How To Prepare For Guided Elk Hunts

Wondering how to prepare for guided elk hunts? A guided elk hunting trip can be the trip of a lifetime and can provide a lifetime of memories. Proper planning is the key to the success to preparing for a guided elk hunt. The more work you put in initially, the more you will likely get out of it.

Items needed to prepare for a guided elk hunt.

  • Computer
  • Telephone
  • Credit card
  • Weapon
  • Gear appropriate to the weapon selected
  • Targets
  • Any recommended camping gear
  • Hunting clothing
  • Spiral notebook

This is just a basic list. Hunters will fill it out according to their needs, the specific hunt, and the recommendations of their guide.

The process of planning a guided elk hunt will go something like this.

  1. Get in shape.  Elk are large animals which normally live in rough country. Being in good shape is helpful. Start a good exercise regime if you are not already, include a lot of cardio, like walking and hiking long distances.
  2. Start a notebook.  Buy a spiral notebook and start writing out lists of equipment, questions, and anything else you need to remember. A spiral notebook will keep everything organized and be easy to reference later. Make sure to check off lists as you fulfill them.
  3. Determine a hunting area.  Start researching areas you wish to plan your guided elk hunt in. Learn about their seasons, what type of hunting is allowed, everything you can about it. A good resource is the state Department of Natural Resources, or your particular state's equivilent.
  4. Find local guides.  Once you have selected an area you can find a guide. Use the Internet, DNR, local better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and any resource you can find to locate possible candidates to guide your elk hunt.
  5. Research guide candidates.  Get and check references for candidates. Talk to them on the telephone. Find out what services they offer, what gear they recommend and what they provide versus what you will need to provide. Also ask if they guide hunters using the equipment you want to use. Make sure to tell them about any possible special needs you may have, especially medical ones.
  6. Book hunt.  Book hunts in advance to insure you get the guide you want. Book flights, hotels, car rentals, and any other items well in advance. Make sure to enter into license lotteries early if they apply. Make sure to purchase licenses or make arrangements to do so upon arrival.
  7. Study elk.  Use online and library resources to study elk hunting. Find out everything you can about your prey, including hunting strategies and calling techniques.
  8. Follow guides advice. Right from the start ask for and follow your guides advice. He will expect you to be prepared to some extent and you should be ready to his expectations when you arrive.
  9. Buy gear.  Buy any gear you do not have for the hunt. The guide can help you with lists of recommended gear, and even brands if you do not have your own preferences. He knows what works in his area, use his experience.
  10. Practice with gear.  Practice shooting your weapon at elk-sized targets, it can be a lot different than deer-sized game. Practice using your hunting and camping equipment. Make sure that everything works as advertised, and that you know how to use it. Sitting in a cold camp in a rain storm is no time to learn how to put up a tent, or start a stove.
  11. Check off lists as you prepare and pack.  The best way to make sure you do not forget an important detail or piece of equipment is making and using lists. Check off each item as you complete it. Any unchecked items should be examined carefully before leaving.
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