WELDER OUTFITTING SERVICES, January 2015
Every year we try to extract a little more knowledge and wisdom from our guiding and hunting experiences in the back country.
Gear seems to be always at the top of the list but this past fall it drew special focus from our guides. Maybe it’s because we have a broader selection of gear available to us or maybe it’s because we’re sick of having water soaking through our boots and outer shells. We’ve spent many a stormy day under the branches of a big tree building fires and wringing out our wet socks (sometimes even with the best gear). Today there’s more options and opportunity to be "happy" when out on the mountain. We’ll be posting a "gear evaluation" on the welderoutfitter site. Check it out.
(Above: Shawn and pack horse ready to head down the mountain; this horse will follow the lead saddle horse)
This past fall was our 27th year at Welder outfitting Services. Brian and I were in our mid 20’s when we started our little outfitting service. Part of me never thought would make it past the 1st year, then the 2nd, year, then the 3rd, and here we are today, a long ways from 1988. I was guessing we have provided outfitting services for over 2,000 hunters during that time. Some, like Dave Majewski, have hunted with us for all 28 years. In 2014 over ½ our clients were return hunters. THANKS!!
This past fall was a challenging year and I felt like every bull we took, we earned. Archery season produced fewer harvests then in 2013 but the guides gave almost 20 shots to the clients. That was almost the same number of shots as the year before but only half of the 10 elk taken in 2013.
The first rifle season sometimes brings too many hunters into the country but we still have the most consistent success. Some nice bulls were taken during that hunt but, the second season produced the most harvests for 2014 where we had 10 guided kills.
Mild condition between fronts always encourages the elk to hold up. When they do, there are no tracks and elk hunting becomes more challenging. The third and forth. Seasons were less productive then average years for us but we did have some great moments.
Guides Karl and Colt ended the last two seasons (sometimes in below zero temps) with success and our last Log Springs camp took 3 out of 4 bulls! The biggest was a 300 class. The other 300 class bull was taken by Paul Elson second season, guided by Karl Maser. "Colt" Andrews deserves a BIG note. Over the past few seasons he has guided, this past fall was his best year with an impressive record of success both guiding and hunting.
Kolin (19), in he’s 2nd year of guiding hunters and JR, in his 16th year of guiding for Welder outfitting, have been such a great help to make for great guide staff.
Every member of Welder outfitting has been a big part making us who we are, so big thanks to Valerie, Daun, David, Deanna, John Rogers, Clark, and my brother Brian, too!!
We operate in GMU 24 in the upper White River National Forest in and around the Flat Tops Wilderness. Our hunting area can be found on the Ripple Creek quad of a 7.5 minute U.S.G.S. map. We pack clients from nearby trailheads.
Our camps are at 10,000 feet elevation both north and south of the White River. Our guided hunters stay with us down the valley, hunting from horseback and foot during the day and enjoying great food and stories around the fire at night. We provide at least one guide for every two hunters. We access hunting areas along the White River and through the Welder ranch. Our 120 acres on the White River gives you direct access to a lifetime of great hunting and fishing of the Flat Tops. These are high elevation hunts (from 7,500 to 11,000 feet) in rugged terrain, so be prepared.
2015 Hunting Season Dates
Archery: Deer/Elk 8/29-2/27
Muzzleloader: Deer/Elk 9/12-9/20
Rifle 1st Season: 10/10-10/14
Rifle 2nd Season: 10/17-10/25
Rifle 3rd Season: 10/31-11/08
Rifle 4th Season: 11/11-11/15
Moose Season is divided into three seasons:
a. Archery: 9/12-9/27
b. Muzzleloader: 9/12-9/20
c. Rifle: 10/01-10/14
Remember, you must have a hunter safety card if you were born after January 1st, 1949. We would be happy to assist you with Division of Wildlife regulations and the application process. Non-resident bull tags are just under $600. There are plenty of cow tags again this year and they can be drawn for just over $350. Resident tags are $46.00. Game processing is available locally. Although Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has not yet been detected in our unit, we encourage hunters to have their animals tested as have most of our clients.
Make sure to visit our Photo galleries while you're here - you'll enjoy seeing the photos from last year's hunts, and there's plenty from previous years, too! Just click on the Photos link at the top of the page to get there.
If you are planning to hunt with the Welders this fall, please make your reservations so that we can insure that your hunt and service is available.
For Licenses, Packing Lists, Maps, and much more, please visit our site at welderoutfitters.com.
See you in camp!