It’s tough to say what best places for elk hunting are because everybody has different opinion of the ideal elk hunt. What we do know for sure though is that any hunter who hasn’t experienced hunting the elk rut just has too. Beg, borrow, or sell your things to make it happen. For your first hunt or two, don’t get hung up on trophy quality. Especially if you’re budget minded. There are some very affordable hunts out there for someone willing to take “just a bull”. First, you need to decide if you are going DIY-style on an unguided hunt, or on a fully-guided elk hunt. We have great options for both.
The fact that you get to “talk to an animal” when you are elk hunting, and have bulls respond and talk back, adds a special element to the hunt. Other species that you can call, such as waterfowl, turkeys, rattled-in whitetail and moose hunts are close, but not quite the same. Turkey hunting is probably the closest to elk hunting, in our opinion. We’d love to talk to you about setting up a hunt. Be careful though, because once you hunt rutting bulls you will want to do it again! Happy hunting.
Best Places for Elk Hunting
There aren’t many places in North America where you can hunt elk with a rifle during the rut, but British Columbia is one of them. This is due to the fact that, since the late nineties, this region has had a six point minimum which takes the pressure off of the younger bulls, letting them grow up. Couple this with the fact that you can make it a combo hunt, BC should not be overlooked for your next elk hunt. It’s recommended that you be in decent shape as some of your stalks may be somewhat difficult. This is some rough country.
Talk with 10 guys who want to go elk hunting, and probably eight of them will say they want to go to Colorado…for good reason. There are tons of elk in Colorado, and there are TONS of choices when you hunt elk in Colorado with one of our outfitters! We have over-the-counter rifle elk hunts; archery elk hunts; elk hunting on private land; cow hunts, and limited entry trophy elk hunts in Colorado. Success rates and trophy quality are both very good for over-the-counter elk hunting units.
Idaho has some spectacular elk hunting opportunities, with some great backcountry elk hunting, and OTC tags. If you’re after a 350″+ bull, you’ll probably be disappointed. Idaho does hold a good number of solid mature bulls, and every year a few B&C bulls are taken. Our hunters continue to have great success year after year with our Idaho outfitters.
- OTC archery tags.
- Some good remote units with little hunting pressure.
- Rifle rut hunts in some of the wilderness areas.
- Outfitter allocated tags can guarantee you a great tag in controlled units without drawing.
- Solid drop hunt options.
Most New Mexico elk hunts take place in Pinyon pine and juniper thickets at fairly high elevation. In most units, a 330 inch or better bull is the goal, but in the best units, you can have a decent chance at 370-400+ inch monsters! The terrain in New Mexico isn’t usually all that strenuous, especially when you compare it to some other elk hunting destinations such as Idaho or British Columbia.
If you’re not applying for elk in Wyoming, you’re missing out…but we have some options for you with little or no points. Our backcountry outfitter has solid success year over year on good bulls at an affordable price. If you want a more plush experience, check our beautiful Wyoming lodge hunt.
Elk were nearly wiped out in Utah due to excessive hunting, so much so that elk hunting season was discontinued in 1898. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources underwent a successful reintroduction program, moving elk from neighboring Yellowstone National Park to the mountains. Today paints a different picture entirely, elk are flourishing in northern Utah. In fact, Utah has more record bull harvests that any other western state.
We work with an incredible Utah outfitter that knocks it out of the park for our hunters year after year. All hunts are on private ground on over 600,000 acres spread between 13 different ranches. Most of the ranches are in the CWMU program AKA Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit. As a result, you are able to obtain your tags directly from the outfitter. There is no hassle and worry of whether you will draw out or not.
Don’t forget about Elk Hunting in Canada
You shouldn’t discount Canada when you’re thinking about booking an elk hunt. Canadian elk hunts have begun to become more popular, and the Canadian Rocky Mountains have some great bulls. Plus, most areas, have elk hunts during the rut, such as this Alberta, Peace River hunt. There is also some great Roosevelt elk hunting along the British Columbia coast.
If you’re in a good area, (and we do our best to put you in a GREAT area) you can usually expect to see elk almost daily, and on most of our hunts, you could expect an opportunity at a mature bull. A mature bull can be anything from a five-point up to that 400-inch monster that everybody dreams about.