I want to take grandpa on a hunt of his dreams but I need some advice.

DirtNapDino

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Sep 14, 2022
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I grew up hunting for whitetail in the midwest and I remember my grandfather telling me how he wanted to go on an elk hunt and how he would be happy to bugle one in even if he didnt get a chance for a shot. Im 26 now and hes a healthy 68 and I want to give him the chance to explore elk county before hes a healthy 70. To see some big bulls would be amazing but as Im 26 and have 3 baby boys of my own my budget for a hunt next year can’t exceed 3-4,000 but only for him to hunt Id just be along for the memories and to make the trip as light as I could for him. But I guess where I need advice is, is it realistic to plan an elk hunt, or would our lower ability to travel deep into elk country lessen our odds significantly due to pressure? I could plan easier trips for whitetail, I just remember him telling me he wanted to bugle in an elk several times when I was very young.
 

JeffRaines

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Oct 24, 2015
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You guys aren’t getting any younger, and life happens fast. I still remember the out of the blue phone call I got about my mother and that was it.

Chances are you probably won’t get a guided hunt for that price, but I’d bet you could work with IndianSummer or one of those other “semi guided” services… with tags and fuel it could easily be done for 3-4k and you’d have spots to come back to. No guarantees on animals obviously, but even a fully guided hunt on public land isn’t guaranteed.

Hope your granddad can still shoot a bow as most of the elk seasons where they’re bugling are archery and maybe muzzleloader. Before you get too excited about the muzzle prospect, almost all of these western states with muzzy dedicated seasons have extensive rules - no optical sights being a big one.

Good luck!
 

ShawnStonefly

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Oct 22, 2015
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Going to be pretty hard to hit all that criteria. If he wants to bugle in an elk your looking archery/muzzleloader season, those are generally low success for most OTC western states, especially if you aren't getting into some terrain. OTC rifle in Colorado is usually packed with people but luck can be had without much serious hiking, you could also rent an ATV to get you into places. You could look for unguided private land hunt, probably get access for one hunter for that budget without the cost of nonres tags and travel costs.

Not exactly elk hunting but have you thought about antelope hunts? That price you could get private land access potentially a guide and typically high success. Still get the western experience
 
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DirtNapDino

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You guys aren’t getting any younger, and life happens fast. I still remember the out of the blue phone call I got about my mother and that was it.

Chances are you probably won’t get a guided hunt for that price, but I’d bet you could work with IndianSummer or one of those other “semi guided” services… with tags and fuel it could easily be done for 3-4k and you’d have spots to come back to. No guarantees on animals obviously, but even a fully guided hunt on public land isn’t guaranteed.

Hope your granddad can still shoot a bow as most of the elk seasons where they’re bugling are archery and maybe muzzleloader. Before you get too excited about the muzzle prospect, almost all of these western states with muzzy dedicated seasons have extensive rules - no optical sights being a big one.

Good luck!
Thank you for the ideas! How do crossbows play into elk hunting? He’s been very biased to his crossbow.
 
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DirtNapDino

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Going to be pretty hard to hit all that criteria. If he wants to bugle in an elk your looking archery/muzzleloader season, those are generally low success for most OTC western states, especially if you aren't getting into some terrain. OTC rifle in Colorado is usually packed with people but luck can be had without much serious hiking, you could also rent an ATV to get you into places. You could look for unguided private land hunt, probably get access for one hunter for that budget without the cost of nonres tags and travel costs.

Not exactly elk hunting but have you thought about antelope hunts? That price you could get private land access potentially a guide and typically high success. Still get the western experience
An antelope hunt is something I am definitely open to looking into. Maybe Ill bring up the idea of traveling for a hunt next time we’re watching a show and see where the conversation goes.
 

JREG19

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Oct 24, 2021
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Kuna, ID
I grew up hunting for whitetail in the midwest and I remember my grandfather telling me how he wanted to go on an elk hunt and how he would be happy to bugle one in even if he didnt get a chance for a shot. Im 26 now and hes a healthy 68 and I want to give him the chance to explore elk county before hes a healthy 70. To see some big bulls would be amazing but as Im 26 and have 3 baby boys of my own my budget for a hunt next year can’t exceed 3-4,000 but only for him to hunt Id just be along for the memories and to make the trip as light as I could for him. But I guess where I need advice is, is it realistic to plan an elk hunt, or would our lower ability to travel deep into elk country lessen our odds significantly due to pressure? I could plan easier trips for whitetail, I just remember him telling me he wanted to bugle in an elk several times when I was very young.
How far away do you live from elk country? How much time off from work do you get? I think probably the biggest factor in hunting is going to be time. The more time you have the more chances you could have at killing an elk. I don't know about other states but where I live in Idaho a lot of the OTC Archery elk tags are either sex, if he's willing to just hear bugles and shoot a cow his odds go up. If you're able to scout during the summer his odds could go up. Getting a "disabled" permit to use a crossbow is pretty easy in Idaho I think, check out the exact regulations for the state you might hunt and his odds should go up. Have him exercise and his odds go up. There are plenty of elk hunts out there that an older fella could get it done, if he's willing to work hard.
 
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DirtNapDino

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Thank all you guys this is all really helping me figure out where to get started!
 

KBC

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I'm 16 years older than you and I still think about my Grandpa every day. I wish I had the foresight you have when I was 26. My Grandpa was about 15 years older than yours when I was the same age and died when I was around 30. Although I have no hunting advice, my advice is to make it happen.

You wouldn't be asking this if he hadn't made so many great memories that you have of him right now. Make a memory that you are the one giving back. ;)

Edit: And don't forget to tell us the story!
 

Scottyboy

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for the most unpopular response of all time… consider high fence. Tags are guaranteed, crossbow a non issue and you should (most likely??) hear some bugling.

I haven’t personally done it, but if I were in your shoes it would be on my radar for a number of reasons, especially if it’s more about interactions with elk vs the western experience
 

Ront

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Sep 15, 2022
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I grew up hunting for whitetail in the midwest and I remember my grandfather telling me how he wanted to go on an elk hunt and how he would be happy to bugle one in even if he didnt get a chance for a shot. Im 26 now and hes a healthy 68 and I want to give him the chance to explore elk county before hes a healthy 70. To see some big bulls would be amazing but as Im 26 and have 3 baby boys of my own my budget for a hunt next year can’t exceed 3-4,000 but only for him to hunt Id just be along for the memories and to make the trip as light as I could for him. But I guess where I need advice is, is it realistic to plan an elk hunt, or would our lower ability to travel deep into elk country lessen our odds significantly due to pressure? I could plan easier trips for whitetail, I just remember him telling me he wanted to bugle in an elk several times when I was very young.
Whatever trip is doable just do it! I have had several friends that waited and they never went and somebody passed away. I promise it will be the memories of being together that your grandfather will remember.
 

hunt1up

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Are you opposed to cow hunting vs. bull? You could go with a landowner cow tag in NM or something. Hunt a quality unit, see some bulls, and still get to pursue an elk. It should fit the budget.
 

XLR

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Every year CO is getting harder and harder to get into bulls in OTC units. We did 20 miles this weekend and finally got into them but I am feeling it today! Not a hunt I would take my grandpa on that is for sure! If you would like to watch bulls work cows though come out 3 or 4 days early and go into a trophy unit! Just do some calling and call them in. You can see how they respond, listen to them, and maybe fine tune your tactics before you head into the hills for your hunt. Typically the trophy unit bulls will have a lot less pressure and respond to calls better. Personally I don't have to have a bow or rifle in my hand to get a good rush! Whether you kill a bull or not it will be the trip you wont forget! I would favor the DIY route more than a guided hunt if that allowed you to spend more days in the field.
 
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DirtNapDino

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Thank you for your insight everybody! Im sure Ill have more questions in the future.
 

HuntHarder

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Put in for hunts in Arizona, new mexico, montana and wyoming and hope the draw gods are on your side. I have buddies who draw late rifle bull tags as non-res, here in Az every 5 years or so. We have so many applying, that we hunt bulls 9 out of 10 years with our non-res buddies. It's not a rut hunt and they won't really respond to calling, but a good bull can be had in just about every unit. Go out early in Sept. and call bulls in before the hunts start if that is all he is looking for. Still gets your blood pumping when you get a big bull to come in on a string to close range.
 

Where's Bruce?

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Look into hunting in Alberta. Rifle season during the rut, elk will hang out in ag fields, typically cheaper than western US.

I'm advising against this. I did it and the elk country up there is more brutal than the coastal rainforests of the PNW. You can't find two steps on flat ground. Plus you're in grizz country relying on a paid guide (mandatory) with a rifle for protection and you cannot carry a sidearm. Stick to OTC Colorado, find a local willing to help you out and throw some coin at him. Alberta elk country is a much harder hunt. Stinging nettles over your head. It was brutal. Oh and ya start out at 5am and hunt till late...long days and outside your budget. Archery season we hunted till 9:40pm. Only saw moose and deer in the AG fields.

IMG_2264.JPG IMG_2265.JPG
 
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S-3 ranch

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I know he wants a bull , but a winter cow hunt is really budget and family friendly, ask him if that’s cool with him
stay in a nice cabin, hunt hard, eat like kings,
drawing a decent bull area might be years away and otc bites the big one with the pumpkin army everywhere
 

Mojave

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Jun 13, 2019
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Kind gesture.

At 26, I would not risk my own finances to fund a hunt for someone who never took the time to fund one for themselves at 70.

I am 50, every time I get sentimental about funding a hunt or fishing trip for my father I remember that the ****** has had 84 years to do something on his own.

I regretted going to Africa in 2005 by myself. It would have been great to go with him. He regrets not going on the hunt. If I would have paid for him to go, I would have never went. I told him I was going, and asked him if he wanted to go and he said it was too expensive.

A few years later I bought him a $3500 rifle.... like a dumb ass. He never really appreciated it. Then told me he was thinking of trading it off. I took it back, and he wasn't super happy about it.

Be careful what kind of things you fund for someone who has had their whole life to fund.

Old men are really rascally about being cheap SOB's be careful what you pay for.
 
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