Contributors to this thread:
Now that the 2018 fire season is about done, who is planning on hunting recent burn areas next year?
Did the breaks burn in Montana I would like to hunt there next year for sheep. Or unit 2 or 10 Colorado elk burned I would save time for a hunt there. If Arizona unit 9,3 8, burned I’d be available, Otherwise I am willing to wait a couple years for the regrowrh from burn to take affect in any other areas
How many years after a burn is hunting the best?
The next year the animals we be all over.
Midwest, I think that depends on how hot the burn was. I have an area that burned down over 2 years ago that still looks like a moonscape when I checked it last month. It scorched the soil so bad I think it went sterile. However Im currently hunting the fringe of a burn from about 5 years ago that looks like a jungle. From looking at the trees that survived i don't think that fire got as hot. It probably produced vegetation the following year.
3-4 years is when I think they peak with browse and nutrition . Hunt
I looked at some burn areas from 2 years ago just to see what was up in one spot I like to hunt and it also looked like the moon. The soil was like ash under foot. That damage was not seen over the entire area but at the top of a drain where it looks like the fire became very intense. I could not even find the trail where it crossed this area. My guess is that Cnelk and 3/4 of the bowsite know this exact spot lol, not really
Fire releases nitrogen in the soil. Nutrient peak for a cool fire is usually as Hunt said. 2-3, maybe 4 years. Also, the explosion of Nitrogen in the soul, caused by a fire see many plants explode initially. But, it can also come with a cost if it happens too often or burns too hot.
Fires will always be hotter at peak, then lower. That’s why all controlled fires are burnt downhill. Not started low to burn up.
Find the areas that burned down hill or lower in the basin where it burned cool enough before gaining momentum.
Not for elk, but in northern Manitoba burns are great for moose hunting for around 20 years.
The problem with the fires in Colorado this year was that so many burned fast and hot, sterilizing the soil in many fires. Yes, the edges of the burn didn't burn as hot, and the growth starts to grow back quick. But the areas that burned hot might take years and years for something, anything, to grow.
Guys were quick to show pictures of elk this year walking through the burn on La Veta pass, but not staying or living, they were passing through. And when the rains did come down, so did all the ash, but most important, the top soil. Huge difference in a controlled burn and a forest fire. Contolled burn the fire and the heat is controlled, the fire is contained to burn certain areas, certain types of underbrush.
The Beaver Creek fire in N Colorado had elk back in the burn later in the same year. The following year [last year] they shot the shit outta them in the burn.
I scouted around a burn that was from this year. There was already green shoots of grass coming up. Some deer tracks in it. No elk. It wasn't a very big area though.
I hunted the Gila in New Mexico in 2012 a few months after the Whitewater - Baldy fire, which covered a good portion of the unit. We found elk and green grass in the burn areas we hunted. It was also obvious they’d done a bunch of seeding via air since there was seed scattered over large areas of the burn that hadn’t yet take root.