Watrous Valley is dedicated to the conservation of our resident pronghorn and elk herds. Our mission is to use sustainable conservation practices to improve and manage our wildlife herd and their environment in order to produce trophy-quality animals. The ranch holds 350-400 elk year-round, and about 200 pronghorn. About 50% of the ranch is prime elk habitat.
The ranch takes between 8-10 bull elk hunters per year, 6 pronghorn hunters as well as 15-20 cow elk hunters. Mature bull elk begin to move onto the ranch in July and August as they are ramping up for the rut. Once the rut starts we will see new bulls every day that will generally stay until post-rut around October 10-15th. All of our bull hunts are hosted during the pre-rut and the rut time period. Overall we have a very high success rate and have gone 100% on hunter opportunity to harvest a bull. The pronghorn hunts fall in late August and coincide with the state game office’s specified dates. Our success rate on pronghorn is 100%.
All of our bull elk and pronghorn hunts are guided with meals and lodging included. The hunting lodge is a large 5 bedroom 5 bathroom residence, that was originally the old owner’s residence. The lodge is spacy and has all of the amenities of home right from camp. We hire a professional chef for each of these hunts to ensure the food is always 5-star! The guides live and work on the ranch year-round and know every corner of the range and how the elk use the landscape. Most hunts are 1 on 1 but depending on the group we are willing to go up to 2 on 1 guiding for the hunts.
The guides on the ranch are professional and well-versed about the ranch and how the wildlife uses and travels it. The terrain on the ranch ranges from lazy rolling hills with stands of pinon and juniper, to cottonwood river bottoms and some tall pines. Hunters can expect to walk an average of 4 miles a day and not increase or decrease elevation by more than 300ft it is very easy walking! There is some glassing involved but because of the terrain the technique mainly used is listening and stalking. The ranch has a complex road system and is very vehicle friendly, the large majority of the elk harvests involve no pack out. Our trucks are outfitted with winches to pull the elk up onto the truck. The lodge headquarters is completely set up with an A-frame and walk-in cooler to take care of harvested animals. The guides are experts in meat cutting and do their best to ensure the client’s meat is well taken care of and clean. The guides and lodge staff are motivated to create the very best experience for all clientele and work hard to ensure each hunt is successful and fun.