spot and stalk? or position and wait...

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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what do you guys prefer as your go to tactic? now i know every situation is completely different so you cant always have one go to answer for this....but if you had the choice what would you do? say you spot a group of elk your interested in glassing in the morning, and through glassing have a pretty good idea what timber they are bedded down in. do you wait for the thermals to change and attempt take your chances you can sneak in and spot them first? or try to get in a reasonable position where you think they will start to come back through in the evening?

ive done more spot and stalk than anything else, and i know that has its place....but im starting to lean more towards the idea of getting into the best position i can and try to wait for them to feed back out in the evening, i rarely stay committed to this but thinking back i believe i should have multiple times.

what say you?
 

2rocky

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Jun 21, 2012
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Nor Cal
Looking back at my elk kills and encounters I've done a mix of both.
2005 intercepted bull moving and called into range (P&W)
2007 Spotted bull and cows and moved into shooting range with no calling (S&S)
2008 followed bugles, found self in the middle of the herd (S&S)
2010 followed bugles all morning watched bull bed in unstalkable position. relocated him and harem bedded in evening. Set up 70 yards away and called him and cows in range (S&S, P&W)
2011 Still hunted, after a S&S attempt the night before was busted.
2012 Followed bugles at daylight then stalked into range (S&S)

I find that few S&S opportunities don't involve a bit of positioning out of range and awaiting the animal to move into a better position.

Most of my P&W encounters are evening hunts where I might not have time for a stalk. If I am glassing in the evening, itis to determine where I want to go in the morning. I'd say P&W in the evening and S&S when the opportunity presents itself. The difference is whether the animal will be way out of range or in range when you spot it
 

archer60

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Jun 12, 2012
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26
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Hamilton, Mt
As you have stated, each situation is different, however there is one constant. Wind! Elk will, as a rule, stick their nose in the wind when headed to a bedding area and that holds when leaving for feeding or water. Setting up along the path, essentially trying to "head them off at the pass" is dicey at best. I would allow them to pass then parallel them, trying not to be winded. Soft cow calls may work in drawing a bull with cows but you must be close, 80-100yds. Dogging them from the rear sometimes works as well...also soft calls, trying to get the bull to come investigate. This all assumes the bull is with cows. During pre-rut, challenges with tree raking, some bugling and stalking seem to work best for me.....I wish there was a more tried and true method but they are Elk and we are human, all unpredictable!
 

Swede

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Mar 24, 2012
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386
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Warren Oregon
Both means of hunting have their advocates. I prefer to hunt from a tree stand, but it does require patience to be most effective. I believe the advantages when you are placed right, outweigh the disadvantages. The key here is the hunter picks his location to set and wait. Besides being in a preferred location, by being well up in a tree you can avoid being scented nearly all of the time, and in the right location you avoid being seen. If you and your stand are prepared well, sound is not a factor. As I said above, the key is to find a good location to set up. It is well to know that there are good locations to place a stand in most places elk hang out.
 
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sk1

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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SE Wisconsin
My situation is also a little unique with the Utah opener I think is like August 17th this year, so while some calling may be effective it definitely won't be like September. I was just thinking about this because I know where several groups of elk feed and know a couple of the bedding areas. I'm thinking my stalking opportunities are going to be limited so if I can get the wind right I am thinking of trying to ambush them either in the morning waiting in their general bedding area direction or after watching them feed into their bedding areas position and wait for them in the evening to come back out
 

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