Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
If the goal is to be successful on both tags, then you should set out with the best chance for success. Itís easy to think of a deer tag as a great option for your elk hunt, but depending on the time of year, there may be other species better suited for success. Antelope, bear, and even a wolf tag can be other great options to combine with your elk hunt.
By putting first things first, the hunter was able to capitalize and take three animals during the archery season in six days of hunting
Archery elk season in September is not always the best time to hunt deer. In many places, the deer have stripped their velvet and disappeared into the timber. Another good option is to think about hunting bears. Many states have a rifle bear season that coincides with archery elk season. Late September can be a great time of year to hunt bears. There are still plenty of fall foods to target, such as berries or mast crops of acorns and pine nuts.
Going home with any animal can be a win, especially for an archery hunter. Joe took this nice buck when the elk hunting slowed down.
The same thinking goes for hunting elk and antelope on the same trip. Many western states have antelope seasons that match the archery elk season. Antelope also rut at relatively the same time, making it a great option for a bowhunter chasing both species during the rut.
Now that one tag is filled, the work begins and the hunt continues.
Another option for a late-season elk hunt would be combining it with a wolf tag. Later in the year, wolves are more concentrated around the larger elk herds and are easier to spot and hunt than earlier in the year.
Some states such as Montana offer deer tags during the rut that coincide with elk season. This may be the best option, as youíll be able to hunt deer during the best time of year while simultaneously hunting elk.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Iíve had the best success hunting elk (my primary species) first and hunting deer (or my secondary species) later. As a general rule, deer can be physically easier to hunt than elk. By trying to fill your elk tag first, youíre able to give more energy toward the hunt that is the most physically demanding. After you have been worn down hunting elk, you still have a high percentage of success hunting easier for deer. Over the years, Iíve found this gives the highest percentage of filling multiple tags.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Having a second tag in your pocket is a great backup plan to come home successful if the elk hunting isnít going so well. A couple of years ago, I had a good friend of mine join me in Montana for his first archery elk hunt. I also had him get a deer tag and we planned on hunting deer if he harvested an elk. The week he came ended up being extremely hot, there were multiple fires in the area, the elk completely shut up, and glassing in the smoke was out of the question. Not to mention it was hard to hike in the thick smoke.
Because the elk hunting was lagging, the deer tag gave us a great backup option. We ended up getting into a lot of deer and getting some great opportunities. Joe took his best buck with a bow and left for home with a win because he was flexible and happened to have another tag in his pocket to use when the elk hunting got slow.
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