Wyoming Bugling Elk With Rifle or Bow- #218

Wyoming Bugling Elk With Rifle or Bow- #218

Hunt one of the most remote wilderness areas in the lower 48!! Horseback, wall tent hunt.

WE love hunting bull elk with rifle when they are vocal and screaming. But very few states have rifle seasons during the September bugle, and those that do — tend to be remote wilderness areas (Bob Marshall and the Selway for example). Those two areas  DO NOT typically have success rates above 35%. The Bob Marshall and Selway frequently show 20-30% success- not good enough for us. This Wyoming outfitter in this Thorofare area has been consistently running between 70% and 85% over the last 6-7 years or more!!  And his elk herd in this SE corner of Yellowstone is steady in population.

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You will rifle hunt here during the bugle season- not legal in most states! It sure helps when a big bull screams at you- “Hey- I am over here!”  Puts a smile on your face quick! His guide area borders south eastern Yellowstone Park. This is the famed Thorofare Area, so named by Teddy Roosevelt for the heavy animal traffic he saw there. Some big mulies here too, and they are rarely hunted! And in Region F, leftover deer tags are available to buy in July. Almost 250 Region F buck  tags are available most years as leftovers!  We will assist you. First come, first served on those.        

Butch’s wife, Joan did a solo hunt here about 10 or more years ago. She took a nice 6X6, and 4 of the other  hunters in camp also tagged bulls. This is the classic elk hunt- wilderness; horseback; wall tents; mountains and meadows; wranglers, camp cook, all during the prime bugle seasons-and you can hunt the bugle with a rifle or bow!! Very hard to find in the lower 48 with this type of high success! And this area is generally considered to the best General tag elk area in the State.

Now throw into the mix the fact that the odds to draw a GENERAL ELK LICENSE HAVE BEEN close to 100% ON THE HIGH PRICE TAGS! (Special License is $1071.) In 2014 only 391 hunters applied at the high price for the 386 licenses! That is almost 99% odds of drawing. In other words- you almost certainly will draw the tag!  

In 2014 this outfitter penetrated into some new areas and truly found some honey holes! We are excited about the upcoming year! So this is the time to go! You will have an adventure you will never forget, and many are the clients who have said: “Butch-even if we hadn’t killed bulls, it would have been worth the price of admission just to experience that incredible wilderness!” He ended up 2014 with overall success on gun and bow at 16 for 20 clients, with a bunch of bulls going over 300 class! WE expect with all the rain and food in 2015, that it should be another awesome year, and that food should hold elk well into 2016! For a public land wilderness hunt, that is awesome performance.
Now lets realize, that you can draw a tag for this hunt, every other year, if you buy a Wyoming preference point and use it to purchase a General tag at the Special price level. An elk preference point can be bought on-line between July 1 and October 31 for just $50! Here is the 2015 breakdown on applications for a General Tag:

General tag at the Regular price level, with zero points: 17.2% success to draw
Same tag at the Special Price level, with zero points: 59.3 % success (not bad odds!)
Same tag at the Regular Price level, with one point: 40.3% success
Same tag at the Special Price level, with one point: 100% success
Also realize that in Wyoming, once you draw your rifle tag, you can go to Walmart, buy an archery tag, and hunt both the bow and rifle seasons! Also that General tag is good in about 60% of the units in Wyoming.
There are of course wolf/grizzly depredation problems in some areas of Yellowstone. The western and northwestern areas adjacent to Yellowstone have been devastated, to the point we will no longer book for some very good outfitters over there, because in those areas the success rates have fallen below 30%. That is around the Gardiner area. We stopped booking in those Northwestern Yellowstone areas 8 years ago! BUT – this outfitter’s area is in the south east corner of the park, —— and it has been holding up well, and he has consistently been in the 70 to 80% range, unless snow hampers movement. You may see grizzly and some wolf tracks, but populations are stable and hunting remains challenging but good.

Client report:

“Hey Butch and Brian:  we just got back from the hunt in Gillette for antelope with the outfitter you booked us with — and in the Throughfare with your outfitter there– . everyone got elk, antelope and all but 1 got deer .. a great trip and we will refer our friends to you .. thanks for your help in putting both hunts together … wayne perkins”

Elk Hunts are 2 hunters per guide, with no more than 4 Elk hunters  usually in camp, so expect personalized attention.  One on one hunts are available- just inquire. We help with your elk applications-Jan 31 deadline!! He was over 80% shooting opportunity on mature bull elk again in 2011!  That is about as good as anyone can expect any outfitter to do on wilderness elk! It is up to the clients to do their part by shooting well and accurately! Often 100% success slips by due to missing and wounding or because clients just give up. This is high elevation hunting, so please be in shape!  Be ready, practice off a back pack or bipod or shooting sticks, not just a bench. On the last hunt, it normally is deer hunters only, unless someone has an elk tag also. Four hunters will be in camp.

This outfit at our suggestion, was bought up by one of our very good Idaho elk outfitters in early 2012. He bought this operation lock, stock and barrel as the former outfitter/owner just took a job with Wyoming Game and Fish Department as a warden. However the head guide stayed on and the former outfitter is confident that success will be unaffected. We know the new owner- he is an experienced horseman and guide; extremely honest and hard working and will do a great job. We have 3 years experience with the new outfitter, and our dozens of Idaho clients have said very good things about him- we expect great things from him. He works like a dog, and is good to deal with. He did well on this wilderness hunt in 2012 in a down year throughout the West, and did well in 2013, except when the big blizzard hit! He is top notch; and he is planning on penetrating into previously unhunted areas as well. Two of us here in our office (Brian and Butch) hunted with him in Sept 2013 along with a bunch of clients. In Butch’s group his 3 clients went 100%. Brian’s group caught a blizzard but they still were 100% shooting opportunity. In 2014, shooting opportunity again held to about 80%. Be in shape for this hunt for the best success. Rugged country and high mountains and plenty of tough walking. Call it about a 7 or 8 out of 10 in terms of effort.

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR ELK LICENSE IS JAN. 31. Apply for deer before March 15; for Region F.

License fees: ELK- Regular level: $591
Special level: $1071
DEER- Regular level: $286
Special level: $526

HUNT PRICING: (Dates will vary with new regulations)

BOW ELK: Wyoming Archery Elk Hunt:
Two hunters per one guide. Ride in on Sept 14, out on Sept 20, 2015. $4500.
FOUR OPENINGS ONLY! YOU MUST HAVE FIRST DRAWN A WYOMING GENERAL ELK LICENSE; then you can buy Bow license over the counter anywhere.

RIFLE ELK: Wyoming Rifle Elk during Bugle Hunt:

2 on 1 hunt: $5,500. 1 on 1 hunt: $6,500 Various Dates in September and into October. Hunts are 7 days of which two are riding days in and out.

DEER HUNT: 2 on 1 hunt: $3450. Hunt the most remote wilderness in the lower 48 for big migrating mulies. A couple 200 class were seen in 2012. More typically expect 155- 180 class. You will earn your deer and weather helps to make them migrate. Wall tents, horses to spot and stalk. Success normally close to 100%, but it is a bit weather dependent. Snow stimulates deer movement, within reason.

Wall tents, horses to spot and stalk. Success normally close to 100%, but it is a bit weather dependent. Snow stimulates deer movement, within reason.  Leftover tags for Reg. F available July 10, first come, first served.

Mule deer have the same seasons as elk. Elk applications MUST be filed by Jan 31; deer by Mar 15; BUT LEFTOVER DEER FOR Region F are normally available on sale around July 10. First come first served! We will purchase the license for you if you make prior arrangements with us.

Final payments must be paid no later than August 1st of the year hunt is scheduled!

We do suggest you do some riding before time. You will go in about 23 miles, and figure on 8-10 hours or so.  You can get off and walk a bit if you get stiff (you can walk almost as fast as a horse for short distances). We also urge buying the strongest bear spray you can find (forget the cheap stuff). There are many grizzly bears here—and they have been known to be aggressive. Odds of a serious problem are about equal to getting hit by lightning, but take some precautions. We think this adds to the adventure, and a griz sighting always fires up the camp. Actual charges are of course rare.  Always keep your gun close, and always partner up, with someone watching, especially if a bull is down and you are focused on cleaning it or taking pictures. The odds of a real problem are slight –but it pays to be aware. We actually relish the additional challenge. This is the real McCoy!! You will see and be into bulls, riding horses thru gorgeous mountain scenery; night time campfires too! The classic horseback wilderness elk hunt we all dreamed of as kids!! Make Jack O’Connor proud!

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 If you’ve never hunted in the remote Wyoming mountains, you are in for a special treat. This area offers spectacular scenery and wildlife just outside of Yellowstone National Park. The main Creek is a tributary of Thorofare Creek. It is known as the most remote area in the southern 48 states.

The late deer hunting here can also be excellent as the deer migrate out of the area to avoid the tough winter conditions. Snow makes them very visible and some excellent deer are taken, many of them deer that seldom if ever have seen hunters! Although it is somewhat weather dependent, most hunters who spend enough time on deer (many concentrate on elk) are likely to punch their buck tag, And there are some big old bucks back there. Deer only hunters run close to 100% opportunity on bucks.

This is high mountain country and the autumn weather is very unpredictable. Hunting at higher elevations and over a variety of terrain can be a real challenge. To help prepare yourself, it’s suggested that you be in at least good physical condition and are able to walk a few miles at high elevations under these conditions. Two days of your journey will be spent on horseback (one in and one out). The more you prepare yourself beforehand, the more comfortable and successful your trip.

Practice shooting your rifle and have it sighted in for at least 200 yards, and know where it shoots at 300 yards! Bring shooting sticks or a bipod- you can’t afford to miss. High quality deep penetrating bullets are a must on 600 pound plus animals. Shots can be point blank to 450 yards. Make sure your clothes and boots are broke in and comfortable. Water-proof them if possible. As with most remote, mountainous areas in Wyoming, there’s always a possibility of grizzly bears being around, so please don’t attempt sneaking snacks or treats into your tent without the Outfitter knowing. This could put you and others at an unnecessary risk. Bear Spray is strongly urged- and learn to keep it handy. You normally cannot take it on the plane, so you may have to buy it in Cody. Seldom needed but have it. A bear’s nose is 2000 times that of a human while a blood hound’s is only 300 times that of a human. Bear spray is therefore incredibly effective due to that huge sensitivity. Bears can find kills at 10 miles and more!


  PHONE: 1-307-637-5495  Email: info@hunt-nation.com