Lots of access often means lots of hunters. If you want to be different from the majority of traveling elk hunters, try Oregon. “The exact unit with the highest success rate fluctuates from year to year.

What is elk population and/or management objective? Broken down, this consisted of 736 bulls, 641 cows and 57 calves. So which do you choose? They note numerous trails and seasonally closed roads in the area, along with a few campgrounds.

Here, elevations range from 2,200 to 9,200 feet. Some are easily drawn with just a few points, while others can take many years to pull.

By far, the most popular unit with hunters was the 410-20, where in 2018 as many as 5099 hunters competed for only 150 permits, with success rate a meagre 2.92%. These general licenses allow hunters to pursue elk in many areas of the state, with the exception of some controlled draw areas.

“We manage on age objective.”. “For units 1, 9, 10 and 23, it takes 22 to 27 bonus points for general early bull, 19 to 25 bonus points for muzzleloader early bull, and 15 to 22 bonus points for early archery bull.”. us | Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Each state handles things a bit differently, and wait times can be up to 20 years or longer for the most sought-after units. Montana is best known for its elk.

But be delighted you have such a challenge.”. Site by Gray Loon. The Combination General Non-Resident Elk License costs $884, and if you (like most hunters) want a mule or whitetail deer tag, too, the Combination General Deer/Elk Non-Resident License is priced at $1046.

“Seasons vary depending on hunt area but are generally mid-August to mid-September for archery, October for muzzleloader, and late October to November for rifle,” Sanchez noted.

Or it means spending two extra hours driving when you could be hunting.

Safety in bear country is too serious a topic to be covered in a few sentences. Once hunters narrow down their choices and have additional questions, we’ll happily assist and provide advice.”. “Nearly all the opportunities occur on public.”, “Resident hunters commonly draw this tag in five to 10 years, and nonresidents can generally expect to wait 10 years or more,” Sanchez continued. The Equality State has many incredible elk-hunting units, or areas, as the Wyoming Game and Fish Department refers to them. Next door, HD332 offers “brow-tined bulls only” with a general license (no permit required) and shows decent hunter-success rates.

If it’s a trophy-class bull you’re after, it’s tough to beat the San Juan unit. GMU 4 and the surrounding units average 16 bulls for every 100 cows. More specifically, Units 111 to 115 are historically top producers.

Success rates for the archery hunt are just above 30%.

Our draw operates on a bonus-point system where every bonus point gives the hunter an extra chance at a low random number in the draw.
Trust your guide, follow his instructions and orders, but be aware of what may be coming and be ready to do your part.

It had a 19% success rate in 2018.

Baumeister offers a

Newberg advises hunters to also identify potential hunting areas by analyzing harvest data from the Hunt Planner on the FWP

You will find springs and creeks flowing through the bottoms. South Elk Ridge: Good roads on mesa tops, limited access to rugged canyons, great area for pack-in hunts (Dark Canyon).

A bonus point is awarded for each unsuccessful application, which improves draw odds in subsequent years. “Rocky Mountain elk are predominantly found in eastern Washington, and OTC hunters are restricted to spike- and ‘true’ spike-only bull opportunity in units with high elk (and hunter) densities,” said Kyle Garrison, elk specialist with the WDFW.

Most elk on public land live in national forests. Most harvested elk are calves and cows, and most hunters are happy to take any elk, including those without antlers.

essential. But there were units that could boast of 100% success rates. Jack Ballard of Red Lodge has written hundreds of articles on elk hunting and is the author of Elk Hunting Montana: Finding Success on the Best Public Lands, the second edition of which is scheduled for publication in 2018.. "Kyle” is a 34-year-old hunter from Pasco, in southern Washington.

Or maybe you’re a nonresident hunter coming here for the first time.

Analyzing the three or four most recent years of data provides the most accurate picture. To put things into perspective, 2018 nonresident applicants who applied for the archery hunt stood a 1-in-367 chance of drawing. In truth, it does offer OTC elk hunts, but these don’t nearly equal the quality you can expect from the draw hunts.

Severe winter weather is what pushes elk down from the high country, so you’ll have to hike through snow even if you don’t need to trudge as far uphill.

Distance and elevation gain (calculated from contour lines) give a quick estimate of slope.

Because those figures include experienced hunters who take an elk nearly every year, the success rate of newbies is even lower.

“WDFW offers branch-antlered Rocky Mountain bull harvest in units with high elk densities through elk special permits,” Garrison told me. “These are called ‘high-demand’ hunts, which are calculated annually and have at least 22% nonresident applicants.

“I am currently applying for those myself. In Montana, it’s just the opposite.

Several other general season units had 10 to 20% success rates across different seasons and weapon types.

Daryl Meints of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said, “We don’t ‘hot spot’ hunting opportunities in Idaho because we still offer general OTC, unlimited hunting opportunities. Stay close to home Scores ranged from 250in to 350in. That’s still better odds than .81% for Unit 425-20 (615 applications for 5 permits), or 1% for Unit 282-20 (96 applicants trying to get the single permit). The unit consists of a big valley with scattered alfalfa and hay fields and beautiful elk country. I believe that anyone hoping for a reasonable chance of killing an elk needs at least five full days of hunting (excluding travel). “Each hunter has an equal opportunity to draw a controlled hunt.

Focus on those with success rates of up to and over 20%. However, they only track spikes, 5 points or fewer, and 6 points or more. The state has just 1.07 million residents, concentrated in population centers like Billings, Missoula and Great Falls. “It also had a high 2018 success rate of 79%.

Public lands access is excellent as well.

This equates to a 28% success rate. Because elk generally stay at least a mile or two from roads—and road hunters—the farther you can get from traffic, the more likely it is that you’ll see animals.

If you’re not a highly experienced DIY hunter, with good wilderness skills, the experience of your guide may be a good investment and a way to avoid a lot of disappointment. “You don’t need to be a gym rat,” Newberg says. “OTC hunters are encouraged to review WDFW hunting prospects and elk-harvest reports to select a unit that meets their desired criteria” for total harvest, success rates and hunter numbers, Garrison said. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Hunters focused only on bulls can figure out antlered elk harvest success rates the same way.

“We do not offer bonus or preference points,” Meints said. There are also so-called “B” tags for antlerless elk, for a limited number of units.

“This district has ample trophy-bull opportunities and an abundance of public lands. simple starting place: FWP elk hunting In the Primary Management Zone, units with greater than a 50% success rate in 2018 were GMUs 4, 5A, 21B and 36. “This is up for debate, but District 380 is one of our most prized permits,” Lemon told me.

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