Update on Hunting with Rick Hankins of Western Frontier Adventures


Published: February - 2011

It is time to update my March 2008 report (Article ID 2027 in our E-mail Extra Database) on Rick Hankins, owner of Western Frontier Adventures (775-591-0345; or 775-296-1522; www.westernfrontieradv.com). Hankins is one of the more successful outfitters in Nevada. He conducts his elk and deer hunts primarily around his ranch near Ely in eastern Nevada, although he also provides bear and cougar hunts in Idaho.

Hankins is primarily known for producing big, free-range elk for his clients, and, this season, all of his elk hunters were successful. He targets bulls scoring at least 350 SCI, however, clients kill larger bulls every year. The largest tagged this year gross-scored 374, the smallest 335. Hankins also says they see a few "mega bulls" in the 380-class or larger every year, and they have killed some of these monsters. Clients can expect to look over many bulls before pulling the trigger; this season, one hunter saw 65 to 70 bulls, including 18 in one day.

There are a couple of good reasons for Hankins' success on elk. First, he is hunting four designated Wilderness Areas" within reach of his ranch. Second, he uses mules and horses extensively to get into the back country and away from the crowds. This is a real bonus for clients in less-than-perfect health or physical condition.

For several years, Nevada allocated too many tags in many of these designated wilderness areas, and the age-class of the bulls dropped. This past year, however, the department cut back on tags, and Hankins tells me that he expects the age-class to bounce back quickly. Along with genetics and habitat conditions, age is one of the main determining factors for bulls achieving trophy size.

Hankins uses wall tents on many hunts, but on one he has access to a rustic bunkhouse. Clients also can, if they choose, stay at Hankins' ranch and enjoy home-cooked meals and good hunting in the national forest land that borders his ranch.

His seven-day, 1x1 elk hunts cost........(continued)

 
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