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Old 05-31-2012, 08:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spike Elk

Its official I was unsuccessful for any of the hunts that I applied for. So given the fact that I am not going to be deer hunting I am considering getting a general season spike tag.
I have hunted cow elk in the past but really donít know much about spike elk and was wondering if you guys could help out with some tips and strategies. I donít expect you to give up your honey hole or anything like that. I plan on staying local and hunting the canyon that is close to where I live in a place where elk seem to hang out. I went scouting up in this area the other day and saw plenty of scat/tracks so I am confident that they are in the area.

Anyway a few questions right off the top of my head are things like;

Do the spike elk hang out with the cows, bulls or by themselves?
Do you typically use a call when spike hunting and if so what type?
Do the spike elk tend to stay in different habitat then the rest of the herd and if so what type?
As you can see I have a lot to learn, but hopefully I will get most of this sorted out this summer before opening morning. Any info would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregkdc
Do the spike elk hang out with the cows, bulls or by themselves?
Do you typically use a call when spike hunting and if so what type?
Do the spike elk tend to stay in different habitat then the rest of the herd and if so what type?
Disclaimer: This is what I have found from my experience...

Often times, spikes tend to be outcasts and will stay around other spikes in the same areas/habitat as the cows; however, if you find a large herd of cows you will most likely find spikes in the group. Very rarely though will you find spike elk hanging with a group of branch antlered bulls, as they are the reason the spikes are outcast. As for calls, you will not have much luck with a bugle, but learn how to cow call and they come right in.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

http://wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/news/42-ut ... l-elk.html
This may help a little
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

Thanks for the info; the article was also a good read. I was planning on getting into the back country anyway so that is no problem. It seems the big variable is how are the spike going to react to a bull? I guess the trick is to get up there during the rut and hopefully find out where they are hiding.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

I had a spike tag last year and had a blast, but I never happened to come across a spike. I saw plenty of big bulls and cows though. I'm going to try my luck at drawing a cow tag, but if I don't draw, I may try the spike hunt again. It can be a tough hunt, but it's definitely a fun time and beats not getting out at all.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

I've had two cow tags the past four years and seen a lot of elk and a lot of spike elk. The spike are almost always with the cows. When I mean with them they are trailing behind them. So if you find cows start looking around the edges of the cows the spikes are almost always there. If they start running in a line, look at the very back of that line. Usually about 2 or 3 spikes hang around together in the back. Don't worry about calling that much, they will all be making plenty of noise during the general rifle hunt. Just make sure it's really a spike before you shoot. A lot of times there are branches that are hard to see until you look hard.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowhunt3r4l1f3
Just make sure it's really a spike before you shoot. A lot of times there are branches that are hard to see until you look hard.
Great point there. I studied the top of their heads for a long time. I had a questionable shot opportunity last season - fading light and a bit of distance, and I just wasn't 100% sure it was a spike, so I didn't take it. I didn't want to walk up and find that I had shot a cow or small branched bull.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

Great info guys. Does this info also apply to the muzzeloader hunt later in the year?
I'll be putting in for a couple different units for a cow tag and wouldn't mind buying a spike/any bull tag depending on the cow unit I draw... but wouuld rather go muzzleloader than rifle.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

Quote:
Originally Posted by derekp1999
Great info guys. Does this info also apply to the muzzeloader hunt later in the year?
I'll be putting in for a couple different units for a cow tag and wouldn't mind buying a spike/any bull tag depending on the cow unit I draw... but wouuld rather go muzzleloader than rifle.
Yep, sure does.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spike Elk

What you guys are saying is getting me pretty stoked about the hunt. This year thereís no cow hunt on this unit, thatís why I am going with a spike tag. Now I just need to get back up there and do more scouting. Thanks.
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