Burn baby burn


Junior Member
Apr 22, 2019
North Dakota

Hoping for some expert opinions on hunting some burns. I hoping to draw a unit this year with some points I've been building up that has some 7-8 year old burns. I have zero experience elk hunting in any type of burns but from what I understand a bigger burn usually puts a hurting on the forage especially in the center of the burn for the next few years.

At this point with a 7-8 year old burn would a guy need to focus on the fringes or with this type of a time passing would a person likely be safe to scout/ hunt more in the center of a burn like this??

A quick look at sat view on google earth seems like it has good cover still on North slopes. Planning a scouting trip this spring but doing my homework on some hunt areas and a decent portion of the unit has mixed age burns.

Indian Summer

Well Known Rokslider
Feb 17, 2013
I’ve hunted lots of burns for lots of years. 7-8 years is enough for things to settle down and for some new growth to emerge. Obviously if the fire was white hot in places enough to sterilize the soil then they won’t be where the elk are. You hit the nail on the head when you said fringes. Great place to hunt for sure. But also don’t overlook small isolated patches of timber surrounded by burn. Sometimes it’s there because it’s a wet spot and can be a water source or wallow. Or just a bedding area surrounded by feed if the grass has come in pretty well.

Interestingly elk will bed out in an open burn. If they have a place where they’ve bedded for generations they’ll continue to bed there even though it’s burnt. And it’s surprising how well they can blend in too. You need to glass burns in detail for sure. Especially before walking out into them because it’s a two way street and they can see you too.

Take a pad to sit on. I do that wherever I go but in a burn it prevents getting your ass covered in black soot. You’ll learn to quit leaning against burned trees and putting your hands on them. In a fresh burn you end up looking like a coal miner some days. A 7-8 year old burn means a great supply of firewood that’s for sure! But you’ll be learning to skirt around the places where the blowdowns are like pixie stix. The elk do the same thing. All in all I like hunting burns. Good luck! 67E8E8A6-1ECA-4C01-8BBB-C9F9C5C6F6D1.jpeg