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Author Topic: I've had it with WA elk  (Read 5338 times)

Offline mendozer

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I've had it with WA elk
« on: December 07, 2022, 06:41:44 PM »
Season's in the books for me and once again goose egg for elk in WA. I've become increasingly frustrated over the years trying to get the elusive elk in WA on public land. To be fair I've never hunted the timber land because I can't accept in my soul that I should have to pay to access forest land for hunting. but public access has gotten worse with closed gates becoming the norm and the little stretches we do have access to are just horrid, exhausted pieces of land with little game. I didn't see a single sign of life for late archery this past weekend. And I've had my fair share of seeing animals I couldn't hunt like waving at a 5x5 bull and his 3 cows within 100 yards in a spike only unit. I've just had it. I'd rather spend my time and money in a better producing and better accessible state. My top two choices due to proximity and cost would be WY and CO. MT has great elk but for 1k out of state that's just stupid. Some states have points systems for certain areas and bull draws. I don't ever care to get a B&C bull, nor do I ever plan to mount anything. I enjoy archery and I like eating elk. I'm happy with a cow harvest any day of the week.
Who here has gone out of state and what is your overall experience? I feel like with the tech we have in OnX, it's easier than ever to scout ahead. I figured take a week off, drive down to the state (or if it's colorado maybe fly and rent a truck there) and hit up public land. for what it's worth, I'd probably bring my rifle if I was going out of state just to really make my time worth it.

Offline MADMAX

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2022, 06:50:26 PM »
Just remember its called hunting
Not going to the grocery store
Out of state elk hunting is not cheap or guaranteed
Anywhere
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Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2022, 06:57:02 PM »
Hunting state land in WA will soon be outlawed.  Pay to hunt private timberlands while you can.   

Offline Griiz

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2022, 07:05:50 PM »
Hunting state land in WA will soon be outlawed.  Pay to hunt private timberlands while you can.

Then there will probably be a lot of outlaws.

Offline MADMAX

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2022, 07:09:08 PM »
I Ain't Captain Walker.
I'm The Guy Who Carries Mr. Dead In His Pocket


What would life be without the thrill of the hunt ?

God created men equal. Colonel Colt made them equal.

Offline mendozer

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2022, 07:19:30 PM »
you are correct. i approach hunting logistically as I am a solo hunter and have been self-taught through books and online research. Before Washington published their data in friendly tables I used to make my own spreadsheets with the raw data and make formulas on Excel to isolate the best units for certain weapon types based on per/day success. If i recall the highest I ever saw for elk was 20% and that was a special unit, normally 13-17% is solid. Meanwhile looking at wyoming's data recently (which isn't even the best state for harvests) youre average unit is getting 40%.

Since I go at it alone, I don't have a buddy on the next draw talking to me on my walkie, I'm fairly limited to the pure land area i can cover be it on foot or on bike. Not to sound too nerdy but I have to use math to my advantage. I switched from rifle to archery because I got sick of seeing so many people out there driving around back and forth while my buddy and I hiked in miles to separate ourselves from them, only to see the same damned truck coming down the next ridge. Archery is more peaceful to me and is a more pure form of hunting in this modern age. I'm not here to debate that heck I handloaded for my rifle so i can appreciate a good rifle experience.
And I would rather pay out of state fees than pay to access timber land that was leased from or purchases from the state. It's different than going on private property that is in a metropolitan area for instance. It's the freakin woods, or at least make it reasonable. It's not like they have to cover their costs of dealing with people on the roads that they rarely allow motorized access to nowadays. Last i checked walk in access was $400. F that

Offline Ridgerunner

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2022, 07:24:06 PM »
If you are happy with a cow I hear that Utah has some good antlerless options.

Offline mendozer

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2022, 07:28:33 PM »
If you are happy with a cow I hear that Utah has some good antlerless options.

I'll look into that thanks

Offline Apples

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2022, 07:31:36 PM »
I feel your pain my friend chasing elk can be very frustrating, but if you dont like paying 400 dollars for access to hunt you surely wont like paying upwards of 1000 to get an out of state tag with no guarantee of a freezer full of meat.

Offline hughjorgan

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2022, 07:58:21 PM »
I donít think youíre going to find an out of state hunting license and tag for less than 700 dollars for elk in this day and age. That being said Montana you can get a deer and elk combo tag for a little over 1k that is a good deal and you can basically hunt starting in September through October. They have a good system for access to private land. From my experience of hunting all our neighbor states Montana was the least crowded as well. It may take two or three years to draw though. If youíre just after a cow they have B tags you can draw which used to only be a few hundred dollars and isnít part of the general draw for a non resident license.

Iíve never hunted Colorado but have heard it can be crowded.

Offline mendozer

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2022, 08:06:44 PM »
non resident cow tags at 288 in wyoming, colorado is 526 (just checked, it was 300 a few years ago). unless i'm missing something that's what i see on their websites. But i easily spent 3-500/year on my Get Outdoors pass, the gas to and from the sites, and i even hunted the same area three years in a row to really know the land vs different spots. Problem is sometimes when i roll up all that work I did planning and finding a good spot back in September, whoops the gate's closed now. Nothing is guaranteed of course. But i'm trying to hedge my bets. Solo hunting is hard enough as it is especially since I wasn't taught by my father or friend so any advantage I'll take.

This past weekend I was driving back frustrated as usual and i was talking to my parents on the drive and they were like "you shouldn't go hunting alone" and my reply was "well this isn't bowling league, you can't just go ask a stranger hey wanna go hunting with me?" that's even more sketch lol. hunters and anglers are the most secretive people I've met. I don't get it personally, there's no guarantee that sweet spot you found once will be ripe for the pickings again. When people ask me where I've seen game I share it down to the GPS i don't care. plenty of animals out there that we'll see or not see depending on many factors.

Offline medic6

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2022, 08:15:32 PM »
Here is the reality of out of state hunting. I kill elk in wa. This year made my 11th or so  +-  elk for me.  I started hunting mid late 20ís as my family didnít hunt.  First few years was a real struggle.  yes right time, right placed will get u an elk but  there is a secret to killing elk that u cannot read in a book. I wish I could just tell you how but it is complicated.  I hunt out of state and kill elk.  Those that struggle to kill elk in wa will struggle to kill elk anywhere.  My suggestion is to figure out elk hunting before you give your money away to another state just to come up without an elk there too.

I archery hunt the west side of the state. Walk in permit cost half a tank of gas, drive in tank and a half.  Forest service pass or discover pass half that of a walk in permit. I tell my friends if you have gone 1-2 years without being at full draw you are absolutely 100 percent doing something wrong.  I hope you go out of state and prove me wrong but statistically speaking you will have tag soup there too. 

Offline Platensek-po

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2022, 08:21:55 PM »
non resident cow tags at 288 in wyoming, colorado is 526 (just checked, it was 300 a few years ago). unless i'm missing something that's what i see on their websites. But i easily spent 3-500/year on my Get Outdoors pass, the gas to and from the sites, and i even hunted the same area three years in a row to really know the land vs different spots. Problem is sometimes when i roll up all that work I did planning and finding a good spot back in September, whoops the gate's closed now. Nothing is guaranteed of course. But i'm trying to hedge my bets. Solo hunting is hard enough as it is especially since I wasn't taught by my father or friend so any advantage I'll take.

This past weekend I was driving back frustrated as usual and i was talking to my parents on the drive and they were like "you shouldn't go hunting alone" and my reply was "well this isn't bowling league, you can't just go ask a stranger hey wanna go hunting with me?" that's even more sketch lol. hunters and anglers are the most secretive people I've met. I don't get it personally, there's no guarantee that sweet spot you found once will be ripe for the pickings again. When people ask me where I've seen game I share it down to the GPS i don't care. plenty of animals out there that we'll see or not see depending on many factors.

Sorry man but I disagree. Some spots do produce year after year and if I tell you and you tell your brother and he tellsÖ. Then that spot becomes worthless. Itís hard enough to find those spots and to keep them quiet. I will share my b and c spots but never my A spots. That said ek hunting is tough. With how much you are looking at spending in travel and extra tag costs maybe finding some new land that holds animals closer to home that you can learn and hunt isnít so bad? I know what you are saying about timberlands but it does provide less people, especially non hunters. Some guys are successful year after year in low production units because they have spent the time to really scout and learn them. I enjoy hunting alone but now my hunting partner is my son and in enjoy that even more. How far do you go in WA? Do you think multiple units? I specifically hunt non motorized areas as I canít the roads warriors. Iím out there to be in the woods not a traffic jam. Whatever you decide best of luck to you!
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Offline hughjorgan

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2022, 08:25:23 PM »
non resident cow tags at 288 in wyoming, colorado is 526 (just checked, it was 300 a few years ago). unless i'm missing something that's what i see on their websites. But i easily spent 3-500/year on my Get Outdoors pass, the gas to and from the sites, and i even hunted the same area three years in a row to really know the land vs different spots. Problem is sometimes when i roll up all that work I did planning and finding a good spot back in September, whoops the gate's closed now. Nothing is guaranteed of course. But i'm trying to hedge my bets. Solo hunting is hard enough as it is especially since I wasn't taught by my father or friend so any advantage I'll take.

This past weekend I was driving back frustrated as usual and i was talking to my parents on the drive and they were like "you shouldn't go hunting alone" and my reply was "well this isn't bowling league, you can't just go ask a stranger hey wanna go hunting with me?" that's even more sketch lol. hunters and anglers are the most secretive people I've met. I don't get it personally, there's no guarantee that sweet spot you found once will be ripe for the pickings again. When people ask me where I've seen game I share it down to the GPS i don't care. plenty of animals out there that we'll see or not see depending on many factors.

I was mainly thinking of general season tags. Montanas b tags should be considered then too they will be comparable in price as well.

Offline mendozer

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2022, 08:29:53 PM »
Here is the reality of out of state hunting. I kill elk in wa. This year made my 11th or so  +-  elk for me.  I started hunting mid late 20ís as my family didnít hunt.  First few years was a real struggle.  yes right time, right placed will get u an elk but  there is a secret to killing elk that u cannot read in a book. I wish I could just tell you how but it is complicated.  I hunt out of state and kill elk.  Those that struggle to kill elk in wa will struggle to kill elk anywhere.  My suggestion is to figure out elk hunting before you give your money away to another state just to come up without an elk there too.

I archery hunt the west side of the state. Walk in permit cost half a tank of gas, drive in tank and a half.  Forest service pass or discover pass half that of a walk in permit. I tell my friends if you have gone 1-2 years without being at full draw you are absolutely 100 percent doing something wrong.  I hope you go out of state and prove me wrong but statistically speaking you will have tag soup there too.

i certainly believe you on this. Took me 3 years to get a deer, and i've been hunting 7 years total, 5 with bow. All the elk i've passed up have been "not legal" per my GMU. So I can find them and i can still definitely improve of course. I don't know how these creatures think. my suggestion was that a mediocre hunter such as myself would technically have better success in a more "rich state". And if that means throwing money at a state that actually manages game well and doesn't take away hunters rights, then totally. But yes...i need to improve and in due time i will

 


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