Tight Spot Quivers
Contributors to this thread:
goelk 11-May-19
Treeline 11-May-19
elkmtngear 11-May-19
GF 11-May-19
goelk 12-May-19
From: goelk
How can you tell from elk tracks if they are traveling or near bedding areas. Most tracks I come across are traveling straight line. Does it do any good to follow them.

From: Treeline
Usually just worry about the elk tracks with elk standing in them...

From: elkmtngear

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
I look at the land, evaluate potential bedding areas, and look for the most heavily travelled trails. I've followed fresh tracks in the snow, right to elk in their beds, in the early AM.

Last Season, when the bugling action had shut down, we followed a heavily used ("straight line") trail over a timbered knob, down into an area where the vegetation was chewed up like crazy. We ended up setting up on the lower end of the trail on our last evening (desperation)...and my buddy was able to arrow this bull.

So, in this case, yeah, it was worth it.

From: GF
As a rule, if the tracks look like the animals are on their way to get somewhere, that’s what they’re doing. If they’re wandering from one browsed spot to the next, they’re probably browsing. If they pull a small buttonhook before heading out in the original so direction, they’re pausing to check they’re back trail; if they pull a buttonhook and then blew out of that spot, you’ve probably been busted.

It really pays to know the area; are they on the right contour to be headed for that wallow that starts to catch the sun at about 9:30? Because once that spot starts to warm up, they’ll drift up over the ridge into that upper bedding area and you’ll be screwed because by then they’ll have bedded on the bench overlooking that trail, so the only way to get to them will be to loop around to the east, get on top of the ridge and ease down onto them from behind after the thermals switch.

I think most of us look at tracks as evidence of where they WERE instead of looking at them as a way of telling us where they’re Going To Be.

Probably we’d be a lot better at this if we learned to play a good game of chess.

From: goelk
i see most tracks on top of ridges and saddles but have a hell of time tying to figure out bedding areas. That is my weakest point.

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