COLORADO RANCHING FOR WILDLIFE
ONLY $4950 GUARANTEED TAG
20,000 PRIVATE ACRES
Last fall in 2017 the season started off pretty slow with unusually warm weather and the first couple hunts produced a total of 8 bulls for 12 hunters by press time.
In 2016 the ranch had 46 permits and 42 bulls were taken.
In 2015 there were 45 permits and 42 bulls were killed.
This is typically a high success elk hunt on private land that has guaranteed licenses issued from the state, no drawings and you do not use any of your preference points.
This ranch being in the Ranching for Wildlife program allows them to conduct a September rifle rut hunt that produced 7 bulls for 9 hunters in 2017. In 2016 on the rut hunt they killed 7 bulls for 8 hunters. In 2015 his 10 hunters harvested 9 bulls, including 2 with the bow.
The ranch is allocated about 40 plus elk tags yearly depending on what F&G allocate each spring and we expect them to harvest close to 85 percent due to the ranch location in a very high migration route. Success the past 5 years has been over 85 percent on bulls every year.
Since the ranch is in the RFW program the outfitter can hunt from September 5 to December 5 with rifles. Most bulls taken will be a 5 point averaging in the 230 to 240 class and top bulls have reached the 275 inch category. Typically the elk hunting gets better as the season progresses. Starting about mid-November more elk move onto the property due to pressure on nearby public land and the normal migration out of the high country. This is more of a low country, wide-open type of hunt where you catch groups of elk crossing the ranch.
The outfitter also offers a LATE SEPTEMBER RUT HUNT in the high country for $5,500 for 4 days. Past years every hunter has been on multiple bulls at less than 100 yards on the rut hunt. This is a much more physically demanding hunt, typically in more mountainous terrain at higher elevations. Hunters have their choice to try archery or rifle on these hunts.
The ranch is located at about 7500 foot elevation and has good road access making this elk hunt not an extremely physical hunt. Hunters normally come in on Saturday; hunt Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (4 days) and leave Thursday. Bunkhouse accommodations, meals, guided 2×1 and airport pickup in Hayden is included for $4,950. Pronghorn can be added to the early elk hunts for only $2,250 and the ranch produces nice bucks averaging 70 plus inches. Very limited elk openings for 2018. HCU’s Craig Green and Cliff Graham have hunted with this outfitter. Hunt EK226. EK226 Hunt Photos.
$6,000 COLORADO ELK HUNT
11,000 PRIVATE ACRES
2017-14 HUNTERS GOT 13 BULLS
2017 first rifle hunt was hot and dry, but they still managed to kill 7 bulls for all 7 hunters, including a 310, 303, 292, a couple in the 270’s and 2 typical Colorado bulls. Second season went 6 for 7. The unsuccessful hunter waited until his son scored and he missed several before tagging out, but it was too late. Third season only had one elk hunter and he tagged a bull.
2016 first rifle went three for six on bulls, four more were missed and one crippled and lost. Second rifle hunt four hunters killed one bull, missed two bulls and a bear. Third hunt he had one elk hunter kill a 310 bull.
In 2015 his first rifle elk hunt had 7 hunters kill 6 bulls, including a 320 bull. The second hunt was a rarity with only one 310 inch bull being taken for 6 hunters. The elk were on the ranch, but for some reason they just couldn’t get it done. Third hunt he had a father/son elk hunting team. The son killed a typical 260 class bull and the father hit and lost a bull.
All 5 day hunts guided 2×1, archery elk is $5,000 from August 28 to September 26. Muzzleloader hunts are $6,000 September 11 to 19. First season rifle is $6,000 for October 16 to 20, second season $5,000 October 23 to 31, third season $5,000 November 6 to 12 and fourth season $5,000 November 17 to 21. Elk/mule deer combo is $8,500 with a trophy fee of $1,000 for any buck grossing over 180 Boone and Crockett. First and fourth rifle elk draw has been 100 percent on these private land tags, second and third seasons are over-the-counter. Muzzleloader elk usually requires 3 points to draw. Mule deer are draw, 5 or 6 points should get you a tag and landowner vouchers are available. 11,000 private acres with cabin accommodations, meals and 2×1 guide service. Airport pickup included at Montrose or Grand Junction. Few scattered openings for 2018, book now for 2019. HCU’s Bob Wodzisz has visited this ranch. Hunt EK163. EK163 Hunt Photos.
COLORADO PRIVATE LAND ELK $5,000
4 DAY HORSEBACK HUNT
2017-FIRST 2 SEASONS 19 FOR 22
This outfitter has exclusive rights to his family’s 13,000 acre ranch. Good elk numbers with high success combined with horses to take you up and down the mountain daily, remodeled old turn of the century cabin accommodations, over the counter tags and the price is affordable making this a great value for Colorado bulls.
2017 first rifle hunt went 8 for 8 on bulls. Second season first half finished with 7 hunters tagging 4 bulls, 1 crippled and 5 missed. Second half of second season went 7 for 7 and everyone was done by the end of the second day. Third season first half 6 for 8, 5 misses and 2 cripples, second half 5 for 7, 4 misses and 1 crippled. Fourth season 1 for 3 with 2 misses.
2016 first rifle ended with 6 of the 8 hunters tagging bulls. Second season consisting of 2 hunts produced 10 bulls for 16 hunters. Third season went 6 for 12, including 2 muley bucks and fourth season was 1 for 4 on bulls.
2015 the first rifle elk season went 6 for 8. Second hunt 5 for 8, third hunt 6 for 7, fourth hunt 5 for 6, fifth hunt 4 for 6 and last hunt 2 for 3. Unsuccessful hunters either missed or passed on bulls, but everyone had an opportunity to kill a bull.
The outfitter produces numbers like this pretty much every year. His archery hunts are very exciting, all calling with spot and stalk. A very exciting way to chase bulls and his success is unmatched. Over the course of the 2017 archery season he had 20 bowhunters tag 6 bulls, hit and lost 9 and missed 6. 2016 was slow but they still killed 7 bulls, hit and lost 2 and missed 4. In 2015 his 17 bowhunters killed 11 bulls and 5 hunters hit and lost bulls.
This small personal outfitter operates on a private ranch with high elk numbers just southeast of Craig. Most bulls taken are 5 points, although some will be smaller 6 points. Hunters can add mule deer for $2,000 and there are some trophy deer.
All hunts are horseback and are 4 days guided 2×1. Accommodations are a renovated pre-1900 ranch house with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, big kitchen, living room, mud room and enclosed porch. The first rifle hunt has been 100 percent in the draw. The second and third season elk permits are sold over-the-counter. Fourth season elk hunters need to apply, but draw has been near 100 percent.
Deer permits are tougher and you need preference points. Rifle elk hunts are $5,000 or combine with mule deer for $7,000.
Bow hunts and muzzleloader are both priced at $5,500. Hunters are picked up at Hayden airport. HCU’s Bob Wodzisz has been on this ranch. Hunt EK824. EK824 Hunt Photos.
SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO BULLS
130,000 PRIVATE ACRES
FIRST SEASON RIFLE $7500
100 PERCENT PAST 3 YEARS
This outfitter located just north of the New Mexico border takes low hunter numbers on 130,000 private acres.
Last fall on the first rifle elk hunt all 5 hunters tagged bulls and on the second hunt success was 2 for 2. All the bulls taken on the rifle hunts scored from 280 to 330 inches. He also had 6 mule deer hunters harvest 6 bucks, with the biggest going 178 inches. 3 bucks taken were mature cull bucks in the 150’s.
In 2016 he had 5 rifle hunters the first season and they killed 5 bulls. Top bull grossed 310 down to 250, probably averaging around the 270 to 280 mark. Second season he only had 4 mule deer hunters and all scored. One took a great 197 inch buck and the rest were 150 to 160. Third season he had a father and son. Both killed elk, a 290 and a small 5×5 and 2 mulies in the 150 class.
In 2015 the first rifle hunt he had 4 rifle hunters kill 4 bulls, best was just over 300. Second rifle 4 hunters tagged 3 bulls and third season he only had 3 muley hunters tag 3 bucks, best went 180 and rest were 24 to 25 inch bucks.
5 days guided 2×1 is $7,500 or $8,500 1×1 starting in early October. Basic ranch house accommodations with meals and hunters fly into Denver or Colorado Springs and rent a car for the 3 or 2 hour drive.
First hunt is a draw, but has been 100 percent; second and third season tags are over the counter. Mule deer also need to apply for, but should draw and he also has some deer vouchers. Deer hunts are $5,500 for 5 days 2×1 or $6,500 1×1.
He also does an elk muzzleloader hunt each year and this could be the best hunt he has to offer. September 10 to 20 and hunters need 1 point to draw a tag. He does an archery elk hunt September 1 to 24 and in 2017 6 bowhunters killed 3 bulls and crippled a bull. In 2016 his 6 hunters killed 2 bulls averaging 300 inches and everyone had opportunities. In 2015 his 6 archers killed 3 bulls. Archery elk is $7,000 2×1 and muzzleloader is $7,500 2×1.
April 1 draw deadline. 2018 openings are limited, call ASAP. Hunt EK554.
NEW MEXICO BULLS $7500
2017-5 FOR 5 (280 TO 330)
GUARANTEED TAGS-NO DRAW
Here is an outfitter that operates in both Colorado and New Mexico. He recently picked up 20,000 private acres in northeastern New Mexico that includes some landowner vouchers. Last year was the first year they hunted this property, which turned out to be an excellent season.
2017 he had 5 rifle elk hunters and all tagged 5 really nice bulls ranging in size from a couple at 290 to 310 and 3 better bulls that grossed up to 330.
In 2018 he would prefer to take 2 elk hunters per 5 day hunt priced at $7,500 guided 1×1 starting October 1 and he expects 8 landowner permits. Late October hunts and early November could be combined with mule deer for a 10 day hunt priced at $10,500. Elk licenses are only good for any of the 5 days, but you have a total of 10 plus a mule deer tag. In 2017 he had 5 deer hunters and all killed bucks, including a 180 and a 165. Mule deer only is $4500 5 days 2×1 either October 21 to 25 or 28 to November 1.
Ranch house accommodations with meals included. Hunters fly into Colorado Springs and rent a car for the 2 hour drive to the ranch. Hunt EK335.
NEW MEXICO TROPHY BULLS
100% SUCCESS PAST 11 YEARS
FREE RANGE GUARANTEED TAGS
OVER 95,000 PRIVATE ACRES
Last fall all 8 hunters killed respectable bulls, including a 350 bull on each of the 2 hunts. Most hunts it is hard to live up to hunter expectations, but on this hunt it is hard to hold hunters off from shooting too quickly. One big 370 bull was seen, but a good portion of his rack was broke off. Overall average was lower this year scoring roughly 325.
In 2016 his 8 hunters tagged 8 bulls with the top bull scoring 370 inches and 4 more grossed over 350.
In 2015 all 9 hunters filled their tags and the best bulls went 384, 370 and several in the 350’s down to the smallest at 320. Overall the average bull taken gross scored an amazing 345.
This outfitter has limited his number of hunters to improve and maintain trophy bulls for everyone. He has several ranches close together in northeastern New Mexico totaling over 95,000 acres. He runs two 5 day hunts in October guided 1×1 priced at $14,000. Guaranteed landowner voucher is included so there is no draw. Hunters fly into Colorado Springs and rent a car. HCU’s Bob Wodzisz has been on this ranch. Limited openings for 2018. Hunt EK278. EK278 Hunt Photos.
NUMBER 1 UTAH RUT RIFLE HUNT
TYPICALLY 100 PERCENT SUCCESS
AVERAGE BULL GROSS SCORES 340
20,000 PRIVATE ACRES
FREE RANGE GUARANTEED TAG
This 20,000 acre ranch located in southeastern Utah takes 14 to 16 elk hunters per year. It is in the CWMU program allowing them to conduct rifle hunts in September during the rut with guaranteed tags, no drawing. 5 day hunts guided 1×1 are $15,000 plus license and tax. Nice accommodations plus good home cooked meals and older hunters can physically do this hunt. This is one of the very best free range elk hunts with a guaranteed tag.
2017 was a little down compared to past years with 15 hunters killing 14 bulls. Best bull grossed 368 down to 310, with an overall average of 335.
2016 all 16 hunters tagged big bulls on this unbelievable September rifle rut hunt. Top bull size was only a 360 this year and quite a few over 350 were taken.
2015 was another typical year and all hunters tagged bulls and they gross scored from 370 down to 320 Boone and Crockett.
2014 was a banner year for score with good rainfall in the spring and early summer. Hunters were 100 percent success on bulls gross scoring from 312 to 385 and over half the bulls gross scored 350 or better Boone and Crockett.
The outfitter’s family owns the ranch and it is a top shelf hunt for trophy animals in a beautiful setting. Hunters fly into Grand Junction, where they rent a car. Hunt EKGE72. EKGE72 Hunt Photos.
SEPTEMBER RIFLE BUGLE HUNT
UTAH 35,000 FREE RANGE ACRES
100 PERCENT PAST YEARS
AVERAGE 310 TO 320 INCHES
This outfit runs 4 consecutive rifle rut hunts from September 14 to October 7 with up to 8 hunters per hunt and has consistently been 100 percent success for the past several years.
Last fall in 2017 their 27 hunters killed 26 bulls with the best bull grossing 364 and they took 4 more in the 340’s. The unsuccessful hunter is a repeat looking for a bull over 350 inches and he did not see one. Overall the average bull harvested scored between 315 and 320.
In 2016 all 27 hunters tagged bulls averaging right about 320 gross score, with the top bull going 349 inches. They actually had a repeat hunter only wanting a 350 or better bull and he did not score, although he did see two of that caliber.
2015 was a super year mainly due to a mild 2014 winter and an exceptionally rainy 2015 spring, together these factors produced great antler growth for the elk and deer. The best bull taken went 352 inches and they only killed one bull under 300. Average was close to 330, but this was an exceptional year and normally the average bull grosses 310 to 320 inches.
This hunt takes place in northeastern Utah on 35,000 free range private acres. The ranch is in the CWMU program, allowing them to rifle hunt in September and October during the rut. The property has an amazing bull to cow ratio of 80:100 and hunters can expect to see 15 to 20 good bulls per day. They normally take 8 hunters per hunt starting September 14 and finishing early October. This way all the hunters get to experience the rut in full force with bugling bulls and crashing of antlers. HCU has never had a hunter come home without a bull on this hunt.
5 day hunts are $10,800 2×1 or $12,000 1×1 and includes lodge accommodations and home cooked meals. Hunters are picked up at the Salt Lake City airport. HCU’s Cliff Graham and Bob Wodzisz have been on this ranch. Book now for 2018 or put $1,000 down to hold a spot for 2019. Hunt EK255. EK255 Hunt Photos.
NEW MEXICO CHASE RANCH
$6000 PLUS $2000 TROPHY FEE
In 2017 the first rifle elk hunt went 7 bulls for 7 hunters, second hunt was 2 for 2 and the third hunt went 2 for 3. Best bull taken after the 3 hunts grossed 325, with an overall average of 300 inches. At press time the last couple hunts were not completed.
In 2016 the first rifle hunt had 7 elk hunters kill 6 bulls, with the best bull grossing 325 inches. The second rifle hunt was 3 for 3, third hunt 1 for 3 (2 hunters had to leave early due to an emergency) and the fourth hunt went 3 for 4. Overall the October/November rifle hunts had 17 hunters kill 13 bulls and as usual the average bull would gross score around 300 inches. The two late December hunts produced a couple bulls.
In 2015 the first rifle hunt 6 of the 7 elk hunters tagged bulls with the top bull gross scoring 330 and the rest were in the 290 to 300 class. The unsuccessful hunter was holding out for a 350 bull. The second hunt went 2 for 3, a 310 and 300. The unsuccessful hunter passed on a 290 bull. Third hunt went 2 for 2 and both hunters took super 330 type bulls. December hunts went 4 for 4 on the first hunt with the smallest bull grossing 320. The final December hunt also went terrific and on the late hunts bulls taken averaged well over 320.
This 12,000 acre ranch in northeastern New Mexico borders the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch on one side and the famous Veremejo Park on the other, in fact, this outfitter is also issued a few tags to hunt 8,000 acres in Dean Canyon on Veremejo.
All rifle and archery elk hunts are priced at $6,000 with a $2,000 kill fee for 5 days guided 2×1 and this includes the landowner voucher, guaranteeing you an elk tag without any drawing, but you still have to buy the state license and tag.
The first 5 day hunt is normally October 1 to 5, second hunt, October 11 to 15 and third hunt is October 22 to 26. Hunters can expect to hear some bugling on the first couple hunts. Two December hunts are normally scheduled in the first half of the month (all dates are approximate). The late hunts have typically produced some of the larger bulls. If you draw blood the trophy fee is paid.
He also offers a 5 day archery hunt for September 11 to 15 or September 18 to 22.
Old ranch house accommodations with satellite TV, phone and screened in porch. Hunters fly into Colorado Springs, Albuquerque or Amarillo and rent a car. License and 7 percent tax is not included. HCU’s Bob Wodzisz, Scott Steinkruger and Cliff Graham have all been on this ranch. Hunt EK333. EK333 Hunt Photos.
COLORADO 8000 ACRE RANCH
NEED A GROUP OF 4 HUNTERS
RIFLE ELK $4500 5 DAYS 2X1
Here is a great opportunity for a group of buddies wanting a physically easy high success elk hunt.
Last fall the group of 4 hunters tagged 3 bulls and the unsuccessful hunter passed looking for a true trophy.
2016 first rifle elk had 4 hunters and all shot at bulls, but only one good 5×5 was tagged.
In 2015 HCU’s Scott Steinkruger had a 4 man party on this hunt. Scott hit and lost a real good 300 class 6×6 bull, they killed a 6×6, 6×5 and his son, Doug, scored on a 5×5 the last evening.
First 5 day elk hunt is only $4,500 guided 2×1 with ranch house accommodations and hearty meals. They offer a second season hunt priced at $5,000 that includes deer, but it has been booked.
This is not your normal high country elk hunt, but more sitting and watching fields or patchy open areas from a vantage point in low country. Guaranteed license voucher is included, no draw. Unguided archery elk is available for $2,500. Hunters fly into Grand Junction and rent a car. Hunt EK72. EK72 Hunt Photos.
SOUTHEASTERN WYOMING ELK
20,000 ACRE PRIVATE RANCH
ARCHERY OR RIFLE $7000
HIGH SUCCESS ON BIG BULLS
This outfitter hunts his family owned ranch bordering the Medicine Bow National Forest outside of Laramie. Small personal operation and he only takes a very limited amount of hunters. The key here is to acquire one or two preference points starting July 1 to October so you can acquire the elk tag in an upcoming January drawing. Go to the web and look up https://wgfd.wyo.gov and follow the simple instructions to purchase the elk preference point currently priced at $50. You must purchase your preference point ahead of time or the outfitter will not take your booking, as he wants to make sure you get your elk tag. Buy it this coming July for a 2019 or future hunt. Call us and we can assist you.
Last fall he had 2 rifle hunters and they killed a 313 bull and a 311 that had about 10 inches broke off.
In 2016 his rifle hunters did not draw their elk tags as they didn’t have a preference point. No gun hunters in 2016.
In 2015 he had 3 rifle hunters and they killed 3 bulls, a monster 350, a 317 and a broken 6×6 the last day.
In 2014 he took 2 rifle hunters and they both killed 6×6 bulls scoring 310 and 290.
He had 2 archery hunters in 2017, a father and young son with no shots taken. Bulls were seen, but no opportunities under 50 yards. They were only able to hunt a couple days and had to leave for a family matter.
He hosted 2 archery hunters in 2016 and one killed a 5 point bull the first evening at 12 yards and the other hunter had multiple opportunities on bulls within bow range, but couldn’t get it done. Spot and stalk is the main method for his archery hunts.
This outfitter prefers to take only 1 or possibly 2 archery hunters per year and up to 4 rifle hunters spread out throughout the season. All hunts are priced at $7,000 and guided 1×1. Archery hunts are 6 days in the month of September and 5 day rifle hunts run from October 15 to 30. Currently hunters need to have one preference point and put in for the special draw or 2 points will get the regular draw. Keep acquiring points as it just makes it more likely to get your tag at a reduced price.
Accommodations are a new cabin on the property with home cooked meals and hunters should be in good physical condition. Draw deadline is January 31. Hunters usually fly into Denver and rent a car for the 3 1/2 hour drive or fly into Laramie or Cheyenne and get picked up at no cost. 2018 is full, so book now for 2019. Hunt EK558.
TRADITIONAL HIGH COUNTRY
WESTERN MONTANA HORSEBACK
ELK HUNT ONLY $4000
This hunt is really for the young hunter wanting to experience hunting elk in the mountains or the experienced hunter that still wants to hunt horseback like in the Jack O’Connor day. This is a high adventure horseback elk hunt in the Snowcrest Mountain Range in southwestern Montana that takes place on public land mostly between 8500 to 9500 foot elevations. We don’t normally do hunts on public land unless it is a tough draw area, but this hunt does quite well, has stayed pretty consistent and takes some good bulls.
The area holds resident elk and is not dependent on the migration. This is not considered a trophy hunt and the average bull taken is a 5-point, although 300 inch bulls are sometimes tagged.
2017 archery season started off great, with all 9 archers getting shots and 2 bulls being tagged. Then 14 inches of snow was dumped and that was pretty much the end of the archery hunt.
2017 first rifle hunt ended with 7 of the 10 hunters taking home a bull and 2 of the unsuccessful hunters missed.
2016 archery season was off compared to normal. 9 bowhunters killed 1 bull, but 5 hunters missed bulls. In 2015 9 bowhunters killed 4 good bulls and 7 had shooting.
2016 first rifle hunt had 10 hunters kill 7 bulls and 3 cows. Second hunt 6 guys killed 3 bulls and 2 missed. Third hunt 6 guys killed 2 bulls and 3 cows and everyone had shooting. Fourth hunt was a large family group of 10 killing 4 bulls and 8 had shooting.
Hunters normally spend their first and last night at the main lodge with private rooms and baths when booked for the wilderness hunt. The next day is spent horse backing into one of two wall tent camps that have been previously setup in the mountains. The next day your hunt begins with an early breakfast then back onto your horse for the days hunt, returning that evening for supper and your cot. 5 hunting days, then horse back to the lodge to spend your last evening.
Lodge hunts are later in the season and they hunt directly from the lodge each day. The first 3 backcountry hunts can accommodate up to 10 hunters. Lodge hunts are usually limited to 6 hunters for each of the last two hunts.
5-day hunts guided 2×1 are priced at only $4,000. Archery hunts start early September for 3 weeks and rifle is normally late October to late November. Elk licenses have been leftover for this region so the draw has been 100 percent and price is $789. Airport pickup can be arranged in Bozeman or rent a car. 2018 has some scattered archery and rifle spots. Hunt EK775.
GOT 19 COLORADO ELK POINTS?
NUMBER 1 COLORADO TROPHY HUNT
ELK REQUIRES 19 POINTS
TROPHY MULE DEER 12 POINTS
You will probably need 19 elk preference points to draw the third or fourth season elk tag, first and second seasons will require more and they started an early rifle season in 2016 requiring 24 points. We personally prefer the last two rifle elk seasons for the best bulls. By then the bigger bulls have left the cows to feed in the low country getting back into shape before winter, making them a little easier to find. Archery elk hunters will need 21 points and muzzleloader probably 23.
Last fall was tougher than normal with all the warm weather right up to the last hunt. Archery went 2 for 3 on bulls in the 300 class and one bowhunter never got a shot. Muzzleloader was 4 for 5, averaging 315 and the unsuccessful hunter crippled 2. Overall rifle season was 15 hunters killing 11 bulls and biggest bulls were in the 330’s, no monsters. Mule deer for the year was 8 bucks for 10 hunters, 4 in the 180’s, but again no monsters.
In 2016 his 5 bowhunters tagged 4 bulls, 2 in 330’s and 2 at 300, one hunter hit and lost 2 bulls. Muzzleloader went 2 for 2, a 335 bull and a 300. Overall rifle elk was 23 for 26 and the top 3 bulls grossed 345. Mule deer were 11 for 12 with the best buck grossing 208.
In 2015 his 2 archery elk hunters killed a 310 inch bull and crippled two. Muzzleloader went 6 for 6, averaging 315 inches. All rifle hunts combined went 10 for 10 and a big 378 was killed on the last hunt. Mule deer overall was 14 for 16 and the best buck grossed 196.
These numbers are typical almost every year. Normally the average bull taken gross scores over 300 and the top bulls tip the 350 mark. Mule deer success is near 100 percent and the average buck gross scores just under 180 inches.
5 day hunts guided 2×1 are only $5,500 with wall tent accommodations on the early archery and muzzleloader hunts and cabin accommodations on the rifle hunts. Airport pickup in Grand Junction can be arranged for $150. Deer hunts require 12 points minimum to draw and the hunt is $5,500. Mid-April draw deadline. HCU’s Cliff Graham has hunted with this outfit. Hunt EK21. EK21 Hunt Photos.
3 TOP UNIT 7 OUTFITTERS
WYOMING TROPHY ELK UNIT
REQUIRES 9 PREFERNCE POINTS
HCU works with 3 high success trophy oriented elk outfitters in Unit 7 near the Laramie Range in southeastern Wyoming. It normally takes at least 9 points to draw this unit. The high dollar special draw can increase your odds. JANUARY 31 DRAW DEADLINE and these hunts need booked in advance. Preference points can be obtained from July to September by going to the web https://wgfd.wyo.gov and follow the simple instructions. We highly recommend purchasing the elk preference point currently priced at $50. Here are the 3 write-ups.
This small family operation has 32,000 private acres with rough deep canyons and draws. This can be a physical hunt, but hunters are rewarded with some awesome bulls. They do 6 to 10 Unit 7 rifle hunters per year depending on the draw and have been running pretty much 100 percent success past several years. Best bulls taken have gross scored from 340 to 368, with the average in the 320 to 330 range.
Rustic cabin accommodations with electric are priced at $7,000 for 5 hunting days guided 1×1 from October 15 to November 20. They do a couple archery elk hunters in September priced at $7,000. Hunters fly into Denver and rent a car for the 3 hour drive to camp. Hunt EK264.
Here is another small personal outfit that has been in this area for many years and has access to some of the best ranches, including 60,000 private acres northwest of Wheatland. They own one of the ranches and the terrain is rolling hills mixed with sage and wooded canyons, low country and easy to hike and glass, very accessible. They also have access to public mountainous areas where it is more traditional elk hunting. The accommodations are a nice cabin next to their home.
Success is typically very high on the early season archery hunts. They usually take 3 to 5 bowhunters each year and they normally kill 3 or 4 bulls in the 300 class or better. Rifle hunters typically have near 100 percent opportunity on quality bulls and most hunters take bulls ranging in size from 290 up to 340 inches.
All hunts, archery and rifle, are 7 days priced at $6,900. Archery starts September 8 and rifle is October 15 to November 20. Hunters fly into Denver and rent a car for the 3 hour drive or fly into Cheyenne where pick up can be arranged. HCU’s Cliff Graham and Bob Wodzisz have hunted with this outfitter. Hunt EK703.
Here is an outfitter that runs a super hunt on a 160,000 private acre ranch located just south of Douglas, Wyoming in trophy Unit 7. Bulls normally are taken in the 300 to 340 range and top bulls will go in the 360 class.
The ranch offers 2 types of hunts and they are priced accordingly. All hunts are 5 days and success is similar as with quality, just the accommodations vary. Prices are the same for either archery or rifle hunts. Their less expensive hunt is their tent camp, 5 days 1×1 is $7,000 or the lodge hunt is $9,500 at 1×1, that includes a beautiful new large lodge.
All of September is archery season, rifle hunts are October 15 to November 20. Elevation is about 6,500 feet and hunt up to about 8,500. The main method of hunting is by truck to access areas and glass. Horses are available and may be used out of the tent camp, where there is more hiking. Hunt EK828. EK828 Hunt Photos.
ARIZONA TOUGH DRAW ODDS
BUT WORTH IT FOR
TROPHY BULLS AND BUCKS WITH
THESE 2 PREMIER OUTFITTERS
Arizona is an outstanding hunting state, but the drawing odds are very low and you must buy a state license to apply. We suggest hunters to apply for the draw, but do not expect to pull any tags. This outfitter will do your paperwork and put you in for the best units for only a $25 fee (you can apply for elk, mule deer, coues deer, antelope and sheep all for $25). He consistently produces trophy quality bulls in the 320 to 390 range with success near 100 percent on the early gun or archery hunts. Late season rifle hunts are easier to draw and you still stand a good chance of taking bulls in the 310 to 350 class. He also conducts trophy mule deer hunts in the Kaibab and has guided hunters to many 200 inch deer over the years, but realistically you should be looking for a 180 inch buck.
It is worthwhile for hunters to purchase the $160 license or only $22 for a youth license and accumulate bonus points. The outfitter will assist you in applying for the correct units and dates. He charges $5,000 to hunt the full season (14 days for archery or 7 for gun) guided 1×1. January 31 deadline for elk and May 30 for deer. HCU’s Bob Wodzisz took a 340 archery bull and Cliff Graham took a 340 muzzleloader bull with this outfit. Hunt EK91. EK91 Hunt Photos.
We work with another archery or rifle elk outfitter that specializes in big bulls.
He typically hunts units 5A, 5B North, 5B South, 6, 1 and 27. Archery hunts are 7 days and rifle hunts are 6 days, both guided 1×1 for $6,500 with lodge accommodations. Extra days can be added if necessary. Success is typically very high on bulls in the 320 to 390 class depending on the unit.
Arizona drawing odds can be hit or miss since they use the bonus point system, but normally you can draw in Unit 5 with about 6 to 9 points, where as in Units 1 and 27 the average is more like 8 to 12 for archery and 15 to 20 for rifle.
Season starts about September 9 and draw deadline is late January and the outfitter will assist you in the draw. Hunters are picked up in Tucson. Hunt EKB404. EKB404 Hunt Photos.
100% GUARANTEED PRIVATE LAND ELK HUNT
SOUTHERN IDAHO MOUNTAINS
STARTING AT $6900
This premier outfitter has 4,000 continuous acres under high fence located in the beautiful mountains of southeastern Idaho. Your hunt will take place at 6,500 foot elevation in elk country with diverse habitat consisting of pine and aspen forests making for challenging and exciting stalks. A premium brand new private lodge had just been completed for the 2017 season to provide a comfortable night’s stay after the days hunt. Enjoy home cooked meals during your entire hunt. Hunts are conducted using the side by side all terrain vehicles.
4 day trip is priced at $6,900 and includes a bull gross scoring 300 to 340 inches, 3 days of hunting guided 1×1, lodging, meals, field dressing, trophy preparation, tag and license. Idaho sales tax of 6 percent is not included. These are beautiful bulls that will make great mounts and can be upgraded for the following prices;
Bulls scoring 341 to 350 are $7,000, 351 to 360 are $7,500, 361 to 370 are $8,000, 371 to 380 are $8,600, 381 to 390 are $9,600 and 391 to 400 are $10,700. Larger bulls are available and priced separately. Airport shuttle service is included from Salt Lake City. HCU’s Bob Wodzisz has visited this ranch. Hunt EKP224. EKP224 Hunt Photos.
ARCHERY ELK HUNTS
HCU works with several outfitters that offer archery elk hunts. Here are a few of our best in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Montana.
This COLORADO archery hunt is typically our highest success and highest opportunity for an archery bull. Their main method is calling with spot and stalk, super exciting. This private ranch has very high elk numbers and archers typically have near 100 percent opportunity.
In 2017 he hosted a total of 20 archers. 6 bulls were tagged, 9 bulls were hit and lost and 6 were missed. Of the 6 bulls taken 2 were nice 6×6 bulls.
2016 was tough, but they still had their normal amount of hunters and killed 7 bulls, hit and lost 2 and missed 4 bulls.
In 2015 they hosted a total of 17 archers over 4 hunts. They killed 11 bulls, hit and lost 5 bulls and 2 hunters missed 3 bulls each.
In 2014 over the course of the season he had 17 archers kill 9 bulls, cripple 9 bulls and miss 2 more. They took 3 nice 6×6 bulls gross scoring between 280 and 290 inches, rest were typical Colorado bulls.
Most bulls taken are 5×5’s in the 240 to 260 range. He runs four 4 day horseback hunts priced at $5,500 guided 2×1 from September 10 to 28 with cabin accommodations. Hunt EKB824. EKB824 Hunt Photos.
Here is a southeastern COLORADO trophy archery elk hunt on over 100,000 acres near the New Mexico border. Last fall his 6 bowhunters killed 3 bulls grossing 312, 310 and a 5×6. The 3 unsuccessful hunters crippled and lost a bull.
In 2016 his 6 archers killed 2 bulls about 300 inches and everyone had shots. In 2015 6 bowhunters killed 3 bulls.
This is a very exciting spot and stalk hunt with good elk numbers and plenty of encounters. Season is September 1 to 24 and he usually does 2 hunts, one early and one late in the season, we prefer the later hunt. Price is $7,000 guided 2×1 or $8,000 1×1 with basic ranch house accommodations and meals. Archery tags are over the counter. Hunters fly into Denver or Colorado Springs a rent a car for the 3 or 2 hour drive. Hunt EKB554.
This COLORADO bowhunt is priced at $5,000 for 5 days guided 2×1 from early August to late September. He has 3 private ranches totaling over 11,000 acres with cabin accommodations in the mountains east of Hotchkiss, an area known for high elk numbers.
In 2017 his 7 bowhunters killed a big 280 5×5 and a cow. A bull and cow were also hit and lost. He had 2 archery mule deer hunters and both tagged trophy bucks grossing 179 and 195! Archery deer hunts are $5,500 2×1 with an escalating trophy fee.
2016 season had super warm conditions, the elk were there, but things just didn’t click to get bulls on the ground. Over the course of a couple bowhunts 9 archers killed one bull, missed a couple, killed a couple cows and missed a bear.
In 2015 on the first archery hunt his 3 bowhunters killed 2 bulls in the 250 to 260 class and the hunter that did not tag an elk was on a combo hunt and arrowed a 175 inch muley. On the second archery hunt he had 5 bowhunters kill 3 bulls, one hunter missed and the other archer never had an opportunity. One archer killed a bull and a great 180 inch muley. Hunt EKB163. EKB163 Hunt Photos.
Here is a bargain priced COLORADO private land hunt with a great outfitter that offers a 5 day full service hunt for only $3,100 and you can add mule deer for only $800.
Fall of 2017 they had a total of 12 archers, some elk only, some deer only and some combination hunters. They tagged 4 bulls with the best grossing 290 inches and 3 others in the 260 to 280 range. They killed 10 archery bucks, including 2 monsters grossing 192 and 190, rest were between 150 and 165.
They have two camps in southwestern Colorado with bunkhouse accommodations, the upper ranch is over 6,800 acres and the lower ranch is about 2,000, both include guiding and meals. All hunters have given great reviews on this outfit, but space is limited. Hunt EKB252. EKB252 Hunt Photos.
Here is our southwest COLORADO trophy hunt in Unit 61. Price is $5,500 guided 1×1 for 5 days and if you do not score the outfitter allows you to stay in camp another 5 days unguided and you provide your own meals.
Landowner vouchers are available for about $6,000 or if you have over 20 preference points you can draw a tag. Last fall his 3 bowhunters tagged 2 bulls, about a 320 and a freak racked bull. The unsuccessful hunter had poor luck and never got off a shot.
In 2016 his 5 archers killed 4 bulls, 2 in 320’s and 2 over 300. The unsuccessful recurve bowhunter crippled 2 and missed another at 10 yards. April 4 deadline. Hunt EKB21.
This southeastern WYOMING ranch is 20,000 private acres owned by the outfitters family and it borders some great timber country. Last fall he had a father and 14 year old son combination and they had some opportunities, but did not score.
In 2016 he took 2 archery hunters and one killed a 5 point bull the first evening at 12 yards and the other hunter had multiple opportunities on bulls within bow range, but couldn’t get it done. Spot and stalk is the main method for his archery hunts.
The outfitter only wants to take one or two archery elk hunters per year on the ranch. 6 days in September guided 1×1 is $7,000 and you need one preference point and put in for the special draw or 2 points will get the regular draw. New cabin accommodations with home cooked meals. Draw deadline is January 31. Points can be purchased from July to October. Hunt EKB558.
This northeastern NEW MEXICO ranch is 12,000 acres and has ranch house accommodations.
In 2017 they had 4 archers kill 2 bulls, nothing huge, just decent bulls. Warm weather slowed the rut.
In 2016 he hosted 2 archers, one killed a 290 bull and the other hunter was in a wheelchair and did not get an opportunity, but rescheduled for 2017.
In 2015 he had 3 archery elk hunters and they killed a 310 inch bull, hit and lost a bull and all 3 bowhunters took shots.
They offer 2 hunts, September 11 to 15 and 18 to 22 priced at $6,000 with a $2,000 trophy fee guided 2×1. Hunt EKB333. EKB333 Hunt Photos.
This southwest MONTANA outfitter does the high adventure traditional horseback hunt in the Snowcrest Mountain Range. In 2017 all 9 bowhunters had shooting and tagged 2 bulls. The archery season was severely hampered due to a heavy early snowfall.
In 2016 shooting was a little off with 9 archers only killing one bull, 5 of the bowhunters had shooting. In 2015 his 9 archers killed 4 good bulls over the course of two rut hunts. Only 2 bowhunters didn’t get any shooting. In 2014 his 9 bowhunters killed 3 bulls and the top two grossed 300 inches. They hit and lost 4 and only 2 hunters did not take a shot.
A day horse backing in, hunt 5 days and a day out is $4,000 guided 2×1. Two or three hunts typically run back to back starting September 10 with wall tent accommodations. Elk draw has been 100 percent at $789. Hunt EKB775. EKB775 Hunt Photos.
TRESPASS ELK $2500
TROPHY MULE DEER $2500
We know of a few small parcels in northwestern Colorado near Craig that offers unguided rifle elk and some mule deer hunts. These parcels are typically about 1,000 acres and don’t normally come with any lodging. They usually only want a group of 3 or 4 hunting buddies on the property per hunt. It is mostly low open country easy to get around and someone shows you the property. Most are best for rifle elk and success normally runs about 50 percent give or take and we prefer the later hunts. Prices vary according to the property, but generally run in the $2,500 per hunter category.
One special mule deer property is known to produce some trophy bucks in the 160 to 180 inch class with very high success. It is a 1,200 acre piece priced at $2,500 per hunter and he wants to take a group of 3 hunters for each of the 2 hunts. Hunters will need approximately 3 or 4 preference points for the second or third seasons in Unit 441. Fourth season would take probably 10 to 12 points. Season dates would be October 21 to 25 and November 4 to 8. April 4 draw deadline. Call for more details on Hunt EK/MD303.
WYOMING COW HUNTS $2500
3 OR 4 HUNTERS ONLY $2000 EACH
This outfitter has 20,000 private acres including his family ranch located in southeastern Wyoming bordering the Medicine Bow National Forest. This is a very small personal operation, not the normal in and out cow meat hunt. 3 days of hunting guided 2×1 with nice rustic cabin accommodations on the ranch with meals provided is priced at $2,500. If you have a group of 3 or 4 hunters the price is reduced to only $2,000 per hunter. Tags are $288 and you need to apply in January. Last year drawing odds were near 100 percent, but it would be a good idea to secure a preference point to be guaranteed. Hunters can put in as a group so all or none will draw. He will conduct these hunts during the month of November. This is an elk hunt, not a shoot, and the experience is worth the price besides the opportunity to take home a truckload of meat. Hunt EKC558.