Contributors to this thread:
If you wanted to shoot ANY legal bull?
What would be your hunt dates and why?
Following a long, I am planning second week in September for my Wyoming hunt this year pretty much focusing on first legal animal bull or cow!
From the day the season opens until the day it closes would be preferred. If your picking 8-9 days I like 7th or 8th until the 16th. I prefer to try and catch them when then are still partially in the gathering phase.
If I wanted to shoot any legal bull, which means a spike on up here in AZ, I would say September 8th, give or take. No need to wait for the rut.
I used to always start my hunts about the 10th but lately I've had great action before that. I would agree with LINK and go for 2 weeks starting on about the 7th or so...
Opening day if hunting public land.
In Colorado, first or last week. If hunting private land, any week....but surely when the ML crowd is out and about.
I hunted during the muzzy season in CO last year. I only bumped into two guys and they were carrying bows. Might be anecdotal but that’s what I experienced.
I think it depends on your location. Opening day hasn’t been good to me, the bulls aren’t in there yet and it’s so hot they’re bedded down immediately. I’ll take 2nd weekend or 3rd. The more they’re up and moving around the better chance of killing them.
I was wondering about known travel routes from public land to private land on opening week.
Go the week before opening day.
Have plans A,B, and C located.
Be on them, ready to go at shooting light opening morning.
Don't screw it up.
In CO 1st week before the herds are set. Single bulls will be wandering looking for other elk. Good chance they will come in silent though.
So which week are the herds set?
2nd & 3rd week Mark, best killing dates around! It's much easier to arouse a Bulls Instinct To Breed as cows enter estrus! Both Satellites & Herd Bulls are very vulnerable at this time on OTC hunts! Doesn't mean dates before or after aren't good it's just that 2nd & 3rd week has been killer for us over the years!
The average cow is getting bred on about 9/23 in my area of CO, I'm going with the week before that, this year in CO that would be the third week.
I shot my two bulls in Wyoming the last two years on the 10th and the 14th.
You don’t say how much time you have. Obviously, as LINK says, being able to hunt the entire season increases your odds of being in the right place at the right time immensely. That said, that’s not feasible for most.
If you know your area well, the first week can be extremely productive. Since most people figure the bulls aren’t very vocal yet, you darn near have the woods to yourself.
Normally, the bulls start talking more sometime during the 2nd and 3rd weeks, which make them easier to locate. Of course, most people understand this, so be prepared for LOTS of company.
By the 4th week, most have packed up and gone home. The bugling activity can still be at peak, with the advantage of once again having the woods darn near to yourself.
If I only had a week or so, I’d make sure I was in the woods the 18th-24th. If I had a couple weeks, no question they’d be the last two.
I've gotten into elk the opening day and I have gotten into elk the last day of the hunt.
I think being on the mountain is the best 'time' to get into/harvest an elk.
Good luck, Robb
Based on what Ive observed in my two Co hunts if I wanted to kill a bull there and didn't care how I would go opening week and sit water, now that's a boring way to hunt (to me). If I travel across the country I want to be chasing bugles which probably wont happen at that time of year.
I have 10 days to 2 weeks to hunt. Also, I'm hunting a limited entry unit in WY. It isn't a top tier unit but there seems to be plenty ty of elk.
Freak, do you have a type 1 or type 9 tag? If it is a type 1 you won't have to worry about crowding.
From the 5th to the 12th, or right in the center from the 18th to the 25th.
I like the last two weeks, regardless of what state.
I want em bugling a lot so I can find them easier. Rocket surgeon type stuff.
We knock the crap out of ‘any bulls’ the first couple weeks of season. Bugle sparingly and use cow calling, raking exclusively
yes, the week before season has very little hunting pressure if any.
My thoughts exactly wackmaster. Sure if I lived in or near the unit I’d be out there every weekend in August. Seeing that bowfreak is from Kentucky I’d recommend spending all your time during season. It’s hard to kill an elk without a bow in your hand.
Opening week in Manitoba. Which is generally late August. Cow calls only. Yet to have to hunt more then 2 days.
Would you rather kill and elk walking down a trail going to water, or spend a week listening to bulging bulls and chasing rutting action and come home empty handed? I’ll take the latter.
If I want to call cows I use 90% plus Cow Talk!
If I want branched antlered bulls I use 90% plus bull sounds, along with raking & some rattling! It doesn't matter the dates for either of these!
I have a type 1. No issues with crowding in this area historically.
Hey guys, I'm just trying to become more knowledgeable about Wyoming's system and don't understand why it would be more crowded if you held a type 9 tag than a type 1. I thought the archery season was the same whichever tag you held. if anyone could explain what I'm missing I would appreciate it. Thanks.
Brun, I do understand the system, but I also have no clue trying to follow the logic that a Type 9 season would be more crowded that a Type 1 special archery season.
Yup, trying to figure out that logic also, thanks for posting Brun and thanks for clarifying Wyo.
Sure you can pattern elk during the summer and when the opener arrives. But because of the heat action can be slow during the day meaning your windows of opportunity or short. For that reason I prefer not to place any bets until about the 12th. If I had to pick 10 days it’d be 15-25. This year 14-21 would be the dates if I had to choose 1 week.
I don't know either....just answered the question.
i hope 9/15-18 works out this year. Time of me and Jeff to get into rutting bulls and get two killed!
opening week on water holes.... I like hunting water holes,,, have done so for years, and have done well,,,,,, at this point in my life, unless its really really big, I like to shoot cows,,,, I hunt for the meat and relaxation,,,, have 5 bulls, 3 on the wall, that enough for me,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, but I love elk meat