Smith Rancho is great if you want to shoot an elk and not have to work very hard for it. We saw HUNDREDS of elk within the first two hours of the hunt. Most of them were over a half-mile away and the guide would not let us pursue them to avoid scattering the herd, which is understandable. It was quite an experience seeing that many elk.
I shot a small 5x5 opening morning.
What I liked: lots of elk, great food, great lodging
What I didn't like: Expensive for a 3-day hunt ($4700). We saw a few bulls, but the vast majority were small and immature. This is basically a road hunt. We drove around on roads in an SUV to spot an elk. Once spotted, we stalked a mere 200 yards before I shot it. The guide drove the SUV right up to the downed elk and we winched it into the back. This might as well have been a high-fence hunt because there was minimal effort involved. I would have prefered some hiking off of the main roads.
In addition, the guide smoked the whole time and was very foul-mouthed, including while we were in the car. I'm no prude, but his foul language came across as very unprofessional. When we were on the elk, he could have done a better job helping me select the bigger of the two animals.
Overall I was very dissappointed to spend $4700 to road hunt for 2 hours and shoot a sub-par elk.