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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of booking an elk hunting trip to a preserve in Pa. It is at the wild elk ranch www.wildelkranch.com in wellsboro Pa. I would appreciate some of you veteran hunters checking out the site to tell me if this is a cheezy sleezy lowbrow hunt or if it passes the fair hunt smell test.

Thanks
Dave:boat:
 

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A damned pen calling itself the "Wild Elk Ranch".
Now THAT"S funny!

You'll most likely shoot one,but please don't call it hunting.

If you want to HUNT, get a cow tag out west.Relatively cheap and easy to pull,while you're accumulating points for a bull hunt in a good unit.(I'm at 11 years/points and still waiting!) Or pony up the big $$$ for a fully guided,landowner tag.
 

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They refer to their operation as a private ranch with wild roaming elk. I see two issues here.

If they are not fenced in and are truly wild then PA already has an established Elk Season through a lottery process.

That leaves the issue of it probably being fenced. That being said I wonder what the property size is. I was boar hunting at a preserve that had approx. 1000 acres on each parcel and let me tell you, the elk were free to roam wherever and whenever and were not confined to pens at all. HOWEVER, to say that they resembled animals in a petting zoo was an understatement.

Unless this ranch has some 5000 acres or more (7 Sq miles), really 10,000 or more I wouldn't even consider it a challenge, nor worth the money except to say "Look what I killed, isn't it pretty?"
 

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If it's in a pen, it says it all you may as well go out in the back yard and shoot your pet it's no different.

if you're willing to spend $4K why not go out west and do the real thing? cow elk hunts out west are almost a guaranteed thing and they are only $800 to 1250.00 depending on where you go. a low budget elk hunt is do-able for around 4k or a little more.

the only fair chase elk hunts are out west. even PA's heard doesn't have hunting pressure so the hardest thing there is getting a tag.
 

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Before some of you respond in the future, please give your response just a little thought. I may not agree with ranch/pen hunting myself, but for some this is there only option. Read each of the responses above and relate them to someone who is handicapped, elderly, unable to travel out west, unable to cover vast distances or simply just wants to harvest an elk because it fills a void in their life. Sometimes thinking outside the box does everybody a favor. Not everybody has the oppurtunity to be perfect as most of the responders seem to be; wait a minute, you guys are not perfect as most of you related to killing cow elk (it's easy, guaranteed out west). Your responses reveal the true sportsman in most of you, or lack there of.
 

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I think your best bet learning what you will get out it is to ask for references from the people who they have listed as testimonials. If they won't give any information out, then be concerned.

Mike
 

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WEHNTM,
I'm sorry for the wise crack; it appears to be an exelant opportunity for someone who could not participate in a traditional method of far chase hunting. I'm sure the accommodations and methods depicted within the website are accurate and well explained. The company has a well established reputation through out the east for being one of the only Wild Elk Herds with the exception of the Western Kentucky and Virginia. Their prices are affordable for any non profit charity, visa gold carrier or retired sitting around with nothing better to spend their money on but I'm sure the comfort and accomplishment of having the Elk Shoulder Mount as a reminder of the excellent experience of a professionally guided hunt for witch they will treasure for a lifetime.
 

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Before some of you respond in the future, please give your response just a little thought. I may not agree with ranch/pen hunting myself, but for some this is there only option. Read each of the responses above and relate them to someone who is handicapped, elderly, unable to travel out west, unable to cover vast distances or simply just wants to harvest an elk because it fills a void in their life. Sometimes thinking outside the box does everybody a favor. Not everybody has the oppurtunity to be perfect as most of the responders seem to be; wait a minute, you guys are not perfect as most of you related to killing cow elk (it's easy, guaranteed out west). Your responses reveal the true sportsman in most of you, or lack there of.
I wouldn't fault anybody for shooting a cow elk. I wouldn't personally do it, but thinning the heard so disease and starvation doesn't enter into the picture sure doesn't you less of a sporstman. There are plenty of handycapped hunts out west thru outfitters, both antlered and antlerless. my point being antlerless is a ton easier due to the bull to cow ratio especially in colorado.

I don't know about you, but I do go out west and I do know that there are tons of opportunities out there, reguardless of your physical conditions or limitations. If you have a positive mental state you can do anything. you can stay on the couch and piss and moan about excusses or you can get out there and let the big dawg eat.
 

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I do get out and let the big dog eat also. I certainly agree there is no better rush than getting it done the right way, but on the other hand I also spend alot of my efforts/time ensuring the succes of others. My initial post was an attempt to help some see things from the other side. We are/should be like a brotherhood supporting the sport and others, not degrading others to make ourselves feel better. I am at a point with my duck hunting, where I generally just call, back up shoot and work my dog. When it comes to big game hunting, sure I want the biggest and the baddest, but seeing a kid or someone less fortunate achieve their ultimate goal; there is nothing that will compare to being thanked for their success.
 

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I agree a 100% with your last post. I'm just 200% against game farms or preserves. To me there is nothing at all sporting about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the opinions

A wonderfully diverse set of opinions. I am still not sure if I am going on this hunt, but I am considering it. I just talked to the guy. Says he has 1000+ acres with a herd established 12 yrs ago which self propagates. He says the elk act wild and run like hell from humans, but he has alot of them accounting for a high success rate. My first choice would be going to wyoming if it didn't take three planes and a lottery for a permit. Of course if someone in the future is admiring the 8x7 on my wall, I will tell them that I drove to northern Montana, camped out in a tree for 10 days fighting off wolves and cougar before stalking and spearing ELKUS MAXIMUS with my bare hands, and drinking down his still warm blood with some improvised undistilled corn liquor.
 

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FYI, 2 planes, from here, BWI or DULLES to DENVER, then puddle jumper to your destination and it's only $400 to $500 round trip ( UNITED).

Colorado has a draw and its pretty easy to get a tag. Archery is I think still over the counter.

Wyoming is one of the more expensive states you want to apply for. Regular tag is in the mid to high $400. and the Special is in the $900.00 range.

Not to burst you bubble but anybody who elk hunts knows that a 8 x7 in the real hunting world is a needle in a haystack or on an indian reservation in NM, AZ or Nevada.

Those hunts are fair chase but 2 of us normal guys put together still can't afford that type of hunt. They are way over $10K.

I got a trophy ranch that is a working cattle ranch, it takes a few guided hunters every year but does not advertise. I did a ton of research to find it, but it's got horrible draw odds. The hard part is getting a tag, it could take 5 to 10 yrs to get a tag, but when I do,
I'll get a 350 + , 6x6 or 6x7 "fair chase"

Those are the realistic pigs that are out there in today's "FAIR CHASE" world.

If you want help on a fair chase hunt, I'll do want I can to help put you on a "real hunt".
 

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Capuzzi do whatever you want,you dont have to be judged by anyone on this board.If it is legal and that is what you want to do,more power to you!
 

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Man it is all in what you are after. Go for it if it suits you! Those that push their beliefs on others are just pissing in the wind in my book.
 

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Another thought- elk is excellent meat, and tends to come in "sams club sized" packages, regardless of what's on its head and how it was killed. If you are interested in a freezer full of elk meat, in my book that's major justification for pursuing any game. (If you aren't interested in elk meat, and you go anyway, let me know and I'll be happy to take some of it off your hands.)

As for the rest, there are some people that might suggest shooting a whitetail on a corn pile with a rifle is not sporting, but you better believe that many such bucks have been sent to the taxidermist. You could also argue that hunting animals during the rut makes it unfair, or hunting out of treestands, or using modern weapons, etc. Sure, I'd like to belly crawl up on a Grizzly Bear with a homemade bow and arrow, but I'm no Tred Barta.

Bottom line is whatever you do, do it legally and humanely, and if you feel comfortable with the ethical side, fine. Personally, I equate preserve hunting with a trip to the grocery store: I avoid both activities when possible, but I'm not turning my nose up at the dinner table.
 

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Actually, looked at the website and they do certainly talk a good game. But $4k for a little one, $6K for a medium, $8K for a big one? I think for that $$$ I'd head west and take my chances. Capuzzi- let us know how it works out if you go. Or better yet, invite me over for elk steaks!
 

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WEHNTM,

I understand your points completely. I just jumped the gun when I read the post. My apologies. I spent 4 years in New Mexico, so i'm just accustomed to the fair chase thing and know of the problems with the herded fenced deer in Texas. Its a major problem in too many ways, but is very over looked. Best of luck in your pursuits and invite us all over for some elk steaks.

K
 
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