Discover John Cole’s Outfitting, Hunting & Fishing Guide Services July 17th, 2024  

Private Land Hunts
On these hunts we are hunting the same country that is described in the rifle hunts page. The hunts are just 30 - 45 days earlier in the fall. Our archery seasons typically open the last weekend of August and run through the end of September. These hunt dates are during the elk rut. This is the time of year that the “big ole boys” are on the move. Starting the last week of August, bulls that have been in bachelor groups all summer start busting up and looking for cows. As the archery season progresses so does the rut. By the first week of September bulls are with the cows. From this point on, the frenzy of the rut is jurisdicted by the number of cows cycling. The more cows that are cycling the more frenzied the rut gets. Our area has a very high bull to cow ratio, so it gets very competitive amongst the bulls. It is not uncommon to call 5 or 6 bulls a day into bow range, when things get heated up.

We hunt 3 different hunts during the month long season.
The first hunt is geared toward ambush tactics; spot and stalk, ground blinds, tree stands and calling periodically from a set location for extended periods of time. Bulls are active, but they are more lonesome than rutty, so most of time they come in slowly and quietly. This is a hunt that about any bow hunter can due, regardless of physical condition. There is very little hiking and it is a perfect fit for mid-western or eastern hunters that are familiar with stand hunting.

On our second hunt we use most of the same tactics used on the first hunt, but being more aggressive with the calls and covering a lot more country hiking and pursuing bulls that want to talk. This is when most of the big bulls first start defending their harems and trying to add to them. There is normally a 3 or 4 day period on this hunt that the big bulls are really susceptible to a few soft cow calls coming from the edge of harem. We aren’t running bulls up and down mountains, but you need to be in good enough shape to cover some ground.

The last hunt is normally the peak of the rut and bugles can be heard almost all day long. Cows are starting to cycle on a daily basis and herd bulls are working hard to keep the satellite bulls away. A few older bulls that couldn’t defend their harems have been whipped off and are on a trot looking for other cows and herd bulls they can whip. This is when things get frenzied, and calling in multiple bulls is a common occurrence. Some of the oldest and biggest bulls we have won’t be with a harem. They just follow sent trails of cows coming into estrus, when they find them they whip anything with them, breed the cow and go looking for another. These old bulls are normally 10 years plus in age and have learned that protecting a harem for 3 weeks before anything cycles is a waste of time and energy. You need to be in good physical condition on this hunt. You and your guide will be amongst them all day long and covering a lot of miles most days. We still use some of the tactics used earlier in the season, but the most effective are calling set-ups after you have intercepted a bull that is on the move.

These hunts have consistently produced a 75%+ success rate on good bulls. My guides are all very experienced hunters and elk callers and have taken numerous successful hunters. They know the country and the animals habits, they also know bow hunting, and when to whoa and when to go.

All of my bow hunts are full service hunts; which means we provide: guides, (2 on 1 or 1 on 1, your choice when booking the hunt), all transportation after arrival, meals, lodging, care of killed game (field dressing, quartering, boning, packing, skinning, capeing, hanging in our cooler, preparation of antlers and cape for shipping). Not included in the hunt package is the processing of your meat and shipping it to you, but we can arrange to have it done locally for you.

You will be staying at our mountain camp, which consists of two small cabins and one larger two story cabin. Your meals are prepared and served, family buffet style in the lower level of the big cabin. The upper level and the smaller cabins provide semi-private sleeping quarters during your hunt. All have wood or propane heat and sleeping quarters have single beds with mattresses. There is also a shower cabin with unlimited hot water. Sorry, there are no flush toilets…. but there is a well worn path to the outhouse. All in all, this is a very comfortable camp in a very scenic and remote mountain basin. It is a common occurrence to hear bulls bugling of a night from your bunk in this camp. You will be accessing your hunting area via your guides four wheel drive from this camp each morning. We also use horses for hunters that are experienced at hunting in this manner.