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Weather change = tactics change?
We hunt first 10 days at about 9,000 feet in WY. Normal weather is 40's in the morning, most mid-days in the 70's.
I hunt mostly game trails, wallows, fringe bedding areas and feeding areas. I don't run-n-gun (chase bugles) but my partners do.
You open the tent flap o-dark-thirty to 3 inches of new snow.
For my hunting style, which would be the best, most productive area to focus on?
Start by running out of tent naked and make a snow angel. It is said to be invigorating!
Yea especially face down snow angels!Ha! Ha!
Well..., I also hunt 8500-9000’ in Wyoming and I curse what you just described! I hate snow! Doesn’t matter if the bulls were going nuts the day before, if it snows in my area, they shut down for 2-3 days. Mornings also suck, since the snow freezes during the night and is crunchy as hell until mid-morning when it softens up again. If I’m lucky, most the snow melts by the day after the storm, otherwise it’s a repeat the following day. In nearly 35yrs of bowhunting elk, I’ve yet to kill one with snow on the ground. I continue to hunt, but most times, I’ll just sit within shooting range of a trail they’re using and hope they wander through. On the rare occasion I do hear a bugle, it’s business as usual, unless it’s too crunchy. Then I just curse ole Mom Nature!
Yep. Snow sucks. Just like Wyobullshooter says. Shuts em down for a couple days.
Go back in the tent and make some chili
Snowed for about 10 days in Idaho a couple years back, so I didn't have a choice, but to get out after them. Learned a few "tricks".
I hunted an area that had a network of benches, above a creek drainage. Elk would bed there regularly in the mornings. I'd pick up the freshest elk tracks I could find, and then slowly follow them, one step at a time.
I found that if I would quickly "thrust" my boot into the snow with my toe pointed down, I could gently transfer pressure to the heel, making very little sound. By doing this, I was able to get within bow range of elk quite a few times, just "stillhunting" with the wind in my face.
The hard part, is seeing the bedded elk before they see you. Almost every time, I was busted after walking right into the herd. Closest opportunity, was a big cow that stood up 30 yards from me...I couldn't get my fingertab out of my (frozen) glove quick enough.