Beginner Elk Hunt- Wyoming

JFox

Member
Apr 21, 2017
66
2
Missouri
Hey yall!
I've been picking up points in Wyoming for a few years, looking to cash 5 points in for the 2022 elk season. I've been out there once for antelope, and was fortunate enough to draw another tag this year south of the Bighorns (taking my dad on his first western hunt, very excited). I'm looking to DIY it and try my hand at elk next year, and have started e-scouting a couple of the units on the southern edge of the state where I used to work. I was wondering if some of the more experienced folks would be able to give me any general pointers (not a "what unit should I go to," type of Q&A, as I don't wanna be "that guy") on what type of things I should look for in the application process, or really anything that you think might be helpful for a first timer. Anything would help! Thanks much.
 

go_deep

Veteran member
Nov 30, 2014
2,539
1,716
Wyoming
I'd get the hunt areas dialed down to one or two choices and go drive through them and take some time to spend there since your here this fall anyway.
Lots of things you need to answer before you can decide. Archery, rifle, backcountry camp, truck camp, any elk, mature bull only, can you pack out an elk 3 miles, will you be by yourself, or have help?
 
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JFox

Member
Apr 21, 2017
66
2
Missouri
I'd get the hunt areas dialed down to one or two choices and go drive through them and take some time to spend there since your here this fall anyway.
Lots of things you need to answer before you can decide. Archery, rifle, backcountry camp, truck camp, any elk, mature bull only, can you pack out an elk 3 miles, will you be by yourself, or have help?
It'll be rifle, could do a blend of backcountry camp and/or truck camping. Not looking for a booner, but a semi-mature bull would be real nice. I have two able hands who have volunteered to be pack mules!
Some time scouting would be a huge help for sure. Thinking maybe the Sierra Madre range?.. doable with that point amount?
 
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cking13

Active Member
May 20, 2017
204
129
VA
I’m in the same boat as you, looking to burn 5 points next year. Looking to either go general or spend the money for the special one time and go for one of the LE units I’ve been looking at. The medicine bow are general units so there will be company but good numbers of elk and decent success for a general tag from my research. Good luck!
 
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cking13

Active Member
May 20, 2017
204
129
VA
And it took 4 points to guarantee a general tag this year so 5 would be a good bet next year.
 
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Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,514
1,579
Eastern Nebraska
For a DIY with 5 points, general is your best option for a chance at a mature bull. That said, a first time elk hunter hunting in a general high pressure area has a very low probability of shooting a big bull. If you want to fill the tag, shoot the first legal elk you get a chance at. With that strategy, you have about a 50/50 shot at filling if you do your homework and are willing to work hard. Elk hunting is hard, especially for a beginner. If you want to up your odds, look into trespass/semi guided on private land or save several more years worth of points for a good LQ tag. Good luck!
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,130
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Gypsum, Co
My suggestion for a first time elk hunter is to get into the hills that you plan to hunt and scout your rear off.

If you can't do that then get to your hunt area at least a full week ahead of time to scout your rear off.

But if you really want to take some meat home hire a outfitter, he will triple your chances of bagging a elk when you are a first timer and don't know the area.

But there are always the first time elk hunter who gets lucky

I also agree that if you are going to do it yourself to shoot the first legal elk that you see. Or expect to go home empty handed to start the point chance again.
 

JFox

Member
Apr 21, 2017
66
2
Missouri
Thanks everyone for the advice! Very much appreciated. I'm not totally hung up on shooting a giant bull, so I will likely take that pointer of shooting the first good bull I see.

Regarding trespass fees/semi guided, is there a list available anywhere of landowners who will sell trespass rights? Also, I am not too familiar with "semi guided." What does that normally entail?

Thanks again!
 
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THelms

Administrator
Staff member
Trespass fee elk hunting is very tough to find. Plenty of elk in general areas and not hard to find them either.
Think about applying for a cow tag first to learn an area, they are reduced price for most part and a random draw.
No need for an outfitter but they can help with that first harvest.
Exactly what I try to tell folks all the time... learn how to hunt elk by hunting elk... a cow tag is a great way to fill the freezer and learn an area... same for antelope!
 
Jun 29, 2016
105
50
Coastal Maine
I'n heading to Utah for a cow elk hunt this fall. I got a tag and am going with an outfitter. Yes it will cost a lot but It works for me. I'm 67 and in decent shape but Im also realistic. The chances of me driving way out there from Maine finding places to hunt shooting an Elk and doing all the pack out work by myself are zero. I know nothing about hunting elk. But after a couple of days working with a guide and getting to know the land ,habitat, shot placement and about a thousand other things I need at least I will an Idea of how much I don't know. Anyway I hope it will be fun and productive. I'm sure I will come back a better hunter. Good luck to all the other hunters for a successful and safe season.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,130
6,279
68
Gypsum, Co
I'n heading to Utah for a cow elk hunt this fall. I got a tag and am going with an outfitter. Yes it will cost a lot but It works for me. I'm 67 and in decent shape but Im also realistic. The chances of me driving way out there from Maine finding places to hunt shooting an Elk and doing all the pack out work by myself are zero. I know nothing about hunting elk. But after a couple of days working with a guide and getting to know the land ,habitat, shot placement and about a thousand other things I need at least I will an Idea of how much I don't know. Anyway I hope it will be fun and productive. I'm sure I will come back a better hunter. Good luck to all the other hunters for a successful and safe season.
What unit did you draw?

There are some units that you just have to wait for the snows, no snow=no elk and other units where the elk are there all year long.
 
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Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,514
1,579
Eastern Nebraska
Will 5 points be able to get even a general unit if 90/10 passes?
Yes. There will be a lot more general tags available since they will be removed from LQ areas. Wyoming will still sell 7,250 elk tags to non residents. It's just a matter of where those tags are allocated.

I do think there will be an initial exodus of point holders so you may see a year or two of people exiting the PP pools, causing a spike in PP required.
 
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