Archery Elk hunting Solo in grizzly country.

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grfox92

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Are you in Cody? Hit me up sometime if you need a hunting partner. I have a GEN deer tag that I'll be trying to fill around here, but my elk tag is in the SE part of the state.

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TheGDog

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I would just say you need to make sure you send an email to your wife with Satellite screenshots and you annotate on the screenshot what your plans are... the travel path.

Then... when you're out there... you need to stick to that plan fairly closely, so just in case you don't report back when you say you are.. they know where to look.

That's the only part of hunting solo that kinda sucks. You cannot just up and decide to go over yonder a ways just because you have a hunch. I mean yeah, you've got the InReach Mini with you, but you don't know if you'll even be conscious to work it when some calamity happens to you. So that's where the screenshot and sticking to the plan comes in for safety.
 

TheGDog

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Right in the trail I was on was bear shit, full of berries. I pushed my boot into it. Dry and crumbly. So I moved on. Passed about 10 more piles. Came across the next one and pushed my boot into it. It was soft. Ok no big deal. I'm making noise and calling out "Hey Bear" every couple yards. I come to another pile, this one looks different, bent down and picked up some and it was warm.

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Go back to that same trail and diligently look around that area for choke-cherry tree/bushes!!

I'm sure it's different where you are compared to down here in perpetual drought.. but out here... the choke-cherries are starting to be done and over with right about now. So using that as your sign will be over soon.

Choke-cherries are very delicious. But they have hardly any flesh to them since their wild. So the bears just woof em down whole. Hence all the pits in the scat.
 

Huntnnw

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Rockford,WA
Camping/hunting wouldn't bother me, it's when you have an elk down and have to deal with it. If you shoot an elk at dusk, you're looking at 2 hours more or less to break it down and it will be dark. Partner, non issue. Alone, that's a task and a daunting one at that.
thats where a high percentage of grizzly attacks happen is at the kill site
 

WCB

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Jun 12, 2019
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This is another major consideration. I would probably have to call a quits around noon if I didn't get into elk depending upon where I was

Tomorrow I'm going to hit as many trail heads as I can and hike a little ways in, let out some bugles and see if I can get any responses. Seems like my best bet being alone for now.

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Bears can be within easy walking distance of roads just as easy as they can be 5 miles back. Keep a clean camp and just be aware. Stop hunting around noon? It doesn't get dark until 8ish. I am in no way trying to talk you into hunting where you are uncomfortable but chances are very slim you even see a Grizz let alone tangle with one.

To the guys that solo....

How do you handle the packout?

Do you try to move/relocate the quarters away from the carcass/gutpile, or would the bears still find the quarters before gutpile?

My worry would be an evening kill, and coming back for meat, because you cannot take out in 1 trip.

If possible try to get the meat in a visible spot that you can see from a decent distance when you return. Make noise when quartering and when coming back for the next load. If you can see it from a distance not a bad idea to stop and watch for a minute or to circle to approach from the upwind side. Don't give a bear or yourself a chance to be surprised. If you can get it moved away from the carcass not a bad idea to hang it (not always and option though).

Will the bear find the quarters or the gut pile first...depends on location of each wind and where the bear comes from.
 
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grfox92

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Bears can be within easy walking distance of roads just as easy as they can be 5 miles back. Keep a clean camp and just be aware. Stop hunting around noon? It doesn't get dark until 8ish. I am in no way trying to talk you into hunting where you are uncomfortable but chances are very slim you even see a Grizz let alone tangle with one.

This was more in reference to being alone and having to pack out an elk and not about bears. It's been as high as the mid 90s the last couple of days and being able to get the meat out before dark would be a priority. But your right, noon is too early to quit. Depends on where I am.

And you are spot on about the bears being close to the roads they are constantly causing problems in the camp grounds every year, climbing on too of cars eating people's side by sides ect.



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mtwarden

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I'd definitely hunt w/ bear spray and/or a sidearm in grizzly country if archery hunting

Haul out the first load and get the rest (in game bags) up, just like you would your food bag when overnighting; this should thoroughly cool your meat and avoid having a bear on it the next day

this helps a ton getting meat up when solo

https://packapull.com
 

mavinwa2

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Res WA ST, winter>Gilbert AZ , NR>AZ, UT, NM, CO.
per your earlier question...

I move my processed/bagged elk meat, rear, front quarters, trim meat to an area at least 400 yards away from carcass remains. Hang as high in the trees as possible and upwind then 90deg cross wind of the boned skeleton. Envision a -L- path.
Move bull head to another location away from carcass and away from hung meat too.
Meat first, head last when solo. Have lots of paracord to get it all done and hung!

Solo & experienced, this takes me 3+ hours to do gutless, skinned out. Remove all meat and such as between ribs, neck, brisket, shanks. Then go to my hanging spot, GPS that location. I'll pack out tenderloins, both backstraps for sure and 1 rear quarter boned if possible.
I leave a pretty cleaned out skeleton back at gut pile remains.

And at 2>3pm, the day's hunt is done for me if Solo. Did a bull once, archery shot at 4pm, tagged by 5pm and as darkness settled in, started a good fire adjacent to my meat processing area. Campfire gave me some confidence. My Glock was in chest holster, spray in pants pocket the entire time! But Freaked me out a bit when darkness turned into blackness...no moon, no stars. Hiked out first meat load at 9pm, arriving to camp/truck just past midnight. Talk about feeling vulnerable. Returned solo next day, mid-morning, with Glock & 870 pump riot shotgun/buckshot, taking me 2 round trips to get remaining meat, skull-antlers out.
So choose to not put myself in that position again...in the blackness of the evening.

Even so doing, another year lost both bull elk's front shoulders, 1-bone in rear quarter, neck, shanks, bag trim to GRIZZ in WY couple years ago. That was a morning bull, 3 miles in/back out, packed the usual meat solo to the truck. Partner and I returned after 3pm and Bears were on the meat that was earlier left hanging in trees. Watched them thru binocs, meat bags on ground...we just walked away, got bull head and returned to my truck.

And it's not just Grizz. Lost a rear quarter, 2 bags trim to black bear & cubs in Colorado 2018.
 
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Ridge Hunter 83

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Colorado
Went out this morning and ran into a guide at a trail head. He gave me a hot tip on an area that was about a 3 mile hike and I should get into some elk.

I struck off. The trail had me side hilling along a rocky trail heading into a draw. The trail brought me to through the bottom of the draw into a creek bottom. It was full of choke cherries and I couldnt see more then 30 or so yards.

Right in the trail I was on was bear shit, full of berries. I pushed my boot into it. Dry and crumbly. So I moved on. Passed about 10 more piles. Came across the next one and pushed my boot into it. It was soft. Ok no big deal. I'm making noise and calling out "Hey Bear" every couple yards. I come to another pile, this one looks different, bent down and picked up some and it was warm.

I wasn't scared but felt it would be irresponsible of me to continue on with 3 little kids and my wife waiting back at home for me and literal steaming piles of grizzly shit on the same trail I was walking.
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I realize it's all serious but this hit me funny. "... literal steaming..." Damn funny!🤣🤣🙃🙃One thing about it, you were certainly in "the" area. The "tip" was credible. The guide could have sent you off on a trail to the nearest shopping mall... yes, they do that. He must have been an honest guide. That looks like a helluva good area!
 

Ridge Hunter 83

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Colorado
I do like the looks of that area though; that's elk country, especially that heavy cover. If a person is going to find a 7x7, the probabilities favor the heavy cover; it's dependent on several variables but that's where I'll be looking.
 

MSBowHunter

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Jan 9, 2018
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MISSISSIPPI
I've hunted the Bob Marshall, and used a solar powered electric fence at night for peace of mind. My partner and I separated one evening, and he was charged by a mother grizzly that had two cubs. Luckily, he was able to spray her at 10 feet and she retreated. I've never seen someone more scared/traumatized in my life.

Needless to say, it definitely had an impact on how hard we hunted the remainder of the week.
 

MTSasquatch

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Jul 21, 2019
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To the guys that solo....

How do you handle the packout?

Do you try to move/relocate the quarters away from the carcass/gutpile, or would the bears still find the quarters before gutpile?

My worry would be an evening kill, and coming back for meat, because you cannot take out in 1 trip.
How we’ve done it- Gutless quarter. Move and hang meat away from ground carcass and in a spot that’s more visible from a distance off, if possible. Don’t make return trips or approach meat hanging tree near twilight hours. Sit back and watch meat hanging tree for a bit before entering to grab remaining loads. Rinse. Repeat. If a bear claims the kill, it’s no longer mine, but thankfully that hasn’t happened.
 

corey006

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Jun 19, 2019
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135
As a flat lander from Sask, we only have Black Bear, while not as big as Grizzly they have more than enough power/strength to kill a human, must be a little different DNA as we rarely ever have to worry about them "claiming" a carcass.

I have had a Sow with cubs come into my Elk Calls, and once surprised a Sow and cubs less than 10 yards, she was very upset, treed the cubs, luckily I was able to back out away from her.

Before I get too old I want to do a Rocky Mountain Elk hunt, BUT in Canada that would mean a guided hunt $$$$$$ If you have to go out of province to Alberta or B.C

I have been mulling the idea of putting in for Montana Non-Resident Elk Combo draw.

One of the areas I looked at was 442(Bob Marshall)?

Am I biting off more than I can chew?...lol or possible Death Wish going as a greenhorn?

Of course I would bring Bear spray, follow common sense(no food in tent), cache food away from camp up in air.
 

mtwarden

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The advantage of the Bob Marshall (along w/ the Scapegoat & Great Bear) is that opens early for rifle- 9/15; the disadvantage is that it's huge (and rugged) country and would fathom a guess that 90% of the folks in there hunting are doing so with stock. In can be done on foot, but obviously you are limited on where (how far) you can go in.

It's far from the best elk hunting in the state, BUT it's one of the nicest places to hunt elk :)
 

corey006

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Messages
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The advantage of the Bob Marshall (along w/ the Scapegoat & Great Bear) is that opens early for rifle- 9/15; the disadvantage is that it's huge (and rugged) country and would fathom a guess that 90% of the folks in there hunting are doing so with stock. In can be done on foot, but obviously you are limited on where (how far) you can go in.

It's far from the best elk hunting in the state, BUT it's one of the nicest places to hunt elk :)
What Unit would you recommend for a Solo Green Horn, backpacking, where a "packer" would be available to help pack out?

I hope to partner up with someone but dont want to wait until I am too old to go....
 

mtwarden

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if you're looking for early season rifle (9/15 opener) District 150 and 280 in the Bob and 316 in the Absaroka-Beartooth are strictly backpack (or horse) hunts and all three districts have several outfitters that will haul game out (not sure what the going rate is nowadays)
 

MTSasquatch

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Messages
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What Unit would you recommend for a Solo Green Horn, backpacking, where a "packer" would be available to help pack out?

I hope to partner up with someone but dont want to wait until I am too old to go....
The warden brings up a good point and something folks don’t know who aren’t familiar.

On National Forest land a fella can only hire packers who are already permitted by the Forest to work the area you are needing services. It would be against the law to hire someone else out from under the area’s outfitter or guide. So it’s good to get that squared away early because if the guide you need is too booked it complicates the process. If the guide is booked, you can request through the Forest that you be allowed to hire a different guide who is already approved to provide commercial services for your needs from the Forest’s pool of approved outfitters and guides. Just an FYI
 

CoStick

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May 18, 2021
Messages
393
I would just say you need to make sure you send an email to your wife with Satellite screenshots and you annotate on the screenshot what your plans are... the travel path.

Then... when you're out there... you need to stick to that plan fairly closely, so just in case you don't report back when you say you are.. they know where to look.

That's the only part of hunting solo that kinda sucks. You cannot just up and decide to go over yonder a ways just because you have a hunch. I mean yeah, you've got the InReach Mini with you, but you don't know if you'll even be conscious to work it when some calamity happens to you. So that's where the screenshot and sticking to the plan comes in for safety.
garmin mini, just turn on tracking and they can follow your path if that is a concern.
 

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