Trad tactics in heat & drought conditions

Where's Bruce?

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
6,055
Any advice for hunting when the game is nocturnal. I'll be hunting near Ash Fork, AZ for elk but the usual spot & stalk will be hugely impacted by the ever-falling water table and heat. I am thinking about trying small natural blinds in different spots with my UL screen blind (made using shoot thru mesh so I can draw undetected) might be the better option unless the weather breaks and moving more makes sense. But I have only one season of trad hunting under my belt and could use some tips for these harsh conditions. Thanks.

My homemade mesh blind.
Rolled up-
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Deployed

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View from inside

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5MilesBack

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
13,863
Location
Colorado Springs
To be honest, my best archery elk seasons have all been hot and dry. Although 2013 was insanely wet and was pretty awesome through all that rain as well. The biggest problem I've seen with those hot and dry conditions is the "walking on potato chips" noise. But beyond that, the bulls have been really responsive from my experience.
 
OP
Where's Bruce?

Where's Bruce?

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
6,055
Ash Fork is where the 40 & 89 intersect at about 5200' and relatively flat compared to surrounding areas so wind and thermals generally don't represent a problem but the ground is dry and friggin' loud and because the area is pretty open and desolate, sound carries. But my hope is that pressure from hunters unit neighboring unit 8 will push the elk my way. So my tentative plan after scouting is look for fresh sign and pinch points where I can set up a stellar natural blind, sit and wait. That will go out the window if it's a wet monsoon season but in 2019 that wasn't the case Unit 8 and hunting was only practical in the early mornings before the herds bedded and temps rose. Spent most of the day checking cams and glassing. It was clear the animals were not moving after 8am (and often sooner).
 

Ahutch

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
59
Hot and dry anywhere it's gonna be crunchy moving around as already mentioned. Scout early, establish good travel routes. Sit down be quit and don't move unless it's time to kill or leave....



Hutch
 
OP
Where's Bruce?

Where's Bruce?

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
6,055
Damn few suitable trees in this area. I have a ladder stand but just hate sitting in those damn things. Hoping it's a wet monsoon season so I can move around undetected. Sitting on water in 2019 in unit 8 would not have proven effective, we checked the game cams daily and they were hitting em after midnight...including this guy.

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Tradchef

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
754
Location
Willow Creek, Montana
Fresh sign, water, water holes and seeps. I agree with Beendare....ive killed a pile of animals in drought. If you find a productive area for food, water and bedding you're golden.
 

Blackcow

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
396
Location
central Az.
Flooding up here too. 4” yesterday, 12” since Thursday night. Both garages flooded last night and have 6” mud in em. Had a poor 16 year old girl get swept away last night here by the house. Horrible.
 

Fling-One

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
21
Water! Find the water hole with the most traffic. Not always the biggest water hole either!
 
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