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Thread: Dreamer

  1. Default Dreamer

    So I'm from mid missouri and dream of a western hunt. I would like to diy, but I don't have any buddies to interested to share the load. I feel like a pronghorn hunt would be a good starter hunt but elk are always on my mind. I need to work on my fitness and my shooting skills so not really thinking this year. My question is, should a guy in my shoes (no wall tent, no experience no knowledge of the area) should take my Midwestern hunting and camping skills and try to pull off a hunt. I would be looking at a cow hunt my first time out. I cannot for the life of me get anyone I know on board. This is very difficult for me, guys at work talk about it but when it's time to put in for the draw they back out.

    Or would I be better off hiring a outfitter to go on the base camp elk hunt I dream daily about.

  2. #2

    Default

    I feel your pain. I have tried planning a trip for elk sense I was 32 years old. I just drew my first elk tag in Wy this year and now I'm 42! Buddies kept dragging feet and life always throws curves at worst time financially .
    Don't do like I did. Start getting points now. This fall for Wy. is what I recommend. You can decide what unit later next year or the next. Good hunt can be had in 4-5 years likely. My son and i drew with 4 points a limited quota unit that great elk are taken in and only gave 4 non res tags this year.
    Many regional deer tags in Wy only take one point to likely draw, like region H or F.
    Bet, after you draw an elk tag your buddies will be extra interested in going for a mule deer hunt in area you are after elk in.
    That's what happened to me. Then you can still split expenses and probably get a hand packing out your elk!
    Keep that in mind when you apply for your area.
    You can tell your friend or hunt buddy the fall before you apply for elk that he better get a deer point ,so he can tag along .
    Lucky for me I have bought gear alittle at a time for years. Definitely the best way to go.
    You don't need high end stuff. A enclosed car port/shed from tractor supply works fine for camp. Just put a tarp down inside for floor. Many deer regions could even be got with zero points.
    Not bad idea to try muley hunt first. Alot cheaper. Better still if deer hunt is in area you want an elk tag in. No better way to scout in October than to be there when elk are being hunted.
    Think it over,but don't wait like me. Elk are heavy and live in rouph places. We all ain't getting any younger!
    DIY will be more buddy friendly financially . But if you think you can't at least get a non Hunter buddy, then elk would be a hardcore self hunt.
    All depends on what people feel comfortable with.
    Grizzly country should always be tag teamed. That is where the tags are sometimes easier to get also.
    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default

    You could always try a deer hunt out first. With a little research you can find some areas where elk wouldn't be far off. Give yourself an opportunity to see what Western terrain can be like without putting so much pressure on yourself to fill an elk tag. If you tag out early don't go home, use the extra days to learn some new country.

    Camp doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Weather can change and turn nasty pretty fast but unless you're going later in the season it usually doesn't last too long....usually.

    You can always take a summer camping trip too and call it a reconnaissance /scouting trip. Camp for a couple days in four or five various places and see what looks most appealing.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hell with your buddies. Only live once don't let them drag you down. There's a place on these forums for guys looking for someone to go with. If you're serious you have to get in shape. You already mentioned it so start now. You don't need a wall tent. I would suggest getting help/advice from someone that's done it before. You have lots of options. You can maybe find a party willing to let you tag along. Helps you learn what to look for. Can go a full on outfitter, semi guided, drop camp.

    A few states out there don't have points systems and you can draw first year. Ive heard that in new Mexico guys that apply solo tend to get the hard to get units. A group of 3 cant get that last tag when there name is pulled. Some other states have OTC tags. Doesn't sound like you're too particular on where. What's your weapon of choice? That dictates when you go which dictates gear you'd need.

    Lastly, how would you define a successful hunt? Is this potentially a once in a lifetime thing? That could steer you in the direction of an outfitter or if you want the challenge and reward of doing it yourself.

    Ultimately up to you. But don't let your friends keep you from doing it.
    Last edited by esracerx; 03-20-2017 at 11:35 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    As mentioned above, if this is a one time deal, save the money and go on a guided hunt. If this is something you want to do more often, start doing the things you said you need to work on. Start buying points in the states you want to hunt in. And if you think you'll be doing this alone, go on a pronghorn hunt first. I know it's not elk, but the work and logistics are similar just in smaller scale and will build your confidence for going for elk on your own. LOTS of threads on here about how to get ready and geared up for a first time pronghorn hunt.

    While gear is important, IMO it's often given way more bandwidth than other more important things...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Clarks Summit, PA
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    Default

    if you can't see yourself going on an elk hunt this fall then I recommend you ABSOLUTELY go on a pronghorn hunt in WY. You will have the time of your life, camping skills not required but it makes it more fun camping out on the prairie. As others have said start collecting your WY points, July 1st I believe they go on sale. Deadline for WY antelope and deer may 31st.

    Become a doer not a dreamer!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    North Dakota
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by teej89 View Post
    if you can't see yourself going on an elk hunt this fall then I recommend you ABSOLUTELY go on a pronghorn hunt in WY. You will have the time of your life, camping skills not required but it makes it more fun camping out on the prairie. As others have said start collecting your WY points, July 1st I believe they go on sale. Deadline for WY antelope and deer may 31st.

    Become a doer not a dreamer!
    ^^^^^This

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Lake of the ozarks Missouri
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    Default

    Welcome!! Where are you from in mid Mo? Antelope in my opinion are an excellent first hunt out west. I went on two western adventures before I went antelope hunting and that antelope hunt was my first western hunt wher I killed anything, the others were a lot of fun though. If you need any advice don't be afraid to ask, lots of smart people on here and helpful. Hope you enjoy whatever you decide to do.
    I work so I can hunt

  9. #9

    Default

    I am from Southern Missouri and try to go elk hunting as often as I can. Any year you can't go get points to get more desired units, then years you can go just do it. I couldn't go this year as my wife and I are having a kid in August (with another that will turn one 3 months earlier). It wasn't in the cards for this year but I have bought points and already planning and watching units for next year. I haven't ever tried pronghorn but want to in the next couple years also. You can learn a lot in these forums and there are people in your state that go you can meet to figure something out.

  10. #10

    Default

    I am originally from the midwest and when I graduated college I went out west for a turkey hunt, that's how I got started. Turkey season is usually good weather, can car camp, and you are hunting areas that aren't super extreme. I did a couple of years of turkey hunting and started applying for big game in areas that I turkey hunted. You can hunt turkeys OTC in a lot of western states for less than $200. An antelope hunt is fun and is definitely a must but it is usually not in the same terrain as elk. I have also done some whitetail hunts out west because tags are easier to get.

    I am in the same boat as you as far as getting people to go hunting with me out west, so I go alone a lot or with my wife or dad. Life is too short, if I have vacation I am going whether others want to or not. I buy my wife and dad points in various states because they often do not think ahead but then really enjoy the hunts when they go.

  11. Default

    Thanks, I would really like to camp on the Prairie and hunt pronghorn for my first diy trip. I would like to think this would be the beginning of attempting to hunt a western state each year. My plan is to start pocketing points for multiple species. Our house just sold and my wife has aplied in about 8 states for a new job. So at this moment I am not planning on hunting this year, need to see where our life leads us. I have hoped for the opportunity to squeeze something in but.....

    I am shooting a ruger m77 30'06 luopold 3-9x42 and figure with practice and experiment with bullet grain it would be sufficient.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kjames View Post
    Thanks, I would really like to camp on the Prairie and hunt pronghorn for my first diy trip. I would like to think this would be the beginning of attempting to hunt a western state each year. My plan is to start pocketing points for multiple species. Our house just sold and my wife has aplied in about 8 states for a new job. So at this moment I am not planning on hunting this year, need to see where our life leads us. I have hoped for the opportunity to squeeze something in but.....

    I am shooting a ruger m77 30'06 luopold 3-9x42 and figure with practice and experiment with bullet grain it would be sufficient.
    Good luck to your wife on a new endeavor! Be sure to buy a pronghorn point in WY this year. It'll open quite a few options for next year.

    You're rifle is a very solid setup. Focus more on bullet construction than bullet weight, IMO. I have settled on 165gr Partition as my do-all load in a 30-06.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Timberville, VA
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    1,626

    Default

    Pronghornz are a ton of fun and very doable for a first timer. That's what I did. If you want to camp thats fine but antelope are easy to stay in town and drive out to hunt. Pre dawn hikes are not a requirment to fill a tag. You may find a buck or area that needs it though. Having a warm bed and a shower is not a bad option in my book. But like others have said nothing beats camping on the prairie but with limited equipment and experience it may be a logistical nightmare when you should be concentrating on hunting. Trespass hunts help lighten the burden as well because getting on a private ranch usually gives you more opportunities with less effort. Not saying one is better than the other but by yourself on your first western hunt, why over complicate things? Good luck.

    Ps. All those guys that drag their feet will tell you they want to go next time.......they'll have an excuse next time also.
    Self proclaimed Founder, President, and Spiritual Leader of the I.S.V.F......Introduce Speedgoats to Virginia Foundation

  14. Default

    You need but two things, all else are wants not needs. You NEED a burning desire to do this adventure. You NEED a complete inability to admit defeat (defeat is not the same as lack of success) Defeat is running for shelter when you wake up with stiff legs a flat tent and soggy oatmeal AGAIN...

    and these two needs are the least prevalent in today's gear-dependent hunter
    Bestowing wisdom and moral purity, even on the unworthy and unwilling... especially upon them.

    An ignore list??? Wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose?

  15. #15

    Default

    I got tired of waiting for people long ago. I hunt alone and don't hear anyone complaining about anything. I hunt elk,deer & antelope. I also buy leftover doe tags to learn new areas while I'm out there hunting. They are cheap and I learn a bunch about the area without blowing points.
    If I can drive out from Jersey by myself and hunt public land successfully fill the freezer anyone can

  16. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VAspeedgoat View Post
    Pronghornz are a ton of fun and very doable for a first timer. That's what I did. If you want to camp thats fine but antelope are easy to stay in town and drive out to hunt. Pre dawn hikes are not a requirment to fill a tag. You may find a buck or area that needs it though. Having a warm bed and a shower is not a bad option in my book. But like others have said nothing beats camping on the prairie but with limited equipment and experience it may be a logistical nightmare when you should be concentrating on hunting. Trespass hunts help lighten the burden as well because getting on a private ranch usually gives you more opportunities with less effort. Not saying one is better than the other but by yourself on your first western hunt, why over complicate things? Good luck.

    Ps. All those guys that drag their feet will tell you they want to go next time.......they'll have an excuse next time also.
    That is the truth about excuses! I have a hard time with them, when a buddy says ya I used to do..... this but haven't in a long time.

  17. Default

    So I am more in it for the experience and adventure almost as much as the harvest of a animal. Any animal would be a amazing adventure, I am not looking for any record book animals. I will admit that after watching the meateater episode of lobster on the prairie (antelope) hunt I have had a fire burning in my head. I want to do that hunt. I cannot stop thinking about it, Drive the jeep way back, park and hunt.
    I am not a great archer but used to love to shoot while enjoying a cold beverage. I have harvested many whitetail with my bow. Bragging I can't really do I usually shoot at what ever legal animal came by my tree stand. Usually a doe since i have only shot one buck with my bow. I get the jitter and shakes and after successfully recovering the animal I am so excited I look like Fred eichler. With many farmers now a days dozing off their trees, as to plant more crops all cover and ponds have been cleared. This dawned to me only this year, that 10 years ago my immediate family would harvest 2-4 deer per year (bow/rifle). The past 3 years we have totaled 2, between 4 hunters. Some of this is attributed to the blue tongue disease in 2012 and some to the fact we have moved closer to the city and don't hunt as often.

    So to come to the conclusion of this novel I feel like I wrote, success would be GOING. A otc doe tag in a potential antelope unit in wy this fall is a idea i had. Then I herd Newburgs elk talks and then. ....that had me dreaming. Weapon could be rifle or bow. I plan on obtaing at least a pronghorn point, most likely elk point also in wy just to start collecting.

  18. Default

    Southeast of Kansas City about 35 miles. How about yourself? I jacked that up I was trying to reply to 7mm08mo
    Last edited by Kjames; 03-22-2017 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Mistake

  19. Default

    Ok guys so I just noticed that wy antelope draw deadline is in may. I thought it was March 31 and was going to have the extra cash. So with it being in may I should be able to apply. I thank you guys for all of your input and I believe this is the way I will go this year. Now the tough part is which unit.....hahahahah. I will turn to old post research and post in the antelope section. Thanks again for twisting my head all up!!! I am also dreaming of mule deer now

  20. Default

    Welcome to the Forum. I am currently living in Wentzville MO ( 35 miles west of St. Louis) and we lived in Liberty MO for 3 years.

    It has been said already but you must have the mental toughness to accept the fact you may go a day, two days, or even the entire hunt without seeing the animal you are hunting. It is 180 degrees different than sitting in a tree stand/deer blind in the midwest watching deer filter out into a field. I have been fortunate and have been hunting in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico and have done very well on Mulies, Elk, and Antelope.

    Here is an example. 2015 I drew New Mexico muzzleloader ( we lived there from late 2104- late 2015). I hiked in 5.5 miles into the Pecos Wilderness and set up camp. Never saw an elk the entire hike in. Hiked 3 or 4 miles that afternoon scouting. Not an elk to be seen or heard. The next day hiked 8 - 10 miles and although a few bugles were heard I never got within a few miles of them ( guessing).

    Third day I tagged a bull after chasing a nice herd that I found at first light for 3 miles. Then had to hike the meat and antlers 7.5 miles to the truck.

    Way different than dragging a whitetail to the field edge then pulling up the pickup or atv and loading it on.

    What I am getting at is in the Midwest we are spoiled with the amount of animals relatively packed into the amount of woods. I know most of my hunting friends would have been fed up with not seeing any animals two days in a row and would have been whining etc... You have to stay tough.

    I would also second/third the antelope hunt. Very fun hunt that you can do relatively cheap. My first two were does actually and they were just as hard to stalk up into as a buck. I think a Wyoming Doe tag was 46 bucks for Non resident back in 2014.

    Anyway this is a great forum welcome!

  21. Default

    If I was u I would try a deer hunt . Check the montana website after April 17 to see if there's any leftover deer combos . If there is they'll go on sale around may 1 . If your stuck on elk then buy the big game combo that includes deer and elk and pick a gen unit . Maybe you'll fill both tags or atleast the deer

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Lake of the ozarks Missouri
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    804

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjames View Post
    Southeast of Kansas City about 35 miles. How about yourself? I jacked that up I was trying to reply to 7mm08mo
    Just about 20 miles west of Osage Beach. Good luck in the draws, with any luck there will be four of us in my group this year.
    I work so I can hunt

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