Help Me Find a Western Hunt

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Octang
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Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Octang » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:50 pm

So here's the deal. I am a passionate backpacker, I love loading up all of my gear on my back, wandering off in the wilderness and living on the land for a few days. However, now I want to combine my two favorite passions, backpacking and hunting, and do a DYI backpack hunt out west where I am camping and hunting at the same time miles from my car. But I don't know where to begin.

I want to go somewhere I can purchase an over the counter tag (or really high draw odds).
I want vast expanses of public land so I can wander around and set up camp wherever I choose, rather than having to rely on a vehicle.
I am looking for reasonably priced tags ($500 or less most likely).
I want to hunt something other than whitetail.

Where would you go, what would you hunt?

Travel cost is not an issue bc I can fly for free, or drive if it is within striking distance.

Right now my top choice is Wyoming Antelope, but it looks like it may be hard to get a tag for a unit with a large enough expanse of public land to do some backpacking.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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Jonny
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Jonny » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:11 pm

Are you thinking archery or gun? Gun I would do mule deer or elk. Archery would be only elk. Not an antelope person myself but I think that would be a gun type thing.

I want to say Colorado has otc tags for elk in some units. Don't quote me on that. The best high odds units will need a draw typically
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Islandhunter » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:47 am

Colorado has a large number of UNITS with OTC elk tags available to non resident hunters, firearms or archery.

Randy Newberg has a lot of DIY elk hunting information including OTC tags and what states/seasons are best.
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby jwilkstn » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:00 am

Most non-resident tags are going to be more than $500, unfortunately. Colorado elk, Idaho elk and mule deer, and Montana elk and mule deer can all be gotten otc or leftover tags and you can hunt the style you want. Wyoming has antelope tags with historically 100% odds, but it wouldn't be backpack hunts by necessity. The areas those hunts are in is limited access areas and most of the public is broken up into smaller tracts.
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby stash59 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:46 am

I'd Google the regs for the western states and see what they offer. Maybe try the Dakotas for mule deer. Some large public tracts in the western parts.

I believe Montana now offers Deer only non-res. tags. Use to be deer/elk combo only. Look at the Missouri River Breaks and the Custer National Forest units in the east. If your really looking to get way way back in look at the Scapegoat/Bob Marshal/Great Bear Wilderness complex. Montana's tags aren't cheap any more though.

IMHO an antelope backpack hunt may be tough. Water can be tough to find. When you do find it it's usually in a place you'd want to set up and hunt. Plus you better be prepared for very high winds with your tent setup. Thinking bowhunt in this situation.

Check out rokslide.com. Tons of backpack hunting info on there. Gear and where to go.

Good luck it sounds fun.
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Octang » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:32 am

Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

Elk seems like the most fun... until I shoot one. I will have a hard time packing out the elk if I am hunting solo, unless I stay by the road which defeats the point of backpacking. Hunting elk is on my bucket list, but that may have to wait till another hunt.

I think I am going to hone in on the Wyoming antelope. The draw odds are very high on the eastern side of the state, I just have to do my research to find units with larger tracts of public land that I can hike/camp on away from roads. I found a few promising units, I just need to get on the phone and confirm access.

I think mule deer sound like a great idea too. I think I'll make that plan B if I hit a roadblock with antelope.

Thanks for the tip on rokslide.com, I'll check that out right away!
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby stash59 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:52 am

Octang wrote:Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

Elk seems like the most fun... until I shoot one. I will have a hard time packing out the elk if I am hunting solo, unless I stay by the road which defeats the point of backpacking. Hunting elk is on my bucket list, but that may have to wait till another hunt.

I think I am going to hone in on the Wyoming antelope. The draw odds are very high on the eastern side of the state, I just have to do my research to find units with larger tracts of public land that I can hike/camp on away from roads. I found a few promising units, I just need to get on the phone and confirm access.

I think mule deer sound like a great idea too. I think I'll make that plan B if I hit a roadblock with antelope.

Thanks for the tip on rokslide.com, I'll check that out right away!


Check out the Gritty Bowmen Podcasts also. You'll have to sift through the episode list, but plenty of backpack hunt stuff on there too. That's where I learned of rokslide.
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Dewey » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:51 am

Plenty of options in western South Dakota for archery and OTC tags are very reasonable. Eastern Wyoming is also a good place to check out.

Sounds like fun. I need to plan another western hunt again in the next few years. Been 10 years since my last one.

Checked out rokslide.com. Lot's of good info there. 8-)
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby jwilkstn » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:55 am

I'll add that the rokslide classified forum is a great place to gear up for western hunting without breaking the bank for new stuff. I've picked up several pieces from there successfully.
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Edcyclopedia » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:39 am

Search for Dor, he's done a yearly pilgrimage quite a few times...
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby DeerDylan » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:38 pm

Antelope is a great first western hunt. Wyoming has a lot of goats and a lot of public to chase them on!
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby justdirtyfun » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:48 am

On the subject of elk and hauling. I have heard of people that are hired to pack out game from the mountains. Arrangements can be made in advance.
Carry on, antelope sounds fun.
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Octang » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:30 am

Dewey wrote:Plenty of options in western South Dakota for archery and OTC tags are very reasonable. Eastern Wyoming is also a good place to check out.

Sounds like fun. I need to plan another western hunt again in the next few years. Been 10 years since my last one.

Checked out rokslide.com. Lot's of good info there. 8-)


Eastern Wyoming is the winner! I spent the past few days researching the heck out of it and I decided to pony up for the "Special" drawing in hopes of getting a unit with a larger expanse of accessible public land for backpacking. Looks to be a number of good options with near 100% draw odds.

On a separate note, I think I want to start planning a 2018 elk hunt with my dad. He has MS and isn't getting any healthier, so I feel like we are reaching a "s*** or get off the pot" moment if we ever want to do that together. I'd probably be looking at Oregon, since my dad's sister lives out there and knows the mountains like the back of her hand. If I remember correctly they have some OTC tags, but I don't remember the details exactly.
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Re: Help Me Find a Western Hunt

Postby Octang » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:33 am

justdirtyfun wrote:On the subject of elk and hauling. I have heard of people that are hired to pack out game from the mountains. Arrangements can be made in advance.
Carry on, antelope sounds fun.


Interesting! I'll have to look into that. I was joking with a friend of mine who is a semi-pro soccer player who has never hunted, but is interested in the outdoors, I told him I'd bring him along so he can run up the ridges and scout for me and then haul out whatever I shoot!

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