2022 Lessons Learned - Elk

insanelupus

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Sep 2, 2015
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181
What lessons did you learn or re-learn this season that may/did translate to success in the future? Mine below.

1. Hunt your own hunt and write your own playbook. Don't necessarily follow others, use them as guides and author what works for you.

2. Heavy rainstorms wash out blood, true. After heavy rain storms, standing water on vegetation also compromises blood trails, also true. Maybe wait till the next morning to hunt for better blood trails?

3. Elk are big and rarely quartered a much as you think they are. Put that arrow a little further forward.

4. Elk in wolf country still talk, just not as loud. When in Rome . . . or in other words, speak like the locals for better results.

5. The crash you heard after the shot is most likely the elk. Note the location best you can.

6. When blood trails play out and start impeding on time for the distance covered, start searching.

7. Spread the love around your quiver. Pulling arrows can dull then slightly and 2 holes are better than 1. Alternate arrows you pull out to reduce dulling 1 too much.

8. Yes, losing meat sucks, but once the arrow flies stay on the search until the elk is found and you notch the tag. Sure it's a consolation prize but it is the best alternate scenario.

9. Trust your process but learn new ones. One dimensional hunters have less opportunity.

10. Be thankful for every encounter and even daily opportunity to hunt elk the good Lord gives you. They are memories to smile upon when you are old but can still see every changing leaf and smell the elk as you recount memories to others.


What y'all got?
 

Ol’ Cheebs

Junior Member
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Dec 20, 2020
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28
Same shit I learned every other year.....

They are not all on top.

Slow down.

Deadfall sucks.

Every moment in elk country is a blessing, enjoy it.
 

Scoot

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Nov 13, 2012
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Elk hunting more than 10 days straight isn’t fun anymore but work.
This one is a "different strokes for different folks" kinda deal. Give me three straight week of elk hunting and I'll be like a pig in poo!
 

Coveyleader

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Nov 27, 2013
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This one is a "different strokes for different folks" kinda deal. Give me three straight week of elk hunting and I'll be like a pig in poo!

I don’t really find elk hunting at the top of the list. Somehow I spent over 20 days in the woods this year, and I’m worn down from those 20-25K step days in rugged country over the course of 10 days.
 

5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
If it appears to be a wide open shot to the vitals........it probably isn't. There WILL be an unseen branch or twig in the way.....even if it isn't visible through the RF.

And even when you see the entrance wound in a decent spot behind the shoulder, you have no idea what angle the arrow is actually running inside the elk.......especially if the arrow clipped a tiny unseen twig of a branch.
 

Scoot

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Nov 13, 2012
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I don’t really find elk hunting at the top of the list.
Again... different strokes... It is most definitely at the top of my list and I LOVE it! 20+ days of elk hunting and I'll be a happy (and damn sore) man!
 

GunsAreFun

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Apr 18, 2019
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I really hate when people say “elk are where you find them” but damnit it is true. It goes to your hunt your own hunt #1 item. You can’t go chasing where everyone else found them because there isn’t time. They may be there, but they are somewhere else too.

People were saying “go above tree line” “go over four miles back” “look by water” etc. We found them at 10,800 down to 8,500…three miles back and 300 yards off the road. All within 10 miles of each other as the crow flies.

I’d say my biggest lesson this year is to come up with a hunt plan that keeps you on the mountain longer. We mostly do day hunts and seem to burn ourselves out climbing a mountain by 1:00ish and end up back in the truck by 2-3pm without enough time to get somewhere else. Maybe we need to plan to bivy just to keep us no there or say, “if we get to this peak/ridge/spot and don’t find anything, we are walking to X before heading to the truck”
 

5MilesBack

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I’d say my biggest lesson this year is to come up with a hunt plan that keeps you on the mountain longer. We mostly do day hunts and seem to burn ourselves out climbing a mountain by 1:00ish and end up back in the truck by 2-3pm without enough time to get somewhere else.
If you're at the truck at 2-3pm, how on earth do you not have enough time to get somewhere else??? I could drive three hours at 3pm if I wanted and have plenty of time for an evening hunt somewhere.

I have a plan A for every morning and go. Once I'm done with that morning hunt I'm back in camp. Then I have another plan A for evening. I may start out at 5pm or I might start out at 6pm, but still have plenty of time for an evening hunt. I was on elk every single time I went out this year except once. They weren't always responding which was a little frustrating, but they were there.
 

Patton

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Joined
Aug 26, 2019
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171
South slopes with good cover can hold elk.

Let the bull walk past you more than 10 yards before trying to draw.

It’s possible to be more efficient with a light pack covering 8-10 miles a day and eating a ‘truck meal’ than it is carrying camp on your back and eating mtn house for 5 days straight.
 

Marble

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May 29, 2019
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2,480
I found keeping track of some rubs in a particular area gave me an idea of the range of a few bulls.

The bulls I hunted this year were quiet. I had to pay particular attention to fresh sign, rubs that had been hit again and what other hunters were doing..

I found that raking can be an effective method of firing up a bull.

A mountain bike is an awesome tool to pack out a bull.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

Mykolaivka887

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Jan 15, 2022
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I concur. It used to be but not anymore.

Hell, I’m really looking forward to filling my 2 WT tags in the upcoming weeks



I get what you're saying. I go back and forth with elk and other North American big game. For a series of years I'll be crazy about Dall Sheep, then it's mulies, then maybe brown bears, then back to elk, and then mountain goats or something. It fluctuates about every five years or so.
 

Gerbdog

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Jun 8, 2020
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642
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CO Springs
Reinforced this year: Get away from the hunting pressure.
Reinforced this year: most hunters arent going to leave the people trail and roads

New to this year : Got into and killed elk at 8500 instead of 12000 ft.

New to this year: Added a pair of cheap leather work gloves to the kill kit: Game changer for me, easy to grip and hold the hide while your pulling on it, and i didnt knick my fingers as much (cutting while exhausted = cuts. Ah heck. And im just clumsy.)
 

Jbehredt

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Mar 4, 2017
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Colorado
I’d also like to add after hunting CO for 20 years and finally hunting another state, CO is not elk hunting.

I said something similar last year. It’s not as much elk hunting as it is people avoiding. Glad I got started in the 90s.
 

Speck1

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
32
Wet deadfall is Dangerous. Other hunters are much easier to call in than actual elk in OTC Colorado. 10 days solo is pushing it on my old body.
 
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