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Author Topic: Alpine Wilderness Elk  (Read 7941 times)

Offline UBA

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Alpine Wilderness Elk
« on: June 06, 2008, 06:20:05 PM »
I was just wondering if anyone has hunted or seen elk in the Alpine. I curious about an early archery hunt that you could hunt both Deer and Elk and experience the back country. With all the knowledge here i figured someone would give some great advice.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 06:45:59 PM »
Haven't seen any elk in there but I heard one bugle once when I was deer hunting in September.

Offline shanevg

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 08:00:37 PM »
Well, the Alpine Lake Wilderness is in two different units.  On the Westside of the mountains it is in the 460 unit which is a huge unit.  On the east side of the mountains it is in the 249 unit, which is still big, but a bit smaller.  The 2006 hunting reports show that there were 9 bulls killed by 62 hunters (14.5% success) in the archery season in 460.  Considering 460 includes the area around North Bend and such, there is a pretty high probability that the elk were shot in places other than the wilderness.  Also, the hunting is 3 point and better in 460.  On the east side of the mountains in 249, it is any elk.  There were 34 hunters in 2006, 3 bulls killed for an 8.8% success rate.  Again, no way to know for sure if they were killed in the wilderness area or not, but it is not necessarily a probability by any means.  So yeah, overall, if you're gonna hunt it, probably best to hunt on the east side of the mountains where it is any elk.  But not a ton of success in the unit overall. 

BTW, here are the stats:

 460 - SNOQUALMIE -- 9 0 9 62 14.5%
 249 - ALPINE -- 3 0 3 34 8.8%
   


Offline bobcat

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 08:22:16 PM »
On the east side of the mountains in 249, it is any elk.  There were 34 hunters in 2006, 3 bulls killed for an 8.8% success rate.  Again, no way to know for sure if they were killed in the wilderness area or not, but it is not necessarily a probability by any means. 

If the harvest report says elk were killed in the Alpine GMU, then they WERE killed in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, because that Alpine unit IS the wilderness. In other words you have to be inside the wilderness boundary or you are NOT in the Alpine GMU. Just thought I would clarify that.

Offline bam

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 08:58:26 PM »
Put a lot of miles in 249 last season.  3 weekend scouting trips, 1st week of season, then some day hunts.  There are area's up there that hold elk.  Some of those area's are very steep and brushy.  The Alpine is a very popular hiking area, so you won't be alone on the trails.  I was pretty pumped about the sign and habitat I found on the scouting trips, however hiking in on opening weeking we were met by several pack trains from outfitters, and other horseback hunters.  Come to find out many of the small pockets of elk habitat were not a secret and over-hunted and called out opening weekend.  Sounded like an off-key trumpet rehearsal.  We did find a few elk, heard some real bugles, and enjoyed some awesome scenery.  You can find elk in there, just don't expect to have the area to yourself, even if you hump in 6-8 miles.  Our feelings were the elk were pushed lower out of the unit into the draw unit (peaches)

Offline UBA

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2008, 09:01:55 PM »
Thanks for all the info. I was just looking at the numbers awhile ago for the east side.  Since I live on this side of the mountains and dont think i will be able to afford gas by fall. :bash: It seems like the best option. It seems like a real tough hunt thou. But hey why not go ahead and try :). Looking back at all the wilderness pics and Huge elk sheds  it got me excited to plan a awesome backpacking trip. Cant wait until the snow melts some more so i can get up there and look around.

Offline shanevg

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2008, 09:13:26 PM »
On the east side of the mountains in 249, it is any elk.  There were 34 hunters in 2006, 3 bulls killed for an 8.8% success rate.  Again, no way to know for sure if they were killed in the wilderness area or not, but it is not necessarily a probability by any means.

If the harvest report says elk were killed in the Alpine GMU, then they WERE killed in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, because that Alpine unit IS the wilderness. In other words you have to be inside the wilderness boundary or you are NOT in the Alpine GMU. Just thought I would clarify that.

OK, thanks for clarifying that, couldn't tell from the maps...

So hey, at least 3 were shot there in '06, not that great if you ask me.

Offline bam

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 09:15:40 AM »
It will be intesting to see what the 2007 stats show.  I know for a fact that in the area's above salmon la sac there were at least 24 archery hunters last season. (3 outfitter camps, 2 DIY horse camps and a couple other poor saps like us trying to compete with all that 4 legged eqine activity.  That does not include the teannaway, and icicle areas where 2 other outfits opperate.  The area's that have elk holding power were just not large enough for that much pressure.  Hiking out in the dark we could hear bulls bugling  2-3 miles below the wilderness boundary.  Last year was my first season full season as a washington resident.   Is 249 an exception since it is the one of the only open eastern units, or is all washington wilderness areas popular with horsemen/outfitters? (westside - william o, goat rocks, mt. adams, and indian heaven.)

Offline rougheye

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 09:25:19 AM »
It will be intesting to see what the 2007 stats show.  I know for a fact that in the area's above salmon la sac there were at least 24 archery hunters last season. (3 outfitter camps, 2 DIY horse camps and a couple other poor saps like us trying to compete with all that 4 legged eqine activity.  That does not include the teannaway, and icicle areas where 2 other outfits opperate.                         bam, if you went where i went in 2006 (and i thimk you did) , What a zoo , we also ran into elk but the one outfitter kept bringin in more people . I have to think there were more like 40-50 people up there in 06 .

Offline bam

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 09:55:59 AM »
yeah, rougheye sounds the same.  not my idea of a wilderness experience!  loved the country, just to crowded for my taste

Offline shanevg

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 09:57:47 AM »
Well with only 34 hunters in 249 in '06, people must really have the elk areas nailed down in order to get that crowded in that large of a unit.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 10:03:40 AM »
Probably because 99% of the unit has no elk.

Offline WDFW-SUX

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2008, 10:10:22 AM »
There is a band of elk just north of Stevens pass.
THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE SUCKS MORE THAN EVER..........

Offline bam

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2008, 10:28:30 AM »
There is a band of elk just north of Stevens pass.
  If they get the same amount of pressure, it will need to be renamed stampede pass :rolleyes:

Offline WDFW-SUX

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2008, 10:38:26 AM »
 :chuckle:
THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE SUCKS MORE THAN EVER..........

Offline rougheye

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2008, 10:49:31 AM »
I dont know why but every time someone says stampede pass i hit the ground :chuckle: :chuckle:

Offline bucklucky

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2008, 06:35:29 PM »
I can tell you I have hunted and scouted that unit very hard. You can hunt for days without even seeing fresh elk sign. Definately hunted hard by outfitters. That was unit 249 I was in. You can find small pockets of elk but plan on bivy sack hunting and cover huge amounts of teritory. Just dont forget , you do have to get it packed out before it rotts ;)




Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2008, 05:56:22 AM »
South of Stevens Pass too or you mean

Offline edmondshunter

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2008, 08:42:30 PM »
If I remember right, the WDFW site said around 400 head in the snoqualmie herd in and around Northbend. Most of which are in small satellite groups.  Ive seen a few cows near the Middle Fork Road and Dingford trail head.  That herd is smart they know were they are safe.  So come archery, they will be safe on the valley floor.
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Offline muleracks

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2008, 11:08:53 PM »
During the wdfw scoping for the 2006, 07 and 08 seasons the biologists recommended that the Alpine GMU 249 (Alpine Lakes Wilderness) be changed from "any elk" to "spike bulls only".  Many of you (hopefully) joined the protest and the wdfw Commissioners decided to leave it "any elk".  There has been no mention of changing it this time as they set the 09-2011 seasons. I think we are safe for three more years.

The elk are pretty concentrated in just a few spots so it really does pay to learn the unit and hunt where the elk are.

Offline TheHunt

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2008, 09:59:04 AM »
You have to hunt this smart...  If you do not have the horses you have to bivey and be mobile.  Get the heck off the trails...  I use the trails to get to the general location but then I was off the trails.  Ran into hunters like everyone said but when it was getting dark I set up camp and went to bed.  You could actually keep walking the ridges in the dark or moon light until you heard bulges.  THen camp...  Sleep for 6 hours and wake up and get to the elk before the others get on them.  This is a good strategy... 
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Offline bankwalker

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2008, 10:21:19 PM »
You have to hunt this smart...  If you do not have the horses you have to bivey and be mobile.  Get the heck off the trails...  I use the trails to get to the general location but then I was off the trails.  Ran into hunters like everyone said but when it was getting dark I set up camp and went to bed.  You could actually keep walking the ridges in the dark or moon light until you heard bulges.  THen camp...  Sleep for 6 hours and wake up and get to the elk before the others get on them.  This is a good strategy... 

my friend uses that strategy, he uses a blue or red led light to see at night. hasnt worked out for him yet but he does get into the elk that way.

Offline TheHunt

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2008, 08:47:24 PM »
Yep it is tough but you do get into elk.
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Offline STIKNSTRINGBOW

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2008, 12:55:12 AM »
I hunted up there in the late '80s and it was the first time I bugled in a bull elk and I called in 3 that trip. I found some INCREDIBLE wallows on the back side of Hyas Lake. Go all the way to the end of the Road past Fish Lake Guard Station (lake tusquala) and you should be able to find some. I have not been there in 5 years, but last time I was there we saw elk at the trailhead (and some tame deer) :o
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Offline colockumelk

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Re: Alpine Wilderness Elk
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2009, 10:38:44 PM »
I found elk and some sheds during my scouting trips there.  However this year just before the season in that area there was a forest fire so all my work was for nothing.  I called the Wenatchee wildlife bioligist and he directed me to some spots.  I luckily found some elk and tried calling in a bull but couldn't coax him from his harem of 20 some cows.  It's pretty thick in there and steep so sneeking up on them is pretty much out of the question.  I saw them that first morning and after that spent the next three days hiking around seeing nothing.  But saw some awsome scenary and had a great time living out of my sleeping bag and eating mre's.  Didn't see a single person either.  It was an awsome time, I highly recommend that everyone try it at least once.  Get in good shape though.
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