Contributors to this thread:
Starting to feel like the proverbial guy who couldn’t find relations in a house of ill repute.
My first archery elk hunt ended 90 minutes after it started. I stumbled into a herd and shot a spike bull in MT the first morning of my first elk hunt. Unfortunately, I used up all of my luck that day and since then elk have provided total frustration!
My next elk hunt was in MT a few years later and went with rifles. Camped at 9200’, a snowstorm came thru and dumped 3’+ of snow. We bumbled around a few days, looked lower but when those elk left they were gone.
Two more trips, back to MT with archery. A few opportunities, elk close, bow drawn but never the opening I needed. Never released an arrow.
This year, I decided to head to the bunny ranch to break the slump and hire a guide on private land in WY. Had several opportunities to shoot cows but never had a bull closer than 53y and he was head on to us. The streak continues.
Now, this damn tag is burning a hole in my pocket. I spent half the day today clearing my schedule for the last week of the WY archery season and I’m headed back. Headed to public land I’ve never been on, with about a weeks worth of research, alone. I’m starting to think I crave disappointment and frustration!?! Man I love elk hunting.
Good luck. Late season can be very good.
Good luck! Shoot a big one...or a small one. You killed 1 elk in 5 hunts if I'm reading it right. Thats actually just normal elk hunting.
Thought this was a JordanAtHome post. Good luck!
I’ve been staring at OnX for most of the day. I just needed a Dr. Phil moment to vent!
I felt your pain for 20+ years. If yours ends like mine did, it will all have been worth it:
I was 0 for 6 on archery elk hunts before I put my hands on an elk that fell to my arrow. I experienced all the frustrations before that - poor shots, failed recoveries, blown stalks, dry spells. But if you stick with it, it’ll happen.
If I recall correctly, Pat went on something like 23 elk hunts before he finally punched his elk tag.
What unit are you in? Of close I might be able to team up!
What do they say around 17-30% of hunters are successful
What you wanna do is, get an OTC archery tag in Colorado. Biggest elk herd in the world. Sometimes it's hard to figure out which one to shoot!
Soccern23ny - that’s true, but it’s typically the same 17-30% that are successful every year.
I have crazy respect for these people that get it done every year because I know how damn hard it is.
Pulling for you. Best of luck.
Keep going it will happen. I’m in the reverse slump you are in. I used to kill every year I went OTC or draw hunts. But was very hungry, In shape and aggressive. Now the need to kill has diminished so with it the number of dead elk has diminished.
But man I still love taking my bow for a walk on the mountains
You guys are newbies when it comes to elk curses. Took me 14 hunts to kill an elk. But when I did it was a damn good one.
It will happen. Good luck.
Jordan, that is hitting home.
But Pat, you passed up a ton of bulls I’d have shot in that time. At this point the first cow that walks past me on public land is getting shot. Calves are safe for the first few days, after that - no promises.
badlander, what techniques and tactics are you using? Might be just a simple adjustment or two. How many elk are in the areas you're hunting? How much hunting pressure besides you is there in those areas? Many factors go into successfully taking an elk but you can also measure success by sightings, close calls or having them come in so fast you couldn't get set up for a shot. Relax and enjoy the time you're out there. The peacefulness and beauty of nature is what drives me more now than when I was younger.
Good luck and enjoy the hunt.
Go and get after it. The only way to kill an elk is to hunt elk. And I'm in the group that says shoot the first legal elk that presents a chance!!! Good luck, and post up pictures of you gripping and grinning!
Be positive, don’t over think it. Too many people are successful their first trip for it to be that difficult. I killed my first three trips. A positive attitude goes a long way.
Every now then there are a certain species that proves more difficult than others. This is more times than not is mere happenstance and circumstance. Do not personalize it. If you have been successful on other animals you should be able to close the deal. Treeline posted on a thread that patience kills and that is true but I have always stated that a positive attitude kills too.
Look up, stay focused, and remain positive!
Focus on the hunt and the kill will come.
I am from Ohio and have been on 16 archery elk hunts. I've killed 5. Why? I decided that I loved the hunting and the experience more than the kill. I could have shot elk on most of those other hunts but passed every single time holding out for a big boy and went home without regret. I did stick a really good bull and sadly lost him about 10 years ago.....they killed him in rifle with my broadhead in his shoulder blade, scored 345. My biggest is still under 300 but that is gonna change! Just enjoy the journey and it will happen!
Steve, that’s just rubbing it in now.
B says “I suck at elk hunting”
Steve: “Don’t worry, I’m awesome at it”
I am great at finding elk....I suk at executing on those opportunities and killing elk. Since 2005 with only 2 years off I can recall....... waaaa