We want you to really enjoy your hunt with us this fall. The intentions of this letter are to limit any confusion about the hunt and prepare you as much as possible. Our goal is to make your hunt a great experience. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve our service to you.
Our hunts are in rough, rigorous country that is typical of the great hunting areas in North America. Walking and/or riding are mandatory. You will enjoy yourself more if you are in good condition to hike and are prepared to spend time in the saddle. We hunt as hard as you choose to hunt.
Before your hunt, practice as much as possible with your rifle or bow. You should practice shooting after you have done physical activity. I suggest you run three or four 20-yard sprints, then shoot your rifle when you are fatigued and breathing hard. We prefer large caliber rifles but make sure you are comfortable with what you shoot. We recommend 30 caliber or 7mm. When the elk are in rut sometimes you can bugle them in close, or you may have to shoot them across the drainage. Be prepared for shots of 25 to 400 yards. We recommend sighting your rifle an inch high at 100 yards. We supply quality leather gun scabbards for rifles. Bow hunters usually use slings or belt hooks to carry bows while hunting horseback. We also supply saddlebags for lunches and extra gear.
The area in which we hunt is prime habitat for elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose and black bear. The elk in this area are a resident and migratory herd. The area is rough and remote and the elk are allowed the years necessary to develop quality antlers. The landscape varies from large open meadows to lightly timbered south slopes and long benches. This area is also grizzly bear habitat, however, chances are, you won’t see a grizzly. Plan to store any extra food you may have in bear proof metal boxes in the cook tent.
Hunting each day will consist of leaving after breakfast and riding in the dark. Some days we will hunt until late morning, return to camp, and then hunt again in the late afternoon until dark. Other days we will stay out all day. Mountain goat and bighorn sheep hunter expect long days of glassing. Our guides have hunted with us for many years. They are experienced outdoorsmen and know the area extremely well. Different scenarios happen on each hunt so be alert. One time you may have all the time you need to aim and shoot but the next it may only be a few seconds. Expect the unexpected. As you know, this is what makes hunting great.
The weather in September is usually in the sixties and seventies in the day and in the thirties at night. It gets cold in October and much colder in November. It can snow in September and be mild in November. Be prepared for both extremes. We wear wool garments and water-resistant insulated hunting boots (Schnee’s or Sorrels) in the snowy months and lightweight hunting gear and Danner type hiking boots when it’s warm. Try to avoid wearing anything that is going to be loud in the woods. You need only an orange vest of 400 square inches during rifle hunting and no orange during bow season.
Hellroaring Camp is accessed by a 12-mile horseback ride. The ride in and out will consume most of two days of the eight-day hunt. Independence Camp is accessed by 4x4 vehicles and hunting will begin the day after arrival. Your sleeping conditions will be in comfortable wall tents with cots, pads, wood stoves and carpets. Propane lanterns are available, but most people prefer to use their headlamps. There will be 3 or 4 hunters per tent. We also have a shower available, which is always medicine for the weary. We will eat in a central eating tent with food served from our camp cook. The food will be hearty meals of meat, eggs, vegetables, breads, and desserts. Please let us know about any special dietary needs in advance. If you want any alcoholic spirits, remember to purchase them before you come.
We recommend a local taxidermist and butcher that are both very good, and we will be happy to transport your animals to them.
We want to concentrate on your hunting trip the same as you, so please take care of all business transactions by the listed deadlines.
The most important thing to remember is a great attitude. Be ready to enjoy a great experience, a great fair chase hunt and the special things the mountains have to offer.
Cameron S. Mayo