5 Secrets To A Successful Elk Hunt By Doug Rellstab

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Elk are a herd animal and are always led by an older “lead” cow. Contrary to the myth that the big old bull is lord and master of the woods, it is the lead cow that rules. She picks the routes, grazing, and bedding areas. Even during the rut when you think the bull is in charge it is the cow that really sets the stage. She picks the where and the when and the bull just blindly follows, bugling his rhapsody of love, challenge and frustration. Sound familiar, guys? Read More...

This is a thread for discussion of the article, 5 Secrets To A Successful Elk Hunt, By Doug Rellstab. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
 

RDM416

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Hey Doug,

Great article on elk hunting, it is addicting!! I just found out a week or so ago that I drew a tag in a great unit in southern NM. It is pretty open high desert country.........lots of opportunities for long range shooting!

I used to live in Pinedale as well. Are you familiar with Black Butte, out HWY 52 toward the upper Green? I built the house that is 2/3 of the way up the butte 10 years or so ago. We moved back to Arkansas a few years ago for family reasons. I really miss Pinedale and hiking and hunting in the Wind Rivers. Maybe I will make it back out for a visit later this summer. Do you ever hunt with Mark Kroeger or Chopper?

Thanks again for the article, it got me fired up even more for elk season!!!

Rick
 

winmag

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Good write up, and nice article.
Small short stories with enough detail to get the point accross, but not so much detail that one quits using his imagination, are what realy makes this story great IMO. Very relatable storys, and dead on with facts, such as holding still when spotted, and elk appearing out of nowhere from where you were just looking.
Unfortunately I once again drew a g00se egg for Elk tags this year, so Ill be hunting very tired and very pressured elk, the second season with the rest of the left over crowd. On the bright side I just added another preferance point for next years draw. But storys like these help keep the fire lit untill then. Thank you.
 

Chas1

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winmag, question. if you drew a goose egg for an elk tag then how are you able to hunt overpressured elks. Doesn't one have to have a tag to hunt elk period? I'm confused.
 

japple

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Oregon has a 2nd season general tag that is spike only and over the counter! He said tired over pressured elk, because all of the other draw seasons and archery season preceed the over the counter elk tag!
 

Chas1

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japple, Thanks for responding. Sounds like a tag gets ya first dibs.
 

japple

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First dibs. not really since archery hunters get first chance!

Draw tags give you ability to hunt either cows or branch bulls depending on what tag you draw. while general tag is spike only.

It also allows you to hunt with limited pressure on the animals since they limit numbers per unit. I can think of three units that are like gold in this state. they give between 20 or 30 a year. And the bulls can get huge in those units as well.
 

japple

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There are about 10 draw units for archery, the rest are all over the counter. But most are any bull, some are any elk and some are spike only. I have 13 preferance points for THE trophy unit! and still have about 4 or 5 years till I draw it! but when I get it there is good oppurtunity to pull a 380+ out of it! 380 bull with a bow is a bull of a lifetime. Especially in OR.
 

winmag

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Oregon has a 2nd season general tag that is spike only and over the counter! He said tired over pressured elk, because all of the other draw seasons and archery season preceed the over the counter elk tag!

Yup. Except Im getting the General Season tag, and hunting in 1 of the 3 1/2 units in Central Oregon, that allow ''Any Bull''. Meaning that I can shoot an Elk having at least 1 visible antler longer than its ears, up to a giant branch bull. Its kind of an insentive to entice elk hunters who didnt draw a tag and wouldnt hunt otherwise if they had to go ''Spike Only''. But like Japple said, ALL and I do mean ALL, the other seasons get to go first and stir em up and break up the main herds into small groups and run em to death before we get to try and find whats left:D. You just hope for snow so you can get an idea if a bull is in the bunch by the tracks. Its kind of a ''circus'', but 1/2 of the General Season hunters are road hunters(yuk!) so if you get in there a ways theres a chance. Hey at least we get to go elk huntin' right.
 
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winmag

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There are about 10 draw units for archery, the rest are all over the counter. But most are any bull, some are any elk and some are spike only. I have 13 preferance points for THE trophy unit! and still have about 4 or 5 years till I draw it! but when I get it there is good oppurtunity to pull a 380+ out of it! 380 bull with a bow is a bull of a lifetime. Especially in OR.

I know exactly where your talking about too. I have a cousin, Big Joe, who was severely injured in a farm accident that left him with little eyesight and ballance. He's all there in the head, infact he's one of the smartest people I know. Anyhow he's been putting in for that tag since he was 13, he finally drew it at 32. He only had 4-5 days he could go, as he wanted his brothers with him for spotting and packing. They got on a good bull 1 day, but couldnt get Big Joe-Suff on him in time. He had a great time, and it was the hunt of a life time for him eventhough he didnt fill his tag.
But ya, if you want a monster (for Oregon anyway) thats THE place to go! Its kinda like our version of Chama or White Mountain, in New Mexico.
 

japple

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Luckily I always archery hunt for elk! So I get first shot at them and get to hunt them in the rut. I had some good success with some decent bulls, but I really want my Wenaha tag! only a few more years (hopefully).
 

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