Sitka Gear
Which Week Archery Elk 2024
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
LUNG$HOT 22-Mar-24
808bowhunter 22-Mar-24
cnelk 22-Mar-24
Whocares 22-Mar-24
Whocares 22-Mar-24
Norseman 22-Mar-24
wyobullshooter 22-Mar-24
bowyer45 22-Mar-24
LUNG$HOT 22-Mar-24
Aspen Ghost 22-Mar-24
cnelk 22-Mar-24
FORESTBOWS 22-Mar-24
bohunr 23-Mar-24
LUNG$HOT 23-Mar-24
midwest 23-Mar-24
CBFROMND 27-Mar-24
Dale06 27-Mar-24
HUNT MAN 27-Mar-24
LUNG$HOT 27-Mar-24
Jaquomo 28-Mar-24
midwest 28-Mar-24
Muleysareking 28-Mar-24
Tracker 28-Mar-24
RonP 28-Mar-24
Pop-r 28-Mar-24
welka 29-Mar-24
Mule Power 29-Mar-24
StickFlicker 31-Mar-24
Mule Power 31-Mar-24
GFL 31-Mar-24
Muley75 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
badbull 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
From: LUNG$HOT
22-Mar-24
Ok guys so looking at the calendar for this year. The peak rut will fall on a full moon. What’s your strategy and why? I know everyone has different obstacles with work, time off etc. I’m a firm believer different states can have different peak rut periods based on weather patterns, length of days etc.

From: 808bowhunter
22-Mar-24
I have had my best action hunts during full moon and last year the slowest action on no moon. Weather played the factor on both hunts. I hope I hunt the week with a good cold snap this year!

From: cnelk
22-Mar-24
ML week for me. That’s because I applied for a ML bull tag.

From: Whocares
22-Mar-24
The whole month for me as I'm retired:) But as far as the moon etc I've always felt hunt when you can.

From: Whocares
22-Mar-24
I went the dark side once too like Brad is doing and got a nice bull about 20 years ago.

From: Norseman
22-Mar-24
What dates are you calling peak rut?

22-Mar-24
My strategy will be the same as every other year. I’ve never based mine on moon phase or when the rut might “peak”. IMO, when compared to weather and hunting pressure, moon phase is way down the list of concerns. Since I can’t control any of them, I just hunt and make adjustments as needed. Same goes for which week might be considered the peak rut. I’ve had great action with rutting bulls the first day, the last day, and pretty much every day in between.

From: bowyer45
22-Mar-24
I agree weather patterns much more important.

From: LUNG$HOT
22-Mar-24
“What dates are you calling peak rut?“

I think most would consider “peak rut” between the 17-25th according to general consensus. I’ve personally had great rutting/ bugling activity starting as early as September 8. Typically experienced further north of the equator. Not sure if there’s any real data to support that but just my experiences. The last couple years hunting further south in Colorado it’s been less earlier.

From: Aspen Ghost
22-Mar-24
Keep in mind that being a leap year shifts everything by 1 day.

From: cnelk
22-Mar-24
Keep in mind that this year ML season is a week later than last year

22-Mar-24
First week

From: bohunr
23-Mar-24
I'll be hunting prerut,rut,and post rut . Retiring a week before the season opens and will be gone at least 5 weeks.

From: LUNG$HOT
23-Mar-24
“Keep in mind that this year ML season is a week later than last year“

I was looking at that too Brad. September 14-22. Not a bad year to have a boom stick in hand.

“I'll be hunting prerut,rut,and post rut . Retiring a week before the season opens and will be gone at least 5 weeks.“

Good for you Larry. Congrats. Enjoy your time in elk country. I hope to be like you retired guys when I grow up. ;-)

From: midwest
23-Mar-24
Congrats bohunr!

From: CBFROMND
27-Mar-24
For me elk hunting and best success are not words I can use together! but that's my sad story... Although I have had by far my best luck getting into elk and action on and around the 15th... We used to go out for the second half of September and now leave labor day weekend and like the first 2 weeks alot better. To me you can experience bulls that start out curious about who that strange elk is coming into their woods all the way up to bulls that wanna fight...

From: Dale06
27-Mar-24
I’m going, New Mexico, Sept 9-15.

From: HUNT MAN
27-Mar-24
Sept 7- 30 should have it covered.

From: LUNG$HOT
27-Mar-24
Yeah… that should do it Hunt! ;^) Still plenty of time to decide on dates, but hopefully able to get away for 2 weeks this year as opposed to my usual 8-10 days. Draw results will dictate most of my decisions as well. Fingers crossed for New Mexico AKA “The Unicorn” and Wyoming.

From: Jaquomo
28-Mar-24
Sept 2-30 for me, maybe 1-30 if I draw WY also. Like others, I've had great activity at all times of the month, and sucky sometimes too. Weather and hunter pressure moving elk are much bigger factors than rut phase nowadays, IMO.

20-25 years ago before elk bowhunting exploded, I would have picked the last week of September.

From: midwest
28-Mar-24
I'm likin' Lou's dates. Thinking about doing the same. Assuming I draw...

28-Mar-24
Sometimes it depends on the state. In Mt it seems like most of the hunters disappear after Sept 30, then you still have a couple of weeks of bulls still looking for cows which can be very interesting. Point is that not only the rut, but hunter pressure will factor in to a good hunt. .....Mike

From: Tracker
28-Mar-24
Im not sure there is a correct answer. I have had good luck calling bulls early in SEP in CO. On tow hunts in WY the response to cow calls did not happen till after the 14th.

From: RonP
28-Mar-24
the 5th through the 12th. the 9th is magical.

From: Pop-r
28-Mar-24
I truly believe IF you can get into them on a bugling day early the better they respond and come. As stated pressure is a BIG deal and what happens today if it was good likely won't get "better" more times than not. The earliest I've ever gotten into them sure enough ready to die was about the 9th and sometimes didn't happen until the 15th or so but SOMETIMES in CO you can have a good day or three in between those.

From: welka
29-Mar-24
1st week in CO and 3rd in NM. Hope both are crazy!

From: Mule Power
29-Mar-24
Ditto Wyobullshooter. I just pick my favorite dates 10th to 25th and hunt.

From: StickFlicker
31-Mar-24
When most of the other hunters have left the woods.

From: Mule Power
31-Mar-24
You mean 2 hours before dark? lol

From: GFL
31-Mar-24
Last 10 days

From: Muley75
13-Apr-24
Any time after the first 10 day of the Month. Best hunting after the first frost will push those bulls to pre rut. I'm a firm believer in the Barometric weather change in Animals and fish. Only my beliefs after 51 yrs chasing Archery Bulls.

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24
What causes elk to start rutting? As the days get shorter, the pineal gland releases hormones that increases male testosterone, and makes female elk, called cows, go into estrous (which means they are ready to breed).

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24
Backing up just slightly, I want to mention one important factor to consider, especially if you are trying to plan around the timing of the rut. The amount of light entering a cow elk's pupil is what actually triggers the estrus cycle, or the “rut”. Of course, not all cows come into heat at the same time.

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24
Does weather affect elk rut? Cold Weather

Their coats are built to retain heat, so they seem to enjoy the colder nights and days and can be spotted in the open grazing on mountain grasses. If it is the rut, the cold weather has a way to turn things up and increase bugling activity.

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24
What time of year do elk go into rut? Elk Rut Season Peaks in September

Each fall, starting as early as August 15 some years, elk enter their breeding season, or rut. The rut continues for about a month in length, and that month is typically September, with the middle of the month the height of the rut.

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24
Does a full moon affect elk hunting? Biologists have observed that during the full moon phase elk are particularly active at night because they can see better to feed and spot predators more easily. This full moon confidence boost means that they stay out all night instead of foraging in just the early mornings and late evenings

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24
So considering all of the above and my 33 years of archery elk hunting experience here in Colorado, with a 50% success rate, every single day I can be in the woods, ( I am retired). But the last three bulls I have killed over the same wallow was mid September 15-17th. and this was without any elk calling sounds. and all were killed in the late PM. Last years cow elk was Sept 2 in the PM., Five years ago, killed a bull on the third day of elk season coming to a wet meadow at 9 am. If I was still working and had to pick a week it would be the week before ML rifle season and then the last week of archery season.

From: badbull
13-Apr-24
Having had similar experiences as some of the posters above ( whom I respect a great deal),I think that there is a bunch of good info here. In Colorado, hunting pressure aside and considering Ml season, I lean towards the first and last weeks if I or my offspring are available to hunt that period. Paul makes good points regarding mid September which reminds me of the unbelievable photo of his bull photographed by his trail camera after the shot while on his death run.

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Yea, that was the 3rd day of the season bull at 9 am. shot at 18 yards, died 40 yards distant. Fun stuff

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