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Success!!!! After 8 years of applying I finally drew an Elk Tag in Montana's Area 417. 380+ class bull here I come, now only 6 m

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  • #16
    WAM... forgot to say best of luck to you too in Colorado! I may be pinging you later for advise if you would be so kind. I'll need all I can get since I have only dreamed of it at this point. I'm going with my brother-in-law from South Dakota (not the one who shot me thank God) who is a horse trainer and has hunted the area numerous times. If he weren't buying the horses and training them I wouldn't consider doing it on my own. I would expect a tough time with flat land ponies but he knows quite well how to train and handle them and is usually dragging ponies around all year. Because neither of us climb like we used to (with metal knees), we're limiting our pursuit to 6000 feet or so. I'll be working out and getting ready from here on out.

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    • #17
      DakotaMan, hope you guys hav a great hunt! I have never hunted that area between Butte and Helena, but if your BIL has knowledge of the area, you should do just fine. If I recall correctly, that area is just east of the Continental Divide and valley floors are about 5,000 feet and the tops are about 7,000+, but lots of terrain in between. While that elevation is not enough to induce altitude sickness in most folks, I would give myself a couple of days to acclimate before going up high. I finally figured out why I had flu-like symptoms the second or third day some years in CO. Feels like a hangover without the consumption! But since I live almost at sea level it might be more pronounced for me and it certainly affects everyone differently. Cheers

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      • #18
        Thanks WAM... I also am nearly at sea level and will heed your advice to go out a couple of days early. I used to work in Denver a couple of days a week and 5000 feet didn't bother me too much other than giving me an occassional nose bleed and making my driver hit over the green once in a while.

        I'll talk to my BIL and maybe we can set up camp fairly high and just poke around strange areas scouting for muley hang outs until season opens. I'm a little hesitant to do that because on several occassions I've seen monster bucks and then can never find them again during the ensuing hunt.

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        • #19
          DakotaMan,
          I seem to have fewer issues when I traveled alone a few years and spent one night in Boise (2,700') and another in Rock Springs, WY (6,300') before settling in Craig for the week at 6,200 ft. Where we hunted was about 7,500' or so. Where we are hunting this year is generally above 8,500 feet so it may be a bit more of a challenge for me. Doesn't seem to bother the other "flatlanders", however.

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          • #20
            I packed horses for the USFS in that country back in the early 80s. Be aware that it is often not the easiest country for livestock even though there are "maintained" trails throughout. The terrain is composed of a lot of rock, sand, and very large round cobbles. Anyplace where there's erosion (which is just about everyplace with any slope to it) the trails can be horrible for livestock stumbling through those large cobbles. Also, winter can hit in the blink of an eye like it did this past November. At that altitude it usually hits a lot earlier. I struggled to get my horses out of the Bob Marshal in October a couple of times. If you guys are going to push the envelope, switch to two horse trailers if you can. Much easier to negotiate if the snow catches you. Also, stay away from the dual-wheeled pickups and long trailers if bad weather is a possibility. A terrible combination for snowy/icy roads!

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            • #21
              I appreciate the advice and will be careful as we can. Fortunately for me, my BIL is a coybow/horse trainer. He's hunted the area numerous times with his horses. He's spent most of his life with a horse trailer behind his truck. He claims he'd prefer to do that since we both have pretty bad knees (mine have been replaced and his should be). He doesn't like to count on local rentals or retrievals either because he considers them too unreliable.

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              • #22
                Hello tneal did you end up shooting an elk? We drew a tag for that area also this year

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