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 Post subject: Need some help/advice
PostPosted: November 26th, 2014, 4:05 pm 
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My dad and grandfather are wanting to come archery elk hunting in Montana next year. Problem is that Grandpa isn't going to hunt just wants to come along and is also over 75 years old.

I will have the coolers/food/shelter etc. Mainly we only need someone who is willing to get paid to pack us in, and God willing, pack us out with some animals.

Any idea where I should start/contacts I could reach out too? I tried calling a few different outfitters, but we aren't going to pay $2000/person just to have someone drop us off then pick us up!

Thanks

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PostPosted: November 29th, 2014, 2:36 pm 
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Anybody have an idea?

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PostPosted: November 29th, 2014, 4:22 pm 
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Well, here's a thought. I've elk hunted for 20 years, primarily in Colorado. The one time we got packed in to a drop camp, in Idaho, we never saw an elk in 10 days of hunting. In those 20 years, our camp has consistently been above average for success rate and we always drive right to where our tent is set up. What I'm saying is, maybe you can hunt in an area where you can 4wd to your campsite and hunt out if it. Take a spike camp along if you want to head back in for a couple of days. Might not be the best bet success wise but at least you will all be together.

Another idea, are you comfortable around horses enough that you could rent a couple to help with the packing in. While I've never done it myself, a couple of buddies have done it every year they've gone to Colorado.

Talk to some locals and see if you can connect with someone willing to help. Who knows, maybe you'll find someone willing to rent you the horses AND wrangle them for you - in and out.


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PostPosted: November 30th, 2014, 7:50 am 
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Outfitting is a tough business, I would be surprised if you could find a drop camp for much less. As Pete mentioned it can be feast or famine as well, I think I have heard as much hardship with a drop camp as I have heard success. I have had very got success through the years truck camping lots of advantages, staying mobile for one.

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PostPosted: November 30th, 2014, 8:12 am 
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Thats what I'm finding as well Rob. Going to wee if I can find a forest service cabin to rent. My dad works a whole lot of hours a week and isnt sure if he is going to get a whole lot of exercise in beforehand so im trying to make it as easy as possible for him.

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PostPosted: November 30th, 2014, 10:44 am 
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Now your talking.....that is on my short list of things to do.

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PostPosted: November 30th, 2014, 11:53 am 
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Jacob,

I concur with Rob & Pete on the end-of-the-road camp idea. Get a wall tent with cots and wood stove and have a camp for anyone you want! You still have to think about getting the elk out. Also, temps in the mountain west can be surprisingly hot during Sept. I have used horses and mules to aid my bowhunting for 3 decades now, and I still hesitate to hunt some places knowing that meat-moving-concerns from high temps can get you in a bind....need to be careful and stay within your meat moving limits!

On the outfitting advice, sometimes outfitters will negotiate a lower price if you are not going into backcountry very far - like 5 or 6 miles. In those cases you need to know where you want to go - and something about the operating area (permit restrictions on where they can legally go) of that specific outfitter. 2 K per person seems a bit steep to me for drop camps. The trick with drop camps is that you research and select the site...and not depending on the packer/outfitter to plunk you down somewhere.

In terms of borrowing stock, I'd be very careful there unless you really have a stock handling (& packing) background. Packing elk parts out of gnarly canyons, or off of steep hillsides, requires experience doing just that -- and for BOTH man and beast--preferably a rock-solid-mule!. And that, in part, is why outfitters charge what they do - as Rob eludes too. Also, they have insurance to cover injury or property damage. Steer clear of the guy who says he'd do ALL the packing work for $1,000. 1) He probably is not licensed and bonded. 2) He probably does not have the "quality control" for safe/reliable transport of valuable gear (& people!).

On areas where you can have quality hunting with road access, I'd suggest talking to MT department biologists to get there read. I know this seems simple but it can be pretty effective if you connect with the right bios. Might also contact some other PBSers from MT...or maybe they could jump on this post!


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PostPosted: November 30th, 2014, 4:35 pm 
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Jacob, I just sent you a PM.


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