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Where's the best state to go in the USA to get nice mature, big bodied, nice racked elk. I want to go elk hunting and I think ei

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  • Where's the best state to go in the USA to get nice mature, big bodied, nice racked elk. I want to go elk hunting and I think ei

    Where's the best state to go in the USA to get nice mature, big bodied, nice racked elk. I want to go elk hunting and I think either Colorado or Montana are places i'm looking into.

  • #2
    I would say Colorado, i have heard alot about big elk there

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    • #3
      I think Utah, New Mex. and Arizona are highly sought after tags for good reason. Might be quality over quantity

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      • #4
        New Mexico, Arizona and Utah all have very good trophy Elk programs. The tags are somewhat hard to draw and the hunts are expensive. Start saving up now Reid, I don't think your summer job will pay for this one!

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        • #5
          my summer job will not! but my parents and grandfather will sure pitch in!

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          • #6
            Colo. would be your best bet for a tag. New Mexico/Utah may have bigger , but not more.
            Colo. has OTC tags all others are draw only and it may take years to draw.

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            • #7
              Every state has advantages/disadvantages.

              New Mexico gives 10% of their tags to Non-Residents. Another 10% goes to Non-Residents who apply thru an outfitter. Also, you don't have to pay for a tag unless you are drawn - most states want the money up front. New Mexico has good mature bulls.

              Arizona, Nevada, and Utah have outstanding elk however it is very hard to draw. I think most folks have to apply for 10 years (accumlating enough points) to even have a chance. Non refundable hunting license, refundable tag but they keep your tag money for several months so you must have the money in hand.

              Colorado and Idaho offer over the counter tags. Colorado has many elk but not the quality of other states. I've read that south and southeast idaho are still good; wolves have decimated the rest of the state.

              Montana can give you a good opportunity because you can get a combo Elk and Mule deer tag.

              I like Wyoming alot because they haven't had their preference system that long, have good quality Elk and Antelope; and I've heard the mule deer quality is recovering from several years of harsh winters. Wyoming is now forcing non residents to have a guide for elk; not sure if other species are applicable.

              As mentioned above, start saving now. I always go guided. I don't have the resources to travel to western states and scout. I don't have a lot of vacation and when I travel I want to make each and every day away from my family count and that typically requires the use of an outfitter. Plan on spending at least $3500 for an outfitter. Tag and license prices really don't come into play for a non resident - -they just don't add up to that much for the total package. Also, should you be lucky and kill something; getting the meat back home can be very expensive.

              I wish I started applying in states with preference or bonus points years ago. I didn't start applying until I thought I could afford the trip in full if I got lucky to draw. Big mistake.

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              • #8
                Forgot to mention that many states issue elk tags to landowners. Landowners can then turn around and sell these tags. They are very, very expensive but it is a guaranteed way to hunt elk without going thru the draw process.

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                • #9
                  Beekeeper and Jay have well covered most salient points. I must add that many of the best States for elk have past their deadlines for drawing non resident permits for this year. You need to begin applying in several States to build up bonus points for a few years before your odds of success can improve.

                  As I have bragged before, I drew a premier Arizona elk tag for this year.

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                  • #10
                    To Happy Myles: I'm blowing you a "rasberry"(LOL), congrats on the tag.
                    We all forgot to mention that if tags are left over after the "draws" they can be purchased as OTC(Colo. anyway) to meet the quota for the "area".
                    As for size on elk, Colo has the #2/3 in the world, that was only beaten recently by a guy in N.M. or AZ.

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                    • #11
                      Big O good to here from you.



                      Back to the question at hand. If there had to be a choice I would vote for quality of hunt vs quality of animal to take a B&C Elk. Before I would pay for the opportunity of a huge elk on my first trip,helping talk your grantparents into a packstring hunt would be a trip of a life time.

                      The trip would make you realize what hunting is really about. I know this may not be possible, but size is not every thing. Size generally costs money. Not that important, at least at your stage.

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                      • #12
                        I live in colorado and up by steamboat and estes park weve got some huge elk and tags prices ain't bad ethier.

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                        • #13
                          I think Wyoming I ve seen some huge elk up there and I would also agree with Montana

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                          • #14
                            May I recommend Chama, New Mexico?

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                            • #15
                              Agreed with Beekeeper and + 1 for you sir!!!

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