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Old 04-24-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
Edb 46 er
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Elk Hunt

Hi any Elk Hunter's in the forum? What can a person expect as far as terrain and success. Particuler hunt may be in Selway Idaho wilderness. Like to get some input on certain types of backpacks to use and views on rifle calibers.

Thanks
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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EdB: Years ago I went on an Elk Hunt near Darby, MT with a bow. Due to extreme fire hazard, we had to hike in to the base camp--7 miles UP. Fortunately, I was in the best shape of my life and had no trouble making the hike--pretty good trail most of the way. In the area I hunted, the terrain was steep and the air thin, so it takes awhile just to get acclimated. A week of fishing preceding the hunt should do just the trick to get you acclimated! To prepare for the hunt, I ran hill after hill after hill (lived in Missouri at the time). After I could run the hills with my sneakers on, I changed to my hunting boots--it was like starting all over but I eventually got so I could run them with my boots on and still have energy to spare--felt like Rocky! I was much younger then but it was worth it. The outfitter took our gear into basecamp and we carried daypacks each day on our hunt. We really didn't need a full sized backpack as the outfitter had horses that could get to the elk or he supplied the packs for meat. Good luck on your hunt--is it a guided hunt, drop camp or other?
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:21 PM   #3
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Hi Eaglecrag, I haven't decided on the type just yet. I have looked into all three and gave a careful personal review of each coming to the conclusion that a drop camp would be a adventure to remember. But seeing how I have never been to Idaho that probably willn't be my first choice for my own saftey. I believe after reading articles on the Selway and Bitterroot area that a possible encounter with a grizzly might get me into trouble. Problem with guided hunts are that they remain expensive, their are a few that I would certainly use though if available. Health wise I feel I would be okay, I remain in pretty good physical shape and by the time the hunt comes I will be in better shape for certain. Wouldn't want to be in Idaho gasping and sucking air at 7000 ft. I can do that here. Like you said It will take getting used to. Living and coming from a lower elevation. I had even thought of getting to a public campground in Idaho and setting a wall tent up and then possibly hiring a guide for a couple of days which would be cheaper. I was planning to order my tags maybe even this summer. Good thing about Idaho thet will be available over the counter for non residents or the web page.
That sounds like a good physical program you had with the hill running, I will try that.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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I've hunted elk in Idaho (Sawtooth Unit 36) for many years. Every bull I've killed was with a 30.06 except for one with a 300 RUM. Shots have been as far as 450 yards. I personally wouldn't go smaller than a 30.06, but plenty have been killed with 270's and smaller. Like any animal if you shoot them through the lungs it doesn't matter what caliber you are using. Good bullets are important, I like the Nosler Partitions and Barnes TSX.

It's steep country and the altitude is tough on us flatlanders from the East. The better shape you are in when you get there the better your chances of success.

The wolves have really hammered the elk in most of Idaho and the population is way down. Buy a wolf tag, they're cheap and you will have a good chance of seeing one.

Have fun, Idaho is a beautiful state full of great people.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #5
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Great calibers. I would like to use a 300 Winchester which I know will do the job also with a Barnes 180 Gr. Wolves are a issue, I will prepare for one. I would hate to take any shot over 300 yards with my scope reticle, no ballistics. I would just have to use a range finder and do a holdover.

I tasted Elk at the Woodsman Field Days in Boonville and it is far better then any venison I have ever had. Most of my deer were processed professionaly by a butcher and the kills were swift and fast, so no chance of adreneline seeping into the flesh. But Elk just taste better to me.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Edb 46 er;185247]Great calibers. I would like to use a 300 Winchester which I know will do the job also with a Barnes 180 Gr. Wolves are a issue, I will prepare for one. I would hate to take any shot over 300 yards with my scope reticle, no ballistics. I would just have to use a range finder and do a holdover.

What distance is your scope zeroed for?
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:48 AM   #7
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sight that 300 in for 3" high at 100yds. and you will put anything down your shooting at
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:40 PM   #8
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Sounds good. Going to the range first chance. See where the'ole girl lands. Dreaming about a Elk steak sandwich with sweet onins and red peppers is getting to be too much.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:17 AM   #9
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main thing is to relax and enjoy yourself out there
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:02 AM   #10
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Edb... if you haven't already considered it, let me also encourage you to plan ahead regarding care of your elk, providing the good Lord blesses you with one. Talk with your taxidermist before you go, as I've seen too many trophy's get ruined before they reach him/her. And bear in mind that even if you only plan on having an antler mount, save the cape, as your taxidermist (or another) may be interested in buying it from you.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Swamp Booger View Post
Edb... if you haven't already considered it, let me also encourage you to plan ahead regarding care of your elk, providing the good Lord blesses you with one. Talk with your taxidermist before you go, as I've seen too many trophy's get ruined before they reach him/her. And bear in mind that even if you only plan on having an antler mount, save the cape, as your taxidermist (or another) may be interested in buying it from you.
Swampbooger, I thought just a antler mount with a European skull would be okay for a mount. The cape will make a nice piece of leather for crafts and even gloves and such. I just will need to find a place that will process the hide into leather. Looking foward to the Ivorys for a charm.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
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Message. This hunt is just a preperation and a gathering of information at the time being. I would like to do this fall, finances permitting, but for now this was just a thread on other views and recommendations from others.

I am not trying to mislead anyone on this thread and do appreciate all of the feedback on this.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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I have a buddy that goes to Colorado every other year for elk. He's done well with his Remington 700 in 7MM Mag.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #14
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St Regis, anywhere near Meeker county Colorado?
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:59 AM   #15
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EdB 46 er - I'm not sure of the county. SW part of the state.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:55 AM   #16
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EdB 46 er - I'm not sure of the county. SW part of the state.
T Regis, whatever county I am sure the drive across America will be wonderful when the means become available to me.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:45 AM   #17
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I caught my first trout in the Snake River.

Absolutely beautiful country out that way.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #18
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Pumpkin, are you familiar with the Selway area at all? Next door the Bitteroot wilderness that joins the boarder of Montana. This is the area I will be hunting this fall if everything comes together. Cutbow trout?
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:44 AM   #19
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I have used a Kelty Super Tioga for years, which is a large external frame pack. It is a veteran of seven high country mule deer hunts and hikes on two continents. I really like this pack for carrying a load because it is super comfortable and not as hot as an internal frame due to the airspace between your back and the pack bag. I find it more versatile than an internal frame too, because bag is easily removed and then you can lash quarters of meat, firewood, or anything else to it for carrying and you can bias an odd-shaped load up high where it belongs, which is difficult with an internal frame. I have lashed a whole dressed-out whitetail doe to the frame here in NY (Does are no fun to drag). I carry a fanny pack for hunting during the day with food and survival stuff and would retrieve the frame from camp if the hunt was successful. Three times my friends and I were dropped in by horses instead of hiking in and still we all brought our frame packs. Don't forget your trekking poles or favorite walking stick.

Find someone to go with you. It is not the best idea to be in the Selway-Bitterroot by yourself, and this is coming from one who almost always hunts alone, but preferably not when the vehicle is over 10 miles away and the terrain is steep. I have a cousin who is a very experienced hunter and has hunted BC and Alaska many times. In 1991 he had a mule deer tag to hunt in Idaho but didn't feel he should be in the wilderness alone, so I bought a small game license, went with him and was able to provide us with a few blue grouse meals. We both had a great time, he filled his tag and we also walked right into a herd of elk in the timber.

I would recommend taking the rifle you are currently shooting as long as it is an adequate caliber. My aforementioned cousin always uses a .270 in the lower-48. It is much more important to have familiarity and confidence that you can hit with your rifle-purchasing a magnum that you haven't shot very much is most often false confidence. Also, since there are wolves in the area the elk are spending a lot more time in cover, reducing the odds of a long shot. Take bear spray, have it on your belt and plan on depending on it instead of your rifle.

I'm excited to hear about your hunt!

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:51 PM   #20
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Hi Huginn

Welcome to the forum!

Looking at the Kelty cache hauler for a frame pack. I am quite proficent with any of my rifles in reasonable distances, not that I will take a shot over 250 yards with any of my rifles, I am just not comfortable shooting beyond my range.

Thanks
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