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Discuss Elk Scenarios and Solutions
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
elkmtngear 23-Aug-10
Shiras 23-Aug-10
Elkaholic 23-Aug-10
Norseman 23-Aug-10
Norseman 23-Aug-10
Hawkeye 23-Aug-10
chukarchump 23-Aug-10
Norseman 23-Aug-10
swamper 23-Aug-10
glacier 23-Aug-10
Mudhole 23-Aug-10
Trophy8 23-Aug-10
yrovikle 23-Aug-10
NvaGvUp 23-Aug-10
Raghorn 23-Aug-10
bullelk 23-Aug-10
Gaur 23-Aug-10
jordanatwork 23-Aug-10
trophyhilll 23-Aug-10
purist 1 24-Aug-10
Gerald Martin 24-Aug-10
Bigdan 24-Aug-10
wyobullshooter 24-Aug-10
Jaquomo_feral 24-Aug-10
ElkNut1 24-Aug-10
jordanatwork 24-Aug-10
Norseman 24-Aug-10
ElkFetish 24-Aug-10
longboman 24-Aug-10
Florida Mike 24-Aug-10
Bake 24-Aug-10
ghost stalker 24-Aug-10
Seminole 24-Aug-10
Hunts In His Sleep 24-Aug-10
AUSABLE 24-Aug-10
Forager 24-Aug-10
GregE 25-Aug-10
ElkNut1 26-Aug-10
hunter 26-Aug-10
siltbowhunter 26-Aug-10
NM_alazan 26-Aug-10
siltbowhunter 26-Aug-10
ElkNut1 26-Aug-10
Bigdan 26-Aug-10
Bigdan 26-Aug-10
hunter 27-Aug-10
AUSABLE 27-Aug-10
ElkNut1 28-Aug-10
Bigdan 28-Aug-10
From: elkmtngear
23-Aug-10
Pat, on Scenario #4, Paul Medel II and Al Morris give the same exact answer??? Other than that, it is awesome, and makes me look forward to each and every one of these scenarios this season! It is interesting to see the sometimes subtle differences in the way these guys handle these situations, they are obviously all very seasoned veterans when it comes to nailing the herd bull.

For Scenario #6, I would be behind the Elk Mountain Slip Blind/Decoy, and as soon as the cows started to move down to wind me, I would get up and move ahead of them, keeping the crosswind ahead of the herd, holding up the decoy by the handle. We have successfully moved around a herd in this manner to get the wind in our favor again, and then been able to re-approach the herd bull from the downwind side.

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: Shiras
23-Aug-10
What Jeff said on the repeat, but good stuff!

It's great to see how how they all give different answers for the same situation. Just goes to show that there is no "one" right answer and you never know what will work. I leave in four very long days...

From: Elkaholic
23-Aug-10
outstanding stuff right there!!!!

From: Norseman
23-Aug-10
Shiras +1

From: Norseman
23-Aug-10
scenario 4.

after calling and you don't have the patience to sit out or a trail cam to set up you can brush out the fresch elk sign with a stick and lay some branches in the wallow. check later on in the day or on the way back from your hunt that day to see if anything visited. Wallows are better early in the season than late.

From: Hawkeye
23-Aug-10
Great stuff-especially for a Midwest boy like myself with ZERO elk experience. Very good learning experience.

From: chukarchump
23-Aug-10
I like this feature but think that a discussion for public participation would make this thing great! There are other ways being overlooked in each scenario that could be shared with public imput.

Ex: In #1, nobody addressed that another approach might be to backtrack where the elk had just come from (feeding grounds or water hole), scout the area and find the perfect ambush setup for the morning movement between them. Another option for this bull that might have a better chance at success with the element of suprise.

From: Norseman
23-Aug-10
this is public. I am sure or hope some of the interviewees will chime in.

From: swamper
23-Aug-10
Elknuts playbook came in handy on these scenarios. Hell, I was rather proud of my decision making. I guess I owe Paul a big Thank you. THANK YOU Paul.

From: glacier
23-Aug-10
Excellent feature! the scenarios are some that most elk hunters can relate to and the experts give some great suggestions.

With all the different approaches and ideas, it just reinforces my impression that there is no "correct" way to do things when hunting elk. This panel of folks are all great elk hunters with LOTS of success. It is said that success comes with experience and experience comes from learning from your failures. I am very grateful to the panel for sharing some of their insights/opinions on these scenarios, and I will be changing how I handle a few scenarios this fall based on what I just read.

From: Mudhole
23-Aug-10
Very good info. Thanks for the insight to all the guys. Proves there is no perfect answer and that we hunt like our personalities.

From: Trophy8
23-Aug-10
Dan can sure put a lot of experience in a short answer. :)

It seems many of the answers are somewhat the same, just with a little different twist. I find it very interesting as well as informative.

Pat...great idea for a thread, gets everyone to gather there thoughts where they need to be...positive.

From: yrovikle
23-Aug-10
excellent stuff! Scenario #3 is very pertinent this season for me in Colorado...full moon today/tomorrow with temperatures predicted mid-70s high 40's low into opening weekend.

thanks

From: NvaGvUp
23-Aug-10
Pat,

You've outdone yourself these past two weeks. The shot placement/shoot-don't shoot video challenge from last week together with this thread are absolutely over-the-top awesome.

Thank you!

From: Raghorn
23-Aug-10
NvaGvUp beat me to it. Great stuff Pat, very educational. Keep up the good work, visiting Bowsite is better than attending a elk hunting seminar.

From: bullelk
23-Aug-10
Thanks for the insightful tips, gentlemen. I can always learn from you guys.

From: Gaur
23-Aug-10
Cool stuff. I enjoyed reading them.

Where these all scenarios where things went bad for you Pat :). I recall the elk all being on private land scenario from one of your hunts.

From: jordanatwork
23-Aug-10
Indeed!!!! Thanks Pat and thanks to all the participants!!! Great stuff.

From: trophyhilll
23-Aug-10
great thread and thanks for the insite from the 6 experts. its almost elk time.

From: purist 1
24-Aug-10
Hey, that was fun! Dan is hilarious. talk about to the point... 8-) I love his attitude, and hes right on bugling, done right it still works wonders. That was a lot of fun and a very welcome relief after another late august work day that just drags on!

Thanks Pat for the effort, and thanks to the 'experts' for being good sports!

24-Aug-10
Big Dan, from your short, to the point answers I get this very amusing mental image of a cave man with a club and a big beard saying, " Me no cow call, me bugle and beat tree." LOL Obviously, your success speaks volumes about the effectiveness of your methods.

Great feature Pat!

From: Bigdan
24-Aug-10
When Pat sent me the scenarios I just said the first thing that came to mind, exactly as I would do it, like it was happening right now. I didn't stop to think about setting up a story, just what my immediate reactions would be. That's why my answers were short.

24-Aug-10
A BIG thanks to Pat for the opportunity to participate in this feature. It was definitely a priviledge and an honor.

When he first contacted me to see if I would be interested, I thought "Sure, sounds like fun!". When he sent the scenarios, that thought quickly changed to "What the heck have I gotten myself into!" Talk about some tough situations!

As some have already alluded to, there is never just "one best way" to handle any situation you might run into. Also, what worked in one instance might bring fairly "disasterous" results in another. Learning from experience (both good and bad) and adding a good measure of common sense will go a long way towards consistently filling your tag.

Best of luck to all this coming season. Hopefully the 2010 Elk Meatpole thread will be really long this year!

24-Aug-10
Excellent feature. Interesting to see how some hunters I know and respect approach each different scenario. Some tactics are exactly as I would approach them, others a bit different, but as Rob alludes, there is never any "one" way to skin a cat.

Thanks for giving this to us right on top of the season!

From: ElkNut1
24-Aug-10

ElkNut1's Link
I think what most must realize here that the responses by all are nearly the same! The underlying thought here in all responses is "Aggressive Action"! It's the lack of it that cost most hunters a shot opportunity!

As I read all responses I felt most were very close to one another, I too enjoyed reading all scenarios!

Remember, be Aggressive in both action & calling when it's needed!!

Good Luck everyone & have fun!!!!

ElkNut1

From: jordanatwork
24-Aug-10
Dan...now that you've had more time to think aobut it....can we get the full story version? LOL!

Serously....have a great season!!!! Thanks for the insights.

From: Norseman
24-Aug-10
Just remember that there are many many factors to consider before making a move on the elk in elk country. I don't think anyone could give a definate answer on what do based on Pats scenarios without actually being there in the spot to take in all the little nuances. ie 9am thermals in the dark timber on the east slope will be much diferent than the west slope, is there cover to retreat and loop around, knowing where bedding areas are, etc.

Great answers, guys. I agree with Paul that aggressive action is many times the action that seals the deal.

thanks Pat and the elksperts!

From: ElkFetish
24-Aug-10
Great Feature Pat! Some great stuff this year to get the blood boiling and our minds focused on the little things that can and will make a difference! I loved the shot angle feature too. So did my 2 boys!

Thanks to the guys for taking the time to answer as well!

One point that stuck out in my mind that I think is important on situations like 2 and 6, where you have potential elk that are going to blow your cover or have elk get nervous before the big boy gets to you, is to be the first one to make the move or elk sounds and not wait till you get busted.

Once elk get startled by seeing non-elk movement, or not seeing the elk they think should be there, it is really hard to control any part of the situation. There are subtle nuances that elk key into that affect how they react an they key off of each other all the time. Their instincts kick in and it is usually over before it got started.

If you can push satellite bulls off with aggressive calls or movement that spooks them a bit, I think you are way better off compared to having them get too close and then get freaked and then take off. Just the way a nervous elk runs off vs a spooked elk could make a difference in how/if the big bull decides to still come in to check things out.

Regarding the concern of getting winded. I work really hard to never have an elk smell me, ever! Especially the area I hunt, public lands, OTC general tags, in wolf country, an elk's sense of smell is their biggest protector. Wolves have changed elk's behavior greatly in this regard in my opinion and when they smell a threat they just don't take off back to where they came from, they vacate to another drainage or 2, or 3 away from you! Not a good option for the rest of your hunt.

Control the situation, don't let the situation control you.

So, if I am concerned about them smelling me. I will do about anything to keep this from happening. Movement is okay, use your calls to cover up what happened, making a story unfold that still keeps the big boy coming to you. Even if they have to see my entire outline I would do that as well. Like the experts said, you can still play out a scenario with your calls, with an agressive bugle, that makes the bull think an outside bull has come in to mix things up, having no idea that the spooked cows were from your movement, etc.

You controlled that situation before it got out of hand. Not fool proof by any means but I think it gives you a significant advantage.

The time is getting real close and I am stoked to be heading to the hills very soon!

Good Luck To Everyone!

From: longboman
24-Aug-10
Nice job Pat putting this together. I can just imagine a rookie elk hunter reading the responses on the scenario where a couple of experts said to get up and let the cows see him first before they winded him. Now that something most (yours truly at the front of line) would never REMOTELEY think about doing. Let elk see you intentionally...."you must be are out of your mind" they must be thinking lol.

Good stuff for sure.

From: Florida Mike
24-Aug-10
Great feature Pat, I for one will use the advice given. Mike

24-Aug-10
Awesome Pat! Thanks for doing this!

From: Bake
24-Aug-10
Also like it.

I think Scenario 3 and 4 will both help me out in New Mexico in a few days

Bake

24-Aug-10
Great thread. As always very good info. Thanks and good look to everyone this season. Cant wait to see some harvest pics.

From: Seminole
24-Aug-10
That was awesome! Go Elknut crew! I am so pumped I can't sit in the office!

24-Aug-10
Great feature. I can see I'm not near aggressive enough. Our area is pretty open though and you get pinned down trying to cross open areas to get to cover. Will be in a lot tighter cover this year in the snowies so I will step it up. Thanks Pat and all the panel experts. Got the gears turnin in my head...Ron

From: AUSABLE
24-Aug-10
Good info here! Please don't trommple me here guys for semi-hijacking a thread, but what would you do here: A good bull is bugling up a ridge in the dark stuff. With decent calling, we got some cows and a very small raghorn to come in. The cows ended up getting a little spooked, but settled down not too far away. The bull stayed up on the ridge and never followed what we thought was most of the herd. He just kept on bugling at us. Should we have charged him? I pulled out all the tricks, raking trees, stomping, etc. but he never came down to follow the cows??? By this time it got dark and the hunt was over. Do you think he had some hot cows with him and was satisfied where he was at? Your thought please!

From: Forager
24-Aug-10
Great feature(s) lately Pat. Thank you.

From: GregE
25-Aug-10
Very good feature!!!

Ausable, guessing your last sentance is correct- Busy with here and now vice checking out a 'maybe' down there.

From: ElkNut1
26-Aug-10

ElkNut1's Link
Ausable, you leave out important details such as what calling you were doing to bring other elk your way & distance from the herd bull?

I assume you started off with cow calling of sorts & that's what brought by the unwanted. You then resorted to pulling out all the stops in an effort to lure the herd bull in. How far were you from the herd bull when you posed this threatening display? Inside 80 is needed & you must be believable! Distance is very critical here?

It's hard to say what I would have done exactly as I was not there seeing & hearing the encounter unfold.

But, if I would have gotten the herd bull excited by cow calling & he was doing his best to call over this new recruit I would have went right at him quickly expressing my interest in him as I did so.---This doesn't mean I wouldn't be prepared to switch gears in a heart-beat if it was needed & scream in his face if the need arose. But 1st & foremost I would have given him exactly what he was wanting! Aggressive action is needed!!

Too, was the small group that came your way with him for sure or was it possibly another group that was nearby & he still had his harem up the hill with him? This could be the case, as I mention details are needed for an accurate assessment!

ElkNut1

From: hunter
26-Aug-10
The "whip-stick" was in numerous answers! any old

stick/branch? some special walking stick? what's

a "whipstick?"

26-Aug-10
this is the real deal. its neat seeing what the top 10% of successful elk hunters have to say. what is interesting to me is that even though we are states apart the same techniques apply. i hope too many other archery hunters dont get this, there wont be any elk left......

very smart of you by the way Pat...... you may want to print some of these out and keep em in your pocket. after reading your diaries you would have had success with some of this advice.....

From: NM_alazan
26-Aug-10
I'm also curious about the "whip stick." Reminds me of when I was a kid and got in trouble.

26-Aug-10
by the way Big Dan, you have one hell of a trophy collection

From: ElkNut1
26-Aug-10

ElkNut1's Link
The whip stick is a name Bigdan has given a stick or tree branch that he uses for raking & or thrashing a tree/brush to imitate a bull challenging or displaying for the real bulls cows. It most likely is a stick of size easy to handle & stout so it doesn't break too easily while he's using it.

In the scenarios where some mention raking & thrashing about & Dan says whip stick, it's still all the same thing he's just using a different name.

ElkNut1

From: Bigdan
26-Aug-10
Whip-Stick is made from a small tree that a bull has killed by rubbing all the bark off it . The tree dies and in about a year its as hard as any tree you can find. You can beat it and they never break. You have to find one thats small so you can pack it around. And they also make a great walking stick.

From: Bigdan
26-Aug-10

Bigdan's embedded Photo
Bigdan's embedded Photo
Here is one. I have several around my house that I have packed home over the years.Bull whip= whip stick

From: hunter
27-Aug-10
thanks for info!

From: AUSABLE
27-Aug-10
Paul, the details are like this. We were in a new area when suddenly a bull sounds out 200 yds away, followed by what sounded like satelite bulls further to the south. So, we figured it would be a good time to close the gap (not far enough as far as im concerned- 100 yds approx.) We started with a bugle followed by cow calling. This went on for probably 2 hours! The closest the bull got was probably 60-80 yds. We never saw him because of the thick stuff. He was even glunking! Ive never heard of glunking until you wrote about it, but once you hear it, you'll know it! Anyway, after the 2nd hour, we stopped calling and so did he. Towards dusk, he started again. So did we. Then the cows and tiny raghorn began filtering down the ridge to us. We didn't get too aggressive thinking he would follow the ladies, but he didn't. By this time it was too dark. Im assuming we should have closed the gap from the start and then threatned him with a close bugle? I just didnt want to bump him! Thanks for the info!

From: ElkNut1
28-Aug-10

ElkNut1's Link
Andy, you are exactly right!!! If the terrain & wind allowed, your best odds would have been to get right in his face & hit him with a short powerful scream, this would have represented another bull calling his cows from him, add raking & stomping & that bull would very likely show into bowrange in very short order!

The fact that there were other satellites nearby bugling/harassing this bull & the this herd bull did not run over to them but kept them at bay vocally should have showed you he most likely would not come your way either as you represented another satellite with your bugling requests. Instead this herd bull was giving you "tolerating bugles" this is an intimidation that says do not come any closer or else! Get in closer & scream hard & you will get the "or else" (grin) At times give one or two cow mews & scream instantly behind them as a real bull would do & this is a very demanding way a satellite will give his best shots at calling cows from him!

If you have "sounds by the elk" cd it's the #-14 on the back cover, also consider #-7 in the short powerful scream you'll hear these bulls making! In both instances they are calling cows to them! This will pose an immediate Threat to him & his harem when in close & will definitely piss him off! Have an arrow nocked & a calm demeanor as he can come in fast!

ElkNut1

From: Bigdan
28-Aug-10

Bigdan's embedded Photo
Bigdan's embedded Photo
Here is another one of my tricks. I call it my bugle shirt. I also have a dark set of camo pants that goes with it with the elk colored fabric sewed above my knees. Works best when you have a shooter out in front of you.

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