7W Bull ElkContributors to this thread:
dirtclod Az. 24-Aug-18
dirtclod Az. 31-Aug-18
Hello all, I have been an AZ resident for 19 years and have hunted 7W for 15 years. I have never killed an elk, and have never put in for a rifle tag. I always wanted to take my first elk with a bow at close range and was willing to put in the time to get it done. I have hunted the late archery hunt in 7W 4 times over the last 10 years with no luck. I have always found the bulls, but as you all know getting into archery range when they are not bugling is tough, especially for a solo hunter. Everything I have learned about hunting and archery has been self taught as I didn't hunt growing up. This year I got the bull elk rut hunt and I'm so excited/anxious I can hardly stand it. I know the unit better than I know my own backyard, but I also know that I don't know everything. I am not looking for detailed info as the joy of this is doing the leg work myself. I am just looking for any advice or input from any of you that have been doing this for longer than me. Any advice that you would be willing to share is appreciated, I have already spent 30 hours scouting and put 20 miles on my boots, I am not afraid to hike, and would rather be as far from any road and people as possible. Thank you in advance, from an elkaholic that never wants to recover....
From: dirtclod Az.
As you said,as far away from roads and people as possible.Don't know if your packing in or doing day trips from a base.I always take one extra tent.Food/gear etc. place away from camp 50yds or more.No critters in camp.Pack frame is a must.leave in camp or use as day pack.If you score!Multiple trecks in and out are in your future.My father told me take only what you can carry.Bull!I go back over and over.I ain't leaving no ribs to the Yotes'!Good Luck..dirtclod Az.
Thanks for the reply dirtclod, I would love to be able to pack in, but it seems if I pack in more than 2 miles, i'm only 1/2 mile from another road. It's hard to pack in and be away from the road and not camp right in the middle of the elk. I packed in a bit over the summer, and just about got walked over by elk in the middle of the night. The only places in 7W that don't have roads are the higher mountains that are where the elk live, I've even had a hard time climbing to a high glassing point without bumping elk on the way up or down. I've had to decide between glassing the big elk I think are on the adjacent peak and bumping the smaller one on the peak I am on. This year there is a muzzleloader hunt before the archery hunt, so they are going to get bumped all over the place. I know where they go when they get bumped, but if they get bumped 2 or 3 times it becomes hard to figure out where a few of the big ones have gone, or if they got shot already. Additionally, its hard to get on a big one in this unit without running into a 10 man outfitter machine with enough manpower to herd the bull into a pen to shoot. I don't mind guides, in fact I will keep my eye on a few of them and see where they push their big watcher bulls to when they blow a setup. I've gotten a few great chances at big bulls by watching where they push their "nick named" big ones to and knowing which bedding area they are likely headed for. I just don't want to piss them off, because I know guiding is their livelihood. Anyway, thanks for the input!
From: dirtclod Az.
Good luck on your quest,hope you see plenty of Elk and very few people..."good luck with that"lol!dirtclod Az.
Best of luck. I haven't hunted 7W for years so don't have much current information. The biggest bull I've ever seen was at a water hole just as you break out of the pines and into the juniper...if I ever get drawn for that unit again, that's where I'd be opening day.