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Starting to use the wallows
This guy was making a ruckus this evening tearing into trees below me then he visited the wallow. Not far from Ward. I will be here Saturday hoping he makes another appearance. Not looking forward to getting back out of this hole. I think he's a 5x6. Good 'nuf for me!
Waaaay done below.......ugh.
Looks like he just went over for a drink. I've rarely seen any wallowing by bulls before the first week of September. Cows and calves, yes when it's warm.
That bull isn't big enough for the area you're hunting. Raise the bar, Jordan!
LOL.....after 10 years of tag soup I'll take the first legal bull that is dumb enough to get close enough. But I hear ya Lou.
Things have changed a lot since early July......the elk have moved to new areas and are much harder to find. Even RMNP was nearly devoid of elk this weekend.....compared to what I'm used to seeing anyway.
At least you saw him during shooting hours. We sat about a half mile from camp Saturday night looking over an area they feed and saw/heard nothing. Walked back to camp at dark and out of the trees 150 yards from our tent walks a 6x6 followed by a 5x5 and then a 4x4.
We never should have left camp I guess.
Come on Friday!
Jordan, yes, things definitely change. That's why I tell people to not get too excited about elk they find in July. By September 1 everything changes. Summer scouting should be to learn terrain and habitat, how to get in and out of different spots in the dark.
He's big enough if Jordan says he's big enough. You do you Jordan. Don'y let the "inch" guys play with your experience. (Not saying Jaq's a horner) ;-)
I just want to see Jordan get a good one with this primo tag and honeyhole that a fellow Bowriter gave him.
But yeah, if he looks big enough he's big enough!
Frankly.....I want to shoot a big pig of a bull like anyone else. But at this point.....any legal bull will do for me. For me the hunt is not about the kill or the trophy. The hunt for me started months ago. I've had so much fun and amazing experiences in that time that I would be 100% satisfied if my season ended today. But I would really like some elk meat in my freezer after so many years of tag soup........ :)
Funny thing is....he is probably the smallest bull I've seen this summer.
Gotta admit, I agree with Elkman on this one! Don't fall into the peer pressure category & regret a bad decision in the end! Go with your heart & your gut! (grin)
There should be an APP to assist guys so they known when bulls start to use wallows...
Jordan, how much time do you have to hunt?
Brad, I have that app on my phone - it's called the Cal-en-dar hunting app. Came with the Android!
Last year I found a wallow opening morning that was absolutely destroyed. I can't imagine it was from the cows. Area was about 10 feet by 40 feet.
These cows and calves bombed this wallow out pretty good after they took turns in it...
The bull I saw last night was not rolling but he was stomping around and digging his horns in and tossing muck. The wallows I've seen this weekend have the grass all matted down around them and are generally mucked up so they are definitely using them but not full on yet. It ain't just for drinkin' anymore.
Jaq.....I have NEVER made it to the honey hole(s) I've been entrusted with.....the closest I got to one of them was within a mile.....and I was done.........they are stupid hard to get to and along the way I found easier hunting grounds that meet my personal goals. But if the elk disappear from them I may have to man up and go back into the honey holes.
Good luck Jordan! Hope to see you with a giant!
Lots of wallow use by bulls in mid to late August in CO.
Interesting, Pop-r. What part of CO? I've been camming wallows in N. Central since trail cams first came out and haven't seen much actual wallowing before September 1. Drinking, yes, but not rolling around in the mud until they start getting with the cows.
Based on reports from fellow elk hunters for 30 years, there are only two truths about the rut:
#1 "Dang, looks like it will be a late rut this year, they should be talking and tearing up wallows by now"
#2 "Dang, looks like it was an early rut. They should be fired up still and wallows I saw were all older activity"
One of these two truths can generally be heard around a campfire and the other can usually be heard around the campfire in the next camp 100 yards away on the same night.
It's common to see wallows starting to get hit during last week of Aug. Some will be & some won't! Some wallows that were active one year may see no activity the following year then there's some that seem to get hit every year! For myself unless I see an elk in one they are a crap shoot! Waterholes have higher odds of activity!
Well gosh...I did not intend to start another big BS controversy. LOL
I want to wake up Saturday morning to this guy at 20 yards at 6 am and clueless to my presence. Unfortunately this guy is not in this area (I guess he might be but he wasn't when I got his picture) but I can drive over to his location from camp in under 1/2 hour. I might. But I'm feeling better about my percentage opportunity for success in the area around this wallow so I expect I will start my season here.
I know what I saw, and Lou, he wasn't just there for a drink but he wasn't rolling around in it yet either.
I had more pics but not worth posting....still learning how to drive this D3300. He was in the wallow about 10 mins stomping and horning around making a general mess....pissing I'm sure but too far away to tell. Heck....I was so excited I could hardly make out his antlers to see if I could count points plus light was failing quick. There are several other mud holes that could be wallows within a 2 mile radius that are not showing any action at all. That may change this week.....might not.
The key information for me was he was hitting the wallow and raking trees. Good. I have a good idea where he came from and I saw where he went. Good. I have a good idea of the wind patterns in this rather tight little area and depending on day to day conditions I have a couple different locations and setups to work the wind on the way to and from it and be in position to ambush him (or another bull) as they come to this spot. GREAT!
Damn......3 days and I pack into camp. I need a xanex or three.
Best of luck to everyone!!!
Good luck Jordan! You got this! And thanks for sharing your story on here, it's been great following along. Can't wait to read the tale of your hunt.
Jordan get one for me. I have had tag soup the last 9 years and the shoulder isn't working this year or I would be leaving tomorrow so take your time, take lots of pictures and enjoy every minute of it!
I must have been camming all the wrong wallows the past 15 years or so. Or so the experts say... But elk behave differently in different areas at different elevations. I believe in my area they scent check wallows early to see who is around, piss in them, maybe thrash with antlers like you saw (which isn't all that far from where I hunt, BTW). I can't tell you how many times I've cammed a bull piddling around and raking trees at a wallow early, that never came back again. I have a whole gallery of photos of one-time visitors.
You'll have a great hunt. Lots of elk in the area. Just be flexible and don't get locked into one spot, and you'll be fine.
This is the earliest pic of my favorite wallow getting torn up by a bull, they usually start hitting it hard around September the 5th. I've had a cam on this particular wallow for 4 years.
This isn't about who's wrong or right, it's about facts. As we can see bulls use wallows in certain capacities, read it as you'd like. Photos do not exaggerate these occurrences. Bulls start using wallows late Aug. They will continue on this course fairly heavy into 2nd week of Sept then taper off, they do not stop using them they reduce their activity there & are more focused on the cows. As mentioned, not all wallows experience equal activity for a variety of reasons. Some bulls may be killed off that used a particular wallow, others are not in the area yet! A bulls main reason for being attracted to wallows is not to see who's been there. Yes it can be a reason but certainly not the only one. Bulls cool off at them & coat themselves at certain times to reduce insects havoc on them. Other times they are feeling their oats as their testosterone levels rise, etc.
We took a bull on Aug 30th that ran to his wallow as we bugled him, he rolled everywhere in it as well as slung mud answering my every bugle, my son slipped into him to under 20 yards as I kept him bugling, bull down in sight! Yes they will wallow & defend them in early Aug.
Jordan, good luck sir & stay positive!
I am positive I am having the time of my life this year and don't expect that to stop until I drop an bull (bull only tag) or run out of time. For me the journey is the prime experience. Which is good given my tag soup history. LOL But boy let me tell ya I've had my chances and enjoyed the hell out of every....well almost every....moment since 2006.
I don't think I can drink enough whiskey to stay sane until Friday afternoon..........
Paul, last time I looked at the calendar, August 30 isn't "early August"..
"A bulls main reason for being attracted to wallows is not to see who has been there". You know this as fact during the pre-rut, when the bulls are still cruising and checking? I thought you were smarter than that, but apparently not. I have dozens of photos of the same bulls cruising from wallow to wallow, sniffing, scent-checking, moving along and never coming back. Photos prove these occurrences. Your "facts" are simply your opinions, nothing more.
Lou, it was supposed to say late Aug. That should be evident from my above post where I mentioned last week of Aug. Sorry for the confusion, my mistake. Outside of that your word is not final. Please look again at the photos by others provided for you! No need to get offensive. It's common for bulls to "cruise" wallows & never return regardless of the date, this is nothing new sir. As I mentioned in an above post, wallows are a crap shoot, you've made my point here.
This isn't a competition, just sharing info that may help others! Have a great evening!
Paul, as the self-proclaimed "Leading Expert in the Elk Hunting Field", you're compelled to make everything into a competition. That's your problem. Take a step back and re-read the thread. I provided my observations over the past 43 years of studying elk behavior, along with advanced observation from about 15 years of camming the same wallows year after year during the pre-rut, rut, and post rut. Nothing more.
You called me out on that, saying "It's common to see wallows being hit the last week of August". Maybe so. Not where I hunt. I consider "hit" as being bombed by bulls, not one dropping by for a scent check or a drink. Or cows and calves wallowing. I said "much before the first week of September". Then you responded with this bullshit about "facts" (yours) with an example of a bull wallowing two days before the 1st of September as an example of why I'm wrong.
What photos are you referring to? I see photos of bulls scent-checkng wallows, one actually wallowing on August 29th - duh - and my photo of cows and calves rolling in a wallow.
Really, you need to read all the posts before you put on your "Leading Expert" cape.
And so my friends....another prime example that the RUT is beginning.........hopefully the elk catch on to it soon. ;)
Jordan, enjoy the beautiful country & your time spent there, there's a lot more to building memories than being overly concerned about the size of bulls that inhabit the area. Do not allow peer pressure rob you of that, you have a great time sir.
Go and have a great time brother! I hope you get a great bull!
From my limited experience at wallows it's about spot on with Lou's.
I have had a lot of bulls come into a wallow and water, but I personally have never seen one wallow previous to Sept. one. Is I were to tell someone who wanted to see a bull wallow, I would say Sept 1 and for the next 10-12 days would be best.
But that does not mean a few won't start a bit before the 1st. But by that I mean just a day or two. It's really a timing thing and from what I have seen that happens rear after year. But one thing I learned with both my bow and my camera, is you have to be there when it happens. And it can happen in the morning but to me evenings are much better.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
These bulls were all muddied up tonight.
Good luck Jordan....enjoy the adventure!