There is really more content to provide here than there is available pages, and with that being said I’ll try to keep this article on the fundamentals and may write another sequel if reader interests prevails.
The most important things to remember when Elk hunting is to know your quarry.
When do Elk bed down?
Where do Elk feed?
DO NOT push Elk from their bedding areas, or for that matter don’t push them at all.
Migrations routes are a vital thing to know?
When are Elk in the rut?
What are Elk eating the time of year your hunting?
At what elevation may you expect to find Elk?
Almost all hunters want an Elk with a huge rack, are you going to be satisfied with a smaller rack, or possibly a cow? Many hunters fail simply due to antler size and come home empty handed.
How much time do you have to Hunt? I wouldn’t go on an self guided Elk hunt without having 2 weeks of vacation.
Are you in shape and can you walk 5-8 mountain miles a day?
Should you use masking scents while Elk hunting.
How much time have you spent for pre-season scouting.
Have you been spending time at the shooting range?
Do you have topo and or forest service maps of your hunting area?
Are you proficient in calling elk with a bugle and cow call?
Do you need camouflage clothing
Since this is the first article I’ve written here I’m uncertain of the space allotted so I’ll start with “Where do Elk bed down”
Elk generally will bed down on the northern side of a mountain top during hunting seasons. This provides a cool shady place for the elk to bed, as well as a wind break from the south westerly winds, the higher elevation also reduce the pesky flies and insects that may be bothersome to elk. Without doubt this area will be full of blow down (fallen trees) and the trees look like a box of spilled tooth picks. These bedding grounds may be located on a very long gentle sloping finger on th mountain.
If you’ve found where your herd is bedding then you should find where their feeding grounds are located or visa versa.
Generally elk will bed during mid day and may be back up headed for their feeding grounds late in the afternoon. If you can find these location it gives you a chance to locate yourself in a camouflaged position somewhere near their travel path.
So how do I find these ares? Well it will most often take a lot of your time walking, sitting, and some very good optics. You will need to position yourself with a good high vantage point from where to glass from. When you take to the timber don’t forget your lunch, some snacks, and water.
And remember, this is a herd of elk not just one, so there are many eyes, ears, and noses to evade from.
DO NOT push Elk from their bedding areas, or do not push them at all. There cannot be enough importance stressed here on this subject. Elk roam within SEVERAL square miles. And if you push them (the elk see you, smell you, and become AWARE of your presence) they WILL at some point flee to another mountainous location which could be miles away. This means your hunt, or pre-season scouting just started all over from day one. This is a hard lesson to learn and once it happens to you you’ll never forget it, and it could cost you an elk for the year.
Migration routes are a vital thing to know as well as general herd locations. Many times this information is available at the Game and Fish Commission, as biologists gather information on the herds for a given region.
The local biologist can generally give you info on when the migration generally starts, HOWEVER these dates will be the average as snow conditions will be the final determining factor. Elk won’t leave the higher elevations until the snow gets deep enough to push them out.
A sequel will be written if reader interest is great enough
Thanks, and I hope these tips which have worked for me will aid you on your next elk hunt.