Contributors to this thread:
Let’s play a game II...
You are hunting ‘your’ week of archey elk and you know of this wallow. You got a couple pics of a good bull on your trail cam earlier.
How do you hunt this? What’s your plan?
What does the trail cam tell us? How often and time of day he is visiting? I would use that info to formulate my plan.
Looks like he was visiting MUCH earlier...(August maybe)? Color of the grass shows some time differences.
I'd park my can somewhere within 35 yds of that hole, position depends on the wind, with clean clothes washed on scent free detergent, starting my approach before first light to arrive just after it, with either a ghillie suit on, or ASAT camo, or a cow head hat, or both, and wait. If nothing came, I'd cow call after a couple hours, or locate a bull with a bugle. If wind shifts toward his trails to/from the hole from my position, I'd sneak a move to behind a little lodgepole like the one on the right only further away, and wait,
This bull was at the wallow Sept 3rd - 7:49pm. There were other elk using it too since.
Tree stand, down wind side with prevailing winds or ground blind back in that dead fall.
Never go near because no matter how I approach it the wind will always be blowing to the wallow.
I'm putting a hang on up as high as I can in that pine tree straight back from the wallow after trimming just enough for me n the stand & sit dark to dark
Might be worth an evening tree stand sit, depending on how recently it had been hit.
I'd want to be high...25 feet or more. I'd look at the heaviest used trails in, and decide where to put up the stand, expecting thermals to switch in the evening.
I'd probably try to get on stand by at least 4 PM, paying attention to wind in relation to possible bedding areas on approach.
If the water in the wallow is dirty and the area smells like fresh elk piss. I’d be tempted to sit there. Stalking in to it when the thermals are right. I hate waiting on elk, so many times they don’t show up. I drove 500+ miles to get there and only have a week to hunt. Time just flys by on an elk hunt. Pack in a blind or climber ???? Yes climber, 30 ft up and a Liberal dose of Nose Jammer!!! That’s a good bull.....what happened Brad?
If I’m targeting that specific bull, I wouldn’t spend my limited time sitting that wallow. I’d certainly spend time in the general area, but in my experience, wallows are used too sporadically to rely on. However, based on the other trail cam photos, other elk pass through the area on a daily basis. I’m with those that would put up my treestand, sit a few afternoons/evenings, and see what happens.
I would start with google earth. I would like to see as much about the terrain as I can without tromping around in there. Maybe I can pick up on a pinch point trail, or a cliff area I know they have to walk around, anything that may restrict or control the travel. I only have My Week, I need to have some theories, possibilities in my head when I approach. Too often I have approached a wallow of this sort and blown out elk that were hanging around.
If possible I would ask around for info about basic elk travels, are they feeding in certain park or bedding in a certain bowl. Are their daily travels predictable? Will that help me determine the likely travel directions and such. Often times you know they are feeding on Ted Turners ranch at night and headed up the mountain just before daylight to bedding areas. Where is this wallow in comparison to the ranch and bedding what time will they be passing, what will the thermals be doing. I just need to spend some time gathering data and info.
Then I would go tromping in there and mess it all up.
I hear wallows always have unstable winds.... so I guess I’d sit between the wallow and bedding area and squeeze my hoochie momma every twenty minutes.
Bring three ozonics, scentblocker clothing underneath my HECS suit, coat the area with Evercalm. Sit and wait and kill the bull when he comes up to me to let me pet him.
I'd do the same as wyobullshooter. Maybe I can kill a good bull in the morning but I'll post up near a wallow midday or afternoons if conditions allow.
Looking at the time stamps, seems like most of the visits are after 7:30 p.m. Where Brad is, the thermal will most likely be dropping by then, maybe pretty hard. Before 6 pm the wind will be going every-which-way but that spot is fairly level so with a high treestand and rising afternoon thermal you should be fairly safe if it's not too close to bedding. But if they're coming in on the down-thermal side at 7:30, you'll get busted and may have no idea. They just stop coming in.
I think I would hunt the area on the ground in the evening in good wind/thermal, try to call/decoy a bull with a good escape route if it doesn't work, and leave that waterhole alone.
Would sitting as far away as possible , with in view at a cross prevailing wind position. Move in quick when elk is rolling in wallow
Will that work???
Although , being from Pa. my first thought is to climb a tree :)))
Can you hear the trucks driving on the road from that spot? ;)
Man I'd love to play, but I have never hunted elk in the mountains. Being new to it there would just be way too many questions that I can't answer with info given. How many elk have I seen so far in the hunt? What quality of bulls have I seen so far? What kind of sign have I seen elsewhere? How many days do I have left? What is the forecast like for the upcoming days? What is the surrounding area look like? What is on the other side of the camera? How far away is bedding? Food? Have the animals been vocal? Has my calling been successful? Is there human sign around other wallows but not this one? Have I even found any other wallows? Were THEY active? The more I think the more I want to know.
Sometimes a simple decision seems like a simple decision but there's so much more that has already taken place that plays into it. Maybe I sound like a cop-out but so much of what has happened thus far would really play into how I'd deal with a wallow situation.
No idea but I'm going to be following.
The wallow is quite way from anywhere. The pic of the wallow was taken Sept 27. And as you see there was a lot of elk activity 3 weeks prior.
We were probably too late in the season for the wallow to be a decent attractant.
Also, the bull were all cowed up by that time too.
IMO If you have a consistent yearly wallow, hunt it early season.
If all you had on pics was what your are showing (i.e. 3 bulls in 3 days), not enough activity for me. Only waterholes we hunt are the ones way up (at least a third from the top) so you have time when thermals change, but only hunt them if lots of fresh sign and you know elk are in the area.