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Elk hunting Washington/oregon

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Elk hunting Washington/oregon

Old 02-10-2015, 08:51 AM
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Default Elk hunting Washington/oregon

Ok so I'm a new hunter. Learning a lot, so how do you hunt exactly? I plan on hunting deer and elk most to start and if I truly end up enjoying this activity I'll progress to other game. Any way in my head hunting is I wonder into the woods find some sign tracks for example follow the sign find the game shoot the game tada. In a nut shell. Is this a viable method lol or is it just my inexperience and not knowing talking.

That said what are some of the methods used? What's worked best for you? Break it down Barney style for me.

I know hunter typically go scout an area prior to hunting it. So what are you looking for besides the obvious. Is the scouting done during the off season. (For me that seems to be spring and summer idk if it's the same in a lot of places) or is that something better suited for the beginning of the season or just before ?

Last edited by JW; 02-10-2015 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:15 AM
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Following a track will get you some good exercise and teach you a lot about game movement, but it is a poor choice for harvesting game. Try to understand where the game wants to be to feed and bed by scouting, usually before season, and intercept them in their travels.

In open areas most scouting is done with binoculars so you do not spread your scent around. In dense cover you will have to leave boot prints. Just try not to disturb the game while scouting or you could change their pattern completely. You will be amazed at how well game can hear and smell.

Game can (and usually will) change feeding and bedding patterns at different times of year. Finding where the feeding areas are in the Spring or Summer normally does not help much, but it does give you an idea if game is in the general area.

Last edited by Big Uncle; 02-10-2015 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:42 AM
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Ok, that makes sense. And wow if wouldn't guess that your presence would affect things like that long term. But ok gives me something to consider and think about.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:16 PM
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Washington and oregon have vast open tracks of sage to hunt also, so don't over look those areas.....elk here pattern differently than elk say in colorado!!! elk in washington sage lands are in the open most of the time and in the same place most of the time!! Now when I the the same place I am speaking roughly!!!!! we have areas where you can see the elk at 2 or three miles away and make your approach accordingly!!!!
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:40 AM
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Thanks for that bit of knowledge Finn. My dad and I haven't quiet decided where we are going to hunt yet. But after our hunter class here in early march we'll probably start making some weekend drives to scout lots of different areas
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:50 PM
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Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:13 PM
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when you decide what and where and with what weapon you wish to hunt. it may be easier for those on this site to answer more specific questions?don't be afraid to ask,it is how one learns.

different terrain calls for different tactics. I PREFER SPOT AND STALK. get on a high point and glass. I like to glass at first and last light as this is when animals are generally moving.I am a firm believer in letting my eyes do the hiking for me. once I find an animal I wish to kill ,I MAKE A PLAN on how to stalk and kill it.

if terrain is to thick for glassing. sometimes I will just pick a ridge and walk it ,glassing every chance I GET. I like to stay high but avoid skylining myself, and go slow, no sense making a lot of noise and spooking game.remember deer and elk do make noise when they travel also but avoid letting branches drag on your clothes ,making unnatural sounds . or sounds like shells clanking in your pocket, don't let your gun clunk against your binos. all these things will alert game to your presense. whenever possible use wind to your favour. if they smell you they will skedattle.

many books have been written on hunting tactics. go read some
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:54 AM
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Age and experience, will always trump youth and enthusiasm
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:55 PM
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Id start out with deer....then move on to elk when you get some deer bagged. Best thing is to get your hunters ed course done if you havent done that already. There a lots of tips on this forum just use the search tab
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:25 PM
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Interesting question. I haven't read the other posts, so I may be duplicating other information. Sorry. I recommend you start small and work up from there. Small and easy would be to start with hunting deer. Many of the things you can learn hunting deer can apply to hunting other animals. Just as a simple example, be prepared to make the shot when the time comes; know what your objective is for the hunt. This is an example of preparation that can apply to any kind of hunting. Do you want any deer -- small legal buck or a doe or a fawn -- or do you intend to hold out for a big buck, what is "big?" This can apply to elk and probably to black bear too.

You might try to categorize the major problems or areas you need to learn about. Just ad libing, these could be 1. gear, 2. hunting permits/regulations, 3. hunting ground, and 4. skills.

1. If you are going hunting you'll need suitable gear. Clothes, shoes, packs, rifle, knives, flashlights, this kind of stuff. There are a lot of books that can help you brainstorm on this category and help you identify what you need.

2. If you are going to hunt, there are often many different formal documents you need to obtain to hunt legally. For me to hunt legally in Colorado I need a. a hunter education card, b. a habitat stamp, and c. an elk hunting permit. You need to figure out what you need to hunt what you want to hunt and get this stuff. The hunter education card is the first place to start, because that usually involves getting signed up for a class (which may be on-line or in-person) and may get you stuck in a line with other people -- especially close to hunting season. Get this year's or last year's state big game hunting regulations for your state and read the regulations carefully, several times. It is complicated and there are often odd quirky special cases that don't get appreciated by newbies.

3. You will need a place to hunt. This can be complicated. If you own land that has big game on it. Great. If your uncle or Grandpa owns land that has big game on it. Great. If not, is there good public land near where you life where you can hunt? Many western states have lots of public land that can be hunted. Check out this in your home state. But finding a place where you can legally hunt isn't the whole story. Are their suitable animals on this land? Are there deer on the land? A precious few or lots of 'em? How many other people hunt this same area? Can the land be hunted during the hunting season you want to hunt? If you decide you are going to hunt at 11,000 foot altitude in Colorado don't get your license for January because you won't be able to get up there due to snow (in most years -- I don't even know if there is a January hunt in Colorado -- just an example).

4. To hunt successfully and rewardingly you will need to acquire and develop many skills. You will need to shoot accurately. You will need to shoot from field positions (no benches and chairs out in the hunting fields, usually). You will need to learn how to handle your gun safely. You will need to learn how to use a knife to field dress and possibly cut-up your animal if you kill it. You may need to learn how to travel in the outdoors -- like in the woods, in the mountains -- and not get lost or get hurt. You will need to learn how to get your game out of the woods if you kill something. Deer can sometimes be dragged or carried on your shoulders. If you have two people, you can find a pole and tie the deer to the pole and carry the pole on your shoulder with the deer between you and your buddy. You need a plan for this. Elk are too big to drag. Skin and cut into smaller pieces and pack the pieces out.

It is often helpful to attach yourself to an experienced hunter and learn from him or her. If you are a sincere person who is willing to carry your end of the effort, often veterans are quite happy to bring along a newbie and show them the ropes.

You can learn a lot from doing. Sure, you'll make mistakes, but you very quickly get dialed in when you have actually gone out to the field. Just don't get lost and don't fall off a cliff. Be mindful of the risks involved. I'm not saying to be paranoid or frightened, just exercise prudence. After you have been hunting and traveling in the woods or in the mountains for a while, you'll know where danger lies, you'll know your limits, and you will just naturally avoid getting into trouble. Unfortunately, when you are totally inexperienced and ignorant of the woods/mountains, you don't always know where the dangers are. If you already have prior outdoor experience -- rock climbing, camping, backpacking -- your are already far along this path.

Good luck.

P.S. I would suggest starting with hunting deer with a rifle. Bow hunting is also possible, but bow hunting poses a more severe challenge, and it seems smart to me to start with the rifle hunting and evolve to bow hunting if the spirit moves you in that direction later.

With deer hunting you typically identify a place to lurk and wait for the deer to unwittingly walk within shooting range of you and shoot them. This may be identifying a popular deer watering hole, finding a well hidden spot in the shadows 100 yards away, and hunkering down there about 60 minutes before sun-up. This may be identifying a good feeding area and hiding out there. You will want to locate yourself relative to the wind direction at the time of your hunt, thus you will locate in different places and watch over different ambush sites based on the wind direction. Deer and other big game smell extremely well. If they smell you, you are unlikely to see them. Many big game animals only move during the dark hours and the first light of day and the light of day. Thus, for deer, you might find that 30 minutes before sun-up to 60 minutes after sun-up are the best times to hunt in the morning and 60 minutes before sun-down to 30 minutes after sun-down are the best times to hunt in the evening. Often the mid-day can be very slow or totally unproductive.

This involves finding a place where deer actually live and than figuring out what paths they follow and what places they go to. I no longer hunt deer, but when I did hunt deer, I often hunted from behind a thick hedge of brush that hid my lower body and looked up this slot cut through the woods by a power line to an open shelf about 150 yards away. The deer often crossed this shelf. I have killed two deer there. Highly successful and predictable place. There were other places in this place where I hunted where I had determined deer often would appear. Find those places and you will bag deer. The place I hunted was a quarter section of land (160 acres). I imagine the most productive hunting spots -- spots I returned to over and over again -- could be covered easily by a tennis court, if you cut the place out where I hid and transported that to the same tennis court. Be able to get to those spots in the dark. You can use a flashlight, but it can still be hard to navigate the woods -- perhaps where there is no definite trail -- to find your preferred spot in the dark.

Last edited by Alsatian; 02-20-2015 at 01:00 PM.
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