Why on earth would anyone want to pay to go on a “spike only” elk hunt?
“Trophy” hunters may wonder to themselves…possibly out loud, why on earth would anyone pay to go on a spike only elk hunt? Well, as one who has been blessed to be raised out west chasing elk for the past 32 years, I feel reasonably qualified to answer that question and offer below 10 of my reasons one may be willing to not only hunt, but pay an outfitter for a spike only elk hunt.
10 Reasons you would want to spend money on a Spike Only Elk Hunt
- Opportunity – In my mind, the term “sportsman” or “hunter” applies to that someone who wants to hunt. He…or she does not want to “wait for the results of the draw” or apply in several states to see if they are “lucky enough” to be able to hunt. These sportsmen just want the opportunity to be out in the woods with their friends and family enjoying all the benefits that a week in the elk woods offer
- To See Lots and Lots of Elk – Where we guide, you will see more elk in a week than you may see in a lifetime hunting general season “any bull” areas.
- Education – By seeing lots of elk in a brief time and seeing mature bulls interacting with cows during the rut, this allows you the opportunity to see elk behavior and witness elk vocalization first hand. This type of education is not always available during general season hunts. Usually in general season units, once a bull shows itself that is when the shooting begins.
- Education – Some hunters are new to the game or have tried a few times and “didn’t even see an elk”…that is a story we hear more often than not. It gives a neophyte to the sport of elk hunting a chance to learn directly from guides who have many years’ elk hunting experience. Even if you end up with one of our younger guides, he or she has probably spent many a fall in the elk woods chasing the elusive wapiti and has been taught first hand by parents and/or grandparents the finer art of elk hunting, and he or she is more than happy to share that knowledge with you.
- Scouting Opportunity – We hunt an area for spikes that may take upwards of 15 years to draw for a big bull tag, and maybe you are getting close and would like to give a “once over” to the area in which you are applying. You will hunt the same country on the same stock, stay in the same camp and sleep in the same tents we use for our “trophy hunts” for almost half the price. You will be able to see the area and quality of bulls in the area, and from that you will be able to make a more educated decision about whether you want to continue (maybe use one of these: to register, to petition, to apply) for this area. Even if you decide to use us for the time, you will finally see that letter in the mail that says “successful for hunt number XXX.”
- Organic Meat – That’s right. In my opinion, you can’t get more “organic” than wild game. Its health benefits have been made abundantly clear and again in my opinion, there is nothing finer than a nice elk steak…with some wild asparagus and home grown squash of course.
- Practice – This is a lot like the education element, except now you have read the books, listened to the tapes, bought the T-shirt, and now you want to go out and practice. We are happy to oblige. If you see a big bull and want to do your best to call it in, have at ‘er. If you “screw up the set-up,” you haven’t lost a thing and have gained some valuable experience to apply to the next bull. You may even be able to discuss with your guide what you might have done differently or better.
- Experience – You have always wanted to experience elk hunting the way elk hunting should be done…packed in on mules and horses, staying in wall tents and hunting while the elk are bugling! Those are the only kind of hunts we offer here in Utah (Idaho???). Horseback, pack-in elk hunts.
- Economical Elk Hunting Experience – Again you have always wanted that pack-in elk hunting experience, but could not or would not shell out 4 thousand, 5 thousand and in some places even more to hunt and learn about western elk hunting. Our spike only elk hunts are possibly some of the most affordable elk hunts in the west. Especially when you look at the length of time and the fact that it is a full blown western pack-in elk hunt.
- Youth Opportunity – You want to expose a youth hunter to the joys of hunting bugling bull elk…but want to be able to afford the journey. We are outfitters and guides because someone in our past shared their love of hunting elk with us. We love to share the woods with youth hunters too, but “life” require us to charge. For the price of an “average” western pack-in elk hunting experience, you can take you and a youth on a quality pack-in elk hunt and share the woods with a youth who may become as addicted to the sound of a bugling bull as you are!
These “reasons” are not all inclusive and maybe you can come up with a few of your own, either way I genuinely hope it has at least caused you to pause and consider the value of a hunting spike only elk hunts if nothing else, when there are no other hunts available.