Things you wish you knew about elk hunting

CJF

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
331
Location
CO
I saw several comments on the wind...specifically slowing down. I can't disagree with that at all, but something I wish I had done the first couple years that I hunted elk is back out completely when the wind will not cooperate. Go to another drainage, or slope....or just go to town and get a burger!

If you have tomorrow, get out and come back when the conditions are more favorable.
 

RT84

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
11
Location
Layton, UT
I had a couple of times the last few years where as soon as I’d given up on a setup, and started moving to the next one, I’d blow out the elk that I didn’t know I’d called in. I’ve had a lot better luck giving setups close to an hour before I leave them.
 

Dos Perros

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
3,349
Location
Lenexa, KS
Even great elk habitat may not have elk, and areas with lots of elk may not seem like there are that many, compared to animals per mile density one may be used to 'back east' hunting whitetails.
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
264
Even great elk habitat may not have elk, and areas with lots of elk may not seem like there are that many, compared to animals per mile density one may be used to 'back east' hunting whitetails.
Boy that is a big thing isn't it. Driving around here scouting today I saw 75+ deer. All does. Feeding in fields and ditches. Elk hunting and seeing pockets of 1 to 10 elk was a very different t thing. Not being able to see all the country also limited my ability to judge how many elk were really there. How many did I walk past going to the next spot!?
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
264
I had a couple of times the last few years where as soon as I’d given up on a setup, and started moving to the next one, I’d blow out the elk that I didn’t know I’d called in. I’ve had a lot better luck giving setups close to an hour before I leave

Did that last year.
Twice.

Wish I could say that it wouldn't happen again, but.... lol
 

dphifer

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2022
Messages
16
Location
Grapevine, TX
Great thread. Total newbie to elk hunting. Seeing people say that they wish they had started sooner really resonates with me. I am 47 and just now starting. The feeling of being new and un-educated at something is pretty overwhelming. At this point I am really just looking forward to enjoying the experiences and education no matter what the outcome is. Thanks to those who share their experience to help those like me.
 

INgunner54

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
257
Great thread. Total newbie to elk hunting. Seeing people say that they wish they had started sooner really resonates with me. I am 47 and just now starting. The feeling of being new and un-educated at something is pretty overwhelming. At this point I am really just looking forward to enjoying the experiences and education no matter what the outcome is. Thanks to those who share their experience to help those like me.
Good for you! You've certainly got the right attitude going in!
 

365sportsman

Junior Member
Joined
May 21, 2022
Messages
10
Do not call unless you are in a location you can kill an elk from. See people call all the time and then magically they get "caught" out in the open when an elk walks out. They didn't get caught, they had a bad set up. Listen to the hunt back country podcast with Chris Roe about set ups. It will change where and how you choose your calling locations.
Picture leaving a bowl on your kitchen counter versus in the sink. Elk want to see you. They can see the counter top from all over but only see in the sink standing above it. Make your setup where they can only see you when they are within bow range.
 

Pony Soldier

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
397
Location
Montana
Success is a balance between pure luck and how much you have learned from your mistakes. You can get a little edge by having a partner that has paid his dues and has a more extensive experience list and--- is capable of sharing knowledge and experiences.

One issue is how many screwups you have experienced. The other is how good your memory is so you don't have to experience your mistakes over and over.
 

TJ M

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2022
Messages
14
I wish I would have spent more time before the hunt researching elk--particularly watching videos of bulls. I spent so, so much time working on being in incredible physical shape to handle any of the physical demands such as packing out the elk by myself, but I honestly feel like some of that time should have been spent trying to get as familiar as possible with the animals themselves.
 

Nickofthewoods

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
1,072
Location
Colorado
For late season bulls;

When I first started hunting post rut bulls I wish I knew that when following a solo set of tracks in fresh snow - if the tracks suddenly make a big loop about halfway up the mountain the elk is likely bedded nearby. I messed up two great opportunities when I was younger after tracking a bull all morning only to end up busting the Elk out of his bed at about 50 yards each time. If I had just slowed down a little once they made that loop I could have possibly had a few shot opportunities.
 

Laramie

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
1,868
For late season bulls;

When I first started hunting post rut bulls I wish I knew that when following a solo set of tracks in fresh snow - if the tracks suddenly make a big loop about halfway up the mountain the elk is likely bedded nearby. I messed up two great opportunities when I was younger after tracking a bull all morning only to end up busting the Elk out of his bed at about 50 yards each time. If I had just slowed down a little once they made that loop I could have possibly had a few shot opportunities.
Great thing to point out. I also had several of them make wide loops once the figured out they were being followed. Pretty frustrating to track a bull back to your own tracks.
 
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