Sitka Gear
Who else is passing up shots???
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
WYOelker 19-Sep-21
Bowaddict 19-Sep-21
trakman 19-Sep-21
jsgold 19-Sep-21
CK 19-Sep-21
Shuteye 24-Sep-21
JL 24-Sep-21
Rocky D 24-Sep-21
fubar racin 24-Sep-21
BOHNTR 24-Sep-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 24-Sep-21
JakeBrake 24-Sep-21
Rickm 24-Sep-21
Ermine 24-Sep-21
Bowfreak 24-Sep-21
TGbow 24-Sep-21
drycreek 24-Sep-21
cnelk 24-Sep-21
WYOelker 24-Sep-21
ahunter76 25-Sep-21
ohiohunter 25-Sep-21
Dyjack 25-Sep-21
ohiohunter 25-Sep-21
WYOelker 25-Sep-21
Treeline 25-Sep-21
Huntosolo 25-Sep-21
Scrappy 25-Sep-21
ohiohunter 25-Sep-21
Cheesehead Mike 26-Sep-21
WYOelker 27-Sep-21
WYOelker 27-Sep-21
T-rex 27-Sep-21
KHNC 27-Sep-21
esean 28-Sep-21
ELKMAN 29-Sep-21
nmwapiti 02-Oct-21
WYOelker 07-Oct-21
WYOelker 07-Oct-21
trophyhill 07-Oct-21
SlipShot 08-Oct-21
txhunter58 10-Oct-21
From: WYOelker
19-Sep-21
Last night hour before dark. Spot a group of elk out on a flat. 5-6 cows, decent looking herd bull and 2 rag horn bulls. The wind was blowing hard and no real chance fir a stalk. So this morning I get up and at first light make a play to the most likely bedding area they would hit. A solid plan n my face wind and a mean bugle provided lots of confidence. At the sun came up I was 80 yards out from the main herd in the trees, wind still awesome. The bull standing guard against the rag horn, cows feeding etc. I end up with at least 5 different broadside chip shots at the raghorn, 18 yards, 28, 43, etc. the big bull just out of sight I wait the raghorn out. He eventually gets past me, and I make a move. Sadly I was a little too aggressive busted the herd bull at 34 yards without a shot.

Last weekend called in a solid 5x5 at 43 yards and passed. Was not 100% comfortable with situation, but likely would have been an easy kill.

So anyone else passing up shots at elk? I have always passed shots on deer and lopes, but never on a bull elk.

Good news is, I watched where the elk headed, gave them a hour break and gonna try again…

Herd bull is likely a 300” 6x6 very pretty rack.

From: Bowaddict
19-Sep-21
In Colorado, not very often!!! Especially low point or otc units. But I have gotten to where I will let small rag horns walk early, mostly because I love the game so much!!

From: trakman
19-Sep-21
I passed up a shot my arrow went right passed a elk

From: jsgold
19-Sep-21
I’ve passed up a lot of shots...it’s part of why it took me 20 years to shoot a bull with my bow! There have been times along the way when I figured I’d rather have a cow than a little bull. Or a decent bull was in range, but a monster was on the horizon...

From: CK
19-Sep-21
I passed three shot opportunities at 300-320 type bulls in the last two weeks. One at 8 yards. I also passed a bull that would probably go about 340 if he hadn't been broke between his G1 & G2. I'd been seeing some really nice bulls and came home empty handed though.

From: Shuteye
24-Sep-21
I don't elk hunt but have passed many many shot at bucks that were plenty close enough to shoot. I can hunt every day if I want since I am retired. I have passed on fairly nice bucks to shoot a big doe. I eat what I shoot and the only thing antlers are good for is to stir the soup.

From: JL
24-Sep-21
Not so much elk but I pass up a lot of deer for one reason or another. These days it's not always priority to draw blood.....watching and filming is a treat too.

From: Rocky D
24-Sep-21
I had a young guy that I know passed a shot on a small five point on day two. He said that it wasn’t what he came to NM for and that he wanted to enjoy the time in the mountains.

In the past I have turned down several shots on bulls and twice came home empty handed.

I have not ever regretted passing an animal.

From: fubar racin
24-Sep-21
I don’t pass shots I can make on legal elk

From: BOHNTR
24-Sep-21
I passed two decent bulls early on in my hunt……paid off when I arrowed a bigger one

24-Sep-21
Not elk, but I passed on a decent size for my area black bear during our early season. Was really hoping to connect woulda dressed probably 150-170 but I knew there’s a few that size that have Cubs with them. Sure enough about 20 seconds after I decided to leave her alone the cub came out chasing her. Definitely didn’t regret letting her walk.

From: JakeBrake
24-Sep-21
Fubar x2

From: Rickm
24-Sep-21
Passed on an elk hunt this year. First time in 20 years I didn't draw a tag. I have passed plenty of smaller bulls over the years and don't regret it but next year I am shooting the first branch antlered bull I can! Maybe?? It's too much fun to kill a bull early!

From: Ermine
24-Sep-21
I’ve done it before. If you want a big one you have to pass up the small ones. I’ve gone seasons with no elk simply because I held out for a big one. Depends if I need meat or not. This year I shot the 1st elk I got a crack at.

From: Bowfreak
24-Sep-21
I like the fact that elk hunting on public land is often a shoot the first legal animal you see type hunt. I pass a lot of whitetails but it would be hard for me to pass a legal elk.

From: TGbow
24-Sep-21
ive never elk hunted but our deer season dont start till mid October so I cant say yea or nay ..yet

From: drycreek
24-Sep-21
Hard to put meat in my freezer passing up game……

From: cnelk
24-Sep-21
If I pass on elk, I don’t get to use the following….

Knife - game bags - pack - para cord - vacuum sealer - freezer - skillet

From: WYOelker
24-Sep-21
I have still passed a few more shots, but keep getting on bigger bulls that I want to shoot. It has been fun as I am spending more time just hanging out with elk than most years… no pressure and just fun.

From: ahunter76
25-Sep-21
I pass lots on Whitetail ONLY because I have been blessed with a wide varity over the years. I have a personal goal for my next one & Ive eaten many tags so far. ELk, my time was always limited & I pass nothing when it's a Bull. I have passed Cows though & real close..

From: ohiohunter
25-Sep-21
I passed on 2 bulls this year to enjoy tag soup. Hindsight I’m still 50-50 on the wide open broadside 30yd shot and potential easy pack out. That day was about when they all shut down for me, had such high hopes this year. Oh well, I have a few other tags to fill.. always a blessing to chase bugling elk none the less.

The bulls I passed were both rag horns. I don’t need a hog, I just like a nice representation of the species.

From: Dyjack
25-Sep-21
Passed on a 5x5 this year to try killing a bigger one I didn't know was there. Didn't kill either of them. Killed a p&y a few days later though.

Ate my last elk tag in 2018 because I got so picky on what I wanted. I wanted to keep elk hunting more than anything.. Last day I gambled again. Instead of an easy shot on a cow I went for a big bull. Blew the herd out. Got to think about the tag soup for a few years.

I can honestly say that passing on them has made me a better hunter because of more time in the field.

In the moment it can suck wondering if I can make opportunities keep happening. I enjoy the hunt a whole lot though. Killing stuff is always bittersweet. I achieve what my goal is, but don't get to keep chasing it.

From: ohiohunter
25-Sep-21
Agreed jack, had I shot the ragy 5pt my first day I never would’ve met and enjoyed the company of a few other hunters on the mtn. Certainly the more time spent in an area the more you learn.

From: WYOelker
25-Sep-21
I have still passed a few more shots, but keep getting on bigger bulls that I want to shoot. It has been fun as I am spending more time just hanging out with elk than most years… no pressure and just fun.

From: Treeline
25-Sep-21
I’ve passed a lot of shots on elk over the years. It depends a lot on where I’m hunting and how much time I have.

Some were maybe kinda stupid on my part.

I passed on a 360+ 6x7 bull 3 times on a hunt in Arizona. He was bugling his head off and running back and forth in a meadow. I was standing in the trees at less than 20 as he ran back and forth. I was after the bull he was screaming at….

That bull was over 410”. Did get a shot at the bigger bull later but didn’t connect.

Passed on multiple 300-330 bulls on that hunt every day. Ended up with a lot smaller 6x6 the last evening of the last day of the hunt.

Best elk hunt of my life!

You don’t get the big ones by shooting the little ones!

From: Huntosolo
25-Sep-21
I’m looking forward to the day I pass on smaller bulls because it’ll mean I have time. For those new to bow hunting take the first opportunity that presents itself. While it’s true more time on the mountain can make you a better hunter; it’s also true that one must learn how to successfully harvest an elk.

From: Scrappy
25-Sep-21
Does missing count as a pass. If so then I have passed a couple.

From: ohiohunter
25-Sep-21
Hahahaa… scrappy, what’s said on BS stays on BS.. it’ll be our secret, you let’m walk the hard way.

26-Sep-21

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
A little one I passed at 10 yards this year
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
A little one I passed at 10 yards this year
Passed up several small bulls this season and many others over the years. I've passed some pretty nice ones at times trying to move in on the herd bull.

From: WYOelker
27-Sep-21
I had a cow last night that came running in… I had to lower my bow to keep her from running into my arrow…

She got the pass… It is really fun just playing with and being around elk and not rushing to take the first shot you get..:

From: WYOelker
27-Sep-21
I had a cow last night that came running in… I had to lower my bow to keep her from running into my arrow…

She got the pass… It is really fun just playing with and being around elk and not rushing to take the first shot you get..:

From: T-rex
27-Sep-21
I'm not good at passing... :)

From: KHNC
27-Sep-21
I have passed up cows and the occasional small bull before. Also killed some small bulls and one big one. Missed a couple big ones too. Actually passed up shooting a 380 class bull last week in Nebraska. Had him screaming like crazy at 50 yards! Biggest bull ive ever encountered. I just figured the consequences of killing him were too much for me to endure. Who needs that kind of fame anyway?

Plus.......there is the part about only having a deer tag to consider. ;)

That bull is now dead. Shot by a rifle hunter and grossing 380" . What a stud!

From: esean
28-Sep-21
Passed on a 30 yd cow in the final minutes of legal shooting time because the lighting was too dim. I hate not being able to see where the arrow hits. Passed on a 25 yd caribou with my longbow because I wasn't 100% comfortable with the shot, but continued stalking to 17 yd and made a perfect shot. Of course, I've taken plenty of shots that in retrospect I should have passed on. I'm mostly a deer hunter, and it wasn't until I got through the beginner's phase of "take every shot you can" that I started really learning about deer.

From: ELKMAN
29-Sep-21
Not anymore... To much else to do in life

From: nmwapiti
02-Oct-21

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Let this little guy walk. Not quite big enough.

From: WYOelker
07-Oct-21
Well last light last day of archery I mean like minutes left I finally got in between the herd bull and his cows. Gave him a hair cut after I used the wrong pin!!!

Such is life! I still have rifle hunt!!!

From: WYOelker
07-Oct-21
Well last light last day of archery I mean like minutes left I finally got in between the herd bull and his cows. Gave him a hair cut after I used the wrong pin!!!

Such is life! I still have rifle hunt!!!

07-Oct-21
I drew my bow on a beautiful 6 point at 35 yards and when he stepped out I had to pass up the Mexican heart shot. That bull has no idea how close he came to dying that day

From: SlipShot
08-Oct-21

SlipShot's Link
I passed on 6 bulls this year. It is no longer about the kill for me. I focus on a single bull, I am ok with not filling my tag. Here is one that I / we let walk.

From: txhunter58
10-Oct-21
Good thread

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