Contributors to this thread:
Elk Wallow / Meadow - Swirling Wind
7x7 Bull I passed up last year. He's back.
7x7 Bull I passed up last year. He's back.
I have a favorite elk wallow / meadow where the wind switches direction about every 15 seconds. Last year I packed in a hunting blind five miles and set up. I had one opportunity to harvest a 7X7 but when I checked my watch it was 12 minutes after legal shooting light. He was 15 yards away, standing broadside but it was a memory I didn't want to have. I saw him this year, bedded in the timber, and he's much bigger. Who knows whether I'll see him during the season. With gorilla tape and heavy duty trash bags, I'm sealing off the inside of my blind as best I can to eliminate my scent leaving the blind. I'll climb in Friday afternoon to prepare for the opener Saturday morning. I won't leave the blind until noon on Monday. It is just big enough to sleep corner to corner. The activity from last week was amazing. I've attached a clip.
Meet a guy in Arizona in 2011 that carried in water and supplies to a camp tent then hunted another blind 200 yards away for a week straight at a time or until he got his elk. He only moved from his blind to tent in the dark. Where we were hunting it made perfect sense because the majority of hunters were very predictable in their patterns. Hope you get a crack at him! C
David, knowing you and then watching your CPW meeting seminar on your Trail Camera presentation, I just had to purchase two of them. I set one up over a wallow and one on an open meadow two weeks ago and will not see the results until this Thursday when I kike in to spike camp. The one over the wallow is my best bet but I will only hunt it in the morning and in the late afternoon then the descending air currents are in my favor from a natural blind. The elk have to be "recurve bow" close this season. Good luck, Paul
Great bull - hope you get him! I expect if he winds you, you won't see him again this season, at least not in that location.
David, awesome stuff there & ethics! You deserve that awesome bull, lord knows you've done your homework on him & your approach, very cool!
Although boring as hell sitting in a blind for days in a row, I feel it offers me the best opportunity. Good luck Paul. I start putting out cameras at the beginning of July and check them every two weeks. You can learn an incredible amount by starting much earlier. I like to know a few areas very well. This area I started hunting in 1993 and I've logged just over 8,000 hours scouting and hunting here. The deadfall is chest high in most places, eliminating all but the craziest of hunters to get an elk out. The last elk I packed out resulted in 4 ten mile round trips in two days. Lost 8 pounds and used two new holes in my belt. I'm sure I'll have the place to myself again this ear. No trails, no ATVs, nothing but prime elk habitat. The photo is of my elk hunting blind I set up yesterday, right before I brushed it in.
A tree stand won't work in this location as the wind changes direction every 15 seconds. All I'd be doing is educating elk.
That's why you go up. Take a lesson from whitetail hunters. I've had elk walk right under me coming in from down wind.
I appreciate your input. I've tried a treestand in this location, as high as 20 feet, with disastrous results. Even if you were 100 feet in the air it still wouldn't work because of the topography. I have another wallow where a treestand is perfect. I've never been winded there. It's a great solution in the right location. This spot isn't one of those locations.
Take giant fan up there. Probably why there's nice elk in there. They know the wind is protecting them.
Sounds like you know what you're doing. Heck of a bull....good luck!
David, best of luck. The problem is that your scent still comes out the openings of the blind. Stick a little 4th of July scent bomb in there (no don't, but imagine it) Your scent is invisible but looks like that. There's a reason why you saw that bull at dark - the thermal settled, your scent was being pushed down and away from you (and him).
I know the general area you're hunting but won't say here, obviously. I know a dozen hot wallows in that same range. None are huntable, even from a treestand, because the scent cone hits them before they get there, sometimes a couple hundred yards away.
Sure hope you get that bull!
I prefer that the odds are stacked in their favor. It makes the tenderloin that much sweeter on the grill. I have three wallows that are very huntable because of the favorable wind currents. But I prefer this spot as there are several bulls I'd harvest in a heartbeat. I sealed up the blind last year and had a large 6x6 downwind from the blind, in the moonlight and he never lifted his head. Whatever I'm doing to minimize my scent seems to be working.
I would think plastic bagging the tent would make it hot in the mid-day ....making you sweat, making you stink as a human even more ?
Crazy sitting 48 hours in a blind ... I couldn't do it.
I got no advice to help, just observations
It's cool at 10,500+ feet. Sorry about the misunderstanding. I'll be sitting in the same blind for 60 hours. Crazy, but I'm counting on it being more effective than walking in and out from another camp location.
I'm a novice elk hunter but have been hunting white tails for quite some time, I would think you'd have to take a duce at lease once a day and go pee 2-3 times a day how do you intend to keep these scents at a minimum? If you get him that far in and have to pack his heavy butt out you'd better eat some of him before you leave or they're going to find you 20 years later under an old backpack that used to smell like rotting elk meat. I'm not doubting you in any way I hope you get him and can't wait to hear the story I just hope I get to hear it on this side of the pearly gates, be careful.
David, while pronghorn hunting last year north of Craig and from my Double Bull blind, the buck I killed came in from down wind. Before I killed him another buck did the same and winded me. I made an adjustment. The adjustment, like you, I closed all of the windows except a small shooting window out front. But the other thing I did that I believe made the difference, is that I sprayed all of the windows with sage oil so if some wind did come and go through the blind, my scent would/might be diluted. You might try some Pine scent, etc. and give that a try. The buck came from downwind like the other had, but this time passed within 15 yards of the blind for a good shot. Paul
Adding to Paul's last comment, several dozen pine cones might help, it would be a sticky job collecting them but who knows it might just be the trick, I've got a tree stand in a cedar tree, I've thought about putting my clothes in cedar chips, I might not be scent free but I'd sure smell good!
Paul, I prefer to smell what's happening in the area rather than trying to mask my scent. What you did would probably work but I don't want to be overpowered by that sage oil smell in the blind. Ahawkeye, last year I spent three full days in the blind. I peed in a heavy duty ziploc bag and avoided pooping by limiting my calorie intake to ten Clif bars in three days. I don't recommend that approach for an extended period of time. But it worked for me. I had elk all around me every day. I hope to experience the same thing this year. Regarding packing meat out, I never shoot an elk that's less than 4 miles from my vehicle. It might be my Lutheran upbringing, we always have to do it the hard way. I've deboned everything I've shot, even grouse, since 1975. I don't pack bones. It will happen this side of the pearly gates if I get a clear shot under 20 yards.
aHawkeye, poop and per smell doesn't bother them, same as whitetails and other wild critters. Its the gas produced by the 46 billion bacteria all over our skin.
David, honestly I'm not sure I'd sit in a blind for 60 straight hours unless it was for a world record. That's prisoner of war stuff...
use mud from the wallows that the bull peed all over - that'll mask your scent
Good luck. Some things aren't worth it. To me this is one!
Also I don't get the comment that you're wanting to know the scents around you. If you're plan works you'll have sealed yourself in and if you can smell what's going on outside then your plan failed. I like the idea of spraying all the edges.
One more thought, I had a good friend kill 2 very good German shorthairs by wrapping a blanket around their crate to keep them warm on a long haul home in the back of his truck. Not sure how crazy you're getting with the sealing of holes, but something to think about. Don't want to go to sleep and never wake up
Good luck man. I thought I was about as hard core as it gets. Well, I'm just a pup in comparison. God Bless
When I sit a blind, I like to dig a "foxhole" to get beneath ground level until the moment of truth. Good luck to you, that's hardcore.
Unreal. That's impressive man. No way I could do that. Best of luck to you and please keep us posted. Love to see this play out. That is a helluvan effort.
To bad there isn't juniper up there. Crush up a whole bunch of that. You might puke though.
I think this is cool. I sit tree stands 12-14 hours a day for my 10 day hunt. I actually really enjoy it. Hard and frequent scouting spring and summer and then see if it pays off first week. Good luck. Keep us posted on the outcome
I can't wait to hear how it goes....I made a commitment and sat a in a pop up 5 days in a row from dark to dark on a Kansas deer hunt 2 years ago. I felt like a different person when it was over. Never considered just sleeping there but now I am wondering why I didn't. I sued descent products, Spray and body gel. Worked well for me.
I committed to sitting one treestand for a whole week for elk at a hot spot. I killed a bull but it wasn't elk hunting.
You guys from CO are nuts. Elk hunting is supposed to be fun.
Dave, I've taken bulls from a variety of ways over the years with all types of weapons. Some of us get our adrenaline pumping through Treestands, Groundblinds, Blind Calling, Run & Gun, Ambush, Spot & Stalk, etc. I say do it the way that makes you feel you have the best odds in doing it your way! At the end of the day we have no say, you only have to answer to yourself! Good luck my friend, I'm rooting for you!
+1 Elknut. To each his own. Love hunting elk and the multiple ways of doing so.
Best of luck no matter how you get'r done!
About 15 hours is my limit in a blind. I did sleep in mine once turkey hunting out of state. It was pouring and I kept waiting for it to let up and it didn't so I just curled up. Had birds roosted close so I figured it would make a great story when I got one in the morning. Turns out they weren't as excited to make that story.
That sounds miserable. I hope you get one. I guess if you have elk around you the whole time it might be fun. But not dropping a deuce for 60 hours seems a bit extreme. I hope you bring a book or 5. Take lots of pics for us.
Skunk Oil if its legal, saturates the olfactory glands just long enough to get it done. Has worked for me in the past multiple times.
Thanks for all the comments. The elk are there. If I'm walking in and out of this area I'm going to screw it up for sure. That I know. Yes, it takes patience, but knowing I can leave at any time makes it easier to stay. When a bull comes in and I know that my setup is really the only way I'm going to have a shooting opportunity, it makes it all worthwhile. Walking around this area early in the season simply educates elk and I want to avoid that at all costs. Two years ago, from my treestand, I watched a 5X6 come in the first morning, lay down right below my stand and sleep for 45 minutes. Had it been later in the season I probably would have arrowed him.
My definition of success has changed over the years. Although I'd like to harvest a mature bull, I'm also very interested in elk burgers or steak on the grill. Helping a new bowhunter get started down an ethical path that ensures fair chase is important to me. Plus there are several tips that really make a difference, like allowing the wind direction to determine where you hunt, watching the wind constantly (frayed dental floss off the front limb of my recurve), hunting U-shaped valleys to maximize wind predictability, moving super slow through elk woods, if you call, call from a place where elk can't see you, force a bull to come uphill, over a lip right at 15 yards, these are all things we learn through the school of hard knocks, reading and learning from others. If a new bowhunter is trying to figure these tips alone on his or her own. it can take more than a decade. Sharing this information, real time, in the field is as thrilling for me as harvesting an animal.
Great videos! Good luck with your hunt!
Great videos by the way! I have a ton of respect for anyone who puts in the kind of effort you are putting in. Getter done!
I'm jealous sounds like an adventure. Bring a book or two and enjoy the quest.
This is the wallow I'm sitting on. I haven't captured much wallowing activity yet this year but I hope it picks up starting this weekend. Last year they tore it up constantly.
Not sure why the video link isn't posting correctly.
Hawk, a boy in Altanta, Georgia enjoying one of my recent wildlife clips.
Hawk, a boy in Altanta, Georgia enjoying one of my recent wildlife clips.
Right after posting the note about the personal rewards of investing in the next generation of hunters, conservationists and sportsmen, I received this image from a grandmother in Atlanta, Georgia. It's of her grandson Hawk who watches most of my wildlife footage at www.vimeo.com/offthepavement. This represents the ultimate thank you for my efforts. Nothing, absolutely nothing, fills my cup up more than this.
I started watching a couple and couldn't quit watching , your videos are very natural , nice job !
Good luck on getting your elk !
I remember you posting about that bull and the videos you took last year. All I can say is good luck! Always enjoy rooting for someone who uses different methods to seal the deal. I can understand your quest. Hope you get him!
Just a thought, would it be helpful to take a small, battery operated ozone generator with you? Once a day you could strip down, towel off and leave the blind for an hour or so with the unit running inside with your clothes. This would kill a lot of the odors. If your cameras show no active at a certain time and you stayed near the blind there should be minimal changes of bumping an elk.
Twanger, I feel those Ozonics units provide too much of an edge for the hunter. For me it would be about as much fun as killing an elk with the front bumper of my truck. I want to pit my ability against all six senses of an elk.
Is he still pooping in a bag sitting in his blind?
I have a hard enough time squatting and not losing my balance let alone trying to aim for a bag without proper visual of the target.
Hunting food and hitting a small target rarely go together in my experience :^)
Hopefully he connected and is still up getting the last couple loads out. 5 miles in by yourself with a dead elk is a lot of work.
5 miles in the heat we've had the last few days...good luck!
I wonder if he ate beans the day before he hiked in ....
Be Nice! LOL
I hope you are having a blast and seeing success CO_Bowhunter!!!
great footage!! i keep watching over and over. thanks
David. What time is the wallow being visited most often? Paul
Mature 6 point.
Mature 6 point.
Paul, the wallow use is more sporadic by the day and shifting more and more to nocturnal use. After September 10th it typically is 80% nocturnal.
No shot opportunities yet but I'm definitely in the right spot. Bulls bugling all around me. I woke to the sound of two bulls fighting Saturday morning. This photo was taken about 30 yards from my blind.
Good luck! I'd be out of that blind so quick in the morning when thermals are consistent running and gunning. No chance I could stay there listening to bugles and bulls fighting.
Checking the visitor list.
Checking the visitor list.
One bull wallowing, two sparring.
One bull wallowing, two sparring.
A few more photos caught by my trailcam at this meadow/wallow.
Yes, the next time I go up I'll be hunting on the ground, moving into the wind and calling. The treestand and ground blind tactics are only fruitful up until the 10th of September based on my experience.
How can you effectively hunt this elk at this location when the wind changes direction every 15 seconds? There are some location that are just not huntable no matter how good the sign and setup looks. It makes no sense to try to kill a mature bull at this location if you know from experience that the wind will not hold. Try to find another spot where the wind is steady. Maybe an approach trail that the bull uses to come to the wallow.
Ollie, you make a very valid point. I had hoped that by using Gorilla tape on the seams inside the blind and keeping the shooting hole to a minimum that I'd be able to mask my scent enough to get a shot. A few elk came through but nothing I wanted to take a shot at. But you make a very valid point. The trails coming into and leaving this site all experience the same swirling wind. But there are other active wallows that do have better daytime wind that I might try next year with the blind. For the rest of the season I'll be hunting on the ground in favorable wind areas.
Awesome thread, good luck!!
I was thinking last night about this thread and, was wandering how you had done. Good luck with the rest of the season. God Bless
Some elk wallows are producing more bear activity than elk. Surprising when there is very little water in this area.
By that rational Ollie, I'd never hunt! The blind will hold your scent in, just don't open every window so you get a cross breeze. Furthermore don't think its magic, you still have due diligence on your end. The last blind bull I shot was at 30yds with a steady tail wind right to him, 3-5mph in the evening so the thermals were keeping things low. My scent must've blown right between his legs missing his nose. I thoroughly believe, properly using a blind, in most scenarios you will have the drop on the animal before they wind you, if they do.
Ohiohunter, no blind will hold in your scent. If they did you would suffocate while sitting inside! A blind might help keep the scent down but it is not going to be scent free. Air will leak out through seams in the blind where it will then drift to wherever the scent is blowing.
My experience is that a blind may help a little if its been out there and doesn't stink on its own, but its about as effective at fooling an animals nose as anything....which means not very.
Of course, its called a blind not tupperware. I don't recall talking in absolutes nor do I recall claiming a blind will reduce your scent trail 100%..... To each his own. Maybe some people are more diligent about scent control than others..... naaaaaa, thats impossible.
I wash everything I take afield. Not a chance in Hades I'd pull a blind from the box and expect not to spook animals. I usually set them up in the yard in the sun for a few days and hose it down a few times, in and out. Let the material expand and contract to release chemicals. I do the same w/ rubber boots after watching a button buck hit my trail when I was wearing some new boots.. lesson learned.
Soooooooo.....what happened after all that pooping in a bag and sleeping in your blind?????