10 Best Public Lands for Elk

Oma H. Barnett

Montana Beaverhead-Deer Lodge: The forest outside Dillon, which encompasses several mountain ranges, offers numerous hunter-­access points while also providing elk security cover. Fifty percent of the elk harvest comes from Region 3 in the southwest part of the state.

Colorado White River: Is very heavily hunted, but there’s an abundant elk population and good access. Some bigger bulls live in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area of this tract, but it’s all thin air and you can get plenty of snow very quickly here.

Idaho St. Joe: This forest in the southern Panhandle region is among the best places in any state to score with a bow, the adjoining Clear­water National Forest is just as good. You’ll need either a GPS and a good map to keep from getting lost in these deep woods, No worries about trespassing.

Wyoming Bridger-Teton: Near Jackson, the forest allows access to some of the prettiest alpine basin country in the world. Offering an abundant supply of elk.

Wyoming Shoshone: Bear tooth Mountains offer classic wilderness elk hunting. There are good populations of bulls in big country all along the North Fork of the Shoshone River and Sunlight Basin.

Arizona Coconino: Pine Grove and Rattlesnake Quiet areas in 6A offer what are some of the biggest bulls in the planet. This is travel on foot area. No motor vehicles are allowed.

Washington Wenaha – Tucannon Wilderness: Bull elk ratios are finally on the upswing in the famous Blue Mountains of southeast Washington. Tags restrict hunters to spikes, but if you draw a coveted any-bull tag, you’ll have a chance for a trophy in the road less areas in this area of the Umatilla National Forest.

Utah Ashley National Forest: The state vies with Arizona for the best public-land elk hunting, and residents sometimes find a plentiful supply of un-drawn tags, including spike-bull permits. The Uinta Mountain area in this forest is a great choice among any bull areas

Oregon Siuslaw National Forest:Western Oregon. The Siuslaw and Alsea units in the Siuslaw National Forest offer good chances for hunters who are willing to put up with a lot of rain do a little legwork.

New Mexico Cibola National Forest, Santa Fé: Low-percentage, limited-draw hunts are the rule in New Mexico, but big bulls are the prize. Tags for the Zuñi Mountains and Mount Taylor areas in Cibola and in the Jemez area in Santa Fé are a bit easier to draw than the coveted tags in the Gila National Forest to the south.

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