Western Hunting Guide and Gear List Recommendations

Discussion in 'Hunting Out of State' started by TeenageHunter, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    "I don't want your honey hole, but, what canyon are the *inset animal* in and where do I camp to have the best shot at *insert animal*?"

    Don't ask other people for their *inset animal* areas, find your own. This might sound harsh but it's more rewarding in the end. Nobody is going to hand you their honey hole out west and just give you the golden ticket to their spot and their exact location. Over the years, I've had hundreds if not upwards of a thousand people ask me advice for hunting out west and they keep digging and trying to get more information about areas. I've seen a good area get turned into an awful one because of the information I've given out and then people spread that information.

    Don't tell people your area once you find it unless you don't mind it getting overrun. You might be asking yourself right now "Then why do you invite people to come hunt with you?" I invite people to come with me because I've found areas, researched, learned them, and now I want to learn new areas. I'm sure someone will spill the beans before or after they hunt with me. You can never trust anybody with your areas or information.

    Once you've done the entire process of research to kill an animal you'll understand why people out west are secretive about their areas. You've put hundreds of hours of e-scouting, boots on the ground, and hunting etc. just to give that information away willy-nilly?

    GET OnXMaps (https://www.onxmaps.com). You're about to go on a hunt that costs anywhere from $300-1,500+, OnXMaps is $30 a year, it's worth it. OnX is a valuable tool for e-scouting and knowing where you're at when the time comes for the hunt.

    Look at Harvest Success Rates and Draw Odds (if you want to draw a tag), and Public/Private Land Percentage. I'd start out by looking at individual state's websites. However, huntscore (https://huntscore.com/hunts) and toprut (https://www.toprut.com/maps/)are both great resources. High success rates sometimes resinate with high outfitter presence, private land, which means limited public access but sometimes these areas are easier to draw due to these reasons and you can find a small public land area that has fantastic success but it might have high hunter density. Look at average days per harvest (some states do this) and figure out how many hunters are there and how many days hunters hunt before a successful harvest.


    Go Shed Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Summer Scouting Trip (Fishing). Do you want to be really successful? Go on an easier hunt or scouting trip out west first. Jumping straight into Elk hunting without any information about the area or not stepping foot in the area can lead to unsuccessful hunts. I'm constantly going shed hunting in new areas, scouting new areas, and learning new areas all across the west. I'm lucky and move from job to job state to state out west.



    "What and where should I hunt first?"
    "In 2006, 47,642 hunters killed 45,615 antelope, about 60 percent of which were bucks. The Cowboy State is far and away No. 1 in the West. It has most licenses sold, the most hunter participation, highest harvest and some of the highest success rates."

    This is the question I receive the most from everyone! Here's a video I've made to encourage people to start out antelope hunting in Wyoming.



    I only spent $425 TOTAL to hunt four antelope does in Wyoming. This is including gas, tags, ammo, food, bags for processing, game bags, and a few other small things.



    On another hunt, I took out a few friends for their first time hunting out west. We were able to hunt for two days and made the most of it! My Jeep broke down on Day 1 and we were only able to shoot one antelope on Day 1. Luckily it was a quick fix and they had the parts in and we were back at it again on Day 2 and Olivia was able to harvest her first animal ever in one of the hardest units to hunt in Wyoming for antelope! (56% success rate).

    at 1:50 I asked him "How hard is it to shoot an Antelope in Wyoming?"

     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    hesseu, meyeri and breckhawk like this.
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  3. breckhawk

    breckhawk Active Member

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    Incredible info. Thanks for taking the time.
     
    TeenageHunter likes this.
  4. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    Gear List Recommendations

    Bring a snow shovel, get a winch, bring a first aid kit. Weather can change, FAST out west especially on a Mountain. After hunting Idaho for Black Bear I've learned don't slack off on these things. You'll regret it when a blizzard moves in and dumps a foot of snow on you and you can't get out. Luckily for me in the spring the days are getting warmer, not colder. In the fall, it could be a different story and I know of people that have left vehicles in areas into late May/early June. I wouldn't venture into these areas alone the first time (especially your first time out west) and would bring a friend to hunt with me.

    Hunting Gear List -



    • Binoculars - DON'T SKIP OUT ON THESE. Buy 10x at minimum for out west and her in the midwest. There's Vortex Diamondback's on sale for $199.99 right now. https://amzn.to/38gr9WT
    • Flashlight - I've used everything and always go back to the cheap Walmart ones.
    • Hunting Knife - I have the Piranha (https://amzn.to/38grpFl) and the RazorBlade (https://amzn.to/2szqtgh) replaceable blades are cheap at Cabelas and Bass Pro.
    • Lighters
    • Phone Battery Charger you can't beat the Dark Energy Poseidon...it's expensive but worth it. https://amzn.to/366mt4u
    • First Aid Kit (Make sure you buy stuff like Peroxide, tape, etc. to put in it)
    • Fire Starter (You can buy cubes of them a lot of places)
    • Sleeping Bag I have the Coleman 0 Degree Mummy (https://amzn.to/2R2vnLX) and the Browning McKinley which is WAY too warm for me until it's 40 degrees https://amzn.to/2RspKWE


    • Rifle
    • Bow
    • Ammo 2 boxes 20rd
    • Paracord...lots of Paracord.
    • Tent
    • Bed Roll (Still trying to find a durable one that will withstand how I treat them)
    • Jet Boil - https://amzn.to/374HJci
    • Mountain House is way cheaper IMO than having to buy a bunch of food at Walmart and keep it in a cooler. Might not taste as great but it's what I used when I'm on the mountain looking for elk. Plus, it doesn't weigh much just don't forget your utility spoon. https://amzn.to/38jcABQ
    • Belts - Trust me..don't forget your belt.
    • Coat Hangers
    • Dehydrated Food Slices (Apples, Bananas, etc.)
    (Truck Essential Gear)

    • Brake Fluid
    • Power Steering Fluid w/Stop Leak
    • Blinker Fluid...maybe.
    • Oil
    • JumpStart
    • Snow Shovel (Grain Shovel)
    • Extra Serpentine belt
    • 12DC Portable Air Compressor
    • Flat fixer (Life saver in rough rocky areas)
    Sitka Stuff I'd Recommend -



    Sitka Blizzard Parka (LATE SEAOSN ONLY) https://amzn.to/30tMfP7

    Sitka Traverse Hoody https://amzn.to/361B3KK

    Sitka Traverse Pant https://amzn.to/364WsCF

    Sitka Timberline Pant. https://amzn.to/2FVRvBA



    I will continue to update as time goes along and add more things and videos, pictures, and product reviews.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  5. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    Terms

    One of the biggest questions I've received over the years is "How do I even get into hunting out west?" One of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn the terminology first for the state your planning to go. I started out mule deer hunting in Colorado and learned pretty quick that hunting out west can be tricky at first! You have all these new terms like...

    -State Land

    -BLM (Bureau of Land Management)

    -National Forest

    -National Grassland

    -Wilderness Areas

    -HMA (Hunter Management Area)

    -WIA (Walk-In Access)

    -Block Management (Montana ONLY)

    -Open Space (Colorado ONLY)



    All these terms can be overwhelming for a hunter who is trying to figure out how to hunt out west for the first time. I'll cover the more generic information in the thread and you can do your own research or ask more specific questions about the state your researching here!



    BLM (Bureau of Land Management)

    https://www.blm.gov/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Land_Management



    BLM (Bureau of Land Management)
    https://www.blm.gov/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Land_Management

    "The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior that administers more than 247.3 million acres (1,001,000 km2) of public lands in the United States which constitutes one-eighth of the landmass of the country.[2] President Harry S. Truman created the BLM in 1946 by combining two existing agencies: the General Land Office and the Grazing Service.[3] The agency manages the federal government's nearly 700 million acres (2,800,000 km2) of subsurface mineral estatelocated beneath federal, state and private lands severed from their surface rights by the Homestead Act of 1862.[3] Most BLM public lands are located in these 12 western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.[4]"

    In other words, the BLM is one of the largest public lands coordinators in the US. Most of the land is PUBLIC but limited access in some areas where ranchers have blocks of private land surrounding it. Most states you're allowed to camp on BLM as long as you're not being destructive toward the land. Be sure to check local, regional, and state fire bans that might be in place.

    You can do more digging on the blm.gov site. If you have more specific questions feel free to ask I'll attempt to answer them to the best of my ability. Here's a link to the hunting and fishing brochure on the site...
    https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/files/BLM Hunting and Fishing 013018.pdf

    National Forest/National Grassland
    https://www.fs.fed.us/grasslands/index.shtml
    https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml

    People are normally surprised they can hunt National Forests and National Grasslands. You can even hunt SOME national parks! (https://www.doi.gov/blog/hunting-and-fishing-national-parks-and-fish-and-wildlife-refuges)

    "In the United States, there are 155 National Forests containing almost 190 million acres (297,000 mi²/769 000 km²) of land. These lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. Some 87 percent of National Forest land lies west of the Mississippi River in the mountain ranges of the Western United States. Alaskahas 12 percent of all National Forest lands."
    -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Forest

    Most of the National Forests and National Grasslands are open to camping with heavier restrictions than BLM. Make sure you check out which state and or national forest or grassland you might plan to hunt!
     
  6. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    Wyoming Elk
    I believe when it comes to Elk most people think of Colorado as the "go-to" state and they overlook Wyoming General Elk areas. Wyoming is a fantastic elk hunting state boasting great success rates in most General areas. In this section, I'm going to cover some basic FAQ you can look up on the Wyoming Game and Fish site and go over some things to look for when scouting for elk in Wyoming. However, Wyoming is starting to show point creep for the General tags with 5,982 people applying this year for 1,775 tags.

    Wyoming State Land information: https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/osli/resources/recreation
    Camping isn't allowed on most of Wyoming's state land!

    However, most of Wyoming's BLM and National Forest/Grasslands are available for primitive camping.

    Orange Requirements:
    Clothing Requirements. Hunters Required to Wear Fluorescent Orange or Fluorescent Pink Clothing. All persons hunting big or trophy game during an open firearm season, shall wear in a visible manner one (1) or more exterior garments of a fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink color that shall include at least one of the following: a hat, shirt, jacket, coat, vest or sweater. Fluorescent orange camouflage or fluorescent pink camouflage are legal. Hunters participating in limited quota muzzle-loading seasons are also required to meet the fluorescent clothing requirements. Archers and crossbow hunters hunting during a special archery season or limited quota archery only Type 9 season are exempt from this requirement.

    Big game and trophy game rifle and muzzleloader hunters are required to wear one exterior garment of fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink. This also applies to archery hunters hunting during the rifle season. This could be a hat, shirt, jacket, coat, vest or sweater. Bird hunters on Game and Fish Wildlife Habitat Management Areas are also required to wear fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink. Fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink camouflage is legal.

    MeatCare:
    “Edible portion of big game animal” means the meat from the front quarters as far down as the knees, meat of the hindquarters as far down as the hocks, and the meat along the backbone between the neck and hindquarters including the loins and tenderloins, excluding meat on the ribs and neck.
    1. Front quarter - meat of the front quarters as far down as the knees 2. Hind quarter – meat of the hindquarters as far down as the hocks 3. Backstrap - meat along the backbone between the neck and hindquarters 4. Tenderloins - tenderloins are located inside body cavity

    Gun Laws:
    Wyoming has no restrictive laws concerning firearms that may be legally possessed under the law of one’s home state. Safety dictates that all firearms in a vehicle should be unloaded with the action open.
    In Wyoming, you can have your gun loaded with a bullet in the chamber in your vehicle while hunting.



    FAQ's

    Q. I hear that only boned big game meat can be transported from Wyoming due to concerns about spreading chronic wasting disease. Is that right?

    A. Game and Fish regulations are designed to minimize the possibility of spreading Chronic Wasting Disease by controlling the transportation of carcasses between hunt zones. Resident and nonresident hunters who take a deer, elk or moose within the CWD zone and wish to transport that carcass outside of the CWD zone must ensure the head and all portions of the spinal column are either left at the site of the kill or disposed of in an approved landfill. Evidence of sex and species are required in accordance with the provisions found in the current hunting regulations. Only the following portions of any deer, elk or moose taken from any other state, province or country within areas designated as positive for CWD may be imported into Wyoming: edible portions with no part of the spinal column or head attached; cleaned hides without the head; skull plate and/or antlers cleaned of all meat and brain tissue; upper canine teeth; finished taxidermy mounts.

    Q. Can I use a crossbow in Wyoming’s archery seasons?

    A. Yes. The crossbow must have a minimum ninety (90)-pound draw weight and a bolt of at least sixteen (16) inches in length equipped with a broadhead or expanding point designed to have a minimum cutting width of one (1) inch after impact.

    Q. Do I need to buy an archery license for both my deer and elk license?
    A. You need to buy only one archery license in addition to your deer and elk license to hunt during the special archery season. You do not need to buy separate archery licenses for elk, deer, antelope or whatever other big or trophy game you may be hunting with bow and arrow. The archery license is required of all archers who have a regular, not "archery only" license. Holders of archery only licenses do not need the separate archery permit.

    Q. Is it true nonresidents cannot hunt in national forest wilderness areas without a guide?
    A. Basically, that's right. Wyoming statute says nonresidents must have a licensed guide or resident companion to hunt big or trophy game in federally designated wilderness areas. The resident companion will need to get a free non-commercial guide license from a Game and Fish office. The law does not prohibit nonresidents from hiking, fishing or hunting game birds, small game, or coyotes in wilderness areas. Only nonresident big and trophy game hunters must have a licensed guide or resident companion.

    Q. If I shoot an elk and pack out a quarter at a time, what do I do with the tag?
    A. Large animals like elk are frequently packed out in quarters or pieces. If this procedure becomes necessary, the carcass coupon or tag should remain with the person packing out the animal. Remember that whenever a kill is made under any circumstances, the normal tagging procedure as outlined on your license must be followed. Simply detach the tag from the license, cut out the entire wedge or square for the day and month and sign the coupon. If you need to leave your animal to get help to pack it out the tag must be left attached to the carcass.

    Q. When do I have to leave evidence of sex on a big game carcass I harvest?
    A. Wyoming regulations require evidence of sex must accompany the carcass taken in a hunt area where the taking of either sex is either controlled or prohibited. The evidence can be either the visible sex organs or the head.

    Q. Can I hunt checkerboard lands?
    A. "Checkerboard" is the term given to alternating sections of private and BLM lands stretching for some 300 miles along the Union Pacific Railroad in southern Wyoming. Even though this area is approximately 50 percent public, the same requirements apply as with accessing any public lands, namely, you must have public access to public lands to be able to hunt there. If the access to public lands is on a private road, landowner permission must be obtained. A person can hunt on the BLM lands provided there is public access to those sections. A person who carefully follows a BLM land status map or GPS units loaded with land status info can often figure out which sections are public and private and have a successful hunt. However, it makes for a much more trouble free hunt if permission is first obtained to avoid the concern and possibility of trespassing.

    Q. Do I need a license to hunt coyotes and jackrabbits?
    A. Coyotes and jackrabbits are legally classified as predators along with raccoons, red fox, porcupines and skunks. Under Wyoming law, these animals may be taken year round and no license is required. However hunters must still abide by other laws pertaining to the taking of wildlife, i.e. prohibition of shooting from roads, fulfilling hunter safety requirements, hunting using artificial light etc. Further explanation of the dos and don'ts regarding these and other laws is contained in any Wyoming hunting regulation pamphlet.

    Regulations: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Regulations/Regulation-PDFs/REGULATIONS_CH7_Brochure.pdf

    Hunt Planner (View Harvest Success rates, draw statistics, prices, etc.): https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Hunting/Hunt-Planner/Elk-Hunting

    FAQs: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/FAQ/Big-Game-License-Applications-FAQ

    A few Wyoming video's I've taken...






     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  7. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    Idaho Black Bear Information
    "Idaho has a healthy population of black bears. Even though they are called black bears, the coloring of Idaho's bears are also cinnamon, brown and some have blazes. Hunters can pursue bears with hounds or use bait stations. Nonresident deer and elk tags may also be used to harvest a black bear or mountain lion."

    Rules and Regulations Big Game:
    https://idfg.idaho.gov/rules/big-game

    Black Bear Information and Regulations
    https://idfg.idaho.gov/sites/default/files/seasons-rules-big-game-black-bear-2017-2018.pdf

    Controlled Hunting and Opportunities
    https://idfg.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntpl...9.1942942680.1579290362-1539045824.1579290362

    Licenses, Tags, and Permits
    https://idfg.idaho.gov/licenses?_ga=2.118303049.1942942680.1579290362-1539045824.1579290362

    Black Bear Baiting Tips (I'll make my own YouTube video this spring for it)


     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  8. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    Information
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  9. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    Colorado Elk/Deer Information
     
  10. TeenageHunter

    TeenageHunter McNorrisBieber Staff Member

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    Idaho Elk/Deer Information
     

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