Best tactics for bow hunting Elk? - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 06-17-2011, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

Ok so I have narrowed my search down to where I'm going to Elk hunt this year and now I'm wanted to know how you guys find it most effective to hunt them.
I'm thinking of trying to find water holes and wallows and put up a tree stand.
The area I'm prolly going to hunt is going to be dark timber and thick aspen so I think spot and stalk is going to be pretty tough.

I'm going to put some game camera's out in July and August to try to pattern them.
I was thinking about some mineral licks, I was told it is legal I need to double check though.
My other thoughts were to just sneak through the thick dark timber and try to just walk up on them.
I was told that the rut is usually around Sept 15 so I'm guessing calling won't do much good for the opener?
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

The rut starts towards the second half of August (some call this pre-rut not sure why though) but bulls haven't usually gathered harems yet and calling is usually pretty slow however I've had bulls screaming on the archery opener and have had them come in silent. Some cows come into estrus then and some hot cow calling, 5 -10 minutes between sequences, can be effective but bulls will usually come in alone and silent, but not always. Stay alert in August and sit on stand for 15 to 20 minutes then move or still hunt the timber. Last year some bulls were already with cows and screaming a bit on the opener. They didn't come to calls but I was able to sneak into 30 yds and I never made a peep. Too bad I was in a spike only unit. As you move into September things start picking up dramatically and build up to the peak which is usually the last two weeks of September and when a majority of cows come into their first estrus cycle. (Many call this the rut) The bulls are most riled during this time because so many cows are hot causing quite a stir.

The point is the rut lasts from August to the end of October as cows are coming into estrus during those times. Don't be fooled into thinking the only time an elk is rutting is when the bulls are screaming their heads off. The cows drive the rut, not the bulls and the rut is much longer than most think.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

You can't hunt over mineral licks that you have put out (baiting). If you can find the wallows they are good places to look at and put up a trail cameras but just because they show up on your trail camera at a certain time/month doesn't mean they won't move out later in the hunt.

Calling depends on where you are at, but it can work if done correctly.
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullsnot
The rut starts towards the second half of August (some call this pre-rut not sure why though) but bulls haven't usually gathered harems yet and calling is usually pretty slow however I've had bulls screaming on the archery opener and have had them come in silent. Some cows come into estrus then and some hot cow calling, 5 -10 minutes between sequences, can be effective but bulls will usually come in alone and silent, but not always. Stay alert in August and sit on stand for 15 to 20 minutes then move or still hunt the timber. Last year some bulls were already with cows and screaming a bit on the opener. They didn't come to calls but I was able to sneak into 30 yds and I never made a peep. Too bad I was in a spike only unit. As you move into September things start picking up dramatically and build up to the peak which is usually the last two weeks of September and when a majority of cows come into their first estrus cycle. (Many call this the rut) The bulls are most riled during this time because so many cows are hot causing quite a stir.

The point is the rut lasts from August to the end of October as cows are coming into estrus during those times. Don't be fooled into thinking the only time an elk is rutting is when the bulls are screaming their heads off. The cows drive the rut, not the bulls and the rut is much longer than most think.
your comments make a lot of sence, last year I was hearing them screaming the day before the opener and I was all confused when the guys hunting near me where saying they won't start to bugle for about 2 more weeks!!
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddCT
You can't hunt over mineral licks that you have put out (baiting). If you can find the wallows they are good places to look at and put up a trail cameras but just because they show up on your trail camera at a certain time/month doesn't mean they won't move out later in the hunt.

Calling depends on where you are at, but it can work if done correctly.
Thanks for the heads up! I'm going to try to find wallows. Should I stay on the stream beds or can they make wallows in any low lying area like meadows and places like that?
I can't wait for July when all this snow is finally melted!!!
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

See elk. Then shoot the elk. Best way by far!
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igottabigone
See elk. Then shoot the elk. Best way by far!

That would be the best method of killing an Elk, not hunting an Elk
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoghunter011583
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddCT
You can't hunt over mineral licks that you have put out (baiting). If you can find the wallows they are good places to look at and put up a trail cameras but just because they show up on your trail camera at a certain time/month doesn't mean they won't move out later in the hunt.

Calling depends on where you are at, but it can work if done correctly.
Thanks for the heads up! I'm going to try to find wallows. Should I stay on the stream beds or can they make wallows in any low lying area like meadows and places like that?
I can't wait for July when all this snow is finally melted!!!
I typically find a good trail and follow it until I can smell them (musky smell). When I smell musk I circle out and search for wallows and scrapes and such. I typically haven't seen wallows near streams, I have seen them on terraces and other depressions that would collect run off and rain water.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

Last time I looked it was perfectly legal to hunt over mineral licks or other kinds of bait. I watched a guy load 35, fifty pound bags of deer chow into his truck last year. Some may say its not ethical but as many point out if hunting over an area deer or elk are drawn to for food or water is unethical then hunting over alfalfa or water holes qualifies as well.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best tactics for bow hunting Elk?

Beef cows need salt licks too dont they?


-DallanC
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