Contributors to this thread:
Opinions will vary.....what's yours?
Hoping to get out west again for elk this Fall. Been replaying the elk hunts from my past.... trying to see if I had better outcomes when in front of a tree, upturned root, or bush....or if I had better luck when I used cover to conceal me. Being in front on brush reduces deflections or obstructions to arrow path, being behind some cover sometimes allows you to draw without being busted. Unfortunately, since the situations vary from one day to the next, the best course of action will vary too.
Jake, in the past 3 months, there's been a thread on cover in front/behind and another thread on kneeling or not. I'm pretty sure the cover thread went about 50/50 and the kneeling thread was close to 50/50 if you mixed in the people who said "as the situation dictates," with more people liking kneeling if you discounted the people who advocated for flexibility.
In front of cover to get a shot...and the roll goes on so it hangs over not under!
Every situation is going to be different but if I have my choice its setting up in front of cover - preferably in front of a cedar, brush, downed tree, etc.
Prefer to be on the side. In front gets you busted drawing and behind cover you can’t shoot...
The only time I ever actually took a shot at one, I was standing up with not so much as a blade of grass between me and the Elk 35 yards out, and he just walked straight in to about seven before he turned and gave me the shot that I wanted.
Good thing I had a 62” recurve to hide behind!
Just depends on the opportunity. I’ll shoot prone if the situation calls for it, but I’d soonest set up on my knees with a solid screen behind me.
I prefer 3 christmas trees and I get in front of those and draw before they get in a position to see me.
Never get behind anything ! You would be surprised what you could get away with in knee high sage brush ;)
I setup in front of cover to break up my outline. Under no circumstance would I recommend someone setup behind cover...ever.
Being in cover matters when you plan on the elk coming across you and providing a shot as it passes through shooting lanes. This happens more when you're ambushing or cutting them off. If he's coming straight at you which happens more often when you're calling, you need to be in front of cover. Far more important than cover is not moving an inch, especially when they first come into view when your first instinct is to look their way.
Jake, a man of your accomplishments asking for advice is testimony to your humility and passion. That's admirable.
I like in front too Jake, while kneeling if at all possible.
Kneeling was quite the challenge using my Recurve this past fall on all my bow hunts.
It is somewhat longer than my wheels bow!!
Good luck, Robb
I like to nestle in and become one with the cover whatever it may be
Got a HECS suit so I can do anything I want. Nothing knows I am there. Check this picture out below.
Definitely in front or to the side.
Im right handed, when kneeling I put a tree or bush just behind me on my right side. That way I can shoot all the way around from the 3 o'clock view to the 8 o'clock view.
When standing I'm directly in front of a tree.
One thing to remember to do is, scrape away any twigs, leaves on the ground so they dont make noise if you have to adjust your feet, knees.
Also do a practice draw to see if any overhanging branches interfere with your bow. [ I have that mistake t-shirt]
When there's a choice to be had I will stand next to an obstacle. This is more in a Run & Gun encounter where you may not have the luxury to choose the ideal spot as in a cold calling setup or a setup where you have time to get comfy!
In most cases a bull comes in fairly quick & the only time to do anything is choose some sort of concealment & range things if you can, outside of that choices can be less than ideal, I've been caught right in the open on several bulls with zero break-up, I didn't move a muscle until it was time to draw & shoot, I had a fraction of a 2nd in these encounters & still was fortunate to take these bulls at very close ranges. Timing to draw is everything, it's more important than the spot you've chosen!
In front of cover but try to have a tree or bush out front maybe 10 yards that still allows me to draw as the animal moves past. I was spectating on a nice 6 pt this year and never drew. He was straight on at 30 yards before I even thought of drawing. Whatever you do draw early
Front or side and, most importantly, in the shade/shadows.
Hey Jake, I have had best success by clearing leaves from an area to stand. Also want a tree about 4' in front of me. This allows me to move my feet without makes any sound, and also draw while the tree covers my movement.
I prefer in the shade for sure, in front or to the side. If I have time, I’ll kick out leaves and branches I’m standing on so nothing crunches at the wrong time!
Glad to see that most people seem to do the same things that I do.....but every once in a while, someone shares something that I have never thought of....and that is what makes these types of threads so helpful.....
I'd like to be in front of Jake!
WRT cover.... depends on the cover. Certainly nothing that would impede the shot. You can get away with a good bit more on elk. I have a habit of getting to good cover hunting these axis on the ground. You'll rarely get away in front of cover with them. Lucky if you get away with anything brushed up.
I'm in with SDHNTR says front, side, and shade
I like to kneel in front of a tree, bush or stump just something to kind of blend in. I stood behind a tree years ago and the bull changed course on me and I didn’t have a shot at a good bull only 30 yards away . Get in front of something and draw when his head is covered and he can’t see you pulling back, like when he walks past a tree or bush... Works for me.
I try to be in front or side. Not a fan of being behind
Ha! I’ve got opinions. And I feel that they have value.
And... without blowing smoke into any orifices... it is my opinion that I should probably pay more attention to your thoughts than vice versa.
You do have a bit of a track record.
I’m parroting Ike’s comment.
I tend to just shut up and slip in on a bugling bull - I rarely have gotten busted as long as I’ve watched any cows close - it has worked well for me on a couple of nice bulls.