Summit Treestands
TIP THREAD FOR NEW ELK HUNTERS
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Daniel.Liss 02-Oct-11
Beendare 02-Oct-11
gil_wy 02-Oct-11
sisabdulax 02-Oct-11
Sapcut 02-Oct-11
cnelk 02-Oct-11
SwiftShot 03-Oct-11
SwiftShot 03-Oct-11
bigbulls6 03-Oct-11
oldgoat 03-Oct-11
Lost Arra 03-Oct-11
HUNT MAN 03-Oct-11
Seminole 03-Oct-11
ElkBowhunter 03-Oct-11
HalfRack1 03-Oct-11
GG NYC@Work 03-Oct-11
Bobmuley 03-Oct-11
ROW-BEAR 03-Oct-11
Carnivore 03-Oct-11
oldgoat 03-Oct-11
Huntsman 03-Oct-11
Ace of Spades 03-Oct-11
NUMB 03-Oct-11
wyobullshooter 03-Oct-11
elkmtngear 03-Oct-11
Big D 03-Oct-11
Big D 03-Oct-11
Aspen Ghost 03-Oct-11
Stickflinger 03-Oct-11
Next ridge 03-Oct-11
gone huntin' 03-Oct-11
Ridgernr 03-Oct-11
ND String Puller 03-Oct-11
westaner 03-Oct-11
Swivelhead 04-Oct-11
EWAelkhntr 04-Oct-11
hike2hunt 04-Oct-11
PA 04-Oct-11
SOB 04-Oct-11
trophyhill 05-Oct-11
Jaquomo_feral 05-Oct-11
chucknduck 06-Oct-11
chucknduck 06-Oct-11
nocknock 06-Oct-11
>>>---WW----> 06-Oct-11
DL 06-Oct-11
wheels 06-Oct-11
huntingbob 07-Oct-11
yrovikle 07-Oct-11
Mongopino915 07-Oct-11
Bowbender 07-Oct-11
toad 08-Oct-11
THE ELK REAPER 08-Oct-11
SixLomaz 27-Dec-19
Bou'bound 27-Dec-19
MichaelArnette 27-Dec-19
Elkpacker1 27-Dec-19
Scoot 27-Dec-19
Mule Power 27-Dec-19
Ermine 27-Dec-19
Cornpone 27-Dec-19
SixLomaz 27-Dec-19
DonVathome 28-Dec-19
SixLomaz 10-Jan-20
GF 11-Jan-20
darktimber 11-Jan-20
GF 11-Jan-20
Jaquomo 11-Jan-20
Brotsky 13-Jan-20
ground hunter 13-Jan-20
FarBeyondDriven 16-Jan-20
paul mitchell 17-Jan-20
Puttncut 18-Jan-20
ND String Puller 20-Jan-20
From: Daniel.Liss
02-Oct-11
Ok this thread is for all ELK HUNTERS TO PLACE THEIR TIPS IN ONE THREAD FOR GUYS WANTING TO GO ELK HUNTING ANY TIPS THAT APPLY THANKS AND WELCOME NEW ELK HUNTERS HOPE THIS HELPS...

My tip: Be patient your playing king of the mountain with the mountain king and take your time moving but when the stalk comes up to play get aggressive and keep the wind in your face. These are not white tail from the mid west and you can get away with more (not much) movement and sound as long as your not talking obviously. good luck

From: Beendare
02-Oct-11
1. Do a search for all of Elknuts posts

2. If you are hunting OTC Colorado throw out every other criteria and go to the nastiest hole you can find

From: gil_wy
02-Oct-11
1. Cover as much ground as you can until you find elk... No point in being stealthy if there are no elk there...

2. Get your a$$ in shape!

From: sisabdulax
02-Oct-11
Dont be afraid to screw up by trying youll never learn if ya dont blow a couple. Learn from your mistakes.

From: Sapcut
02-Oct-11
Drink your weight in water.

Be stinkin aggressive.

From: cnelk
02-Oct-11
Practice alot - Take the frontal shot if it presents itself! :)

From: SwiftShot
03-Oct-11
Use the wind and get on them be aggressive!

A very wise man told me once "elk live in the woods" if your not in there you will not get one. So during your hunt, hunt get your butt in the woods and keep moving and looking. You will find them. Then put the wind in your favor and move close the distance. Once close sneak, crawl, climb but don't just watch and hope.

I once crawled through a field of bedded elk to get a shot. It was the most fun I have had.

You are the ultimate hunter so act like it he is dead he just don't know it yet.

From: SwiftShot
03-Oct-11
Use the wind and get on them be aggressive!

A very wise man told me once "elk live in the woods" if your not in there you will not get one. So during your hunt, hunt get your butt in the woods and keep moving and looking. You will find them. Then put the wind in your favor and move close the distance. Once close sneak, crawl, climb but don't just watch and hope.

I once crawled through a field of bedded elk to get a shot. It was the most fun I have had.

You are the ultimate hunter so act like it he is dead he just don't know it yet.

From: bigbulls6
03-Oct-11
Respect their natural abilities! But don't be afraid to trust your hunting skills be aggressive but smart!!! Wind !! Damn Wind!! Oh hunt the Wind!!

Man I'm ready for next year already!!!

From: oldgoat
03-Oct-11
Learn to use a diaphragm call and be able to make everything from calf calls to bugles. Also not only the full range of calls, but be able to make them in different tones & volume.

From: Lost Arra
03-Oct-11
Have a Plan B and don't be afraid to change locations if the elk aren't where you are hunting.

From: HUNT MAN
03-Oct-11
Always nock a arrow when you call everytime.Trust me!

From: Seminole
03-Oct-11
When in doubt ask Elknut.

From: ElkBowhunter
03-Oct-11
Hunt man had a a great post....Ive seen so many who get busted by not nocking an arrow when calling.

Also my #1 advice is to know ...just because you see an ad on the outdoor channel does not mean its true. Its called HYPE. People HYPE things to sell things. Dont get sucked into the hype. Test all things. Read honest reviews. There are a lot of bad products out there...a lot of gizmos and transformers that are just junk. If you hear of something...always run by hunters better than you are. And above all enjoy the gift given by God to HUNT. Relax..take it in and enjoy!! Its not what we do.....its who we are...BOW-HUNTERS.

have a great season!!!

From: HalfRack1
03-Oct-11
When they are bugling hunt them all day because tomorrow they might just shut up for no apparent reason, there is NO planning for tomorrow only for what's going on right now, take it as it comes. You'll get maybe 1-3 chances during your hunt so be aggressive and make it count. Leave it all on the mountain.

From: GG NYC@Work
03-Oct-11
For flat-landers...take small steps when climbing uphill. It's better to take small steps and rest less than to take BIG steps, blow-up and have to rest longer. Too many of those intervals and you won't make it very far.

If you have been training all year for this, by all means run up the hill. I try to conserve energy so it is there when I NEED to be aggressive and move quickly to get the job done.

From: Bobmuley
03-Oct-11
Take all the tips and be ready to throw 80% of them out the window for any given situation.

The next situation you might have to throw the original 20% out the window and dig up previously tossed out ones.

There's no one set formula for killing elk and it's all about adaptability to that situation, at that time, with that elk.

From: ROW-BEAR
03-Oct-11
Practice shooting at longer ranges than you are used to, you never know what kind of opportunity will present itself. Without the confidence to make the shot, you never will.

From: Carnivore
03-Oct-11
Any elk with a bow is a trophy. Take that cow or calf your first time and break the ice. You never know, it could be five years before you get another shot opportunity. But you'll always have that confidence from having done it already.

From: oldgoat
03-Oct-11
Amen to that Carnivore, I'm an Elk Hunter, not a Bull Hunter! I have been known to spread a little bull though!

From: Huntsman
03-Oct-11
No "tromp and toot"...99% of us hunt elk on public land, and usually they don't act like the Primos videos. Where elk are call shy, nothing will shut them up fast than someone tromping through the wood, tooting on their calls every few minutes...

03-Oct-11
1- Don't plan on hunting bugling elk.... I have heard two bugles total during two trips. They don't bugle on he public land IMO.

2- Drink lots of water, you might not feel thirsty but trust me you need it with the increased elevation and dry air

3- Don't get too picky.. any elk with a bow is a trophy

4- It's about the quality of the hunt and not killing

5- Have fun and be in the best shape possible!!

From: NUMB
03-Oct-11
Not only do you have to be in top physical shape you need to keep yourself mentally prepaired also. you can be physically in shape but if your mental frame of mind goes your hunt is pretty much over.

03-Oct-11
"Take all the tips and be ready to throw 80% of them out the window for any given situation"

A very wise observation. Every elk is different and every situation is different. Other than watching the wind and being in shape, most every other situation is a crap shoot. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats first-hand experience. You will make mistakes regardless of how long you hunt elk, or how many you kill. The key is to learn from those mistakes. The next time a similar situation comes up, you will have a good idea what to do, as well as what not to do. In other words, spend as much time in the elk woods as you possibly can and learn from the best teachers there are.

From: elkmtngear
03-Oct-11

elkmtngear's Link
If you can possibly take more time off for your elk hunt, do it! More is better, and you will not want to leave elk country once you get there.

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: Big D
03-Oct-11
Be realistic and hunt to your ability what ever that may be I leave the "training" for others and do what I know I can. Be prepared for the worst, maybe weather, maybe elevation , maybe too many hunters Be mentally prepared

From: Big D
03-Oct-11
Be realistic and hunt to your ability what ever that may be I leave the "training" for others and do what I know I can. Be prepared for the worst, maybe weather, maybe elevation , maybe too many hunters Be mentally prepared

03-Oct-11
There is some darn good hunting on public land all over the west.

Bulls do bugle and run in bugling and busting brush on otc public land just like they do in the Primos videos.

If you're not finding elk or responsive bulls you probably don't want it bad enough and you're either not hunting hard enough or smart enough or you gave up too easy. JMO

From: Aspen Ghost
03-Oct-11
No matter which way you go the wind will shift and be at your back. So walk backwards to trick the wind.

Just kidding of course but figuring out the wind has been my biggest problem.

From: Stickflinger
03-Oct-11
Know your hunting area well OR plan on spending lots of time finding the elk rather than hunting the elk.

Practice calling as well as understanding what they are saying (Elknuts DVDs).

Know when and when NOT to call.

Pick a Spot Stupid. When it finally happens and the shot is in front of you, PICK A SPOT.

From: Next ridge
03-Oct-11
Don't skimp on good boots, a good sleeping bag, or a good pack, spend the money and by quality gear the first time!!

From: gone huntin'
03-Oct-11
Glass more,hike less.

From: Ridgernr
03-Oct-11
+ 4 What HUNT MAN said, Every time I call a arrow gets nocked. Elk can just appear you know.

03-Oct-11
Don't Be afraid of the dark! Hunt like a coyote, camp out as close to elk as you dare. Try a OTC mule deer hunt first once you learn to spot and stalk you'll have more confidence for that big elk hunt!

From: westaner
03-Oct-11
#1 get elk nut videos #2 don't bugle all the time! rake a tree instead #3 sit and listen they will keep sounding off without you bugling or cow calling #4 hone you stalking skills and be aggressive #5 Get to the spot before first light and hunt till last light #6 consult an experienced caller to see if your calls sound right. most newbies sound nothing like elk #7 scout find the highest water with good cover near is usually bedding area #8 my elk (cows) are in the same area doing the same thing year after year, cows run the show most of the time

From: Swivelhead
04-Oct-11
Lots of good advice here.

I'd add this: Bowhunting bugling bulls? Listen to your instinct. IMO, deep in our DNA, we are hunter/gatherers. Instinct often is a simple urge to move, run, stop, look, listen, go right/left, etc. Heed the call!

From: EWAelkhntr
04-Oct-11
1. Have Fun! 2. Get familiar with strategies for when you do encounter elk. 3. Know what your going do when you get responses from calling. Practice in your vehicle, not in the woods. 4. Get used to the idea of what Fast is. Cuz when it happens, it happens FAST. 5. Think like an elk. 6. Be a Hunter. Not a hiker with a bow in hand! 7. Good Luck....you have a lot of people rooting for you here.

Take Care and Safe Hunting

Brian

From: hike2hunt
04-Oct-11
Your going to fail, it's how you choose to bounce back.

From: PA
04-Oct-11
Mule Power, you hit the nail on the head, know who you are hunting with, it makes a life a whole lots better in the woods, for sure, I know this.

From: SOB
04-Oct-11
Mule Power- You said it! The progression is very true. After Day 1 I was like " holy cow.. this ain't like sittin in a tree stand in New Jersey!" But..after sucking it up, and having a great & encouraging partner, days 2-7 became progressivly more manageable. Not easy, but manageable.

EWA Elkhunter_ Fast IS the word. I had my first Elk come in very fast off of a ridge on the very first morning. It was like"Hello rookie..welcome to your first Elk Hunt!" I didn't have time to range him, but I did have my pack off and an arrow knocked!

However, I must admit, since the temps were record breakingly high, I did feel like a hiker with a bow in my hand alot of the time, since the Elk weren't very vocal. But I guess that's hunting. SOB

From: trophyhill
05-Oct-11
take advantage of opportunity. you may not have another in a given hunt

05-Oct-11
It only takes 30 seconds for a discouraging hunt to become an awesome hunt.....

From: chucknduck
06-Oct-11
Do the last 100 yards of your stalk in your socks. you'll be amazed how quiet you can be plus it slows you down.

From: chucknduck
06-Oct-11
Do the last 100 yards of your stalk in your socks. you'll be amazed how quiet you can be plus it slows you down.

From: nocknock
06-Oct-11
Find elk to hunt in the off season and get to know there habits. Then hunt those elk during the season and learn from experiences.

06-Oct-11
Learn the what, where, why, and when of elk calling or don't say anything at all. Throw that Hoochie Mama away. No wonder the elk are getting call shy. The only really true thing I have ever heard the Primos boys say is, "Speak the Language"!

From: DL
06-Oct-11
Shoot a lead cow. That way it will increase everyone elses odds.

From: wheels
06-Oct-11
+1 Mulepower Choose your hunting partners wisely... Last thing you want to do is babysit.

From: huntingbob
07-Oct-11
Have fun most of all and push yourself everyday to do a little further and never give up. Don't get side tracked and hike through two miles of good habitat because you saw elk in the third mile because you never saw them there before or the day before. They are where they are! If they are talking don't be afraid to to follow them and push with calls as sometimes they (bulls) will finally get tired of you and turn and leave the cows to shut you down. Good luck!

From: yrovikle
07-Oct-11
All newbies should solo hunt first and learn what their own abilities are before they try to figure out their partners strengths or weakness...well maybe not...

only advice I can suggest that already hasn't is this...

You can not worry about the elk that see, hear or smell you first...you can only react and confront those elk dumb enough to not see, smell or hear you first... FOCUS on the things you can control and quit worrying about what you can't. :)

Happy hunting!

Cheers, yrovikle

From: Mongopino915
07-Oct-11
At minimum, Elk Bow Hunting requires four key aspects:

1. Get in shape as you will needed.

2. Hunting - Know elk behavior and habitat (i.e. know what they're doing at all hours and where to find them). Have lots of different areas to hunt and be willing to put 10 plus miles/day on your feet to find them.

3. Calling - Like others have stated, know what to say to the elk and what the elk are saying. Practice, practice, practice and practice calling. Know where, when, why, and how to call (both silent and vocal elk), and when not to call and just be quiet.

4. Archery - Know your bow inside out and your shooting skills. Learn to tune your bow and shoot several thousand arrows before hitting the high country.

Efforts put forth during the off season will definitely improve your luck during the season.

Good luck and have fun hunting.

From: Bowbender
07-Oct-11
Patience + persistance = SUCCESS. You can also throw in a little endurance for good measure :)

From: toad
08-Oct-11
Get in shape, lose 10 lbs. Do alot of interval training. Drink alot of water. Practice long distance shooting. If you think you have to kill a big bull to have a good hunt, don't bother going. Your chances are slim, enjoy the time in the outdoors. It makes good memories.

08-Oct-11
NEVER GIVE UP.....EVER!

From: SixLomaz
27-Dec-19
2018 - first year elk hunting - first elk with bow - OTC 7 x 7 down after 2 weeks of hard grinding and failing 9 times - took 6 months of research, learning, training

From: Bou'bound
27-Dec-19
That 7x7 was not even alive when this thread started

27-Dec-19
Start playing the point game now

From: Elkpacker1
27-Dec-19
All the above, But get in the best shape you can. this past season I could not use my horse due to an eye injury. He is fine now. However I went on y 10 day hunt. Not seeing much heard 1 bugle. On 8th day I went up and up. slept over night on the mountain. Called in a nice 6x6 at 20 yards . Those last two days put a hurten on me getting the elk off the mountain. Not that young any more.

From: Scoot
27-Dec-19
Look through old tips and information on Bowsite. Sometimes very old threads pop up and they're sprinkled with gold nugget advice! :)

From: Mule Power
27-Dec-19
Bou that’s funny. I guess the best tip when this thread was born would have been buy points.

From: Ermine
27-Dec-19
Elk aren’t whitetails...

From: Cornpone
27-Dec-19
Use a treestand over used waterholes or wallows and well used trails. If on the ground, hunt them like spring turkeys if you're a turkey hunter...you know how. In this case the only difference is they can smell so pay attention to the wind.

From: SixLomaz
27-Dec-19
Bou everyone gets old. Do not wallow in sorrow. Go out and live you life.

I would say that time was the biggest factor in my 2018 success as I spent 2 weeks chasing and learning elk hunting. Elk is not whitetail deer.

From: DonVathome
28-Dec-19
They are NOT whitetails. MUSH easier to approach, call etc. Cover a lot of ground until you find elk. Learn to call, rake, decoy, and glass.

Good glassing points are the best thing imaginable.

From: SixLomaz
10-Jan-20
Go in ready for hard work. This ain't camping trip.

From: GF
11-Jan-20
JMO, if you’ve never butchered your own deer, you have no business hunting Elk more than 100 yards from a road. If you’ve never boned out an animal in the field, you’re it ready for an Elk trip unless you have experienced help along with you and willing to teach you how.

I put that bluntly to make the point. As Lomaz said, this isn’t just a camping trip.

If you’ve never packed off an Elk before, JMO budget 1 day for every mile (as the crow flies). That’s assuming that you have a partner. This means that your backcountry Hunting is OVER a minimum of 2 days before you have to leave. Yes, that sucks. But not as bad as realizing that you can leave on time or leave with your Elk, but not both.

Also worth remembering this good (and quite old) advice: ANY Elk is a good Elk; ANY Elk with a bow is a trophy. To which I would add, a Calf Elk is a DAMN big deer; more like 2 large deer unless you’re from somewhere well to the North. A Cow Elk is at least three big deer; and a large bull is a project big enough to explain why in a lot of Elk hunting videos, the guy with the Pref points has 4-5 friends along for the adventure. With their llamas.

Beyond that...

Keep your heels on the ground whenever you are hiking up-hill. Use your GLUTES, rather than your calves, and you will be able to keep going a LOT longer.

But don’t let that keep you from using your eyes a LOT more than your feet. Good glass is worth every gram.

Beyond that... Hunt longer, shoot shorter. More fun that way, and if you leave an Elk on its feet long enough for it to get spiteful about having been shot, you will get a painful lesson in just how spiteful a critter can be!

From: darktimber
11-Jan-20
Don’t go back to camp for a mid-day nap. Bulls WILL get up and bugle during the mid-day. Be there.

From: GF
11-Jan-20
Besides - if you’re javing any fun, Camp will be a LONG hike!

Nap In Place!

From: Jaquomo
11-Jan-20
Don't hunt anywhere near bedding areas in the middle of the day if you are someplace like north central CO or south central WY. The wind starts swirling around 9:30 am and sometimes doesn't settle until near sunset.

Its a whole lot easier to hunt elk than to hunt FOR the elk you blew into the next county by hunting in bad wind.

From: Brotsky
13-Jan-20
Don't let people scare you by saying how hard it is or if you've never done this or that or the other thing, etc. Go elk hunting. Learn along the way. Make memories. Just make sure you understand how to be safe, how to navigate in the backcountry, and have reasonable expectations of your ability.

13-Jan-20
GF. has good advice but a cow calf is not hard to manage nor is a cow. I have shot both. Plan ahead and realize what it will take. Just go....you do not need fancy camo elk do not care. I went out west cold in 1989 and shot a cow on my third day GF is correct all elk are trophy with bows. Lot of work to pack out the meat. Years went by.more elk but made packing arrangements no cell phones. Back then.

16-Jan-20
get in ELKSHAPE

17-Jan-20
40 years 7 elk. don/t pass a shot. if you are going to spook them turn around try tomorrow. short steeps better on the knees

From: Puttncut
18-Jan-20
Wear only wool socks and change them mid-day or whenever your feet get wet. Carmex/Chapstik lip balm used OFTEN, unscented baby wipes, Jolly Rogers. Always pack rain gear. Cotton balls dipped in melted Vaseline and kept in a small ziplock are great fire starters. Rolaids MAY help ward off altitude sickness. Treking poles are useful. Flat-landers should not try to camp above 10000ft for the first several days in-county. You may never enjoy whitetail hunting again.

20-Jan-20
If you get one in bow range and you get busted. Don’t be afraid to draw your bow. If he turns to run, a lot of times you can stop them with a cow call or even your voice. They usually don’t blow out like a deer would. You can’t killem if you don’t get to full draw.

If you spook some cows but the bull didn’t catch you “run” up to intercept him. Be at full draw or ready to draw and wack him when he’s looking for his cows. These two scenarios usually will require you to quickly judge yardage. So as your hiking around “looking” for elk, practice judging yardage. Then confirm with your range finder. As noted above all it takes is a split second to change your week of elk hunting. Or year for that matter, waiting for next season!

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