Most hunters seem to have a hard time
deciding on whether they should go on a ranch or wilderness (backcountry)
hunt. Many times there are aspects about each hunt that appeal to them,
and along with this there are some drawbacks that need to be considered.
I believe that a hunter should evaluate himself to reach the answer
about which hunt is best for him. For instance, most hunters like the
idea of a wilderness hunt because they picture themselves in a remote,
picturesque setting, looking at a big, bugling bull through a scope
at 100 yards. The same hunter often ignores careful consideration of
the fact that it is an 8 hour horseback ride to get to the base camp,
often in weather conditions that are somewhat less than ideal. This
means your actual hunting time is 2 days shorter, since 2 days are spent
going to and from camp.
A wilderness hunt is a purist experience. If you are a hunter that really
values the total experience (living in tents, drinking from streams,
travel only on foot or by horse) this hunt is for you. The weather is
usually warmer this time of year, as most wilderness hunts take place
in August and September. However, there isn't usually much tracking
snow this time of year either. Many successful wilderness hunters only
see one elk - the one they put their tag on.
Our Yellowstone area hunts have many similarities with wilderness hunts,
but some important differences as well. As in all elk hunting, there
are more than a few uncertainties, weather being a major factor. The
main difference on our ranch hunts is that the accommodations tend to
be quite a bit more civilized. Overall, more elk are seen on these hunts.
Our ranch hunts take place from late October through late November,
increasing the odds of inclement weather driving large bulls out of
hiding. Access to some hunting grounds by vehicle is an option not available
in wilderness hunting. In addition, our ranch hunts are scheduled to
allow you to take only a week off work. Since you aren't riding into
camp, you are not wasting two whole days on horseback when you could
The amount of time you have to spend, your physical condition, and how
hard you want to hunt should all be considered when planning your next