How do you hunt drainages that run North to South?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Andy Backus, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

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    I'll be archery elk hunting in CO this early season. The drainages all run North to South, so the East side is in shade in the morning, the whole drainage gets full sun during mid-day and the West side is in shade in the evening. The forecast is looking pretty warm with highs around 65.

    We'll be starting at the bottom of the drainages (on the north end) in the morning and hunting up. How would you hunt them with the sunlight the way it is?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  2. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    I hunt quite a few canyons that run north south mainly. There are fingers and small draws on each side that give some east west runs. What I would do is go up the east side in the morning, down the west side in the evening. It is a real pain to look into a rising or setting sun. It will be easier to spot elk on the other side of the canyon with the sun behind you and hopefully get into position or set up a ambush spot the next day. Where I hunt here in NM all the elk I have seen in N-S canyons have been going west in the morning and east in the evening.
     

  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    With warm temps like you describe the bugs and flies are still active so the elk will react to that. In the mornings I would put myself on the shady east side and on a south facing slope of a good size canyon watching a north facing slope where there is water. They will be moving into timber to bed down for most of the day. If the terrain lays like you say the sun should not be much of an issue

    When you say drainage you are referring to one that is 3-4 miles long with side canyons of a mile or so right? Here on my ranch I have two or three such places and they work best as I described. I don't hunt elk in the afternoons or evenings.

    If the terrain is different then what I am thinking just take all this with a grain of salt and keep yourself in the shade as much as you can. Good luck.

    Just reread your post and you are archery hunting. Well crap the above won't work well unless you can shoot cross canyon!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  4. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    The canyons I'll be hunting do run 3-5 miles but don't have side canyons at all. Just long and straight. I planned to hunt up the shady side in the morning and down the shady side in the evening as Red Sparky suggested.
     
  5. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Not having hunting this type of situation much my first inclination would be to hunt with the sun at your back. That way if the deer look at you, they are looking into the sun.