Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

5 Secrets To A Successful Elk Hunt
This is an example of what Im talking about. During one season my elk hunting buddy and I split up to rouse up some elk. I came upon a very small circular meadow about 30 wide that was bordered by some small pines, aspens and one huge old pine at the edge. I stood in the middle of that meadow for 15 minutes listening to the woods and not moving. Then out of the corner of my eye I caught the shiny glint of an eye. I turned and focused on the rest of the outline, it was a 3x3 bull that was standing under the lower boughs of the massive pine. He had been under that pine the entire time I was standing there just 25 from me. I had swung my rifle at my hip to an off hand hip shot position. I hesitated momentarily contemplating an off hand shot. That long second of hesitation was all the small bull needed to bolt and vanish like a ghost into the forest.

5 Secrets To A Successful Elk Hunt

During the fall rifle season and after the rut is over it will still be warm by elk standards. A group of elk as small as a few to as many as 20 animals will usually bed up high for the night, typically on a cooler north facing hillside about two-thirds of the way up, where visibility and wind conditions favor detection of predators. They like cover that is not very thick, with good views in all directions. Aspen groves or at the base of large pines are favorite bedding places. Also, being high up gives them the option of jumping over the ridge or taking a side hill or downhill direction for a quick get away. But if you are in bottom land country where there is a lot of open ground between creek bottoms and hillsides, you may find them in tall grass and thick willows if that is the only cover available. They seem to get up and graze about every 3-4 hours or so, from early dawn till 8, then again around noon, and again at sundown, grazing until midnight if the moon is right.

Their sense of smell is incredible, probably their most developed sense, so pay attention to the wind. Never ever walk with the wind to your back. Do so and you just bought yourself a nice day of walking through the woods with nothing to show for it but the exercise. Of course if you have been elected to push out any elk, then by all means do so. Just put your smelliest guy in elk camp upwind of any possible elk holds.

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