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Northcentral Wyoming offers high-success trophy elk hunting during early and late rifle seasons

Long and heavy -- every elk hunter's dream

Hunt EK4420
Hunt Price per person
7-day trophy elk $3,800, one hunter per guide
Hunter success Trophy size
Usually 100%. Hunters who hold out for record book trophies seldom get a chance. Bulls harvested on this hunt have averaged 310 B&C for years. The bigger bulls score 350 to 380 B&C.
Seasons Area/terrain

North unit: Oct. 1-21. Tag holders may also hunt the second unit at this time.

South unit: Oct. 1-21 and Nov. 1-15. Early tag holders also can hunt the first unit.

Forest and wilderness land in two units near Thermopolis, Wyoming. Parts are very steep. Bowhunters in particular have a better chance if they're in good physical condition. Some hilly and relatively flat is often good during the late season.

Lodging and meals License

Not included in the price of the hunt. Customers stay in the Super 8 or the Holiday Inn in Thermpolis. The HI has a huge taxidermy display of trophies taken around the world. Several restaurants are nearby, and the HI has a five-star restaurant. Rooms were $60 to $65 a night in 2008.

Click here for updated prices. You must apply by Jan. 31. If you draw an elk tag, you can apply for a deer permit by March 15. Drawing odds vary, depending on preference points, season and regular vs special draw. Maximum preference points (three in 2009) offer 14 to 40% drawing odds.

Travel

Notes

Drive to Thermopolis or fly to Worland, Cody, Casper or Riverton. The outfitter can pick up hunters who fly, preferably in Worland or Riverton, 30 to 50 miles from Thermopolis.

Taxidermy fees, butcher fees, meals, hunting licenses and accommodations are not included in the price of the hunt.

Notice the open terrain where elk are often found during the late season.


If you've never shot an elk, it's hard to pass up a six-point like this one. Bulls average 310 and range up to 380 or so.


If you're looking for a big bull elk and don't mind trying to draw a tag, this hunt is a good choice. The outfitter operates in two wildlife management units that hold good numbers of mature bulls. These units are largely composed of public land, but because tags are limited for both residents and non-residents, many bulls get a chance to grow to maturity. Your chances of shooting a bull scoring 300 to 340 Boone and Crockett points are excellent, and there are a few bigger bulls. The outfitter's family on both sides homesteaded in the area, and he spends many days every year scouting. He said his customers seldom go home with a tag in their pocket and their bulls have averaged 310 Boone and Crockett ever since he began outfitting years ago. The bigger bulls are in the 340 to 380 class. For the past three or four years the top end bulls in the area have scored in the 370s and 380s. Just this past year the son of one of the outfitter's guides drew a tag, and he killed a bull scoring 381 B&C points. A friend of the outfitter also drew a 2008 tag and got an almost identical 381 bull only half a mile from where the boy's bull fell. Record-book elk are rare no matter where you hunt, so most hunters have a hard time passing on a 300-class animal. Customers who hold usually have a chance to take a bull in the 325 to 340 class, but clients don't get a bull over 340 every year.


380-class bull shot Oct. 1.


This hunt takes place on land that is mostly controlled by the U.S. Forest Service; some of it lies within the boundaries of a wilderness area, where non-residents cannot hunt without a licensed guide. There's a possibility of hunting both mule deer and elk together during the November season. This same area is well-known for producing big muleys and is among the more difficult areas to draw a tag in the state, but there aren't as many deer as there were a few years ago.

Early hunt is Oct. 1-21 for rifle. On the late hunt it's Nov. 1-15. 63 is not open late, just area 64. The early season is you draw, you can hunt both 63 and 64. My other guide's boy, got a 381, last year. He killed it the third week of the early season. Another buddy of mine I graduated a 381 a quarter mile away the first week. But that doesn't happen every day. Another riend killed a 375 four years ago. Drawing odds in 63-64 with all the points, I don't know if was 14 to 30% on the early season, goes up to about 40% if I remember correctly on the late season in 64. On the random draw (25% of tags) the drawing odds are 2 to 7%. The special license is $400 more, and in the random draw only two people applied for one license, and so it was 50% draw with the special.

Mule deer: they're really hurting. In fact, I think there are two guys I told to buy a point and wait till later. Somebody who really wants to put in around Thermopolis. In area 63 I have the forest and wilderness, and the wilderness they're supposed to be guided. NO, most of it is spot and stalk. If I have two hunters, I a friend take a four-wheeler or a horse. I don't have insurance for clients to get on snow machines or horses or ATvs. Throughout history we've averaged 310 B&C. If nobody's gotten an elk, they often shoot a 310. The top end ther past three or four years, the best three or four bulls were 370 to 380. There are not 380s all over. We'll kill 325s to 340s. We've gotten three or four over 360. A picky guy who doesn't mind passing some bulls, he'll probably get a chance at 325 to 340, but you don't see 340 every yar. You can combo with deer on early hunt. Early hunt is Oct. 1-21 for rifle. On the late hunt it's Nov. 1-15. 63 is not open late, just area 64. The early season is you draw, you can hunt both 63 and 64. My other guide's boy, got a 381, last year. He killed it the third week of the early season. Another buddy of mine I graduated a 381 a quarter mile away the first week. But that doesn't happen every day. Another riend killed a 375 four years ago. Drawing odds in 63-64 with all the points, I don't know if was 14 to 30% on the early season, goes up to about 40% if I remember correctly on the late season in 64. On the random draw (25% of tags) the drawing odds are 2 to 7%. The special license is $400 more, and in the random draw only two people applied for one license, and so it was 50% draw with the special.

Archery elk: Haven't had any hunters on it. Would be pretty tough. In drought years they're down with the livestock cows. It would probably be 40 to 50% success at a good trophy bull probably. I have one older gentleman who was originally from PA, and he guides for me archery only. Mostly just calling and you'll be close to a water source. If it's hot they'll go wallow. Depends a lot on physical shape of hunters becaue some of that stuff is pretty steep. Put in for Unit 63 or 64. Hunting fool put it No. 2 in state of Wyoming.