Mathews Inc.
E.D. Who Else Has It?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Ambush 07-Oct-22
WV Mountaineer 07-Oct-22
bowhunt 07-Oct-22
yooper89 07-Oct-22
RT 07-Oct-22
Rock 07-Oct-22
t-roy 07-Oct-22
Bake 07-Oct-22
billygoat 07-Oct-22
Ambush 07-Oct-22
Jordan 07-Oct-22
Ambush 07-Oct-22
Ambush 07-Oct-22
Ambush 07-Oct-22
Ambush 07-Oct-22
Ambush 07-Oct-22
Ambush 08-Oct-22
Charlie Rehor 08-Oct-22
EmptyFreezer 08-Oct-22
midwest 08-Oct-22
t-roy 08-Oct-22
Ambush 08-Oct-22
t-roy 08-Oct-22
Ambush 08-Oct-22
fuzzy 08-Oct-22
Ambush 08-Oct-22
Recurve Man 08-Oct-22
Ambush 08-Oct-22
Ambush 09-Oct-22
Rock 09-Oct-22
Treeline 09-Oct-22
Treeline 10-Oct-22
Kurt 10-Oct-22
elkmtngear 10-Oct-22
Ambush 10-Oct-22
Treeline 10-Oct-22
t-roy 10-Oct-22
Ambush 11-Oct-22
TD 11-Oct-22
Ambush 11-Oct-22
Treeline 14-Oct-22
Rockbass 14-Oct-22
Elkslaya 14-Oct-22
deerslayer 14-Oct-22
Ambush 14-Oct-22
Treeline 14-Oct-22
Elkslaya 14-Oct-22
Ambush 14-Oct-22
Ambush 14-Oct-22
Ambush 14-Oct-22
Ambush 15-Oct-22
Ambush 15-Oct-22
BULELK1 15-Oct-22
easeup 15-Oct-22
From: Ambush
07-Oct-22
E.D. can hit any man at any age. It's not often the subject of conversation amongst polite company or even with close friends. Your wife will probably know, but for the rest we suffer in silence. It's a hard topic. Imagine its late deer season and you're sitting around the fire with a few close friends and you blurt out "I have E.D." The awkward silence, one guy looks at his feet like with great interest, another takes an extra looong pull on his beer until one says, "Hey, anybody catch the game last night.?" You pull back in like a turtle.

E.D. or Elk Depression, is obviously more common in late fall. Plans are made, tags bought, dreams dreamed, high hopes abound, only to come crashing done around us.

I took up elk hunting a few years ago with my regular hunting partner. We watched videos, scoured hunting sites, bought calls and learned to use them. The first year we had some incredible encounters early on, then it went flat. Second year same place not near the action. So we scouted out a new location. Tons of rubs and no signs of hunters. Yes!! We will slay them! Nothing, nada, no love. A slight case of E.D. sets in.

Last year we went all in and scouted hard to find a hard to access spot with tons of sign. On opening day we we there and ready. We had bulls screaming at us right off the hop, but it was so thick, like a jungle, that even at twenty yards there was no shot opportunities. Several times this played out! We are restricted to six points, but that was not the issue. We called in several over our five days hunting. I believe we burnt the place out by over calling and it's nearly impossible to move far in the lush tangle. The season ends with a bit worse case of E.D.

07-Oct-22
I love it.

From: bowhunt
07-Oct-22
I’m starting to get it now, especially with all the political threads starting to take over again now that elk seasons done for most!

From: yooper89
07-Oct-22
DoNt lOoK aT tHeM iF yOu DoNt LiKe ThEm

From: RT
07-Oct-22
Well there is fishing if you want to pretend something else is fun. Right?

From: Rock
07-Oct-22
it is an almost yearly occurance even on years that I kill one.

From: t-roy
07-Oct-22
Squeezing on a Hoochie Mama during the off-season, is said to relieve some of the symptoms, at least temporarily.

From: Bake
07-Oct-22
Edited: Didn't realize this was a hunt story. . . . Sorry my reading comprehension is off :)

From: billygoat
07-Oct-22
Sadly, I've also been stricken, worse than usual.

I did snag a 3rd rifle cow tag for 421, so one last shot at redemption...

From: Ambush
07-Oct-22
As the winter starts to come to an end, that flaccid feeling begins to subside as the spring brings new hope. We get excited again. We just need a better plan! Can't kill them if you can't see them. I learned a valuable lesson decades ago hunting moose in the thick brush jungles. Climb a tree. Ten yards vision turns into fifty yards just ten feet up a tree and twenty is a panorama. I rifled a lot of moose from trees, mostly called in. We would use that strategy to reclaim our manhood and beat the wily Wapiti!

By late spring we had assembled a small but serviceable river boat to access our area fairly quickly. We hauled in cams and stands, hung them and cut shooting lanes. A long sweaty, bug filled day had the basics covered for the inevitable slaughter. Looking out from my stand, I could see exactly where a big 6X6 had stood, last season, showing only his head and ivory tipped antlers, his eyes squeezed shut as he bellowed at us. But now I could see his knees when he shows again!

After an anxious six weeks, we headed back up to check cams and look after a few more chores. It had been a super wet spring and summer so far. The trails looked good, but maybe not as good as before. One cam was on a spot that looked like it might be a wallow when its wet and it was flooded now. Another cam, a few miles away was on a pretty good trail. With giddy excitement, we pulled the cards. Hmm, the number of pics was not encouraging on either cam. Viewing showed a small bull, a few cows, some whitetail, a black bear and a small grizzly. That limp feeling started to take offer. E.D. was rearing its ugly head.

" Get a grip on yourself" we said to each other, but there wasn't much to hang on to. We finally shook it off by theorizing that "they just weren't here yet, the big bulls show up later, lots of time". With that in mind we aimed to be sitting in our stands on opening morning and we were!

The last six weeks had been extremely hot and dry and it stayed that way. We resisted the temptation to sneak in and pull the cards so as not to stink up the area. The creeping daylight found us perched and ready to strike from above with deadly precision. We had discussed just shooting the first legal bull that came in or hold out for a giant. We'd hold out to see what the cams said, was the decision. Morning came and went without a chirp or a hair! Slightly bewildered we pulled that cam card and retreated to camp to check the pics. Full on shock! Same as before basically. Where were the giant bulls? Heck, where were the not so giant bulls? We sat stands, we crawled through dense brush, we scouted further in and we called from hills. Not a peep. About the third day a good 5X5 snuck in close and quiet, busting out when he saw us. That was it for elk sightings in seven days. A boat load of full on E.D. weighed us down on the trip home.

From: Jordan
07-Oct-22
I've been part of the clinical trial for 16 years....no cure I fear.

From: Ambush
07-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
That first couple years held such promise. Typical elk woods, lots of hill, ravines, big poplar flats and low brush. But too many rifle hunters crawling everywhere.

From: Ambush
07-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
This is the spot we thought might be a wallow and my treestand is thirty two yards from the center of it.

From: Ambush
07-Oct-22
My partner has a family, a job and responsibilities, whereas I'm retired and my wife gets tired of me being around, so I decided to head back on the 12th of September. Now it's a bit tricky to get the boat into the river because there's not really a launch. Early in the year with the river in low flood stage and wet slippery banks, we ran a rope and snatch block down to a tree on the bank and pulled the boat down. Coming out we rope the trailer out with the boat on it. The river had dropped considerably so it was quite steep now down to the water. I had to get the trailer on the slant of the bank, then snub a rope around the hitch, uncouple the trailer and hope it didn't get away from me. Feeding rope slowly, I got launched then loaded. I checked one cam on the way up which revealed a couple of 5X5's, some cows, whitetail does and a cougar, which in my haste and on the tiny screen I mistook for a whitetail doe. I hoped for better on the other cam. That hope was deflated pretty quickly too.

But inspired by [email protected]'s endurance and patience, I decided to just grind it out in the stand for the next three and a half days. I set my tent on a big sand bar about fifteen feet from the river. I walked the sandy bank about four hundred yards to its end and saw tracks from elk, deer, moose, wolf, black and grizzly bear, plus birds and mink. I did notice that the bank was being slowly eroded away, with chunks of loose sand going "shlooosh" with regularity. "Should be fine" I thought to myself as I drifted off to the occasional "schluuump, splash".

From: Ambush
07-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
I started out about fifteen feet from the river. By the end of day two, it was about half that. Hmmm, the math says I’m good at that rate for one more night. Should I bother to move?

From: Ambush
07-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Young bull at the first cam. There were two much the same.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Young bull at the first cam. There were two much the same.
Ambush's embedded Photo
This guy at the wallow cam is legal by about two inches of beam off the back. I called him in later.
Ambush's embedded Photo
This guy at the wallow cam is legal by about two inches of beam off the back. I called him in later.

From: Ambush
08-Oct-22

08-Oct-22
Annual “doe slam” will take place in 10 days. That should help a bit. Low T is likely due to Global warming.

From: EmptyFreezer
08-Oct-22
Great thread and title.. Whos says elk hunters arent witty.

08-Oct-22

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Since I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better at managing my E.D. For the last 10 yrs or so I’ve been helping new elk hunters on their first or second hunts and ensure they either get the first shot or can hunt on their own before I kill one. This year it was my Son in Laws second hunt. He and 2 others drew a ML tag and I took my recurve. I never strung the recurve. My Son In Law’s hunt took priority. We had 3 solid chances and one 90 yard clean miss. His inexperience as a hunter showed as he couldn’t close the deal at crunch time various reasons on each bull. But he handled it very well and is even more eaten up with the bug. I’ve gotten much better at dealing with not killing an elk and really enjoyed our hunt. It was a great hunt. But he’s young and inexperienced enough that not executing and capitalizing on the chances still bothers him. For me I still love the hunt but don’t really need the antlers and I won’t starve. The good news is that the other young man in camp killed his first bull. A nice satellite bull 6x6,

From: midwest
08-Oct-22
This is a good one, Rod! Lovin it!

From: t-roy
08-Oct-22
Some ED experts recommend listening to classical music or opera……A little Flaccido Domingo, perhaps?

From: Ambush
08-Oct-22
^^^ Great tip. Or maybe classic rock like Limp Biscuit?

From: t-roy
08-Oct-22
^^Even better, for the head banger types!

From: Ambush
08-Oct-22
Ok enough dick'en around, let's get this sad saga back on firm ground. I'm having trouble adding pics to posts, so hang in there.

From: fuzzy
08-Oct-22
Got in a ground nest of yellow jackets last months, 3 stings on the lower belly and one on the ---. Damn thing STILL didn't swell up. ;)

From: Ambush
08-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
I always appreciate the elk keeping an eye on my cams while I'm gone.

From: Recurve Man
08-Oct-22
Well I'll be the first to admit that E.D. is a serious issue with me. Ive been hunting elk for several years now with still no penetration in one. I will have to say I've had a lot of getting close and maybe even to 2nd or 3rd base a time or 2 but just couldn't perform. Seem to always just come up short. I still continue to keep at, telling myself i will not take medication for it. I'll keep playing with my recurve because i refuse to medicate with a compound of some sort. Surely one day I'll get it up high enough to put it in one.

In all seriousness my wife says i pout for about a month when I get back from my annual elk trip. It sure is addicting though. Im starting to get in WT mode now i guess. Good Thread...!!!!

From: Ambush
08-Oct-22
^^^ Misery loves company :)

The first morning of my solo hunt found me in my tree waiting for shooting light. I'll say right here that I'm not that good at bull calls, but pretty good on the cow talk. Right at shooting light I make a little cow/calf chatter then a lazy bugle, followed by a riff of half hearted chuckles, then a bit more from the cow choir. Within five minutes there's a bull! A big bull!! At eighty yards the bino's say it's a 6X6 with everything, tine and beam length and plenty of mass. Holy smokes, this could happen!!

The bull moves at an angle toward my stand and at fifty yards starts some raking. I can only see him from the neck up, but if he moves down the obvious trail, he'll pass by me at ten yards then give me a great quartering away shot at about twenty. Then he looks like he commits to that exact plan! I have my back against the big spruce I'm in, facing directly away from him now, bow in hand and just have to stay still and quiet. I wait. Then wait another couple minutes, then five. So far, I have resisted peaking my head around to check his progress, not wanting to blow it now. A couple more minutes and I break. Very slowly craning my head around, I find . . . . . . . nothing. What the . . .?!?!

I'm thinking, he snuck out, or back tracked. I slowly ease around the tree trying to find his miserable retreating carcass. I can't see anything back on the fringe. And then, DOH!!, he is standing twenty five yards behind my stand, right where I can't get a shot. He seems to be looking right at me, but not quite understanding why his cow would be in a tree and so damned ugly. After about thirty seconds , he goes back the way he came giving me no shot, just walking quickly, but not bolting and at a thick spot he barks. Once more he barks. I try a few cow calls aimed to the other side of me, but he just walks away. Another bull chuckles from the bush about eighty yards away and he's the only one of us that thinks the whole shit show is funny.

I'm let down, but not to bad. I think, wow only thirty minutes in to the first day and I've had a great bull in bow range! I swell a bit.

From: Ambush
09-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Particularly dainty little deer. the does not being much bigger than their fawns.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Particularly dainty little deer. the does not being much bigger than their fawns.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Huge crowd for here. Usually only one or two.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Huge crowd for here. Usually only one or two.
Whitetail does come and go infrequently. And the most cows at one time has been four.

From: Rock
09-Oct-22
I predict that there is going be a Dead Elk at the end of this.

From: Treeline
09-Oct-22
Can definitely commiserate, Rod. Suffering from a massive case of E.D. down here.

Had a great party planned in Arizona where the anticipation was high for plenty of targets of opportunity on smoking hot ones but got cock-blocked by the work thing and had to forgo the trip.

Relegated to the high pressure/low potential pursuit around the house. Tough to even think about when every potential has multiple guys already in there pounding away!

Definitely a Sausage fest!

I did get lucky enough to get a small rise out of one, but got busted outside my range and no chance for penetration…

At least you are seeing elk! Loving your picture so I can remember what they look like!

From: Treeline
10-Oct-22
Hey Rod,

Hopefully your just napping and haven’t forgot about us!

Nursing a bad case of the E. D. here and hoping you’ll be able to pull off that big climax!

From: Kurt
10-Oct-22
Dang, almost did not click on this thread as I never had ED. Now I’m laughing hard at Rod and my other buddy’s comments!!!! Pretty funny except for the lack of elk dying for Rod and friends. Hope it turns around soon! Or at least next year!

From: elkmtngear
10-Oct-22
Hope this ends better for you, than it did me!

Monster case of E.D. here! Spent 14 days in WY, couldn't get one to walk out from behind the trees, so I could try to get some penetration! Seeing/hearing them daily, just made it worse!

Never been one for "supplements", but I may be reduced to using a Muzzleloader, on a Private Land Cow hunt, to try to quell my E.D. this Year!

From: Ambush
10-Oct-22
Haha! If we can’t laugh at ourselves, at least we can laugh at others.

There is more story to come. This was Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, so family time. I spent today cleaning up after a bunch of vandal bears and hopefully thwarting their future exploits. The lone adults are not going to have to worry about finding a den site. I have one tag and I’ve rounded up a couple more youngsters with tags.

From: Treeline
10-Oct-22
Good luck getting rid of those unwanted guests!

Have heard that the Asians do something with the bear parts to put the lead in the pencil….

Not a cure for E.D. But should at least get a little pep in the step!

From: t-roy
10-Oct-22
Let me know if you want me to send you my spare unicycle and juggling balls, for the bear circus act, Rod.

From: Ambush
11-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Maybe a "Next Year" bull.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Maybe a "Next Year" bull.
Years ago, we could sell the gall bladders from bears to trappers who in turn sent them in with their furs. All went to the Asian market. Now it's illegal to posses, separate from the carcass, the gall bladder, penis bone or paws.

So the big 6X6 faded into the jungle and the chuckling bull calmed his funny bone and there I sat alone again. I cow call about every twenty minutes hoping to entice any cruising bull that might be passing by in earshot. I sometimes use a small Phelps bugle tube to project the sound a bit further. The overstory is pretty much a mature spruce, birch mix and the understory is a mix of devils club, tangle alder, short brush and thick ferns about four feet high. You can't see from belly button down, so you kinda feel with your feet so you don't trip on hidden deadfall, which is plentiful. That's one reason sitting in a stand is appealing. That and you can see the sneaky buggers.

About 1:00 I headed out for some lunch and a stretch. I was sitting facing away from the blazing sun, eating my lunch, when I heard a splash. I figured it was one of the beavers I had seen or the slumping river bank, until it got loud. I looked out and there was a couple of cows just getting out of the river on the far side. There was a bull trotting across a shallow bar halfway across the river and he plunged into the deeper stuff trying to catch up to the cows. They had disappeared by the time he hit the far bank. As soon as he was out of the water, he moonwalked right back in and splashed around for half a minute before leaving and then repeating the whole procedure. Sufficiently refreshed, he made the bank, shook like a Lab and trotted off on the trail of love. The river is about one hundred and fifty yards wide at this point, but it was easy to see he only had two up top on a small rack. Time to head back to the stand for the afternoon/evening sit.

Later in the afternoon, I caught sight of a good sized set of antlers above the brush, basically copying the 6X6's route. At sixty yards, it looked like a good 5X5, so off my menu. I chirped a couple of times and he moved closer to stop behind a wall of brush so I could just see his antler tips raise and lower above the bushes as he raked. He then moved to about thirty yards behind a screen of big trees where I could only make out bits of his body. He knew exactly where those calls had come from but he was getting no sight confirmation so he just stood there for about five minutes. Then he left, just like he came, quietly and in no hurry. Well OK, two mature bulls in one day. Things are starting to firm up here. Darkness came with no other excitement.

From: TD
11-Oct-22
Sometimes.... in the heat of the moment..... it's tough to get to full draw.....

often it can be over in seconds.... and sometimes it's really fast..... on occasion performance pressure leading to premature release.....

From: Ambush
11-Oct-22
"..... it's tough to get to full draw....."

Especially for us guys with a long draw and heavier poundage :)

From: Treeline
14-Oct-22
Rod must be really busy taking a nap…

From: Rockbass
14-Oct-22
Great post with many laughs. Thanks for the wit!

From: Elkslaya
14-Oct-22
ED support group? I’m in

From: deerslayer
14-Oct-22
Let's get this story going!!!

From: Ambush
14-Oct-22
Tonight for sure, I’ll wrap it up!! Sorry for the delay, been kinda hanging low.

From: Treeline
14-Oct-22
You can do it, Rod!

Maybe one of those little blue pills (or a glass of Canadian on the rocks), jump in the saddle and RIDE!

We’re dying to know if you got ‘er done or too quick on the release!

From: Elkslaya
14-Oct-22

From: Ambush
14-Oct-22
Ok, where was I? Seniors memory, not even sure where I am, never mind where I was.

The big 6X6 jilted me and Chuckles wandered off looking for entertainment elsewhere. I keep to my routine of cow calling every twenty to thirty minutes. About noon I catch a glimpse of tan low in the brush in front of me and figure it's one of the whitetails coming through. And then out comes a cougar! He pads casually around the little puddle sniffing here and there then settles down to drink. Now my mind is racing around trying to remember if cougar is open!! We had that conversation a week prior, wondering if it was and not really thinking we'd see one in this landscape anyway. Obviously we didn't check. I have an app on my phone that has the seasons all loaded and now I'm franticly trying to find out! Look at phone, look at cat! Look at phone look at cat!! Look at phone, look at cat!! He's up now and slowly cruising down the trail angling past me . C'MON!!

"Season Open moron", yawns the screen. By now the cat is just out of sight, so bow in hand I'm chirping away like a lost and vulnerable calf elk. Working hard, getting a bit sweaty and desperate, but the shot won't come. No dice on the second chance. Now I have C.D. on top of E.D. I wish I smoked, I need a cigarette.

From: Ambush
14-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Head on to me.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Head on to me.
Ambush's embedded Photo
The broadside shot.
Ambush's embedded Photo
The broadside shot.
This is the cat on the trail cam. In this pic he is head on to me at thirty two yards. I would have to decide to shoot him between the shoulder blades or wait for him to turn to leave, giving me the broadside. Sometimes in my eagerness, I shoot to early. I think there's a term for that too. A cat guy figured by the pics and my description it was a middle aged Tom. Funny that the cat didn't seemed at all concerned by my scent since he walked right over my trail.

From: Ambush
14-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
Turned out the cougar was on another cam early on the same morning. A few rugged miles away.
Ambush's embedded Photo
Turned out the cougar was on another cam early on the same morning. A few rugged miles away.
So the day has been pretty exciting so far! Time for some lunch which I cut short because of the heat in the sun on the sand bar. The bush feels ten degrees cooler at least and out of the direct sunlight.

Late afternoon, about fifteen minutes after a calling sequence I catch the sight of antlers turning in the brush, again about eighty yards out. As the bull slowly makes his way angling slightly towards me, I get a good look as he passes through a small opening. 5X5. A good one but short one point! This bull follows the same path as the 6X6 and thrashes the same bushes and not a peep. For a few minutes, all I can see is his antlers going up and down, side to side, casually flirting with the thick bush. Then as if it was all quite boring, he just nonchalantly shuffled away. I played with the cow calls sparingly to watch his reaction. He would stop and look, a couple times he would turn around, but always end up farther away. Then poof, I'm alone again.

Later I realized he had a couple of inches of beam behind his fifth. He is in one of the above pics. So legal, not that I had a shot opportunity. But now I've seen two legal bulls from my stand on this trip. That was all the elk for the day and time for Mountain House or a Peak Refuel and of to bed. The Peak meals are actually pretty good and not as salty as the MH.

From: Ambush
15-Oct-22

Ambush's embedded Photo
One of the Fives from the other cam location.
Ambush's embedded Photo
One of the Fives from the other cam location.
The morning was a bit cooler and even a bit of rain. Mid morning a cow came slowly from the east and ended up circling very close around my stand. She also ended up behind my stand and at about fifteen yards. She seemed cautious and curious, not spooked but wary. And yes, I do just pee out of my stand. I've never seen it spook deer or moose, so I figured it won't bother the elk either. The cow eventually seemed to be satisfied with whatever it was she was wondering about and wandered off. That was my elk sightings for the whole day. Bit of a let down after all the action from the previous day.

I forgot about the whitetail doe that came by about an hour after the cougar. She came from the direction the cougar went and seemed to follow his backtrack for about twenty yards. She drank from the same spot then went on her way. When she hit my cross trail, she sniffed my trail for a few feet in both directions, then satisfied that me, the cat and her were all heading different directions on she went.

From: Ambush
15-Oct-22
The third day was also very slow. It wasn't until late in the afternoon that I even saw an elk. I saw a cow and then another one coming from behind me and quite a way's out, then what looked like a pretty good bull following fifty yards behind. In spite of my sluttiest beckoning's, the bull stayed with his girls. They walked like they had somewhere to be and I think ended up swimming the river. But there was a pattern developing to their comings and goings. After sitting the last morning, I spent a bit of time re-scouting the immediate area. There was an old wash from flooding quite some time ago, about three feet lower than the surrounding area and about fifteen feet wide. Easy walking and that explained why they were always low in the bushes. The grassy bottom made for a very quiet path to sneak in on. I decided I'd bring a lone wolf climber on the next trip to maybe get thirty yards closer and hopefully get a chance at a cruising bull. I wouldn't get back till Oct 1st

I loaded up the boat and headed down river with my tail tucked between my legs again.

From: BULELK1
15-Oct-22
My E.D. won't hit until late December as I still have 3 tags in 3 different states to fill.

2- Bull tags and 1 cow tag.

Good luck, Robb

From: easeup
15-Oct-22
I fell to medication and it didnt help either

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