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Elk Hunting Tips!

Old 04-02-2005, 02:23 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Elk Hunting Tips!

I want to hear about your advice and tips that have brought you success in you elk hunts.

Some of my tips off the top of my head...

1) Become proficient with elk calls, if you can't master a mouth diaphram there are many external reed type calls that will work, also there are excellent push me calls by Primos and Carlton. After learning how to call, learn when to call and what to say. There are good videos made by Primos, Wayne Carlton, and others will teach you when and how to call, but they don't cover much in what each call means. To learn this, the best advice I can give, is to get your hands on one of elknut1, videos. He covers all these topics and more, he goes in detail on what each elk sound means to the elk and when to use it. I recomend owning them all!

2) Keep track of the wind and hunt with the wind in your face at all times. Even with the best calling or caller in the world, if a bull or cow winds you, game over and they will bark and run away. If they don't wind you but only see you and bark, just bark right back at them. When that happens the elk that seen you might run away but any other that are around will pay it no attention and just think that its two cows that are mad at each other or confused.

3) Be as sent free as possiable, even with the wind in your face there are many little up and down swirling drafts in the mountains. Some are strong enough to detect and some are so slight that you are not aware of it. Thats why I want to stay as sent fee as possiable. I try to bathe everyday and use sent free body soap, and sent killer of different types. I think most brands work fairly well. Remember its not always easy to stay sent free when hiking uphill and several miles at a time. For this I cary sent free wipes and wipe down evry now and then when I am sweating badly. I have never used sent lock clothing because I would be too hot. But I think it would work if you were hunting in tree stands or ground blinds over wallows.

4) Don't worry about making noise. Everyone has different calling strategies but I like to sneek in under 100 yards and set up and call. When sneeking in, you might step on and break a branch or two, or if the ground is dry it will be noisie. Don't worrie just give a soft cow call or two to make them think you are an elk.

5) When calling do make noise, a lot of it. You'll want to break branches, stomp the ground, and rub big branches on trees. A bull elk will beat the heck out of a tree when he is working it over with his antlers. Do what he does and create a lot of noise to make them think you are the bull.

6) Use a decoy they work great, I have used them with calls, and with out calls next to well used elk trails. When using the decoy I put elk fire, or cow in heat (same thing) in a drip bottle next to the decoy. My hope if it looks like and elk and smellls like and elk it must be an elk to the real elk.

7) (Some might disagree with this) But IMHO you should never put an elk scent, be it cow in heat or any of the varities of a bull or cow scents on you or your clothing. Why three reasons. The first is elk have a strong strong scent, I have had bulls come into me silent and I only knew they were there because I could smell them first. If you are coverd in the scent you will not know if you are smelling the scent on you or the real bull elk. Second if the elk does smell it he will pin point you and come in strait to you, giving you a strait on head shot. Thats why I put it wilh my decoy and set up to the side so when he comes in I will have a broadside shot. And the third reason, bears,,, some of the country I hunt has Grizzly Bears in them, some bears both black and grizz, have learned to key in on the calls and let their nose guide them from their. Most of the time a mature bull elk can out run a bear, some don't. Either way a bowhunter can't and these last few years thier have been quite a few bear attacks on bowhunters here around Idaho and surrounding states.

8) This should be along with checking the wind and elk scent, but when checking the wind I use the cow in heat by Hunter Specialities. It comes in a spray mist bottle. Its mist is fine enough that I can see it in the air for almost as long as the powder (baking soda) wind checker that you can purchase or make at home. I figure if the wind is wrong at least the elk will hopefully smell another elk, and not me. One thing to be aware of it works best in sunlight, if in the shade it still works but after about 5 yards you can't see it very well but at least you know what way the wind is comming from. Same goes for a cloudy day, and when its almost dark it is hard to see at all.

9) If you are hunting with a large group, bunch up in groups of three, two callers and one shooter. Also keep the callers at least 40 to 100 yards behind the shooter depending on the situation.

10) When calling in and working a bull that you can see it in front of you. Remember to always turn around and check behind you from time to time. I have had bulls sneek in behind me at under 20 yards only to bust me and hang up the bull in front of me.

11) Be ready for any weather, in September it can go from 80 degrees down to the mid 20's and snowing in a matter of hours.

12) Eat well get good sleep (i.e.have a good sleeping bad and pad) and drink plenty of water. Two things a elk bowhunter is in always need of sleep and water.

There are plenty more I can think of, a lot that would have to do with calling but I"ll stop for now and I want to hear what tips you have learned that have brought you success over the years. Thanks idahoelkinstructor
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Old 04-02-2005, 06:43 PM
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Fork Horn
 
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

i agree with everything ya said except for one, that be proficient at calling part. i personally think a hunter is better off with no call, or maybe a mouth diaphram or hoochie mama sort of cow call, but my best hunts have been when i shut up and sneak.
i will say that spot and stalk is my strength though, so maybe its just me on that one.

another thing i think is important, or 2 actually are good optics and boots, the best you can afford. sore feet means your whole body hurts. optics, ya get what ya pay for.

ill catch flack for this one too, but i would not recommend an expandable broadhead for elk. just me.

otherwise i think ya hit it right on the head, and seeing how you did in utah, im sure your calling is much better than mine, and if i were you, maybe i would call a bit more. i am going to get a couple of elknut1s cds, but i still doubt that i will call that much, just not my cup of tea.

cant wait for september
brad
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Old 04-02-2005, 09:52 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

hay huntnmuleys, how many elk u kill? how many u ever had a chance to kill if u had used a call? i know of 1 350 class u should of killed. u need to use a call more. if it scares them, then try again, soon u will have it down and then will be killing elk!
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Old 04-03-2005, 12:41 AM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

huntnmuleys, fair enough one of the most successful elk hunters I know doesn't use elk calls at all. He starts about now and spends at least 2 days a week out in the field watching them and following them. By september he knows the individual bulls and cows in the heards and knows their daily routine. If you ask him where a certian animal is at a certian time of day, most likely he will know it. He hunts solo and every year comes back with a bull, most have been in the 300 to 350 class range. He figures he spends at least 1/3 of his year in the elk woods. Anyway thats not my style and with work and family I don't have time for it. But good calling works too, I have had it work for me and for friends. My friend might be the best stalker and be able to sneek in and kill bulls year after year. But he can't do it (help them) with friends or family very offten. With calling you can make it happen and be successful for your friends and family. I would even go as far to say that some of my friends and family have killed more elk than I because I am always the designated caller not the shooter. An good example is, two years ago I took a older friend my dads age elk hunting for the first time in his life. This man was from Virgina and didn't know the first thing about elk hunting. But because of the elk calling he was able to get two shots at bulls under 20 yards. He was shooing his dads recurve bow. It was his fathers dream to go hunt elk out west with his recurve. Sadly his dad died before he got to live out his dream, but my friend lived it for him. Unfortunately because my friend didn't spend the time to become one with his Dad's recurve bow, he missed both shots at the bulls. I have invited other friends from out of state to hunt with me and they have taken home bulls. For me its almost as exciting calling in a bull for a friend as it is for myself. Please don't think that I am saying one style (calling vs stalking) is better. Both have their positives and negitives. Good luck, and do give elknut videos a try. Jason
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Old 04-03-2005, 12:50 AM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

I should add I agree with you 100% with the broadheads, I like cut on contact the best for elk but any good sharp fixed blade head wil do the job. For the last 7 years I have been shooting NAP Thunderheads with my heavy arrows (2219's), they have performed great. With my new bow Switchback I am giving Gold Tips a try this year. To say I am nervous about a light weight arrow is an understatement. I will use either the Cut on Contact Stingers or the Nap Crossfires, haven't decided which one yet, time will tell?
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Old 04-03-2005, 05:45 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

1) I always carry a extra bow string, cables & release in my bow case.
2) A set of wrenchs are a must have item.
3) In case your bow needs repair beyond your ability? Know where is nearest pro shop is located.
4) Block target for camp.
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Old 04-03-2005, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

I hunt about 85% with my ears. I listen for anything that might clue me in there is something coming to owards me. A cracking of a twig, squirrels drive me crazy. The clicking of a rock, a splash in a stream. I have heard the clashing of antlers once and a couple of minutes later my wife almost got run over my 2 large bulls chasing and fighting each other. She had set up on a elk trail and the 2 bulls came running down the hill and she had to jump out of the way. No shot but another memory burned in to our brains.

When you heard a bugle, even when you think it is another hunter, play the wind and hunt like you would a bull. Several times it has turned out to be the worst sounding elk and not a hunter.

When you see 1 elk there often is several more you don't see.

Rake a tree instead of bugling especially if you are seeing fresh sign.

Everyday go hunting with the attitude this is the day. I carry 7 game bags with me because I know today is the day. Even if I haven't seen an elk for 3- 4 days. If there is fresh sign the elk are there. You are just zigging instead of zagging.

If you are too tired to go out for that 2- 5 mile hike, go sit a small meadow and bugle and cow call. It is a rearity you get a elk out of camp. I have taken 3 nice bulls not more than 1/4 mile from a dirt road using this method.
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:05 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

first of all manboy.....
how did ya shoot today, there expert guess ill never be the elk killing expert you are

just kidding buddy

idahoelkinstructor- i actually read that neither chuck adams and randy elmer dont call when they hunt. however, we all know the success the primos boys have, and they call the heck out of em, so.....
i have also had great luck with thunderheads. i am looking at those montecs for this year, but $10 a head is pretty spendy, couple that with an axis arrow, and every time i miss i just poopied a $20 bill down my leg....ouch
brad
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:36 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

huntnmuleys:

You'll love the Montec broadhead. Everyone complains about the price, but how many does one need? If you think about what everything else costs the broadhead is cheap and they do all the work. I have 4 in my quiver and 3 for practice. I don't buy the practice heads I just shoot the regular heads and if push comes to shove I can sharpen the ones I am practicing with.
There are a lot of good heads on the market and I have tried a lot of them. 3 years ago I tried the montec 100 and by far they fly the best and have brought down 3 elk for me all with pass throughs. The head can be reused for several seasons.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:05 AM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting Tips!

What poundage does everyone set their bows at for an elk hunt as oppose to a deer hunt?
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