Tips for attacking a bedding area

Ryan Avery

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I have killed quite a few Elk. But never during midday. For those of you midday Elk slayers, what are your tactics?
 

justin davis

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I have always stayed out of bedding areas. I usually bed down for a nap when the elk bed down. I've called in bulls during the mid day (not in a bedding areas). If i was to I would stay on the fringe of the bedding area and wait them out or call
 

JPhelps

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Don't do it very often, but if you do get the wind right (may need to be for a couple hours), go slow and glass, get in tight and see what the herd is doing. Depending on how I read it I either challenge or wait for the bull to make a mistake.
 

Xtorminator

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Find a bull that will awnser a bugle from his bed. Then move in close and hit him again with a bugle. When he comes in kill him. I don't have names for the calls that I use, I find what they like and use it. I have found that they get a little edgy when they need a nap. Plus everyone else is taking a break and I have the woods to myself.
 

gil_wy

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Don't do it is my best tip... Unless you like looking for new places to hunt...
 
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bearguide

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if you go in be very slow, they are hard to see laying down be patient
 

Swede

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I usually set my tree stands on the edge of or near bedding areas where trails lead to a water hole. Sometimes there is a wallow there also. Elk can come to water at any time, especially when it is hot or during the rut.
 

Mike7

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Dirk, that is exactly how my friend and I got a lone bedded bull last year in the pre-rut. I am fairly new to archery elk hunting, so we were pretty much making up a strategy as we went. This lone bedded bull in the thick timber was not going to move an inch off of his bed it seemed. But since this bull was the only game in town and we had a good steady non-swirling afternoon breeze, we went after him. My friend kept the bull occasionally bugling, by bugling at him from a distance while I snuck as close as I dare and began cow calling occasionally. My friend then later came down toward me bugling and challenging the bedded bull. The closer he got to me and my cow calls, the more agitated the bedded bull became. When my friend got to within 20 yds of me, that bedded bull had had enough and busted off of his bed to challenge the interloper bull...and that was it.

I have a subscription to Extreme Elk now, but for archery elk tactics info, what else would you recommend??

I saw some guys commenting on the Elknuts Playbook(?) in one of the threads, and that sounded like some intriguing information, but I haven't picked that up yet. Would you recommend that for an archery newbie?
 

ElkNut1

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Ryan, All depends on the time frame you are elk hunting! There are 3 Stages during ones archery seasons, all should be approached according to the phase of the rut or there lack of! It's common during the 1st phase in late Aug early Sept. for cows & bulls to still be separate but not real far off from one another. A lot of these cow groups may have spikes & raggies within the group & bedding in the same areas & the bigger bulls could be 100's of yards off to a mile away, some alone & others in bachelor groups in their own bedding spots! At this phase you are much better off to work on their curiosity from outside bedding areas & try to draw elk to you instead of going in after them. It's a low odds method to go stomping through the bedding areas spooking these non-vocal elk off!

Stage 2 is when bulls start showing on the scene to be very near or part of these cow groups! But, they still are not that vocal or in a challenging frame of mind for the most part as there is a lack of hot cows! Once again this is no time to be in attack mode & be major aggressive in tactic. A lot depends on what type of elk you are after? If you happen across some hot action then, then get aggressive! Mike7 shares a good tactic!

Stage 3 is when the herd bulls are now part of the cow groups & cows are coming in & out of estrus, cows will be in estrus for 12-16 hours & out they go. But you're generally hunting peak rut at this time & it's not real difficult to find action somewhere as cows are coming into estrus regularly! Hunting bedding areas at this time is one of my all time favorites! This is the time to really focus on attack mode, there are countless methods to use at this time, some better than others depending on the encounter at hand! Bottom line, aggressive action kills bulls at this time!

Mike7, the PlayBook is full of Options on how to handle various encounters that we all face every year, the one you mention you used on your bull is in there! Plus there are tons of others that we personally use every year to pull many bulls in on our OTC public land hunts! It's designed to hunt All Elk not just Herd Bulls! Thanks!

So know what stage you are hunting & hunt them accordingly! Hunt hard & hunt smart!

ElkNut1
 

trophyhill

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i'm glad to see this topic get some air play. i asked this question a couple years ago on another popular forum and darn near got run off the site on a rail including some not so nice PM's for even suggesting this and questioning those that gave me the advice of going back to camp and taking a nap after the morning hunt! truth is that anyone hunting dark timber probably is or has hunted in or around bedding areas to a certain extent and should know how to hunt these areas effectively while they are in them. 2 years ago in northern NM i made a concious decision to stay out of the bedding areas and my encounters went from daily the previous year to nearly non existent.
 

JPD350

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Abq NM
2 years ago in northern NM i made a concious decision to stay out of the bedding areas and my encounters went from daily the previous year to nearly non existent.
That's funny!! Wherever they are I'll be there and at any time of the day, most of my kills have been mid morning through late afternoon. Up close and personal is the most exiting.
 

buglelk

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If I can get a bull to respond in any way while he is bedded, his odds of dying go way up! They are no longer following the cows up the mountain or worried about losing the cows, and much more likely to come in. As Dirk mentioned, I like to get as close as I can...inside 150 yards if possible...and set up with good shooting lanes and the wind in my favor. I get the bull to respond with a couple cow calls, then hammer him with a high-pitched, aggressive challenge as soon as he responds. As long as I respond to his bugle with a bugle (I never bugle first), I keep control and challenge him to come in. If I lead out with a bugle, he is answering me with a challenge and much less likely to come in. This strategy works anytime the elk are making noise...August 30th or September 30th....even the most timid, early-season bull seems to respond well. The key is getting in close and putting some high-pitched emotion into the call.

This is a picture of a pre-rut (August 30th) Idaho bull that came running in slobbering all over himself when I shot him frontal at 10 yards...

 

mattstanton

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man I want to hunt with you corey!!!!!!! My various hunting partners wine and complain about how aggressive I call. Even when the proof is in the pudding! We have bulls come in screaming, just no shot and they still complain so I hunt solo. I won't quit what works!
 
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Rick Seymour

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We all do it different in some ways and at some time or other all methods have worked. Early season I will get close and Cow call and repeat about every 40 minutes. he knows where I am, I become a curiosity when its time for him to move. Later on Cow calls and 10 min later meek Bugles as in a satelite Bull.
 

Swede

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I got a bull one year doing something very similar to what Rick just suggested. I heard a small bull bedded in the timber above me. I waited a few minutes and let out a short, one second, two note bugle. I repeated that sound every thirty minutes. Each time he answered. In about two hours he came in with a small herd to where I was waiting.
 
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