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Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

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Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

Old 01-31-2005, 01:25 PM
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Default Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

Yes you read that right, out EAST. Virginia has an open season on elk during deer season. It seems that TN and KY have a elk reintroduction plan and some of them are wondering over into our state. With the CWD issues and rancher pressure VA has opened up the elk for hunting, either sex, during deer season using your deer tags. A buddy and I are considering trying to go and hunt elk. My questions are:
Out east with different weather patterns than out west, would the elk act the same during Oct (opening of deer bow season) that they do out west? Would the rut be over? Typically deer are in rut around Nov 15 here, to give you a reference point. Where would they most likely be located at this point? Up high or down low? Weather temps should average between 60-70 degrees F. What other things should we be prepared for besides dealing with an animal the size of a horse, that differs from deer hunting? Advice from you Westerners would be appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

u want to have something that packs a kick considering u will most likly be shooting over 100+ yards. and i think they willl be down low chasing cow elk. thats my advise
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Old 01-31-2005, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

I should clarify that in Oct it is bow only. I shoot a 125 gr broadhead at 82# so it should be sufficient as far as bows go. Also I'm not sure there are heards of deer here, most likely lone young bulls. This covers only about 4 counties and is estimated to be about 50-100 elk. A pig in a poke so to speak. In the 2000-2002 seasons only 15 elk have been killed. We figured it may not be a great chance but we only have to drive an hour or two and have a chance at an elk and can shoot deer while we are at it.
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

Well not being from back east I feel that answering this is taking a educated guess, but I have taken my friend from Virgina elk hunting (bowhunting) here in Idaho with me. When I asked him how big the mountains were back home in Virginia he just laughed at me between breaths, he was a huffing and a puffing because we were climbing at a good rate. Then he said MOUNTAINS, what mountains, those are just hills back home. At the time we were quite high at about 9,800 to 10,000 feet. Now I don't know what the highest peak or mountain range in Virginia is, and it doesn't really matter. My point is unless their is a big diference in elevation like 5 or so thousand feet, I can't imagine that the elk would want to be high or low meaning that elevation doesn't matter because there is not a big enough difference. Now I could be wrong about that becaue I have never been back to Virginia or back east for that matter. But I do know that they will want good feed and water, open meadows/farmers fields with thick cover close by and any mud holes that they can wallow in when they are hot. If the weather is warm enough they will wallow at almost any time of year. If I were you I would try to locate some elk starting right now, on into the spring. After I found them I would try to watch them pattern them through the summer until fall. I don't imagine that there are a lot of them roaming around, so the pickens will be slim and you will have to do your homework and ask a lot of diffferent people. Like the Fish and Game, Forest Service and try to get the names of the farmers who complained about the elk and contact them and all the farmers that live in the general area. Elk can cover a lot of ground, so they might travel through several farms during their daily routine. Hope this helps
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:50 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

I agree with Idahoelk. I have never hunted elk but have a few suggestions. Contact the game comission, there is reason they are having an elk season, find out where the most complaints came from(area). I would also see if they will tell you who was complaing and maybe contact these people. If you do contact them maybe ask if you can hunt elk on their property, ask when they last saw the elk, and what the elk were doing(feeding, beddig down, etc.) This should give you an excellent starting point, it will take alot of scouting. Good luck
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:24 PM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

I should also add that I have never heard of the elk's rut changing time of year outside of the normal time frame . Here in the west we can have a very early rut starting early as the last week of August and ending by mid September. Or the rut can run late starting in mid September and ending the first week of October or so. Either way I can always plan on the elk being in rut around the middle of September. I should also point out that even if the rut is over the bulls can and will bugle, not as much as they do in the peak of the rut but they still bugle on into Oct. Also you can call them into you after the rut is over, elk talk year around and IMHO you can call a elk into you at any time of year, you just have to know what to say to them.
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:40 AM
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Default RE: Elk Hunting out East. Advise wanted.

The largest mountain in VA is Mount Rogers, which is 5,729 feet high. Most of them are in the 3,000 - 4,000 range and they can be just as steep, just not for as long. My question about the timing of the rut is based on the fact that I know that deer rut varies as you travel from the North down to the South. I know length of day and temp have an influence on whitetail rut and didn't know if it did as well with elk. Anyone hunt in AZ? What is the rut like there? I also wonder if elevation weather would have an impact as well. You mention that it has a drastic change as elevation is higher and I don't know if that will influence things. As far as wallows are concerned, this area is not as arid as most places out west, it's closer to Seattle climate, and we have lots of creeks and ponds. With water being so plentiful I don't think hunting water holes would be as effective here, would it? Temp in early Oct can be as high as the 80's with night temps being in the 60-70 range, but most likely daytime highs in 70s and nighttime lows in lower 60s to upper 50s. Good idea about contacting ranchers. I already plan on contacting Game Wardens. Don't know how much scouting I can do before hand. Depends on how far away it is when we decide on a location. Probably only 2 or 3 trips. I know that works against us but my time is limited.
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