Where do you camp?

les welch

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Central WI
So where do you set camp? I prefer to hunt smart, then hunt hard, rather than vice versa. Its usually more work right out of the gate, but I prefer to head high to camp. This puts me in my camp when the elk are usually down low for the night, feeding and doing their thing. This way I only have to get up just before daylight, get dressed and slowly start down the mountain. This way I am meeting the elk as they are leaving their feeding grounds and heading up to the bedding areas. This allows me to flank them and work them as they are slowing down to find an area to bed. Mid-day I am in the areas where they bed, always working the wind and moving slow, has opened the door for some great encounters. Once they get up and start moving for the evening, we are ready to hunt them! Hunting this way allows more time to hunt, with less energy expended.

How do you do it?
 

craitchky

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Feb 26, 2012
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118
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Chicago, IL
The first 3 years we were camping lower in the drainages, so we would spend a lot of time getting up high to glass, especially when the wok were quite. We plan on camping up higher this year, closer to the divide in the unit we hunt in. Water will be the only pain, but we will just deal with that.
 

a3dhunter

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Feb 26, 2012
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859
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Colorado Springs,CO
Depends on the area and where the elk are. Some places it's up high, and some places lower down.
In a perfect situation I would choose as the OP has said, but I rarely find things co-operate to end up this way.
 

dreamingbig

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Feb 29, 2012
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Washington
Our elk area is fairly flat. We put our spike camp out of the elk travel paths and on the edge of the main hunting area. We can head 270 out of camp in the morning and be hunting. It works well for us.
 

bowhnter7

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado
"my elk" are all around up and down but for the most part from 1 to 2 miles and beyond the backpacked camp spot. I've had cows walk into camp curious of the llamas.
 

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vcb

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Feb 24, 2012
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Colorado
I bivy high. Keeps the scent aloft. Wake up and glass. Glassing dosent hurt as much as hiking.
 

luke johnson

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Feb 25, 2012
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19
Location
N Idaho
When I first starting hunting elk (a whopping 6 seasons ago!) We used to camp lower down and then race to the top of the mountain in an effort to beat them to the top and camp "away" from them. Well; most generally we'd end up with elk in and out of our camp all night long...and then would have to wait them out before heading out after them. This gave us some cool encounters; but never really any decent shot opportunities. Then we started camping near the top of the mountain; which again we'd have elk around our camp at night (nothing like when we camped lower down), but had quite a few more close encounters and some decent shot opportunities. I've had two shot opportunties on "nice" bulls since the start of my "career". One of them was on a beautiful 7x7 herd bull while with his cows. A big rookie mistake cost me a shot. And then the year before last I had an unforgettable encounter with a cool looking 5x5 that was trailing a small group of cows. He was screaming and chuckling so loud and intense...it almost unnerved me...well I guess it did actually, in the scheme of things. He was chuckling like a broken record, like he couldn't stop....he ended up trotting past me at 45 yards with me, on my knees in the bushes, "stuck on stupid". My mind kept telling me to "draw your bow! Draw your bow!" But all I managed to do was chirp a cow call to him, hoping to get him to stop. His response was to throw his head back and scream a bugle while he trotted down the hill. Afterwards I sprinted after the herd, across a clear cut. I slowed down after a very, spectacular "cartwheel-wipeout", that occured while hurdling a slashpile. Later I took a look at my GPS and it said that my top speed was 9mph...! LOL. I can only imagine what I looked like; 265# with a full pack on my back, bow in hand...just flat out gettin' it, over logs and stumps...until my wipeout of course! LOL.
I'm sorry, I know that this thread was about "where you camp...", I guess I got carried away! To tie this together; both of my shot opps were within 1/4 mile of camp and then this year, the cow I was able to call in for my buddy to whack; was also within 1/4 mile of camp. It's a good spot that I was just figuring out...too bad I moved to a different state this year! I get to start all over...shucks. LOL.
 

rckymtnguy

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Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
90
Location
Colorado
I prefer to camp high, but certain situations demand other areas. Last year I hunted in an old burn... smack in the middle of it ( several miles deep) I found 1 small group of live pines where i could camp without worry of a dead tree falling on me in the night.

For those of you camping ( high ) above 11,000 ft or at least above treeline, do you worry at all about lightning strikes during the early archery seasons? If so how do you choose a site considering the risk of getting blown off the mountain?
 

evan williams

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Jan 28, 2012
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1,628
Location
Colorado Springs
I am usually camping high and then using the ridge to run and cut off the herds as the feed up in the morning. Two years ago I was in a new area and didn't realize I was camped so close to a game trail and had elk come through my camp at 4 am bugling and passing through!!! What a night!!!
 

tracker

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Mar 25, 2012
Messages
15
Location
So. Wi.
I usually hunt from a base camp at about 9,500 ft. If I do a spike camp it is where I'm at. I stay fairly close to likely hunting areas with my spike camp and hope for the best.
 

ahlgringo

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Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
558
Wind, thermals and where the elk are will dictate where I decide to camp.

Wanted to throw this out there to all that are saying they prefer to be up high. We ran into another group of hunters last year that decided they would camp directly on top of a drainage that always holds elk- I had been there a couple of days prior to the season to confirm they were still there- and it was again loaded. Anyway- These guys had a full camp set up almost perfectly so that there scent would drift down the drainage all night. Needless to say- there were no elk there after that. So just a word of caution in picking your spots.
 
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