Hunting in pairs?


Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2007
SW Michigan
I was just wondering how you guys out west do it. I am from Michigan where we just scout all year put up a tree stand and hope like heck they are patterning the same come hunting season. Myself, dad, brother and uncle are all heading out to Idaho next fall to do some elk hunting in the salmon region. I was wondering if you guys hunt in pairs kind of a spotter shooter thing or if you just head out in various directions. I was thinking in unfarmiliar territory that it would be good to hunt in a buddy system. Thanks guys
I'm snickerin' here;)

First question would be have you ever been out here before?

Next question would be why do you want to torture yourself?:D

There are several methods.

Method 1:

Each of you bring your own vehicle, preferably a Dodge Ram Diesel 4X4 with big knobby tires and extra fuel tanks. (To save fuel you could just bring 2 rigs and share the driving.)

Everyone then heads out in different directions in the morning and returns well after dark.

Load the rifle's magazines but keep the chamber empty. This'll keep you from putting a hole in the torque converter as the standard rifle carry position is scope down, muzzle on the floor board and butt against the seat back.

When you see a shooter, everyone piles out and starts shootin' until its down or you are reminded that you forgot to set the brake by the sound of the truck going over the side.

Method 2:

Everyone piles out of the bags at dark 30, eats a hearty breakfast, of hot cakes, hash browns, sausage, coffee and pack a lunch. Things are kind of slow because all of your water is froze in the bottles, but tomorrow will be better. Then in pairs you head in different directions into the great unscouted, unkown mountains.

The idea here is to cover as much ground as you can, as fast as you can as its said that the more time spent the more apt one is to see something to shoot.

Also you get to learn all about steepness as everything is straight or down depending which way one is facing. Sooner or later you are forced to learn about "side hilling". This when you wish that one leg was about 6" longer than the other. Which is good if you only go one direction.....

That evening everyone gets to talk about all of the tracks and poop that was seen their age.

Method 3:

Get out there way early like a week or better. Do plenty of scouting. Don't talk to locals. Most of those you meet will be clerks, librarians, fast food folks who know nothing and just bitch about the wolves messing everything up. If you do find a "hunter" to talk to his isn't going to give you any decent advise either.

Find several areas where there are elk. The use Method 2 but slow way down being stationary way more than moving.

Method 4:

This is for Long Range Hunting/Shooting only

Do the scouting as with Method 3. Find the several good locations. Find the good shooting spots for each of the locations and park your butts and glass and glass and glass and glass.

Method 5:

Hire an outfitter.

All of this is tongue in cheek but if you have never been here before and its a DIY deal, any elk shot will most likely be beginners luck and there is a lot of that going around.

Method 5A:

Find a local that is willing to point you in some directions to where some one some time shot an elk. Its pretty much that hit and miss.

If you've been here before, disregard the above and have a great trip.

Also, the fish cops are nice and friendly but never give any specifics. This is because they can't. Elk are where you find 'em and even the elk don't know where that's going to be.

Really its not all that bad. I'll give you some hints if you wish, but they will be vague.;)
Thats pretty good. Were getting there about 3 days early thats all time allows as some have to take off time from work. Planned on scouting hard for those days and hopefully finding something to head twards opening morning. My uncle has hunted that area for the past three years and says he has seen some but no shots (he thinks 250 yds is a long shot :eek:) . Also wondering since your from that direction would I be wasting my time to get a deer tag or are there not that many in that area. I think he said we will be mostly in areas 21 and 21a aroundindian peak. ( I think) thanks a ton
Just Opinion

The way we do it not saying its right.
My brother and I hunted together all the time. We have scouted areas that have good sign and get ther before light by 30 min. We start glassing and when we think we have covered it glass some more. It is amazing how they jsut show up in the middle of no where. We glass tell at least 11:30. The reason we hunt in pairs. 4 eyes are better than 2. One can be looking in a spotting scope while the other points inthe right direction. It is amazing how fast they disapear when you take your eyes off them.
Next reason--some one to talk with to pass the time and it becomes a game who spots more deer. And it is always better getting something when some one is there to share it with. It is almost as fun spotting one and watching the other shoot--ALMOST!

The spotter can call a good hit or miss and keep an eye on the down animal while you hike to find it. The ground never looks the same and it is alot eaiser to pointed in the right direction..

Then when we are movign to the next spot to glass we can do little drives and try to push something to the other. One on one side of a ridge and one on the other.

It is always nice to split the packing duties with another. Spotter in one bag and tripod in the other.

If you have never hunted in pairs with your family I diffently say give it a try. My brother and I just started it 4 years ago. We have both been hunting all our lives but the last 4 have been the best by far! It has brought us closer as brothers and a stronger friendship.

If you can find a great spot to glass bring all three of ya. Sitting under a tree sharing it with others is the best way to go.

Sorry for the long post..

Stay in pairs,, find high knobs and glass 180 from one another, report when necesarry, staying low and in the shadows, if nothing in 45 on to the next knob..or if it feels good stay a little longer...OH yeah allways stay ten minutes past when you say lets go..Regards...

We go hunting together, scouting for 1 day before sesons open to see animal movements, and then in the morning we make plans to cover lots of areas, and then we go alone.
We have with us a good gps RINO with locations, and we comunicate between us, sending locations, etc.
We see us together at 12'o clock, or in the evening.
If one is not comming in 1 hour, then we go to help him get out the animal.

When I go alone, ALWAYS I LET to one of my hunting buddy MY LOCATIONS where I heading, because you will never know...

Its good that Uncle has been there for the past 3 years.

I went to Indian Peak just moments ago. Cool, huh?

There are good roads there, i.e., Indian Peak Road. That means the 1L license plates will be using method 1 in droves. (There's a pun there someplace?)

That's big country and good roads. Therefore lots of activity along the road. Get away from the road by at least a mile, which is a really long ways (the dozer roads are crooked. After nearly a 2 hour walk I was only a mile from the road) and things will be better. Most people don't get more than 1/2 mile from the road. Add another 1/2 mi to that for their impact and things will get just a bit quieter.

Stay in pairs would be good advice.

What everyone expects, most probably Uncle too, is to "get into 'em" translated from Idahoese "we busted some and had a hell of a time getting a decent shot as they were bustin' through the brush." That is exacty NOT the way to do it. A deer will run for maybe 1/4 mile the slow and maybe browse or bed. An elk will much further. I don't know how much further though. I've never been any where near successful in catching up to them.

If ya gotta walk and stalk, go slow. So slow you almost tip over. Only one fella should walk at a time. One goes 50' the other stands. The other catches up and so on.

The elk most probably will be scatterd in small, very small, groups. They say the woofs cause that behavior.......

if you don't already have it, get Google Earth on your puter. Search for Indian Peak. Learn to do the tilt an pan thing. Get Uncle over there and he'll be able to show you where he saw elk. That will be worth a week or two's worth of scouting.

Be careful during your scouting. If you get with in a half mile of a herd while scouting, if it isn't during the rut, they won't be there when the season starts.

Pick any given spot where elk will be at any point in the season and they will be there only one, maybe two, consecutive evenings during the entire season. If they would be there in the morning I'd bet they would be there only one time during the season. The farther from the road, the fewer the hunters, the more apt they are to linger for a couple of days in an area. But one hunter in their area and all bets are off.

The elk in that area are really spooky. It won't take much to get them on the run. Once they head out, about a 4 hour walk will possibly get you close again, but then again they may travel all day. That really sucks!

There are really only two hunting style options worth considering. One is if you want to kill an elk. The other is if you want to kill an elk at long range.

The long range option will most probably be the most boring but fruitful. Just killing an elk is less boring but most likely less fruitful.

The guns you use and the preparations you make will sooner or later determine you style.

Come up with a plan and stick to it. It will work, given enough time.;)

Prep for all 4 seasons in one day. It'll happen.

If it snows, that's good. Get up in it. That's were the elk will be. Some may be lower too. Heck they never read the game plan......

The devil is in the details. Get your gear together in June. Use it in June, July and August. Even if you camp in the back yard. Go through your morning getcha goin' routine until it's routine.

If you're going to do the "hide" thing. Practice together preping for the shot. Who's the spotter, who's the shooter. Get your lingo down pat.

Your family's gonna laugh at you, but they can't see your dream. It's kind of like the beagle chasing a rabbit. Take the rabbit out of the picture and the dog looks like it's nuts!

Decide on your teams early. Learn to work together.

Last but not least. Bring lots of mouse traps (try 20 or so. Two was definitely insufficient.) and an air rifle for those **** chipmunks! They're cute for a while then they'll drive ya nuts.
Also, you'll want something very quiet to assassinate grouse. They taste too good to pass up, but a shot gun is too loud if you are camped anywhere near where you think you're going to shoot.

If the roads are good you're closer to Salmon than we were. We were at 4 hours round trip. Don't over do on grocs and don't buy 'em at North Fork. The only deal in North Fork is gas and ice.

As far as deer tags go. Heck ya, get 'em. Idaho needs the money.;) Uncle should have seen plenty of deer. The young ones have never seen a human before and are like shooting pigs in a pen. That's why there is so much road hunting going on.
I'm snickering too. LRH from a tree stand?

I hunt the high country alone. Have for 6 yrs. Guess no one likes me. In 2002 I offered $300.00 for someone just to go along, no takers. Guess no one likes me.
The idea of locating some elk three days before the season and then going after them sounds great in theory and can work, but always assume that even if those elk were hard to find: Other people know about them and are planning the same **** thing you are.
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