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Back country drop camp hunts (7 posts)

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Posted 02/22/201205:12 PM

In some rocky mountain states there are outfitters that offer drop camp hunts where they pack you into backcountry areas with horses, drop you off and come back and pack you and your game out for a fee. I have been interested in doing this type of hunt for years and would like to ask any readers who have done this kind of hunt what they experienced.
Joined: 03/07/08
Posts: 92
ridgerunner

Posted 02/22/201207:55 PM

I did a few several years ago.We only had to take our sleeping bag,essentials,food.They rode up to check on us every few days and to pack out any kills.Put your kills in game bags a d hang in a tree where you killed it and they would take the mules to the kill site a d load it up.4 each trip and 1 muley and 2 small elks killed.Not a lot of animals but we were up high and got snow each time and the animals moved down early in our hunts.Dont book the last hunt  Grin .A lot of fun and a good experience but I would suggest full time guide if you dont know the area and have the bucks.Roger
Faster horses,younger women,older whiskey,and more money.
Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 6314
terminator

Posted 02/22/201211:34 PM

most are using satellite phones nowadays I believe.

can allow you to access some wilderness areas etc... that otherwise you'd have to backpack into, ie with a lot more weight on your back and a lot less gear in camp, vs. a drop camp.

drop camp can certainly make things easier and save you some money too. I'd def get a good reference and book with someone quality, not just whoever you get a hold of.
Joined: 06/22/10
Posts: 393
HuskyMusky

Posted 02/23/201209:55 PM

i second that husky....
Joined: 12/29/11
Posts: 385
trappers son

Posted 02/24/201201:46 AM

I often say on a guided hunt you're not necessarily paying for a guide, you're paying for the accommodations, the tents/the camp, the cooks, the horse wranglers if there are horses, most of us know how to hunt, especially if dropped in game rich areas, a guide is nice and can help.

I've only been on guided and DIY hunts so far, never a drop camp, some friends have used drops, with nothing terrible or stellar to have to say really. I have considered drop camps, and a float trip perhaps one day in AK.
Joined: 06/22/10
Posts: 393
HuskyMusky

Posted 02/24/201204:33 AM

I have never payed anyone for a drop camp we always used our own horses.   It was  a lot of work for us,  get up at 3 in the morning feed and water the horses,  get them saddled and ready and off before daylight.    Get up in the morning and find one of the horses broke the hobbles because she was an esape artist and did it just to piss you off,   then you got to go find her which was usually just outside of camp.   Then you run into a mtn lion and the horse freaks out.   If you haven't riden in awhile your butt is so sore you can't hardly move.  That's one of the reasons a lot of outfitters have went away from horses for their clients.   Most people say oh yea we can ride,  maybe they did when they were younger or kids.  We aren't talking a leasurely ride on flat ground,   we are up and down mtns where a horse can loose footing and stumble.  I know the horse came down on a rifle one day  and put a few dents in a nice leupold,  lucky it was a pretty strong composite stock I would have probably busted a wooden stock it hit pretty hard.   

If you have never done anything like this it's pretty cool as long as you are paying someone without all the head aches they have to go thru.   We started getting older and  finally got rid of the horses and went to quads about 4 years ago.    I do sometimes miss it because you can get back into wilderness areas or areas where quads aren't allowed.    Normally we would set up a base camp we could drive to with the pick up and bull hauler stock trailer with 3 horses,  and hunt from there.  One nice thing about horses or mules and since we usually elk hunt it doesn't spook them too awfully bad.   We were pretty set-up with old sawbuck pack saddles and paniers.    My wife made up some over the saddle  heavy cordura nylon lime green paniers, (so people can see you and not take pot shots at the horses),   you  roll them up and tie them on the saddle until needed and walk the horse out when loaded.    If you get a chance for a drop camp or better yet have it catered,  these guy's know the country and pattern the animals.  and if something goes wrong they are there.   
Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 5653

Posted 02/24/201209:48 AM

+1 on everything Ron said. Horses are great for approaching elk, as they usually won't spook as you get closer. Horses can also cover a lot of ground faster than you can on foot. But it comes with a price, & that price is getting up in the middle of the night to get them ready for the day's hunt. You may have to warm up for an hour before starting out. You may want someone in camp to do help with this work.
                                                                                          Jim
Joined: 04/16/08
Posts: 428

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