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 Post subject: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 28th, 2014, 8:31 pm 
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Location: Buchanan, NY
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I would like to plan a few DIY hunts over the next few years. I have a general idea on how to go about it, but I would like to know how you all do it. How far in advance do you plan? What little details do you think can get over looked? I have a few species that I have in mind that I'd like to hunt. Any suggestions on what would be a good species to start with? On my list are; Muleys, both species of Blacktail, Moose and Caribou. I think Moose and Caribou might be a little more difficult to obtain for me at this time. Any other advise would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 28th, 2014, 10:22 pm 
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Sean, you have the same ideas I have, and the planning stage is a HUGE, fun part of it.

My mule deer hunt was about 10 months in the making, and when you get serious about hunting them, let me know. I'll gladly fill you in on how I went about the whole thing.

The self-guided moose hunt is 10 months from today and has been in the makings for 1 1/2 years up until now, and it has been one heck of a journey. A journey that I am SO happy there are PBS members who have been, and are willing to share their knowledge.

As for what species to go after, that is totally up to you. I have wanted to hunt moose since I was a kid, but never really thought it would be possible till I actually got serious about it.

I chose to go after mule deer as my first Western DIY hunt for the simple fact that after I spoke with a Game Warden in Wyoming, he told me of the abundance of animals and lack of hunters in the area. Those just happened to be to two things I was looking for the most and He (Game Warden) gave me the hope I was really searching for. I'm actually glad I went to WY, because that moment when I was less than 20 yards from a moose with only a Longbow in my hand and being a few miles from the road is when I decided that I WILL figure out a way to hunt them. It's hard to describe how I felt at that moment, but it changed my whole way of thinking. It was the most majestic animal I had ever laid eyes on and I was left in awe as it disappeared as quickly as it appeared. What blew me away was how quiet such a massive animal can actually be.

Good luck, and I look forward to hearing about your hunts. Give me a call this week, and I can fill you in better. For me, it's easier to talk than type.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 28th, 2014, 10:41 pm 
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The secret to my success on DIY hunts is to make sure my first phone calls are to Cory Mattson and Steve Hohensee. They have made my DIY hunts feel almost like fully outfitted hunts ... In fact on Hawaii goat hunt this spring, Steve sent me pictures of specific rocks on the trail that marked various notable points.

Seriously, leverage the PBS network heavily. You can be pretty certain that any hunt we dream about doing, someone here has probably done it, killed on it, and is excited to tell another PBSer how to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 29th, 2014, 4:03 am 
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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 29th, 2014, 7:12 am 
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My best advice is pick what interests you and go for it. My first was a muley hunt and even though you can read books and get advice from others, the best lessons/preferences will come from just getting out there. I'm planning on caribou this year and as Ted said, several PBS guys have done it and helped me fine tune my plans. Biologists and game wardens are always worth tracking down since about half the time they'll share great local advice.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 29th, 2014, 11:34 am 
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NEVER call a biologist and ask them where to go.

ALWAYS do preliminary research so you can talk intelligently about and area and make it look like you ate least tried to figure out where you want to go.

Some biologists get hundreds of calls each year asking "where do I go" but what you need to do is be in the midst of a discussion where details of critter densities, movement, etc.. start coming out.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 29th, 2014, 3:44 pm 
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I assumed that was understood, Steve. I absolutely agree. I also ALWAYS id myself as being a traditional bowhunter driving out to said place from SC on a DIY hunt and why I have chosen said general area. I feel like some of them appreciate the fact that you are willing to put so much skin in the game, they'd rather work with you than most of the folks looking for as many shortcuts to a trophy as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 29th, 2014, 4:48 pm 
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I agree 100% with Julian. When hunting equipment (Longbows and wood arrows) was talked about, I could honestly feel the conversation take a turn towards the better. I truly believe guys have an appreciation for guys who hunt with traditional equipment. I know I do.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 29th, 2014, 10:14 pm 
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thanks all, some great advise. I'll reach out to a few member that I've been in contact here. Mike V-I'll try to give you a call tomorrow if you're around.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 30th, 2014, 8:33 am 
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I have had very good results with talking to the local game warden while in the field. Several times, including this past fall on my elk hunt, it has lead directly to shot opportunities or kills, and in one case, a long-term friendship to continues to this day, because he is a serious bowhunter from "back east". It is a good idea to have that phone number with you on your hunt, and call the warden to discuss the unit, access issues, etc. Like Julian, I have noticed a greater willingness to help once they see that you are a serious bowhunter, especially if you hunt trad.

Another little thing that has helped me on a handful of DIY hunts, if you have time and are so inclined, is to visit a local church during your hunt. I am Lutheran and always check to see if there are any Lutheran churches in or near my hunt area (last fall I drove almost 2 hours to reach one, but I also needed supplies from town). Often when the members discover why I was there, they offer to help. On several moose hunts, the local members offered to help pack out my moose, last year a member shuttled my truck from the river put-in to the take-out, and this year a pastor with pack horses gave me his cell number and insisted that I call if I killed an elk. Plus I get to meet fellow Christians who hunt.

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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: December 30th, 2014, 8:57 am 
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I agree with all of the above. The entire planning process is half the fun of a hunt for me. I devour info from Game & Fish websites such as harvest statistics, bull cow ratios, draw odds, % of public land, etc.

Google Earth is a great tool to help get a feel for the type of terrain an area has. And of course the PBS website and contacts here as well as a couple of other forums. I'm not shy when it comes to asking for help and have been amazed sometimes at the great info I've received.

By that time I will have a pretty good feel for the area I am looking at and will contact a local biologist and often times a game warden as well. I will have a list of questions written out ahead of time to make sure I cover everything.

Now it's time to order maps. Google Earth and GPS maps are great tools, but for me I still want a good old fashioned paper map to lay out and study and make notes on. I like MyTopo.com maps in the highest detail I can get. Usually I'll order a unit wide map first that gives me a good overview of the whole area and once I have narrowed things down will order the high resolution maps of specific areas. I might end up spending $50- $100 dollars on maps alone but feel that they are invaluable tools and well worth the cost on Western hunts.

With all of this research done I them often will do another round of phone calls to my prior contacts with another lady of even more specific questions.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: January 1st, 2015, 12:06 am 
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I can elaborate more later but quickly...start with one of the member group hunts.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hunts
PostPosted: January 2nd, 2015, 8:48 pm 
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Great advise, Ha Steve, I'm looking for cheap air fair for the PBS Ga Hog Hunt.


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