, RMEF, Boone & Crockett Club.
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

  11. #9
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    Welcome to the forum

  12. #10
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    Welcome to the forum.

    I have been hunting elk for 50 years now and I still learn things that I didn't know
    If you don't care where you are, you are not lost....

 

 
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