Elk daily movements

Predator stocker

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Just curious on how many miles Elk range ? Just do they cast out several miles or just stay in a few mile Square .
 

Ross

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Contingent on several variables terrain, habitat, predators, snow depth, and are they far removed from civilization
 

wyosam

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Could be literally anything. Some elk in some situations will cover a ton of ground. I've also seen elk in one of my favorite hunt areas go weeks without leaving a stand of timber that is about 4 acres in size. It has feed, water, cover, and little pressure. There are almost always elk in that spot post rut. I've filled the freezer in that spot a LOT of times.
 

trophyhill

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Tijeras NM
Yeah lots of variables there for sure! For example, If they have everything they need in a particular area, including no pressure, they may not go anywhere. Security in relation to locations of food and water is everything....

This year I was able to hunt a few elk that were moving into the area I was hiking into every morning. These same elk were moving 2-3 miles away from my buddy JP who was camped close to where these elk were rutting in the night and early morning.

Both of us had opportunities to kill these bulls during this hunt had we had a few lucky breaks go our way. Even though we both hunted these elk with 2 different styles. The common denominator being these elk never had a clue either of us were oh so close to killing one of them on multiple occasions.
 
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Poser

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Durango CO
To present the other perspective, there can be a singular herd jumping between half a dozen or more basins randomly, at will or due to pressure and they may stay in a basin for a few hours to a couple of days at a time and the proposition of crossing a 13,500 foot pass to do so, using a trail that would seem only possible for goats to use, is nothing to them. Nothing at all.
 

keepriding

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They are basically unpredictable food, water and safety seems to be their basic need, They will leave anywhere they are getting hunted in large number. They will leave anywhere that has a current weather that's not favorable to them.
 

Beendare

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I'm not sure unpredictable is the term I would use. IMO, They are actually very predictable.

If you give a frame of reference, ie- the general area and the season/time of year...folks can give you a better answer.

Example; I've seen elk in early archery season traveling all over the place [rut]...and I've seen big bulls hunker down in a 50yd square area hardly moving in Northern Arizona after the rut during rifle season.

Elk are very susceptible to hunter pressure...changing their behavior and finding those out of the way areas when hunter pressure gets high.

...
 
OP
P

Predator stocker

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I'm not sure unpredictable is the term I would use. IMO, They are actually very predictable.

If you give a frame of reference, ie- the general area and the season/time of year...folks can give you a better answer.

Example; I've seen elk in early archery season traveling all over the place [rut]...and I've seen big bulls hunker down in a 50yd square area hardly moving in Northern Arizona after the rut during rifle season.

Elk are very susceptible to hunter pressure...changing their behavior and finding those out of the way areas when hunter pressure gets high.

...
I have found Elk in spots in the past that every year I go there I’m into Elk . Then in the same spots a few years later I can’t even find a track what happened the the Elk ? Did they find a better spot to live ?
 

Wrench

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WA
200 yards to 3 miles base on my experience.

Location and pressure are EVERYTHING.
 

spike camp

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Jan 26, 2013
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Colorado
As mentioned, many factors influence elk movement and hunter pressure is probably number one aside from seasonal changes and food sources.
But to expand on Beendares comments about elk predictability, Elk are also very habitual.

Intensive shed hunting, has shown me just how predictable and habitual elk can be.
We’ve found up to 4 consecutive years of sheds off the same bull on the same slope. The elk summer and winter in this area up to 15 miles apart too.

I’ve also recognized bulls during archery, from year to year or even multiple years later....In the same exact spots, even when these spots are miles apart.
Thousands of trail cam pics over the years have definitely added to this as well.

I believe elk movements, are rarely at random.
They act just like Whitetails, except for their range is far more vast, and In general, there are not the same kind of man made obstacles to impede their movement.
 

keepriding

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I have trail cams on waterholes during the season, and have pics of them watering at all times of the day and night. More often late afternoon and in the dark, though. They'll sometimes feed their way to water in the evenings, not arriving there until well after dark. Sometimes they quickly graze their way to the nearest water if it's really warm. But usually it's just a "moseying" feed in that direction until they get there. I almost never see them water in the mornings before heading to bed, however. Most of the good water in our area (enough to hold herds) is down in the lower country from where they bed, and they're usually well back upslope on morning feeding travel by the time it's first light, so I suspect most, if not all, takes place at night.
 

lyle_destroys

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I watched cows that only moved a few hundred yards from bedding to feeding areas because there was enough pressure down below
 

kiddogy

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Jul 14, 2019
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idaho
elk do what and are where they want to be, whenever they wish to do it. I've seen bulls hang in the same spot the majority of the year. and I've seen others hightail it to south America;) just because the wind blew.😁

never can tell what one o them cerazzy arsed critters might do.
 

Jimss

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Mar 6, 2015
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Elk on private with 0 hunting pressure may remain in the same area for months....they know where they are safe. If in a remote spot with 0 hunting pressure on public land they may not move either. Elk during hunting season generally move until they are in a secure spot.....they don't like hunters! Elk thrive in areas such as private ranches and subdivisions, national parks/open space properties, super isolated/nasty locations, etc. Some elk herds are highly migratory with weather or hunting pressure. Elk tend to run like the wind until they get to safe and secure locations.
 
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