Contributors to this thread:
How many of you that bivy in, hunt all day? Is the risk vs reward worth maybe bumping a bull out of his bed. Do you prefer to sit a wallow, feeding area or trail into bedding area. I prefer still hunting at a snail's pace vs setting. I may be hunting solo this year(son took new job, no vacation time) so sitting in tent midday will be boring. Whats y'all game plan for midday?
Depends how close you are to the elk, and if you know where they are. Personally I take a break, nap in an area where elk may be. Summer days can be long. A wallow is great since many bulls will sneak in during the afternoon before the evening action starts again.
Ya don’t have to hunt hard mid day to help your odds. A respite in a saddle, off a trail, at a wallow can score big. No killing if ya ain’t huntin’.
Been looking to do this as well. I don't want to waste the time/energy hiking back to the truck, just to go back to my lone base camp to sit around. Will probably carry necessities for the day or two in case I get on something.
But I agree with you Norseman...they aint back at camp!
We hunt from dark to dark. Sometimes napping but always in the game . Tents are for night time. If I had to pick one thing thatnhas made a difference for me . It is time in the field leads to more opportunities period!! Hunt
If you hunt smart you can....during mid-day stay on the fringes of their cover. Don`t overdue the pressure.
You don`t have to do it every day.....as there is nothing better than a high altitude nap in a tent during a rain storm.
90% of my kills have been between 9 am and 1 pm... Most guys i see are already back at camp, or headed there. Evenings have always been very slow for me. By the time i see the critters late in the day, it's already to late to stalk them, or to dark for an ethical shot.
Was guiding a fellow named Doug. Told him I was too old to climb out and go back to the rig for lunch. We laid down in an elk/cow trail and were about asleep when I heard a loud crack. looked over mu shoulder and good 5x was looking at us.
I slipped the Montana decoy out and let it snap open. Doug was able to get set behind me and the decoy and shoot "CRACK' and the bull bolted. He had hit a tree.
I questioned him about why he shot at what was a small bull and he said it was the whole experience and he would have been happy with that bull.
A;; this occurred at about noon.
I'm usually napping somewhere I won't blow out elk, in the middle of the Day (wind is too unpredictable).
Whether that's under a tree on a ridgetop, or back at camp, depends on where I'm hunting.
Definitely not against a mid day nap but I hunt all day! You may have to slow things down a bit but you can fire a bull up out of his bed any time. Good Luck!
My friends would leave base camp at 3am years ago,,, well so did I when I was younger,,, why, pretty hard to pull them from the cows,,,,, when I get tired I sleep in, but I have shot all of my elk mid day,,,,,,
Can't kill em from camp. I hunt from sun up to sun down. This means i'm usually leaving camp before sun up and getting back after dark. The exception being when i'm hunting them right there out of camp.
Sitting a wallow all day can be productive. I’ve had many all day sits that had elk in the area, bedded, and me knowing that bull may stir a little early and hit the wallow for water or a “bath.” Always take extra food, water, and backup phone battery so you don’t have that excuse to leave the mountain early. I’ve had mornings where I was about to pack it up and boom, here comes a lone bull b-lining it for the wallow at 10:30ish. I’ve had afternoons where they were moving at 2:00. If you have elk in the area, stay. It makes it a lot easier to sit all day when elk are present.
We don't bivy in, but last season we came back to camp mid-day more days than we ever have. Wind played a major factor in that. We had swirling winds from 10 am till 45 minutes before sunset on 7 of our 10 days. Had some mid day action but it required extreme luck for the wind not to give us up.
I was hanging a stand at 11:00 AM once when a dandy bull and a bunch of cows came into the spring/wallow. My bow was at the base of the tree and I was 20' up with a half hung stand. Sat that stand for 3 straight days and never saw anything bigger than a lone 4x4!
Rainy days are great elk hunting as they never really go to bed like they do when it is hot and sunny. One of my most memorable days in the elk woods was a day of constant thunder showers every hour or two. I was in a giant herd from 7 AM until dark and never took a shot, looking for a large bull.
That said, I don't like to blow elk out of their bedding area if it is really tight and virtually un-huntable blowdown crap...especially if I can ambush them as they go feed that evening or head back in the bed the next morning. Nor do I like to tromp around and leave too much human scent as it eventually seems to sterilize an area. When that happens you may have to move a drainage or two or three and relocate them, which can be a long ways in the CO high country.
Mid day nap all they way, moose hunting later I like to sit all day, cool, not tired from walking
In one area I hunt in broken basins just on the east side of the Continental Divide, the wind swirls hard, and constantly, between about 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. We learned long ago that it's far more productive to back out and hunt elk when the wind is good than to continually hunt FOR elk.
In another area just over the Divide, the wind is mostly predictable throughout the day and the thermal is workable most of the day, enough so that all day hunting is practical.
It all depends on where you hunt, and also how many other hunters may possibly blow your elk out by hunting in bad wind ("Forget rhe wind, just hunt!"). If that is the case, you may as well hunt all day just in case somebody runs spooked elk past you.
Perhaps I’ll be on the proper side of the divide this year.
I take a nap midday almost every day elk hunting.
IF I take a nap midday it’s for like an hour to recharge. Rarely do I spend a lot of time hanging out at camp or sleep on a hillside. My hunting time is usually limited as I would assume with most guys who don’t have a whole month set aside to “wait it out”. Definitely need to adjust with shifting conditions but surely you’re not gonna kill one with your eyes closed.
I’ve never stopped to nap on any of my elk hunts. What’s the purpose?? You train all year to kill one bull, on limited time. There were times we sat at midday, but continued to call and try to locate or have a bull come in silent. A lot of the guys who are successful, kill their bulls midday and pull them out of their beds.
It takes a much greater hunter than most of us on this board to sneak up on 8 pairs of eyes, 8 noses, and 8 pairs of ears all keeping watch. Nap time, but one person is awake and we rotate listening and watching, taking a lesson from the elks playbook.
I have always stayed out on the mountain. Rarely ever do we go back to camp during the day unless we are packing meat out. Depending on what type of country I am hunting in I will get up on top of a mountain and do some glassing midday. In sparse timber and semi open country you can often spot elk if you are patient and know how to use your optics.
Thanks for the replies. My successful hunts have all came around noon. Even my missed shots have been after 10 am. I rarely see elk after 1 or 2 pm. Seeing alot of you guys have echoed the same results confirms im on the right track. My area seems to hold mostly bulls as a matter of fact, I haven't seen a cow in my spot in three years. The winds do swirl a lot and its tough hunting. Forty more days!!!
Right around 11 seems to be nappy time. Wherever I happen to be. About 20 minutes on the side of a mountain, depending on what was going on, seems to be a fantastic time for elk to show up. Then I wake up, curse myself for being so lazy, finish the day and head back to spike camp.
Lol been there and done that
Not elk hunting, but relatable non the less. I had killed and butchered my deer, and was resting back in the house. My cousin, who is always a bit pissy, asked me "where are the deer", I said, "not in the living room". If you are hunting, then hunt, if you want to relax, don't complain about not seeing anything or getting a shot opportunity.
So many variables. Of my partner and my nearly 70 archery-killed elk, none have been killed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. But as I mentioned, in our basins on the Divide the wind is like a blender during the day, even when fronts move in. Back when we did try to hunt all day, we most often heard the sounds of elk running off. It's tempting to go after a bull bugling in bedding timber but we learned our lessons decades ago. We kill them after they get up, when the wind is workable.
Not to say we aren't active during the day (after a nap!). I check trails leading into feeding meadows and grazing fence crossings, glass, check waterholes and wallows for fresh activity, check cameras if we have one or two out. But we stay away from where elk can smell us in the swirling wind, and run off into the next unit.
Being in the woods, whether sleeping, setting sign, or in a bicycle is in the game.
Have had numerous times mid day action with bulls over the years. And sometimes not. Gotta be out there, though. But it does require a nap somewhere on the hill til the ants or flies crawling on your face wake you up. And the boots often come off for the nap. Have had bulls wake me up! Not tough enough to go from 4:30 am to dark and a lot later without a nap at mid day. And most of my many years of elk hunting have been out of a spike camp weeks at a time.
Never do I hunt one area all day. I do 2 hunts per day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening - 2 different places.
And never do I hunt the same place 2 days in a row unless I get into elk.
It seems to work without hunting all day.