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Semi Live 2021 Elk Season
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
BULELK1 01-Sep-21
WV Mountaineer 01-Sep-21
midwest 01-Sep-21
Bowboy 01-Sep-21
Scoot 01-Sep-21
Jordanathome 01-Sep-21
Old School 01-Sep-21
Jaquomo 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
hdaman 01-Sep-21
Oryx35 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
Guardian hunter 02-Sep-21
AZBUGLER 02-Sep-21
bowhunt 02-Sep-21
bowhunt 02-Sep-21
WapitiBob 02-Sep-21
lewis 02-Sep-21
APauls 02-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
Scoot 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
Hackbow 03-Sep-21
t-roy 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 07-Sep-21
bowhunt 07-Sep-21
bowhunt 08-Sep-21
bowhunt 08-Sep-21
bowhunt 08-Sep-21
Bowfinatic 08-Sep-21
ki-ke 08-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21
I’ve enjoyed reading all the hunting stories on here for years. Decided I should contribute a story this year. I’ll add updates as the season progresses. This year like most, I will be hunting with my buddy Tim. Hopefully we have another good season like most years, and I will have some good stories to tell!

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
6 mile hike above tree line on Mount Hood last year when she was almost 3 months old!
bowhunt's embedded Photo
6 mile hike above tree line on Mount Hood last year when she was almost 3 months old!
Like every other year, during the off season I’ve been trying to hike as much as possible to stay in good shape. It’s nice to feel like you can go where ever you want and not be worried about the hike being to hard or getting to tired. Starting July of last year my bag of concrete I usually train with has been replaced with my daughter Stella. We do tons of 5-7 mile hikes, and a few close to 9 miles. No matter what the weather is she is always just glad to be outside.

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Her first trip to the range at one month old last year before elk season
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Her first trip to the range at one month old last year before elk season
bowhunt's embedded Photo
On the 3D course last month
bowhunt's embedded Photo
On the 3D course last month
She also loves going to the archery range. We try to go shoot at least once a week.

From: BULELK1
01-Sep-21
She's a lil cutie for sure.

Enjoy your elk hunt,

Robb

01-Sep-21
She’s adorable man.

Good luck on the hunt

From: midwest
01-Sep-21
She's a cutie pie! Good luck!

From: Bowboy
01-Sep-21
Good luck!

From: Scoot
01-Sep-21
Haha- those guys took the words right outta my mouth! Definitely a cute little shaver right there! Good luck on the hunt!!!

From: Jordanathome
01-Sep-21
AWESOME!!!!

From: Old School
01-Sep-21
Hope you have a great hunt. It looks like you’ve added some joy to the off season prep time.

From: Jaquomo
01-Sep-21
Bring it! Looking forward to following along!

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21
This summer seemed to go by faster than ever, before I knew it hunting season was only a week away. I typically hunt around 20 days throughout the archery elk season, depending on when we fill our tags, and what states we have tags in. Me and my friend Tim that I do most of my elk hunts with the last 10 or 12 years with are both self employed. This gives us some pretty good flexibility when hunting season rolls around. Lots of extra hours of work before we leave for each trip, and lots of catching up to do when we get back, no one is doing our work for us while we are gone!

Both of our jobs alow us the flexibility to usually hunt 3 or 4 day trips , and a 7-10 trip somewhere around the middle of september. On the shorter trips if we do kill a bull, neither of us HAVE to be back home. This allows us to hunt hard all the way up to when we head home the last morning of the trip. We don't mind the long drive back and forth each trip for just a couple full days of hunting. More often than not this strategy allows one of us to fill our elk tag by the time we do our longer 7-10 day hunt.

Our goal each year is to have a lot of fun, hunt hard every day like its opening day, stay positive, and for BOTH of us to get a bull. Unless one of has a once in a lifetime, or really limited entry type of tag we are not trophy hunters, and will shoot any legal bull.

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Starting the trek out to camp
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Starting the trek out to camp
Day before opening day:

Tim arrived at my house at first light, and we hit the road. Later in the afternoon we arrived where we park to hike out to our camp and we’re kind of surprised how few people were there. The amount of people hunting this area have really increased the last 5 years. That was exciting to see less rigs parked in the area than last year.

We were hoping to get out to our favorite spike camp location, get camp set up real quick, and then hike to the top before dark to do a little glassing.

From: hdaman
01-Sep-21
Good luck!

From: Oryx35
01-Sep-21
I love it! I've got a couple of training buddies too!

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Favorite camp spot
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Favorite camp spot
We made it to camp and got the Cimarron tent set up real quick, inflated sleeping pads, got sleeping bags situated, got our packs unloaded, and stuff hung up in the trees.

We really like this location. There is a tiny spring, a soft dirt bank above the spring we can shoot our bows out to 50 yards, and we have killed bulls in about every direction from this spot!

We got some water from the spring nearby, and headed to the top to check for sign on the way and do a little glassing.

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Glassing the evening before opening day
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Glassing the evening before opening day
On the way up top we crossed some areas with lots of tracks I. Some of the open grassy areas. It appeared there were good numbers of elk again in this particular pocket. Typically they don’t use these more open areas as much especially during day light until around the 10th of September. We did some glassing right before dark, but only saw a bear. No big deal, we don’t hunt the open areas much. Nearly all the bulls we kill out here are in the thick timber or, on really narrow open ridge tops right at the edge of thick timber.

02-Sep-21
Now I feel like my morning has taken a turn for the better. Rock on!

From: AZBUGLER
02-Sep-21
Nice! Good luck on your hunt! I’m only a few days behind you. Looking forward to following along.

From: bowhunt
02-Sep-21
Opening Morning:

We decided to head up to the top before first light. There was so much fresh sign we wanted to see if the elk might be there right at first light, and maybe we could call a bull in with some cow calls or intercept it heading for the timber. For whatever reason the elk in this area don’t like to be out in open during daylight much.

Also we hadn’t seen another person or camp since leaving the truck the day before. Some years a couple brothers with horses come in the day before the opener, or show up mid day Saturday. They camp just past the big open grassy top in the timber. We kind of figured this would be our only chance at catching these elk up there before human pressure drives them away.

We made our way up top before light, and glassed as the sun came up. The elk either already got down into the steep nasty timber, or just didn’t go out there the night before.

We decided to quickly hike about 30 minutes away to an area that has tons of timbered finger ridges, small open feeding areas, a couple springs.

We got over to the start of all these fingers, and dropped about half way down the hill in elevation. The thermals were still dropping, and we were hoping to be below any elk. Our plan was just to stay put and do some calling, hoping a bull would come sneaking in. After doing cow and calf calls, kicking some rocks around, and breaking some sticks nothing had came in yet. Tim let out a high pitched bugle , trying to sound like a young bull if that makes sense. About 30 seconds later a bull answered from across the canyon.

From: bowhunt
02-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Bugle came from the steep timbered face across large canyon.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Bugle came from the steep timbered face across large canyon.

From: WapitiBob
02-Sep-21
Looks like another fun trip. Good luck!

From: lewis
02-Sep-21
Ok now you have my attention good luck Lewis

From: APauls
02-Sep-21
I'm committed! SOUNDS GREAT, GOOD LUCK!

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
That bull only answered one more time. At least we know there’s at least one one over there as usual. No other action for the rest of the morning. We headed back to camp and put some field tips on. Did a little shooting at 50 and 40 yards at a soft dirt bank.

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
For the afternoon hunt we were going to head about a mile north from camp, and then drop about half a mile down towards the tip of a finger ridge before it drops almost straight down. There’s a couple really good bedding areas where we have shot 3 bulls early in the season in previous years. We set up where I shot a 5 point in 2018. Tim called for about 30 minutes…nothing

We dropped 400-500 yards down to the next spot they like to bed. Tim killed a 5 point at this spot in 2018. While calling a bull bugled on the next ridge over. Nothing came in, and we didn’t have time to go over to that bull before it would be dark. It would probably take 45 minutes at least to get to him, and we had less than 30 minutes of shooting light left.

The bull that bugled was near the end of a ridge that runs about 2 miles. There’s several spots between camp and where the bull bugled that we have gotten into elk. We would head out there in the morning for day 2.

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
Second day of season:

We got up at 430 am and had some oatmeal and coffee. We stopped and called at a couple spots where we get into elk on the way to where the bull was the night before. At the second spot a bull came in silent behind us and across a small draw about 90 yards away. He didn’t see us, but you could tell he was feeling uneasy about not seeing any elk where we had been calling from. After about a minute he walked off. I moved about 70 yards over and out of sight to start doing some cow calls, Hoping to maybe get him to come by Tim. The bull never did come over.

The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful. We set up in Multiple spots where we thought the bull from the night before may be bedded, but never had anything come in.

The evening hunt we went out a different ridge, and had no action. There was plenty of sign, but no bugles and no bulls came in.

Not a super exciting trip, but we called in one bull and heard a few bugles. There was also a lot of sign in most of the areas we checked, so we’re expecting a good season. We never saw another person this first 3 days, and we didn’t spoon any elk so the elk didn’t get pressured at all.

From: Scoot
03-Sep-21
Very promising start! I predict you'll kill a bull before long!

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
Third day of season:

We got up at 430am to eat, pack up, and head back to the truck. About half way back we ran into a guy and his wife heading out to hunt for a week. They saw so many people the 3 rd week , they were just to g the first week this year. The. About a mile after that we ran into 3 more guys heading out, and shortly after that another guy!

Hopefully they all used their vacation time up for this early trip. Maybe there won’t be many around when the hunting gets good!

From: Hackbow
03-Sep-21
Looking forward to each installment!

From: t-roy
03-Sep-21
Good stuff so far. Good luck going forward!

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-21
Trip # 2 Day 1:

This weekend Tim and I were supposed to be meeting up with a friend of mine Troy, to hunt for a couple days. Tim had to cancel last minute so I headed out in the long drive to meet up with Troy, he lives a lot closer to where we are hunting.

The weather forecast had changed pretty drastically in the few days leading up to this trip. Originally it was supposed to be cooling down quite a bit, and possibly rain a couple days into the trip. That would have been great early season elk hunting in this area. It changed to increasing heat, HOT, HOT, HOT!

In this area the elk hunting is pretty tuff when it’s abnormally hot. They seem to not even want to come in silent to calls, unless you happen to set up or call really close to a bull(under 100yards). These encounters happen really fast, and it can be tuff to capitalize on them.

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-21
We got out to camp around 430pm and and headed for one of the long finger ridges a bull had bugled from the weekend before, and where the bull snuck in behind us on one of our calling setups. Last weekend when we went out there we also saw lots of tracks.

We set up and did some calling in several locations with lots of tracks, and where we have called bulls out of bedding areas before with no luck. Right before dark we got to the end of the ridge. I snuck up to the end, and there was a bull raking a tree below. It was pretty dark, the bull was standing in dark rocks, and he looked black like he had been wallowing. Some of the branches were also blocking his vitals. I turned back to Troy to tell him a bull was below, and when I turned back to the bull he was staring up at me. He must have stoped raking right when I turned my head back, and caught the movement when I turned back to look at him. He would have only been able to see the top of my head. He looked my way for 30 seconds and then slowly walked off.

From: bowhunt
08-Sep-21
Trip 2 day 2:

In the morning we worked our way across a steep hillside that has some open feeding areas, timber, and several large Boulder fields. The area is typically betters little later in the season, but some years there is a herd using it early.

We made our way through calling with no response. We also setup in a few spots that have been good previously and called for 20-30 minutes. The elk didn’t seem to have been using this area yet this year. The whole morning we only saw one area where it looked like a few elk had passed through recently.

For the evening hunt we decided to head over to a ridge Tim killed a bull on the last year. We made our way out, and set up to call in a couple different spots where I had bedding areas marked. After the second set up we went about 100 yards and I cow called a few times. A bull immediately responded very close by. We guessed 200 yards or so down the hill. I move up about 15 feet to where I thought I would have a shooting lane. Troy backed off about 80 yards to call. There were a few branches in my way, so I quickly needed to move so I could get a shot. Just I I moved the the bull came around a tree at 60 yards…busted

It was a really nice 6 point. He was coming in perfect, must have been closer than we thought. It was probably 10 or 15 seconds from when he bugled to when he popped out 60 yards away and caught me moving. I was pretty disappointed.

It seems like early in The season these bulls either sneak in silent, answer calls if they are a long ways away like across a large canyon, or wait to answer when you are less then 100 yards away.

From: bowhunt
08-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Looking down into drainage next to camp.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Looking down into drainage next to camp.
Trip 2 day 3:

For the am hunt we were going cross a draw next to camp, and then side hill out to the end of the ridge where we saw the bull rubbing the tree the first evening of the trip. We were trying to stay around the elevation Of some benches on the side of the steep hillside where we figured the elk would bed, keeping the wind hood. There was quite a bit of tracks and rubs in the drainage right next to camp. We set up and called a few different times with no luck. Next we continues across the hillside making our way to the edge of the finger. This was another uneventful hunt.

From: bowhunt
08-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
We hiked off the ridge we were camped on, set camp in the bottom, and would hunt up to the red arrow in the evening.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We hiked off the ridge we were camped on, set camp in the bottom, and would hunt up to the red arrow in the evening.
We went back to camp after the morning hunt and packed up. We were going to move to the other side of the drainage where I shot a pretty nice 6 point in 2019, and heard a couple bugles opening weekend this year. This area pretty much always has some elk.

We packed up, and headed down the hill. We got to the base of the ridge I wanted to hunt and set up camp. We worked our way up the ridge line for the evening hunt. Nothing ever answered, or came in silent on this hunt. Once it got dark we made our way back down to camp. We needed to get up at 430 am to hike back to the trucks, so I could make the long drive home.

It was a pretty boring trip, but at least we had a couple close encounters with bulls. There was also pretty good sign in most of the areas I like to hunt.

With plenty of fresh sign in multiple different areas, and a really good weather forecast for the next trip I’m hoping to have some more exciting stories and 1 or 2 dead bulls after the next trip. I’ll hunt by my self the first day or two of the next trip, and then Tim will meet up with me. 9 days straight of elk hunting during prime time, I can’t wait!

08-Sep-21
Thanks for taking us along with you. Good luck this weekend

From: ki-ke
08-Sep-21
Following! How do you leave that little girl behind?! Cotest thing ever...

Good luck next trip!!

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21
Definitely going to be tough leaving Stella on this longer trip. She really likes my elk spaghetti for lunches, so I’m probably not welcome back home until I fill my tag anyways!

On the road right now heading out for a nine day trip. My pack has nine days worth of food and all the gear all need for any weather. Not planning to come back to the car until we kill at least one more or run out of food.

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2018 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2018 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2018 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2018 bull
Tim and I have done pretty good this part of the season over the past seven or eight years. We both filled our tags around this time in 2013 2018 and 2019. We started hunting together a lot in 2012

Hopefully my next updates after this trip are a lot more exciting in the first couple trips.

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2019 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2019 bull

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2019 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2019 bull

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