Hunting FAQ

Please refer to the following information as you plan your trip to the Motherwell Ranch and Hunting Lodge.

 

1.  WHERE IS THE RANCH LOCATED?

The Motherwell Ranch and Hunting Lodge is located just south of the town of Hayden in Northwest Colorado.  Hayden is situated halfway between Steamboat Springs and Craig, Colorado.

 

 2.  WHAT TYPE OF BULL CAN I EXPECT TO HARVEST ON A FREE RANGE ELK HUNT?

This region plays home to one of the largest elk herds in North America.  The State of Colorado manages this herd for quantity, therefore the elk are plentiful and active.  On average guests can expect to harvest a nice 5x5 bull elk.  We provide this as an average because some guests harvest smaller than 5x5 bulls and some guests harvest larger 6x6 bulls.  Hunting elk in this region is not typically clasified as a trophy hunt opportunity - rather a fun, exciting and rewarding elk hunting experience.  Please visit our FREE RANGE PHOTO GALLERY for examples of typically harvested bulls.

 

 3.  WHAT TYPE OF BULL CAN I EXPECT TO HARVEST ON A HIGH FENCE TROPHY PARK HUNT?

The package you book determines the type of bull you will hunt.  These packages are based on 25" incriments.  Therefore, as an example, on the up to 350" package you can expect to harvest a bull somewhere in the 325"-350" range.  On the up to 375" package you can expect to harvest a bull somewhere between 350"-375", etc.  Please refer to our TROPHY PARK ELK HUNTS for more information about our packages and to view images of harvested bulls.

 

 4.  WHAT TYPE OF BUCK CAN I EXPECT TO HARVEST ON A MULE DEER HUNT?

As an average guests can expect to harvest a 4x4 mule deer buck in the 125-150" range.  However, the local deer herd seems to be improving and each year we see better and better bucks.  While we cannot represent it as an average, we do harvest a few 170" or better bucks each season.  Maybe you will be the lucky one!  Please visit our MULE DEER BUCK PHOTO GALLERY for representations of typically harvested bucks.

 

5 .  WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE AT THE MOTHERWELL RANCH?

We are proud to have a consistent track record of darn near a 100% opportunity rate.  Opportunity meaning that each guests sees plenty of game and has the opportunity of harvesting.  If a guest doesn't harvest, it is generally a result of passing on smaller animals or missing a shot.  There are never any guarantees in hunting, but we work hard for our guests and pride ourselves on getting our guests onto plenty of game throughout their experience with us.

 

6 .  WHAT IS THE GUEST TO GUIDE RATIO?

We send no more than two hunters per one guide.  Often times we even end up one on one as other hunters in camp harvest their animals and guides become available.  The bottom line is that we care, and we do everything that we can to help you be successful in your hunt.  

 

 7.  WHAT TYPE OF HUNTING CAN I EXPECT?  HIKING?  HORSES?  ATV'S?  SIT IN BLINDS?  SPOT AND STALK?

The Hunting Lodge at the Motherwell Ranch is located at 8,700'...right in the middle of prime hunting habitat.  Therefore we do not use horses to pack in or out.  You generally will leave the lodge with your guide in a truck or ATV and drive a short distance.  From there you will make a walk to your hunting area.  We use a variety of tactics including natural ground blinds and spot and stalk.  We hunt the mornings and take the mid-day off to allow the wildlife to move securely into their bedding areas.  Then we hunt again in the evenings.  Throughout your hunt you can expect to experience a variety of different strategies and tactics.  

 

 8.  I AM NOT VERY PHYSICALLY ABLE OR IN GREAT SHAPE.  WILL THAT BE A PROBLEM?

Our guides excel at designing a hunt and strategy that caters to the specific needs or limitations of the hunter.  If you are limited in your mobility, we should still be able to put you into successful hunting situations.  We have accommodated everything from youth, to elderly to disabled hunters.

 

 9.  CAN I HAVE A SPOUSE OR NON-HUNTER JOIN ME?

Yes!  We have a number of spouses and other non-hunting companions accompany hunters.  Sometimes they simply enjoy relaxing at the lodge while other times they tag along in the field.  Either way, they are welcome.  The package price for a non-hunting guest is $1,000 all-inclusive (lodging, meals, and some ranch activities such as fishing, etc.).

 

 10.  WHAT KIND OF SHOTS WILL I BE TAKING?

We recommend that you feel comfortable with a rifle out to 250 - 300 yards.  With a bow we suggest that you feel confident to 50 yards.  Your guide will work hard to put you into the best situations given your shooting ability, but it never hurts to be as practiced as possible!

 

 11.  WHAT CALIBER RIFLE O YOU RECOMMEND I BRING AND WHAT GRAIN BULLET?

A variety of rifles are appropriate for both elk and mule deer hunting.  We might suggest 30.06, 300, etc.  with a 130-180 grain bullet.  We suggest that you site your rifle with the particular bullet load you purchase before you arrive.  We will also encourage you to shoot your rifle at our range upon your arrival to ensure that your rifle traveled well.

 

 12.  DOES THE RANCH HAVE A RIFLE I CAN USE?

Most guests bring their own rifles, but under certain circumstances the Ranch does have rifles and ammunition available for your use.

 

 13.  WHAT TYPE OF CLOTHING, GEAR AND EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO BRING?

Please refer to our SUGGESTED PACKING LIST.

 

 14.  WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO AT THE RANCH DURING MY STAY?

Your entire experience at the Ranch is important to us...both in the field, around the lodge and during other free time.  We have a variety of other things for you to enjoy while you are here including fishing on our private lake and stream, hiking, sporting clays, photography, horseback riding, etc.  In room private message therapy can also be arranged with a local licensed massage therapist.

 

 15.  HOW DO I COORDINATE MY TRAVEL, ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE?

If you plan on flying, the closest airport is Yampa Valley Regional (HDN) and we provide complimentary shuttle service to and from there.  If you are driving, map and directions can be found HERE.   Check-In is generally after 2:00 pm on the day of your scheduled arrival.  Check-Out is typically before 10:00 am on the day of your scheduled departure.  Please coordinate your travel plans with a ranch representative in advance so that we can make preparations accordingly.

 

 16.  WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF MY HUNT?

The package price of your hunt includes lodging, food & beverage, hunting guide(s) and additional ranch activities such as fishing, etc.  The price of your hunt also includes proper field care of your harvested game.  Not included in your hunting package is travel to and from the ranch, applicable hunting licenses, meat processing, taxidermy, staff gratuity, etc.

 

 17.  WHAT KIND OF HUNTING LICENSES DO I NEED?

The type of hunting license(s) that you need will depend on the type of hunt you are participating in.  High fence trophy elk hunts DO NOT require hunting licenses.  All free range hunts (both Elk and Deer) require hunting licenses.  All predator hunts (bear, mountain lion, coyote) require hunting licenses. Some licenses (such as mule deer and bear) may require that you enter a draw before April 1st.  For information regarding Colorado Hunting Seasons, Licenses and requirements, please visit:  COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE.

 

 18.  DOES THE RANCH OFFER GROUP DISCOUNTS?  CAN MY GROUP BOOK THE LODGE EXCLUSIVELY?

We are willing to provide parties of four or more hunters with a group discount.  Upon availability the lodge can be booked exclusively for a minimum group size of 9 hunters.

 

 19.  WHAT IS THE BEST PLAN FOR THE MEAT FROM MY HARVESTED ANIMAL?

We take great pride and a sense of responsibility in ensuring that the meat from your harvested animal is properly cared for.  We handle all field care and transport the animal expeditiously to a preferred local meat processor.  There they process your animal per your specifications and in a quality manner.  Your meat is packaged, frozen and ready for you to pick-up, or you can have it shipped to your home.  For more information about meat processing please visit:  BROTHER'S CUSTOM PROCESSING.

 

20.  WHAT ABOUT TAXIDERMY?

You are welcome to use a taxidermist of your choice.  However, we highly recommend MOUNTAIN MAN TAXIDERMY as they are proven and take great care of Motherwell customers.