Rough Counrty outfitters in WY, or suggestions?

Matt79

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Joined
Mar 3, 2018
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156
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Michigan
Hi,

A buddy and I are looking to book a guided elk hunt in 2024 or 25. This will be the once in lifetime guided elk trip. We are willing to spend up to 10k. We are thinking a private land hunt where we will see lots of elk, and very high success at killing a nice bull. No horses. More than likely a rifle hunt, but would do archery if the outfit had great success. We have 5 points in Wy and Colorado.

I’ve reached out to half or dozen or so outfitters in the past few weeks, not many replies back as of yet. I assume they are all very busy seeing season still going.

Has anyone hunted with rough Counrty outfitters in Wyoming? Any other outfitters anyone can suggest would be appreciated too!

Thanks,
Matt
 

wytx

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Joined
Feb 2, 2017
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1,693
Location
Wyoming
Haven't heard anything bad about them. Several outfitters in this area that have those same kinds of hunts. A Few out of Saratoga, Wy and Tyler Sims.
East of there would be more in Iron Mountain Outfitters area and others out of Wheatland.
 

Indian Summer

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Feb 17, 2013
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1,949
It’ll be awhile until you get replies. Life is busy for those guys right now. I’ve hunted both. You better decide if you want an elk hunt or just a dead elk. Private land elk is like deer hunting which is nothing like elk hunting and quite frankly pretty boring.
 

yfarm

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Apr 24, 2018
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Arroyo City, Tx
It’ll be awhile until you get replies. Life is busy for those guys right now. I’ve hunted both. You better decide if you want an elk hunt or just a dead elk. Private land elk is like deer hunting which is nothing like elk hunting and quite frankly pretty boring.
Laughing about this comment, its true in my experience. Leased a private ranch in NM, was self guided stand hunting for elk, couldnt have been more different from the preceding wilderness pack trip in Wyoming.
 

CAElkhunter

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Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
315
Hunted a private ranch in Idaho. Asked guide what time we would leave in morning. He said after sun up.
I asked him how far we would hike. He said 300 yds if I screw up. The Elk were used to the ranch trucks and only slightly moved as you came around the corner. Interesting experience I wouldn't repeat. It was Elk shooting not Elk hunting.
 

jjohnsonElknewbie

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Mar 16, 2021
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1,624
Location
Western Iowa
I've never hunted private for elk. However, I've spent 25 years hunting whitetails on private in IA. My wilderness hunt in the Bob in '21 forever changed my perspective on hunting and fair chase. TBH, it ruined whitetail hunting for me. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, but it's mostly true. I didn't purchase a whitetail tag last year or this year. If you knew me, you wouldn't believe it. I am a recovering whitetail fanatic. The thing is, the certainty of killing a whitetail here vs. the absolute uncertainty of even getting an opportunity at a public land elk, deer, or antelope has just changed my goals and mindset.

My daughter and I hunted 8 hard days in the Big Horns last week without an opportunity. However, she came away with a very similar deep appreciation for the pursuit and the HUNTING. I was relieved to hear her talk out loud about this and glad to know I wasn't the only one with this epiphany.

Buddy that we hunted with has been intentionally trying to make whitetail hunting more challenging here at home. Rather than focusing on his own acres and private access, he's been spiking on public lands and using the same strategies used out west to improve his experience in Iowa. I may attempt the same in years to come.
 

Zeeman

Junior Member
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Oct 15, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Pennsylvania
I've never hunted private for elk. However, I've spent 25 years hunting whitetails on private in IA. My wilderness hunt in the Bob in '21 forever changed my perspective on hunting and fair chase. TBH, it ruined whitetail hunting for me. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, but it's mostly true. I didn't purchase a whitetail tag last year or this year. If you knew me, you wouldn't believe it. I am a recovering whitetail fanatic. The thing is, the certainty of killing a whitetail here vs. the absolute uncertainty of even getting an opportunity at a public land elk, deer, or antelope has just changed my goals and mindset.

My daughter and I hunted 8 hard days in the Big Horns last week without an opportunity. However, she came away with a very similar deep appreciation for the pursuit and the HUNTING. I was relieved to hear her talk out loud about this and glad to know I wasn't the only one with this epiphany.

Buddy that we hunted with has been intentionally trying to make whitetail hunting more challenging here at home. Rather than focusing on his own acres and private access, he's been spiking on public lands and using the same strategies used out west to improve his experience in Iowa. I may attempt the same in years to come.
Three of us just got back from a guided hunt in Wyoming 38 rifle. Known these guides for 20 years with much success when tags were reasonable to get. Waited 8 years for this tag. Nice tent camp with great views of the Bighorns. Decent food. Guided hunt was a complete bust!!!!! Hunted 6- 10 miles per day in all the usual haunts. Saw 5 elk all week. Two of us could not have even shot a cow!! Past experiences were great here. 2022 was one of my worst hunts in West ever. Personally I feel guides did no scouting and did not have slightest idea where elk were. Our entire week was a scout week for them and a failure for us. Were elk sparse this year in the Bighorn range? On way out must have been 500 head on the Horseshoe Ranch!,, would like your opinion Thanks
 

jjohnsonElknewbie

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Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
1,624
Location
Western Iowa
Three of us just got back from a guided hunt in Wyoming 38 rifle. Known these guides for 20 years with much success when tags were reasonable to get. Waited 8 years for this tag. Nice tent camp with great views of the Bighorns. Decent food. Guided hunt was a complete bust!!!!! Hunted 6- 10 miles per day in all the usual haunts. Saw 5 elk all week. Two of us could not have even shot a cow!! Past experiences were great here. 2022 was one of my worst hunts in West ever. Personally I feel guides did no scouting and did not have slightest idea where elk were. Our entire week was a scout week for them and a failure for us. Were elk sparse this year in the Bighorn range? On way out must have been 500 head on the Horseshoe Ranch!,, would like your opinion Thanks
I’m sorry to hear you guys weren’t successful. We hunted 35 for the first time with some gracious logistical support from a friend from Gillette with years of experience in the unit.

We saw a cow less than 300 yards from our FS cabin in the dark the first night. On day 3 we snuck within 50 yards of an elk, but only saw the back half before it gave us the slip. Not sure if it was a cow or bull. We jumped a pair of small bulls on afternoon of day 5, but my daughter had a cow tag. We glassed a herd of roughly 15 cows early morning of day 6, and were in position to intercept that night. Unfortunately they came up on the knob just after shooting light. We never saw an elk on day 7.

We talked to several local and NR hunters during the trip, and there were 2 key observations.

1- the first week of rifle there were tons of shots and the elk seemed to be everywhere. By the start of week 2, they were dispersed and hard to find. We hunted week 2 and this matched our experience.
2- the locals we talked to had never seen the elk move to private so early. There is a chunk of private near Buffalo where guys were glassing more than 200 elk lounging on the slopes for days. A logger we talked to said there was a herd “400 strong” that moved to the front range alfalfa fields after the first week of the season.

This was our first time in the unit so I can’t give a good read on the comments we heard. I was honestly thrilled because I saw more elk sign on day1 than I did in 7 days in the Bob last fall.
 

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