Summit Treestands
Tell me your elk wallow hunt strategy
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
lefty4 25-Aug-21
Bowfreak 25-Aug-21
cnelk 25-Aug-21
Dale06 25-Aug-21
[email protected] 25-Aug-21
[email protected] 25-Aug-21
Saphead 25-Aug-21
Dyjack 25-Aug-21
[email protected] 25-Aug-21
Bowboy 25-Aug-21
[email protected] 25-Aug-21
Jordanathome 25-Aug-21
lefty4 26-Aug-21
Jaquomo 26-Aug-21
txhunter58 26-Aug-21
Scoot 26-Aug-21
Pop-r 26-Aug-21
Inshart 26-Aug-21
BULELK1 27-Aug-21
grossklw 27-Aug-21
Scoot 27-Aug-21
Live2Hunt 27-Aug-21
Handel 30-Aug-21
sticksender 30-Aug-21
From: lefty4
25-Aug-21
I know hunting over/near elk wallows can be very exciting and effective. How early or late in the season do you hunt over wallows and when are they most productive? What time(s) of day do you find most productive? How close to and where do you setup near the wallow? Any other suggestions or tips? Thank you!

From: Bowfreak
25-Aug-21
I'm interested in this as well.

From: cnelk
25-Aug-21
All the times I’ve sat over a wallow I wouldn’t call it exciting

From: Dale06
25-Aug-21
Following.

25-Aug-21

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
killed this bull on a wet meadow at 9:06 am just as the wind was about to change up hill to the meadow.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
killed this bull on a wet meadow at 9:06 am just as the wind was about to change up hill to the meadow.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
5:30 pm, was in a ground blind, the wind switched to them at 22 yards, they w gone.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
5:30 pm, was in a ground blind, the wind switched to them at 22 yards, they w gone.

25-Aug-21

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Killed this bull at 6:45 pm over a different wallow last year, hunting in a natural blind and off the ground 22 yards from the wallow. Made a few cow and calf calls and he showed up 25 minutes later. This was Sept 17 th. I had not heard any full bull bugles while hunting so I just soft played it with a few cow calls.

As was stated above, are there elk using the wallow?

When can you hunt it? I have discovered. I can hunt these wallows in the am and pm but need to be very alert concerning the wind and current changes. I hunt the am from first light to 9 am and when the down hill cooler currents are going to change to the prevailing SW winds in the next few minutes. Time to get out of there. In the PM, I wait from a distance from the wallow until I feel the winds slacken from the SW and chance to the cooler down hill currents to make it to the stand. I might have one hour and 15 minutes to hunt and the elk that came in in the PM came in the last half hour.

I have seen on the trail camera that some elk may pass through earlier around 5 ish, but the wind would be wrong for me to be in the area.

A wallow area can be more than just as attractive for bulls but for all elk to graze and drink/pass through, depending on its location to the bed/feed area.

I would say this, the first couple of weeks of the season, may be the best time to hunt over a wallow but if it is the only source of water for drinking in the area, it may produce longer into the season.

From: Saphead
25-Aug-21
I have only killed 14 elk I think. Been hunting them about 19-20 years. Have hunted wallows a bit. But not as much as many here. I like afternoons thru evening. I use tree stands. I get there at 1:00 I cow call 1 time every hour. Sometimes a decoy under my tree. Many times not. Most have come in silent. 90%. The decoy takes their attention while I draw. Or I draw when they are entering wallow or as soon as first good shot opp. comes. Have had them from 4:00 to dark. I'm not a great Elk bow hunter but this is what I do.

Doug

From: Dyjack
25-Aug-21
Thank you for the knowledge, Paul. I have a habit of sitting all day.

Does adjusting your position on the wallow allow a longer stay, or do you think the swirl is too much for that time of day?

25-Aug-21
Jack, hunting all day over a wallow might depend on actually how are the elk traveling to the wallow and then, how might the wind effect your hiding position. Where I hunt, the swirl of the prevailing day time wind would give me away as some time the elk may come from that direction. I have tried to change position to the upwind side of the wallow area but without success. I believe I just leave too much human scent that may change the elk's patterns so I play it careful and just hunt the am and pm. Even in the Am and PM, if there is a storm in the area with gusty winds, I will not use the wallow but change locations to a more favorable hunting location elsewhere.

From: Bowboy
25-Aug-21
I've sat over active wallows with no luck. I've gotten plenty of camera pictures but they were sporadic. Like Brad stated it's not very exciting. In my area there are a lot of wallows.

25-Aug-21
From a tree stand, ground blind or run and bow, my main objective is to kill an elk. While chasing/calling in, surely has its place during the season and can be exciting, so does stationary hunting along a trail, over a wallow, water hole, feeding area, transitional area, funnel area. As I mostly hunt solo, the stationary/ambush type of hunting give me the best results and during the past three season, hunting over a wallow in the AM or PM has resulted in a prize. When the elk get more aggressive and active a little later in the season, I might get more aggressive and active with calling and "chasing". Regardless how the elk got within bow range, that is exciting to see him coming. Just pick the best practice for that day, and put it to good use.

From: Jordanathome
25-Aug-21
I have sat on the wallow/pond with it in sight/range, and I have sat back away from the wallow/pond along intercept routes.

I like to call in these setups to draw any elk that might be in the area, passing by. I have had great luck on multiple occasions getting elk within bow range with these setups. In fact usually multiple bulls come in together on these setups.

But there are plenty of dull days as well. I find that if I don't get a response shortly after setting up.......I can spend hours waiting for an interested elk to wander by.

Wind is the enemy and I think that might have alot to due with having success quickly or not at all with these setups.

From: lefty4
26-Aug-21
Thanks Paul and others for the info and ideas.

I found a really nice heavily used wallow with trails coming in from virtually all directions. This wallow is in an aspen grove and there are a number of suitable stand trees close by. But as is often the case, this one is in a fairly steep-sided ravine and the and the thermals or wind could make this one difficult if not impossible to hunt without being detected. I may just have to move further away near one of the heavier used trails.

I won't know until I try.

From: Jaquomo
26-Aug-21
I know of probably 50 wallows, none of which are huntable in late afternoon or evening when bulls visit. Between the rising thermal and swirling NoCo winds, they spook, even when in a treestand. Sometimes I hear them run off. When I'm not there, I get pics.

I've only ever shot one at a wallow and that was a total accident. I sat down on a log by a wallow to figure out what to do next and a bull walked in while the wind held steady for about three minutes.

I need to find one on top of a mountain, above the bedding area, or find a different place to hunt where there is a consistent midday wind. I know those places exist because I see TV hunters hunting all day. Just not in N. CO.

From: txhunter58
26-Aug-21
Describe the signs of an active wallow. Just muddy water and “fresh” tracks?

From: Scoot
26-Aug-21
Fresh tracks in the mud, elk piss in the water (smell), and muddy/mucky water that has worked to a froth recently.

From: Pop-r
26-Aug-21
If they're in a place where there's fresh green grass at the edges of it then you can tell by the grass how long it's been since its been hit. Green grass laying in the mud generally means it has been hit within the last day or so if not more recent. I killed a bull one time on his wallow he had just left a short time before. I had seen tracks in the area several times that I had checked this spot during the season but never could find any elk in there. The very last day I went back and there was green grass in a wallow and I told my brother man that had to be in the last 12 hrs and he replied "that was within the last 2 hrs!" I bugled and about a minute & a half later my brother understood why I love bugling elk.

From: Inshart
26-Aug-21

Inshart's embedded Photo
Inshart's embedded Photo
I labeled this one my "Super Wallow". Always fresh tracks, you can see where they have been laying down in the mud. I've sat there several times - the wind in this area really sucks bad, always swirling.

Although it doesn't look like it here - it's really steep on both sides. I've seen elk about 75 yards up the side so I moved up and found a pounded trail. I've only been able to hunt this area for a couple hours in the morning and about an hour in the evening due to bad winds.

We only draw this area every 3 years. The last time was 2019, and we were inundated with hunters every single day walking back and forth through the north slope bedding area. Didn't take much and the elk vacated this entire area. Public property, nothing you can do about it.

From: BULELK1
27-Aug-21
I too am not much of Wallow sitter for much of a sit timeframe.

I'll hear a bugle or glass some elk and off I go.

Definately some bulls get arrowed from sitting Wallow's for sure.

That's a great pic of a well used Wallow Bob!

Good luck, Robb

From: grossklw
27-Aug-21
Yup- I tried it one morning for all of 15 minutes and I heard a bugle and off I went. I'm sure some guys are successful doing it, but one of the main reasons I like heading to the mountains every fall is so I can chase them.

From: Scoot
27-Aug-21
"...but one of the main reasons I like heading to the mountains every fall is so I can chase them."

Amen to that! I can sit in one spot for whitetails all Fall! I struggle to sit on water or a wallow waiting patiently, but when I come home I can sit in a tree for hours on end. But to me, the fun is in the chase of bugling bulls when I'm in the mountains and after elk...

From: Live2Hunt
27-Aug-21
I found a great wallow one hunt in Colorado. I had been calling/still hunting/glassing the whole hunt. One day I thought, I am going to sit that wallow all day. Well got there at first light, left at dark. Worst day of hunting ever, just did not do it for me. May have been different if a bull came in? I like chasing and calling better.

From: Handel
30-Aug-21

Handel's embedded Photo
This guy showed up about an hour before I got into my ground blind.
Handel's embedded Photo
This guy showed up about an hour before I got into my ground blind.

From: sticksender
30-Aug-21
On north-facing slopes, in afternoons, set up slightly down-slope, on the ground in a brush blind. Prefer to get in there about an hour before the thermals start drifting down-slope. I enjoy run-and-gun elk hunting as much as the next guy. But if you find a great wallow or waterhole in the right location to sit on, it can be a deadly set-up. Early season has been best for me, late Aug to early Sept. .

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