Our 2017 Elk season was filled with super successes, as well as super challenges. Our high success rate continued for most of our elk hunts this year. We did, however, have a couple of hunts where the hunting was some of the most difficult we’ve had. During those hunts we experienced a low harvest rate. We killed some of the best bulls we have ever taken out of western Wyoming this year. We harvested a solid number of bulls over 300 inches and many just good old, solid 6 point bulls. One thing that remains consistent, our hunters need to be willing to come ready to earn a trophy. To be successful in today’s public land, wild, mountainous elk hunts you need to enjoy being challenged.
We started the 2017 elk season with a fast action archery hunt. We had two parties not draw elk tags, so we only had one archery hunter. Our goals were big; the theme of this hunt was, “go big or go home empty.” We had many tremendous bulls located from scouting as well as several giant bulls we had tangled with the season before that we were confident would be back again. Our archery client was tempted by, and could not resist, a bull that showed himself during lunch one day. The bull tormented him, in range, long enough that he had to take the perfect shot. I cannot blame him. A great archery bull is a dead archery bull. It’s hard to pass up a perfect presentation on an archery hunt every time.
During our rifle season, we experienced lower than normal success rates in one hunt area. I contribute this to a few different factors, one of course, being the winter of 2016-17. The elk herd in this area migrates out of the high mountains each winter and goes to the high desert, where there are no feed grounds. It is possible that, due to our harsh winter, the herd migrated further into the winter grounds than normal. They may not have returned to their historical ranges this summer. The elk may have also been impacted in their migration by horn hunters in the spring. Due to the late spring, the elk were still on the winter range when the horn hunting season opened on May 1st. Another factor may have been the early snowfall we received in September. Due to the early snow, some of the elk started their migration early. We may never know what exactly affected the elk numbers in that area, but I don’t see this as having a long term effect on our success. We will adjust to where the best elk numbers are in the future. We did kill giant bulls on these difficult hunts and also took several solid 6 pointers. We, of course, wanted everyone to be successful, as we do on all of our hunts.
All of the other hunts resulted in our normal, very high, success rate. Not every hunter was able to have a 300 inch bull in their sights, but all were in high numbers of elk. We had hunts with almost 100 percent harvest. We had a giant 350″ bull missed due to a ranging error. Several of the bulls harvested were as big as they get in Western Wyoming. This hunt remains one of the most rewarding hunts on the planet. Rough and tough, mountainous hunting at its best.
Hunting Bulls in Western Wyoming
Comparing apples to apples, you are not going to find a better hunt in a general elk unit than what we offer here at NTO. I have hunted and guided elk for 20 plus years around the west. What we get to experience yearly on a horseback, high country, public land, fair chase hunt is incomparable. This hunt ranks at the very top! Now that doesn’t change the fact that you must come ready to earn a trophy. You will ride horses up steep rugged mountains on trails full of mud, snow, rocks, blow-downs and dust, in some of the most breath taking country on earth. Consider booking your Rocky Mountain Elk Hunt with Non-Typical Outfitters.
Your shooting skills will be tested to the maximum. To hunt here you must be able to keep a good attitude in challenging situations. Our hunters must like physical and mental challenges. You might need to stay positive and focused, all 5 days, to get one shot at a trophy bull. You might come prepared, give it your all, and still leave with an unpunched tag. We make no guarantee of a kill. All we guarantee is that we will hunt as hard as you can handle, in some of God’s greatest creation, with guides who care more about your personal success than you do. You might not only get an opportunity at a trophy, but be able to take home some of the finest, 100% organic, meat on the planet. We will give God the credit when we are successful, remaining humble and respectful of this privilege, and we will turn to Him in times of challenge.