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Elk Hunting: Decades of Experience & Wisdom

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Elk Hunting: Decades of Experience & Wisdom

Old 03-01-2019, 06:53 PM
  #21  
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I get the feeling your not reading,
everyone so far is trying to help the newer hunters


(1) do the required research prior to the season, to locate a good area with a reasonable game population
talk to the local biologist and game wardens, and local ranchers if you can.
get the proper licences, for those areas.
learn to shoot quickly from field positions use a sling and bi-pod.
(2) get and study topo maps and purchase area aerial photos, use both extensively
learn what elk eat, where they find cover, bed and locate the areas that provide the potential escape routes
locate the logging road access, and major camp sites, use the other hunter pressure too your advantage,
knowing where elk will avoid helps you limit the areas you need to glass.
(3) assuming your in decent physical condition, physically get out into areas ,
use a GPS to locate terrain choke points to glass for game,learn to recognizes tracks, and the age of elk droppings
scout on foot,in locations on the topo map's that indicate the location has potential.
(4)spend the time glassing the better potential areas, if you don,t see elk in 45 minutes, move to the next likely area to glass from
, and repeat, dawn till dusk until you see elk.
if you don,t see elk in two days move your camp to a different area and altitude
(5) once you've located legal shoot- able ELK use binoculars and your topo map info,
to move into range, as you cover ground to close the distance, while watching the terrain , maintaining your cover,
limiting noise and planing a route that limits your scent reaching the elk.
(6)move into range, reevaluate the game,frequently, watch for sentry cows and outlaying bulls ,that might spoil the stalk,
use your optics and once in range use your weapon of choice to take the elk ethically.
its not easy but its not complicated, it takes persistence and a willingness to get out away from the local road access.
(7) dress and process the game, transport it to the truck pack in zip loc bags and dry ice as fast as possible

Last edited by hardcastonly; 03-02-2019 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:07 PM
  #22  
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.........how you hunt the elk?




Live a good clean life?




Post 10.......Wander the other side of that ridge.

Post 15.......Wander through clear cuts.

Post 17.......Study topo maps.

Post 17.......Wander benches, and any other likely looking structure.

Post 20.......Wander quietly.

Post 20.......Wander where haven't.




















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Old 03-02-2019, 05:46 AM
  #23  
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The elk is killed; now what. First thing is to thank it for giving it's life to you, and second is to thank the power that helped you stumble into the animal.

To get this far back, the hunter has traveled light; doesn't have much at all with. The hunter stands in awe. The elk is beautiful. The elk is huge. Wow, the animal is huge; it is too big to move. The hunter doesn't carry much, but has rope. The hunter knows the elk will stay here tonite. The rope is used to hold the legs, hold the elk, so it can be gutted. After the elk is gutted, the lower legs are cut off, and the hide is peeled back up the leg. The hide needs to be peeled back so it doesn't freeze around the knee, and become extremely difficult to remove.

Before leaving the ivories are cut out, and pocketed. Before leaving the location is marked on the gps. Before leaving one last look around, and a very humble thank you to the elk, and to the power.

As the hunter heads out, attention is paid to walking out such that a good path is found for carrying the elk. Tomorrow will be a very strenuous day. It will take three trips to get the meat to the truck. Care is taken to find a good path.

Tonite, if the hunter is not alone, around the fire the story will be told, and the ivories will be shown.














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Old 03-02-2019, 09:48 AM
  #24  
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Not trying to be a smartaleck or jerk but a person who hasn't hunted elk might want to have a little more knowledge or game plan before starting on their first elk hunt. Contrary to your comment that I'm not reading, I am. Perhaps I could better explain my questions by individually posting them below on your points.

Originally Posted by hardcastonly View Post
I get the feeling your not reading,
everyone so far is trying to help the newer hunters


(1) do the required research prior to the season, to locate a good area with a reasonable game population
talk to the local biologist and game wardens, and local ranchers if you can.
get the proper licences, for those areas.
I've talked to biologists before and they tend to giver generic information. I haven't talked with ranchers before as I wasn't aware of there being a list of names and numbers to contact.

yes biologist,s and game wardens tend to give generic advice,
I simply stopped at local restaurants and offered to pay for breakfast , when I saw local farmers
ranchers stopping in, youll get questioned occasionally about your success,
and simply offering to pay for their breakfast in exchange for a bit of local info several times,
resulted in a few useful tips. spending $20-$40 that way was a good investment



learn to shoot quickly from field positions use a sling and bi-pod.
(2) get and study topo maps and purchase area aerial photos, use both extensively
learn what elk eat, where they find cover, bed and locate the areas that provide the potential escape routes
locate the logging road access, and major camp sites, use the other hunter pressure too your advantage,
knowing where elk will avoid helps you limit the areas you need to glass.
So what do elk eat and what special escape routes do they use? I would guess they run downhill like most animals to just clear out of the area quickly but don't know that. Stuff like that would be things that would be helpful.

NO! elk in my experience run for side canyons and cover, that can be up or down,
and in my experience up and over ridge saddles to the next drainage was more common


(3) assuming your in decent physical condition, physically get out into areas ,
use a GPS to locate terrain choke points to glass for game,learn to recognizes tracks, and the age of elk droppings
scout on foot,in locations on the topo map's that indicate the location has potential.
So what terrain features do you think "have potential?"

your looking for terrain choke points , look at this canyon, its like the one I hunt almost every other year
elk will circle you and head down canyon, if we head up canyon, (yellow arrow)
generally two guys walk the two lower canyon wall slopes, one on each adjacent slope we try to stay about 200 yards above the creek,
but terrain dictates the route available,
almost like clock work we have a guy stationed at the upper canyon,before we start still hunting the canyon from lower end
who sees elk exit the canyon and head over to the adjacent drainage
(RED arrows)


(4)spend the time glassing the better potential areas, if you don,t see elk in 45 minutes, move to the next likely area to glass from
, and repeat, dawn till dusk until you see elk.
This is helpful. Gives me an idea of the time sequence for giving an area enough time to produce but not wasting all day there. Thanks.



if you don,t see elk in two days move your camp to a different area and altitude
How far would you consider moving (mile or more) and would you go up or down in elevation? I'm guessing snow might influence that decision.

I generally move about 1/4 mile and glass again but weather and terrain may change that slightly,



(5) once you've located legal shoot- able ELK use binoculars and your topo map info,
to move into range, as you cover ground to close the distance, while watching the terrain , maintaining your cover,
limiting noise and planing a route that limits your scent reaching the elk.
In your experience, how far can elk see and smell you? Deer and bear seem to think you're invisible afterr 300 yards. Do elk have better vision?

elk vision is not all that impressive if your not moving,
if your well camoed and stationary , they don,t seem to see well, Ive been well under 40 yards lots of time if stationary as they walk by , remaining un-detected, but they hear and smell you easily and they pick up movement rapidly


(6)move into range, reevaluate the game,frequently, watch for sentry cows and outlaying bulls ,that might spoil the stalk,
use your optics and once in range use your weapon of choice to take the elk ethically.
its not easy but its not complicated, it takes persistence and a willingness to get out away from the local road access.
That's a good tip on sentry cows.

learn to use a cow call well, it makes a suspicious cow or bull hesitate for a few seconds to minutes, if they can;t make you out.

(7) dress and process the game, transport it to the truck pack in zip loc bags and dry ice as fast as possible
Agreed. Makes a huge difference when hunting antelope.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 03-02-2019 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:25 AM
  #25  
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I'm guessing living a good clean life means not having a lot of BO but it was kind of a cryptic statement. I've read a lot of your topics and you have a lot of good information to offer. I think that some of you guys forget what it was like when you first started and had like a million questions. When I take somebody deer or bear hunting, I try to explain everything we're doing and why. I know I'm not doing a good job of explaining it when I see that questioning look on their faces like they're not sure what to do next. It doesn't mean they won't make mistakes, get busted by animals, still don't have a lot to learn but I try to give them a comfort level of what they should be doing and looking for. It shortens the learning curve and they feel like they're making a lot more progress.

It's kind of like when you're teaching somebody how to shoot. Pistol, rifle or shotgun, they always have a ton of questions and don't want to look stupid. I've seen some instructors just give them the basics (very minimal) and then leave them on their own to learn bad habits, get frustrated and not like shooting. And when a shooter can't qualify, the instructor throws up their hands and says they're not doing it right. Often, those same instructors then give up. I've taken a lot of those same shooters and fixed their bad habits, explained why they need to do things a certain way and got them to qualify within an hour or 2 at the most. The shooters already know you know more about shooting than them. That's why they're asking questions. So they can get better and continue to improve.

Again, not trying to be a smart aleck but telling me "Live a good clean life?" doesn't really help. It comes across like I'm some kind of dumbass and not worth answering my questions. That's okay if you feel that way I guess but I'd rather you just didn't post an answer if you don't want to help.

Originally Posted by ronlaughlin View Post
Live a good clean life?




Post 10.......Wander the other side of that ridge.
So people should hunt uphill to a ridge and then "wander" on the other side of the ridge or do some glassing first? Again, no trying to be a jerk, trying to learn more. Should I expect elk on another side of a ridge to be up higher on the ridge (means I need to be very careful crossing the ridge top) or are they further down the hill?

Post 15.......Wander through clear cuts.
I've used this before. Have noticed tracks, new shrubs and browse and lots of good information.

Post 17.......Study topo maps.
That's a personal weakness. I suspect a lot of people don't have this skill mastered either. What should I be looking for when I study a topo?

Post 17.......Wander benches, and any other likely looking structure.
So the elk like being higher up on a hill on benches? Good to know. They can easily run downhill to get away from danger popping over a ridge. Do they tend to post sentries at the top of the ridges behind them?

Post 20.......Wander quietly.
Point taken.

Post 20.......Wander where haven't.
Where who "haven't?"


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Old 03-02-2019, 01:11 PM
  #26  
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elkman30 ,

Mostly the answers to your questions in bold can be found within the actual noted posts.

The reason i wrote 'live a good clean life', is because i had tried to help folk go hunting throughout this thread, and your post made it seem i wasn't helping, so i suggested the only additional thing i could think of. To me, if one lives a good clean life, you may encourage Yahweh, or Jesus, or the great spirit, to give you a helping hand, which one can use whilst elk hunting.

To clarify 'wander the other side of that ridge'. Mostly what one gains by doing so, is getting away from other hunters that need to drag their elk down to their truck. If no other hunter goes there, one may find undisturbed elk. Glassing won't do much good in thick timber. Mostly, elk are not on ridge tops, but there are exceptions. Elk seem to be down the hill side taking advantage of 'benches'. It seems Elk go where they are comfortable. They don't seem to spend much time in open timber. They do seem to spend time in thick timber, especially if there is a lot of dead fall. It seems they make it very difficult for the hunter to get close.

One way you may be able to make friends with a topo map is to get a gps with a topo map, or get a gps, and install a topo map. Walking through the mountains with the gps, and seeing the relation between contour lines, and the actual ground may help. Around Christmas every year one can find excellent gps for about $200 that do everything an Elk hunter needs.










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Old 03-02-2019, 02:09 PM
  #27  
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Both of you guys might as well drop it. This topic honestly isn't going the way I had hoped. There's a lot of elk hunting knowledge on this forum but this apparently isn't a workable venue for sharing it. In fairness, Ron, your above post probably had the most actual elk hunting tactics out of the entire 26 posts so far. But this is really just becoming a distraction so I'm unsticking it and letting it fall to the wayside. Maybe somebody else can provide a better venue that works.
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:07 PM
  #28  
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I really like to hunt benches especially when there are canyons on one end or both. Through the years I have noticed that there is usually a lot of fresh elk sign on the benches. Not only is it a nice place to finally sit after climbing through the canyons but the elk think so too. Visibility on a bench is often pretty far so it is a good place to spend some time. One of the spots we hunt at Rob's place is on the north side of the mountain which is cooler and a good place for elk. Most of the time I hunted a special bench just below an old abandoned gold mine, I saw elk. A few years ago I was just getting ready to click off the safety on a nice mature bull elk and the wind shifted and I watched his hammies tense up as in slow motion and then he was gone. My last elk came on that same bench a few years ago. Lots of sign and I climbed down then up then down again through a canyon to get to it. I found a nice log to sit on to rest ad then I heard a distant bugle. I pulled out my bugle and let a couple of calls go out. I got an answer from what seemed a mile away. I put that call back in my pack and sat there on the bench. About a half hour later I heard a snap coming from over the edge of the canyon to my right. I got off the log and knelt down behind it for cover. I heard another snap and then some cow calls so I knew the elk were coming. The wind was perfect blowing from the canyon to me and suddenly about 30 yards away a cow came up over the edge. She looked all around and looked at my head sticking up over the log. The wind was right so she kept moving across the bench 30 yds in front of me. Along came another and another and another. The 8th elk was a spike bull and more kept pouring up over the edge fanning out in front of me. After 15 or 20 elk I heard a snap coming up the canyon but it was partially downwind and below me. I knew that was not a good thing and could see another couple cows coming up to my downwind side. They sensed something was off and heard one bark and all the elk started to walk pretty fast to the opposite side of the bench to the canyon to my left. More elk came up over the original spot and they were all moving pretty fast to catch up with the leaders. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of antlers rattling through the brush down at the bottom of the canyon. I got ready and as the sound got closer got my gun up on the log ready to shoot. The noise got louder and louder and up over the edge he came about 30 yards away. He was running from my right to left and I could see he was a more than legal bull so the safety came off and 2 quick shots found the mark. As I made the second shot he piled up against a fir tree. It was a beautiful thing when I got on the radio and told Rob I had one down. Rob came down onto the bench and helped me take care of the animal. Friends were soon called and we figured out a good place to access that bench from the highway and got the elk out after quartering in one trip with all the help. No tips in my little story but when things work out it can be educational. If Rob sees this he might post a pic since I always have a hard time doing it on this site.
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:37 PM
  #29  
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I'll try to post
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:52 PM
  #30  
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CI celebrating
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