I take 3 weeks for elk in September, this year 2 will be spent calling for a friend and 1 will be hunting myself and boys. Planning two antelope hunts, 1 week (8 days each), deer for my son 8 days and 8 days for another muzzleloader deer hunt this fall.
Hoping to bank some hours by filling antelope and archery tags sooner but you never know. I’ll most likely be sitting water in NV so hope I find a good spot and fill the tag quick, the next antelope we have two youth rifle tags so hope that is relatively quick as well. My buddy has a OIL archery elk tag so it could be over in a day or take the whole two weeks depending on how picky he is. The rest of archery will be used between me and my two boys, it’s pretty unlikely we will fill a four archery elk tags and an archery deer tag so we will probably use all of Sept. The rifle deer hunt is on private and if there are good bucks around it could be over quick although last year it took about 7 days, with this wet spring I anticipate more larger bucks though, last year the big drought displaced a lot of animals. The muzzleloader hunt we have 3 tags and only plan on shooting mature bucks so it will take the full 8 days, it’s also a wall tent hunt in cold weather so it’s a fun nostalgic hunt.
17 days = Fly out west day, 2 days packing for tent camp, drive day, set up camp day, set up camp day two and scout, hunt 5 days, take down camp and drive day, drive day two, unpack camp gear day, clean and store hunt gear day, extra day for butcher etc, fly home day.
If PTO/life weren't a factor I'd move out there for September and hunt the few best weather days each week and do something else the other days. I've only done 3 elk trips but I can draw a sharp line in the amount of opportunities/close calls I've had based on the weather.
I leave Friday and come back the following Sunday every year regardless of location. So trips with longer drive times seem a little short especially after spending all year obsessing over it. It's hard for me to leave my job for more than a week at a time (logistically not because i miss it) so I'm stuck to this schedule for now. Someday I'm going to have more freedom to do longer trips
When I was working I used every vacation day I had to add to every holiday being offered. For some reason, the demand for my time increased as winter approached. They would get as frantic as moths at a light.
I found that if I just disappeared in mid-October my life got better and the public got better at planning.
Now that I am retired, I find the demand for my time is even worse. I just finished 5 weeks of 7 days a week, ten hr days. I think this is my last.
I hunt every day the season is open. When it is warm and poor hunting - I have been known to take a nap on an outcrop. Even killed an elk one time that came to look at my horse. If I kill something early then I spend the rest of the season scouting new land and adjacent areas to blocks I already know.
Hunting is primarily for food followed by sanity relief. A period when the time is mine. Last year I was in the woods for six weeks. Even my horses were looking for a break.