Contributors to this thread:
Wyoming with 6-8 points
A few years back I hunted a unit in Wyoming that I would love to go back to but am a point or two short of drawing. I know there are many guys who have points but aren't sure what do with them. My hunt was amazing and frustrating at the same time. The frustrating part was I chose to go later in the month hoping for more bugling activity. However, an early snow storm had pushed the elk off the public land and down onto private. Literally, every where I went, I found great 3-5 day old sign. I am very confident that what I have found could be a quality hunt. I also have the ability to provide a pretty comfortable camp for someone who wanted to drive or fly in but not haul all their gear. So what I'm throwing out there is if anyone is in that place with at least 6 points and no idea what to do with them, shoot me a PM with your email address and/or phone number and we can have a conversation.
I've hunted elk for 35 years now and would be happy to share what I have learned. I'm not on here as much as in the past, but many of the guys who have been around for a while know me and I think would speak highly of me. I don't want to be anyone's guide and I enjoy hunting by myself as well as with a partner so if you are thinking this would be a cheap guided hunt, think again as I will be looking to fill my tag. Would love to help a partner fill his as well, but guys who have hunted with me know that when a bull is in range, I'm shooting quick. :)
I will drive with a 12 X 12 tent, a 4 X 4 truck and one or two ATVs depending on who is meeting me there and if they want to buy the tag for it. Obviously by the number of points needed, it's not one of what are considered premium WY units, but there are good elk. I had set up a game camera in July and had lots of elk pics literally up until 3 days before I got there. Needless to say I plan on hunting much earlier this time.
My elk camp is comfortable and I don't drink or smoke. I leave the tent at least an hour before first light and often more. I hunt hard but at 58, I also have learned to pace myself and hunt smarter rather than harder. I don't mind if you want a beer in the evening or a drink to celebrate as I'm not "holier than thou" on alcohol, but I will be there to hunt, not party and I like to get to bed as quick as possible at night.
Oh, and the most amazing part of this hunt was my encounter with a large Bull Moose. He came by me in a narrow funnel that also had tons of 3-5 day old elk sign and its where I plan to be on my first morning. The most amazing part of the video is all the sound you hear is the moose and I didn't have to edit out me screaming like a scared little kid. I literally was holding my bow in one hand, phone in the other and praying I wouldn't have to play ring around the rosie with the bull around the small tree I was standing next to as there was no place to go as the corridor is only 20 yards wide between rock cliffs. :) I'll link the video in my next post.
I want to go but I only have one point.
I'll see your bull moose vid and raise you with a baby moose vid.
Good luck on your search, sounds like a fun time for someone this next Sept.
Cool encounter Scrappy. How close were you?
Three or four steps. Momma was behind me and didn't know her baby had a visitor, thankfully.
For some reason I seem to attract the bullwinkles everywhere I go.
Ah, I watched your video and thought, cool but at least not scary. However, momma close by certainly changes that reality. I hear you on the moose. I've had more encounters with them than with elk in the past several years. Always cool, but definitely unnerving as their reputation is they can be aggressive and of course dangerous.
Why not jump up to the Special Draw and get your tag and go hunt?
In part because I would enjoy making a new friend and sharing some of my hard earned (i.e. ton's of mistakes) knowledge i've learned over the past 30+ years of chasing my favorite animal. Some other reasons as well.
Those early snows really affect those Bighorn areas that’s for sure
If I based my elk hunts on places I saw a shit ton of sign that was 3-5 days old years ago maybe I'd kill more big elk. You have got me thinking.
I have 0 points, but if another guy wants to sacrifice 12 and the wife is on board, I'm in!
Pop-r, Not just sign but finding major wallows, natural corridors, hiking many, many miles and gaining a great understanding of the area. I know exactly where I will be my first morning there and have an incredibly high confidence level that I will be in a great spot to ambush elk that will be coming through an incredibly tight funnel. If that for some reason doesn't pay off, I have at least a dozen other places that I also have confidence in. Yes, I have had the experience of seemingly always being where the elk were a few days ago on other hunts. However, this area was one where the herds migrated in mass off the mountain at the same time and not like in CO OTC the day after the hoards showed up, but because of an unusual early heavy snowfall.
Sounds interesting for sure. I have 9PP's and looking for a hunt, but this would be my first elk hunt ever so probably not the right guy for ya.
I am in the same boat as CTBobact.
Good luck though and please post photos of your trip.
Actually, a first time elk hunter would not be a problem for me. I'm at a stage in life where the idea of passing some things on to a younger generation is something I enjoy. Not to mention taking younger guys means fresher legs for packing out my bull. :)
I got points and experience elk hunting.Just started thinking about Wy.I am about the same age and in good shape.Think I have 7 points now I'll check tonight.
Heck of an opportunity for a first time elk hunter!
There are elk across the West that inhabit large swaths of suitable habitat that is swiftly vacated to safer pastures as soon as the first truck or human hunter is spotted. Many spots don't even make it to opening day as the arriving fleet of vehicles is all the signal they need and many others take the untimely blowing of unrecognized bugles during the middle of hot days at the beginning of the season before the rut actually gets going as their queue to leave.
The ones that don't learn, die. The ones that don't die, learn. And the cows hand down the knowledge and run these annual migrations.
Idyllwild is dead on. These cows are up to 10 maybe 15 years old and they aren't dumb.
I have hunted many areas like that. However, this wasn't one of those cases. The elk vacated 12-13 days after the season started, not when the crowd showed up. They left because of the snow which granted can happen early any year. It was just my luck that happened before I came.
Game camera pic from 7 AM on 9/12. I arrived on 9/14. Steady flow of animals at this spot from July until 9/12 then not another animal. Same with another camera that was on a main trail a mile from any road. Camera picked up a single hunter on 9/2. Others certainly could have come by or even hunted the water hole without walking by the camera, but I don't believe hunting pressure pushed them off the mountain.
Yes, probably one of my favorite pics that came off one of my own game cameras.
Sir you believe the snow.pushed those elk in your picture off the mountain?
Pop-r It happens annually in the area he was hunting. That year was a strange one where they bailed at least three or four weeks earlier than usual
I understand. I've just never seen elk "pushed by snow" just blow through areas that have no snow because of the snow up higher. There's more to it than that I'd have to think.
I hunted the bighorns 2 years ago. We got easy 10” of snow like the 12SEP that year and it didn’t move the elk. But I have heard in years past they clear off the top and move towards private pretty fast and that can happen almost overnight. I do believe that has to be other factors like dry summer and not enough feed. If your not on a Type 9 tags the onslaught of hunters come 15SEP can make a difference.
It was strange because the snow hit hard, melted quickly and was gone and then several days later the elk left. I'm sure there were other factors at play, but it wasn't hunting pressure. I talked to several locals who had hunted it for many years. They said the traffic had been typical for September and that it was the earliest they had ever seen them leave. I just know that next time I hunt the area, I'll be there early and I am very confident I will be in elk.
When I hunted the Bighorns in 2020, an early Sept snow came. They definitely moved quickly out of the areas we scouted and had cams out. The snow did melt off but it took several days to find them again as they were 5-6 miles away down towards private.
Definitely hunt the BHs as early as you can.
Those elk are programmed to bail out to private land. Whether it’s snow, pressure, lack of feed, I don’t think it takes much for them to decide to move. Elk in vast mountain regions that don’t winter in private land are more predictable. But your circumstances Darrell seem odd. Sometimes you’re just not in their neck of the woods. That’s a pretty common problem.