Flat Tops Wilderness Guides Drop Camp Wilderness Deer & Elk Hunts
The drop camp is the soul of the wilderness outfitter. Not for the faint of heart, this do-it-yourself option was born in the age of the self sufficient hunter. All the hunter needed was the logistics of getting away from the trail-head and the help of a mule’s back getting game and supplies in/out of the deep wilderness. Camp gear has improved over time and modern technology has perfected logistics. However, the experience is mostly unchanged since its birth over a hundred years ago: We get ya packed into camps setup with all the outfitted gear, you do the huntin’, and we pack the meat.
Our Drop Camp Promise:
Nobody in the industry can match our logistics and management of the controllable variables in this business. We use the best gear, use camps that have been productive over the past 30+ years of outfitting, run top of the line stock and crew, and we will spend as much time as needed on the phone and email pre-hunt to make sure you feel ready for this experience.
**Elk tags not included in the price. Tags are $675 for non residents, during archery season tags are purchased over the counter.Rifle Drop Camp Hunts
All rifle drop camps are 7 days (1 day packin, 5 days hunting, 1 day packout). 1st season is an easy elk draw, but you must go through the draw to get a tag. The first season is a great time, with fewer hunters, better weather, and it is likely you will catch the tail end of the rut. In recent seasons, the elk were still bugling through 1st season. 4th season bulls tags are by draw but close to 100% of hunters draw without preference points. 2nd and 3rd season are over-the-counter purchased tags. By the 2nd and 3rd rifle season, you need to be prepared for the possibility of heavy snow. These later seasons can produce nice bulls that are pushed out of high elevations. The biggest variable for hunting quality is weather and snow accumulation. Every year some good high country mule deer bucks are also taken by hunters. You must draw a deer tag for the season you will be hunting if you want that opportunity. We can also focus on mule deer when it comes to camp selection, if you choose. Our 3rd and 4th season, guided lodge hunts are a good option if deer is your focus. 2nd and 3rd season drop camps are also productive. It varies year-to-year but residents can draw 3rd season buck tags with no points with nearly 100% chances. Non-residents have a 70-80% chance without points. With just 1 point, non-residents will draw a 3rd season buck tag. 2nd season tags can be drawn without points for both residents and non-residents.
We primarily hunt from our lodge in the 4th season because of the possibility of dangerous snow fall at our high elevation camps. We rarely offer drop camps during 4th season. It takes a real man to hunt third season out of the wall tent drop camps, it takes a true masochist to do it during 4th.
All of these hunts are true wilderness hunts where being in good shape and being able to bare inclement weather will pay off with the hunt of a lifetime. Hunts average 25-60%+ shot opportunity on legal bulls for those that hunt every morning and afternoon/night of their hunt. The majority of bulls are medium sized, 4-6 point animals. Roughly 1/10th of our harvested bulls score 300+. During 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons our hunters with deer tags have 40-65% shot opportunity on bucks. On our multi-species hunts, 2nd-4th rifle, it is not uncommon for hunters in good physical shape with good marksmanship skills to harvest two species.Drop Camp Archery Hunts
Archery pack-in and pack-out dates are flexible because the season is four weeks. The second week of the season and the last week (after muzzleloader is over) are the most popular times for archers. You must have a patient mindset to hunt the first week of archery season. However, some of the biggest bulls are killed in the pre-rut before they have gotten their cows together. All drop camp hunt packages are 7 days (1 day packin, 5 days hunting, 1 day packout). However, we can add days to archery drop camps at a rate of $125 per day, per hunter.
Archery season is the best time of the year to be in the Flat Tops. The weather is good and the elk are bugling. It is also the time of year where it isn’t abnormal to go an entire hunt without seeing another hunter. Our unit, 25, is one of the few Flat Top units that still offers OTC archery bull and cow tags.Muzzleloader Drop Camp Hunts
Muzzleloader is, hands down, one of the best times to be hunting elk. The season starts when the elk rut is getting into full swing. The weather is still comfortable. Tags are by draw only. For non-residents it takes 3-4 preference points, but the hunt is well worth it. Shot opportunity on legal bulls is 30-60%+ based on hunter’s persistence and weather conditions. Deer hunting can be exceptional during muzzleloader. If we have good browse growth in the high basins, you can be successful at finding nice bucks in the open. If the willow growth is minimal, the deer are harder to find in the timber pockets.