Hunting with cold front moving in

KSB209

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Republic of California
Do you change your strategy when you know a cold front is moving in? In CA I usually hunt higher elevations when I can (10,000+ feet) because the temps are usually pretty warm in the areas I hunt. Next week it looks like we have an early storm coming into northern CA that should drop some snow and temps into the low 20’s or teens. I haven’t hunted in conditions like this but it is t going to stop me from going out. I have hiked, backpacked, and camped in this type of weather so I am very comfortable doing it.

I would think the deer would start migrating down the mountain in these conditions. What side of the slopes would you setup on early morning, afternoon, and evening? Any input would be appreciated.
 

memtb

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This is just my opinion, but I think that animals are more active immediately preceding and after a front passes.

Preceding the front because they feed more earnestly to “stock-up” on supplies, so to speak, as they do not know the length or magnitude of the front/storm. If an intense storm and is lengthy in nature.....they will need to feed intensely once it departs!

I love to hunt during the early moments of a storm, as the animals seem to less wary....possibly intent on the “stock piling” I previously mentioned!

On the migration.....I’ve often found the deer actually remain in the deeper snow than the majority of the elk! Perhaps because they are browsers, whereas elk are graziers....the elk require easier access to the grasses! JMO. memtb
 

moxford

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Feb 24, 2017
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I would think the deer would start migrating down the mountain in these conditions.

Going to have to be a huge storm to push them down. Like, multi-day-hard-freeze-deep-snow-no-water-up-top huge. Deer don't care about cold at all, or a bit of snow from what I've seen. Might get a few coming down, but the bigger animals will just chill out up top and wait it out.
 

cohunter18

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May 17, 2021
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Denver, co
Memtb, do you think this is applicable to Elk? My daughter got her first Elk tag, but we only have the weekends to go out and not sure how this weather will affect the elk, and if we should be looking in different areas because of it.
 

sp6x6

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Dec 8, 2009
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NW MT
This is dependent on areas you hunt.Some spots in MT na d the elk leave at first snow.Up where Im at some stay all winter,snow ten feet above.Ive snow shoed in and looked at them,living in deep tree wells in creek bottom,or wind swept ridges.A drainage right next door can be empty,seen muleys neck deep.Elk start going single file when deep,tracked a bull 2 days,split him off.I had hard time making it off mountain,when I had to break my own trail.
 

memtb

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Memtb, do you think this is applicable to Elk? My daughter got her first Elk tag, but we only have the weekends to go out and not sure how this weather will affect the elk, and if we should be looking in different areas because of it.

I would love to give you a guarantee.....all I can guarantee is “no guarantee”! 😉

However, I do think that most animals are most active pre and post storm front! I wish that you two had more time to put in the field....that’s as important as any other aspects of hunting!

Have you contacted a game warden for that area and asked for some information pertaining to elk habits in that area. Some wardens are very helpful.....especially when young folks are involved!


Wishing y’all the best! We’ll need a success story with photos! 👍 memtb
 
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