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Anyone hunt elk in the sagebrush? I never have but have found some BLM land that looks interesting. I'll have the time this season if i draw so gonna have to try it. Just looking for some insight. On a few different online maps there doesn't appear to be much timber around.
It's common for elk to live in sagebrush country in Colorado. In fact, the most highly coveted limited draw units in NW CO are mostly sagebrush.
They don’t all live in the trees
Yep in SW Wyoming. I like to use the open country to my advantage and glass for a couple days (preferably before opener) and learn the herds patterns. Then use that info to try and get in front of the elk while playing the wind. Even with no trees there's usually cover from vegetation and terrain use it to your advantage and never forget the wind. The downside to open country especially public if there's easly visible elk you probably won't be alone especially in a OTC high tag unit.
If you get into some dry creek areas, some of the sagebrush varieties there can get pretty tall, or at least tall enough to cover you. When I went to UW I spent a summer working for the Range Department collecting plant and soil samples in the area west of State Hywy 789 between Baggs and Creston in the Red Desert and I was amazed at how tall and dense some of that sagebrush in there got. We also found ancient fire rings on some of those benches and picked up a few ancient stone points!
Some of my best elk hunts have been in the High Desert terrain.
Good luck, Robb
Yes. That's where my elk hat idea originated, and it worked when I hunted sage country.
I agree with Robb, my best elk hunts have been in open sagebrush country. Spot and stalk. You can get away with plenty of movement, just go slow
I've shot several bulls in the sage brush. I was told by an old timer in Colorado years ago that in the late 1800's, they were mostly thought viewed as a prairie dwelling animal.
Straight from F&G;
Elk have changed their behavior in areas with wolves. They use timber less and less for bedding opting for sage flats where they can see predators from a long distance.
Have chased them in the prairies of southern AB a handful of times. Some giant bulls in that open country.
We hunted Wyoming antelope near Rock Springs this past fall and was surprised how many elk we saw in a couple days down there, including one heck of a nice bull!
Really cool seeing big bulls out in the sage!
I agreed above love the sagebrush. They can get pretty tall too
In areas with wolves, elk are utilizing big high country sage flats more and more… That straight from F&G.
They have always used those flats…but now they will bed in the open even in very bad weather.
Ooops got me, I had already posted
Hopefully, this will help....
Elk evolved as a Plains species; they just got forced into the high country by human activity, after nearly being wiped out by Market hunters. Their coloration and their bugles are both adaptive to open/plains habitat. Red Deer are close relatives which evolved in thick cover, where a roar carries better than the higher pitches of a bugle.
Most “flats” aren’t really that flat. So topography is your friend. And some times you just have to do the leopard crawl. Just don’t belly- flop on a barrel cactus!
Yes, elk like sage brush.