Went scouting, would love some advice on these signs

rdeg89

Newbie
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
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2
Hello all, I went scouting the other day out here in Colorado and found what I think is some elk sign but I am totally new to elk hunting so I have no idea if some of this sign is new, old or even from elk at all. I would love if some of you guys with more experience could let me know if its worth trying to come back here during archery season. Also I busted my ass hiking through dead trees and thick timber to find these signs so I wonder if I should look for places that offer more glassing spots when scouting? Thanks!

Here are some rubs I found, not sure how old they are
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Here are a couple of what I assume are wallows
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Here are some pics of various scat.. The big pie shaped ones looked more recent than the smaller droplet shaped ones. Are they both from elk or would it be something else?
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And finally here is what I think is a print
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wytx

Well Known Rokslider
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Feb 2, 2017
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1,551
Location
Wyoming
Rub line could be used many years in a row but yes those rubs look older but not more a couple of years for some.
The track is a moose track like stated and one pile is moose poop the other is old elk poop.
Those look like seeps that could become wallows.
Find a grassy area that looks like it has been mown high and you'll find fresh elk sign.
 

SoloWilderness

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Apr 5, 2013
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Pine, CO
You can determine how fresh a rub is from the condition of the sap. If it's fresh and oozing, that's probably much newer than if it's crusty and brittle, also the color of the trees flesh will be much brighter, edges will be raw, and the bark won't have dried up or curled back.

You want to look for piles of the patty shaped poop, that is fresh, green, and soft. They are eating grass and soft browse when they make these kinds of poop piles. Pellets are dryer browse, typically from later in the season, although if they are fresh and green, they are recent. Ideally they are still warm, that means there is an elk in the general area, and you should start trying to figure out direction of travel.

It looks like you have a good start to your scouting, you have located elk sign in multiple areas. Those seeps, while not wallows, are good places to look for feeding elk, they love these little spots, especially if they are buried in timber. They have food, water and security in a spot like that. Mark these areas on your map, and start looking for similar areas showing fresher sign in the general vicinity. Also, take a hard look at the terrain features that hold the sign you have found so far, most likely, there are more of these areas in the vicinity that may be more recently used. These would not be bad spots to try and locate glassing spots where you can see down into the openings in the timber. Sit a day or two on them, and watch for movement in the timber, and along the edges of any meadows, trails you have identified, etc.

Keep at it, you are probably doing more scouting than 90% of the hunters out there. Good luck this season! Be careful not to go stomping through these areas too close to the season. Sometimes, they have not yet moved into a spot for the season, and so all you see is last years sign. Sometimes they just move through. Look for signs of elk milling around, as opposed to traveling through.
 

Marble

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May 29, 2019
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2,363
For the freshest rubs I like to see if the branches that have been rubbed off are still green at all. Sometimes they are still on the tree, sometimes on the ground.

But a rub line is a good start.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

Button

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Oct 14, 2020
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389
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Tx
Looks good to me! I’d definitely remember where that rub line and seeps are.
 

Coveyleader

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Nov 27, 2013
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I don't see much that would make me go back to that area from those photos. Everything is very old, and some are "moose made"
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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Colorado
Elk are just barely starting to rub now.

Might want to keep that place in the back of your mind and call it ‘Just in Case’
 

JordanH

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Sep 9, 2012
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108
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CO
I've yet to see them rubbing this year so likely old rubs. All of it looks pretty old. Fresh rubbed trees won't be dead yet....old rubs are usually dead as the bark is how the tree transfers water and nutrients...once the bull rubs it off they die just like if a mouse chews the bark off a fruit tree and girdles it.
 
OP
R

rdeg89

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Jul 25, 2022
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2
Thanks for all the input everyone! I was thinking that some of the rubs and poop might be old, and its good to know that some of it could be moose, how can you differentiate between a moose print and an elk print? I'll keep the spot in mind though based off the feedback, and maybe trek back there again during the season.
 

Gerbdog

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Jun 8, 2020
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CO Springs
Think those first 2 might be porcupine chews, that third is certainly a rub, but, you got moose sign in other photos so it could be a moose rub.... gets tricky!

The seeps are good to find, they arent wallows yet but could someday be
 

SLCbowhunter

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
15
As others have said, everything in the photos looks old. If I'm not seeing fresh scat, tracks, and smelling fresh piss while scouting in mid-August, it's not a place I'm going to spend too much time in September.
 
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