Winter Elk without much snow


Senior Member
Jun 11, 2018
Where are you finding elk in years with less snow?

With a cow tag in pocket, all i've seen are bulls and very often. This season had some early snow that moved a few elk down but not much since then. The winter grounds have plenty of deer and no elk. The local population seems to be winning at hide and go seek with no track or trace. I'm starting to think they've headed back up in elevation and hid on the north slopes just to get away from all the "new covid outdoorsmen". unfortunately my unit still has packed trailheads full of subarus that have at least 3 dogs in each back seat. Just yesterday I observed 5 small groups of deer spread out over 2 sq miles all react to one loud lady and her two dogs. This area is a state wildlife management area that is restricted for motorized travel 10 months of the year. This one lady moved two dozen deer in their micro herds. Some skittish deer booked it for the ridges and beyond. Others simply pushed off a few hundred yards to avoid the dogs. But that has 6 groups of deer that moved for one recreationalist. This is the story for about 14 miles of hwy accessed hunting. The first 7 miles of which typically contain 90% of the elk at this time of the year.

So, with 12-18" of snow at 9k, 36" at 10k and just a few inches at 7k, are the cow elk living it up away from the crowds with less access to food or just winning at coving their track and trace?