2019 archery elk hunt "Get out of here!"

Lowke01

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Apr 15, 2018
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2019 was my 3rd archery elk hunt of my life. Went back to the same place we hunted last year and generally speaking the year was much more successful than the previous two. We were in elk and seeing sign and hearing bugles most days. The most challenging part of the hunt centered around the fact the elk would stay silent even when we were within 75-100 yards of their bedding area. Three separate times we got very close, made some mews or a light bugle, they stayed quiet then eventually hopped up and trotted off. Wind wasn't the problem, I guess we didn't sound very sexy or cool to them. Those were small herds of 3-7 elk. Couldn't identify the makeup of each herd.

In our #1 spot we had set up a spike camp and had a solid couple of days around the 12th and 13th. Needed to come out to meet my dad, then went back in on the 16th, planning to hunt the evening, stay one more night and then hunt our way out the next morning. We came in from a new direction as the wind was steady from the south and this would give us a chance to hunt into it for a few miles. On our way in that night we start hearing bugles around 5pm and we're thinking this is going to be good. We hear more than one bull and they're far away so we close some distance then bugle to see if we can getting a better read on the location. We get an immediate answer but the bull appears to be pretty far off and going away from us. We still move down the mountain against the wind expecting to get more action. We pivot to cow calling and get an answer. Another bugle seems to have come back to the spot we originally heard the first bugle, then we hear some cows off to our left and a faint bugle behind them. I answer the cows with a bugle and now the bugle down below us starts answering me. We go back and forth 4 or 5 times and close the distance, knock an arrow and are ready for elk to appear from 2 different directions. As we're trying to set up I suddenly hear a bugle with a cute little trumpet sound at the end of it and I realize at least one of these bulls is actually human. My hunting partner and these guys see each other at about the same time.

In the past when I've bugled with other hunters and we see each other we usually talk for a minute, agree to go separate directions and start hunting again. It happens, no big deal. This time was different and it made me more pissed than I'd been in a long time. These guys apparently thought they were entitled to the public land spot we were both in and whisper yelled to us to "GET OUT OF HERE!" I heard that and just about lost it. I looked back down their direction and one of them squared up toward me as if to say you better go, this is our land. I would guess we were about 75 yards from each other at that point and while my blood was boiling the rational part of me decided to walk away before things got ugly. We ended up going higher up the mountain, stayed quiet and hoped something spooked our direction. We heard them bugle a few more times and then the elk woods went silent, at least to our ears. We eventually back tracked and went in the opposite direction of them and that was the end of that. We had originally planned to stay the night in our spike camp but decided the area wasn't big enough for 2 groups of hunters and we packed it up just before dark and hiked up and out about 3 miles in the dark. We did bump a bull in his bed just after shooting light, not from wind, just noise and proximity. One more reminder that we were in the right place.

We hunted a few more days in other spots but we dealt with rain on and off and I was starting to tire out after 12 days of hunting. Came home again with no meat and a bad taste in my mouth.

I know we're not the only ones who have dealt with jack asses in the elk woods, but it sure is frustrating when it happens. Luckily the encounter didn't turn into a fight, but it was a reminder that crowded public land can create heated altercations, especially when you're near active elk.

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Sled

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Jun 11, 2018
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that's a tough pill to swallow. on one hand these guys have probably been doing this for years and getting away with it. the school aged kid in me says it's time they learned their place. as an adult you're better off de-escalating the situation and doing what you did. if you can't see your way to do that then at least walk off and play his pressure. let him blow the elk out to your direction/escape zone.

honestly a fight in the woods over a game animal with too much testosterone in the air is never good.
 

Newtosavage

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In someone's favorite spot
Sorry it happened, but if that encounter turned into a fight, then both parties would be to blame. You did the right thing. Just move on. Those elk will be somewhere else soon enough anyway and maybe you'll be there when they are.
 

N2TRKYS

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Alabama
Sounds like you heard them calling and walked in on them. Then you got pissed cause they wouldn't leave. Or, at least, that's the way it reads.
 
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Lowke01

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that's a tough pill to swallow. on one hand these guys have probably been doing this for years and getting away with it. the school aged kid in me says it's time they learned their place. as an adult you're better off de-escalating the situation and doing what you did. if you can't see your way to do that then at least walk off and play his pressure. let him blow the elk out to your direction/escape zone.

honestly a fight in the woods over a game animal with too much testosterone in the air is never good.
Totally agree, that's why we took the action we did.

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Lowke01

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Apr 15, 2018
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Sorry it happened, but if that encounter turned into a fight, then both parties would be to blame. You did the right thing. Just move on. Those elk will be somewhere else soon enough anyway and maybe you'll be there when they are.
I'm with you. We didn't want a negative interaction at all, much less a fight. Still irritates when people act that way. I'm sure we're not the only ones.

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Lowke01

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Apr 15, 2018
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Sounds like you heard them calling and walked in on them. Then you got pissed cause they wouldn't leave. Or, at least, that's the way it reads.
That's not what happened. Might want to re-read it. We weren't pissed they wouldn't leave, we weren't even mad they were there. They answered ever bugle of mine and then told us to get out. Telling us to leave us what pissed us off. I don't know how to write it up any clearer.

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rob86jeep

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What kind of story/memory do you think the other hunters have of the situation? If its the same, they are telling their buddies they "ran some other hunters off the mountain." I bet theres a good chance their side is similar to yours; they heard some elk, followed the elk, bugled a few times, and ended up bumping into your group.

From 75 yards away, maybe they were motioning for you guys to head one direction so they could head the other and either group might have a shot at the elk..? Without talking to them it's hard to tell.

I've always wondered why someone would see another person at 75 yards away and have to walk the other direction or else a fight would commence. I would have likely walked over there to speak to them. If they truly wanted to fight, i could have walked away from them at 1 yard and the outcome would be the same. Nobody can force you into a fight, they can only force you into a self defense situation. And I doubt a hunter on the mountain would follow someone while they were walking away throwing punches at them.

I'm not saying you handled the situation wrong or aren't telling the truth, I just wonder how many people get misunderstood from 75 yards away in the woods when everybody is trying to be quite while hunting..
 

N2TRKYS

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That's not what happened. Might want to re-read it. We weren't pissed they wouldn't leave, we weren't even mad they were there. They answered ever bugle of mine and then told us to get out. Telling us to leave us what pissed us off. I don't know how to write it up any clearer.

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Nah, I read it fine the first time. Good luck on your next trip.
 

Teaman1

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Dec 26, 2016
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Redfield, South Dakota
I generally like to talk to people that I bump into in the woods, if someone waves me on though, I’ll keep going. If they tell me to leave the area and I hadn’t done anything to them, I’d be annoyed as well
 

Yooper

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Jul 18, 2016
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Upper Michigan
Been in the same situation before as well. "We've been hunting here for years!" Last I heard the gov't isn't offering up any squatters rights on the BLM. They kind of tried a strong arm approach on my buddy and I as well. Something to the effect of ruining our hunt running all over. Hell, if my presence makes you want to ruin my hunt as well as yours have at it. We just said good luck and we'll be headed over there but still in the area. Didn't let anything get too heated and just let it go. As mentioned above, getting into a fight in the wilderness just isn't in anyone's best interest. We ended up letting them push the herd over the mountain to the side we accessed it from. Worked out pretty well as we both ended up with some great shot opportunities over the following four days. Good for you on walking away, just don't let them put a bad taste in your mouth.
 

Wapiti1

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Indiana
It is hard to know what to say since the other side isn't represented here. At face value, it was a sad play on their part.

If you are satisfied with how you handled it, time to move on and plan for next year. This is no different than some car cutting you off in traffic. Ultimately, it means nothing, changes nothing, and should be treated as such. It isn't common, but you occasionally see this on public land. Some folks think that area is their spot, and no one else should be there.

Keep Calm and Hunt On.

Jeremy
 

Gunnersdad49

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Feb 21, 2017
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It kind of reads to me as though, in the heat of the moment, they felt they were still working a bull, and wanted you to not screw it up for them. Not a "get off my mountain" kind of deal, but a "can you at least sit down and shut up so I can try to kill this elk" sort of thing.
 

KHNC

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i had a Mexican man and woman walk up on me while i was sitting a wallow in NM last week. I waved my hat at the guy thinking he would just walk the other way. He actually walked over, got in my stick made blind and sat down to talk. lol. He was carrying a RIFLE and his woman had a bow. Asked if i seen any Deers, cause they were hunting deers. I guess he was planning to shoot it with the rifle then have chica stick an arrow in it. They were wearing jeans , sweatshirts and no packs or anything. Fortunately the finally left. I carry my pistol every day for this very reason. He wasnt looking for trouble, he was just a dumb poacher.
 

Scrappy

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Jun 5, 2013
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I hope I don't run into mean guys cause I'm the world champion people caller. I can call in people from miles away. I'm so good they ask me did I just shoot the bull that was bulging from that spot. I ran two guys plum to death for three days until I finally caught them to let them know I'm not a bull. They were absolutely convinced that there were at least ten bulls in there screaming all day. You could see it on their faces when it started to sink in.
 
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