Locating Elk-Archery & Oct. Hunts!

ElkNut1

WKR
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
2,393
Location
Idaho
One Way- to locate elk is getting to elevated areas where you can see a fair distance to sit & Glass, 10X42 optics are a decent choice. Many glassing areas can be had right next to a road, dirt or paved, while other areas are best found by hiking to such elevated areas. Do not be committed to only using trail systems as entrance points, actually I rarely use them because of all the hunter activity on them. Instead I like focusing on areas most hunters would not stop to park & start their hunt. I prefer to carve my own way through the country void of roads or trails towards destination areas I have pre-marked out on my topo maps & phone mapping app. While exploring the mountainous terrain look for parks, basins, draws with water in them etc. If hiking trails are found with little to no use then they can be considered as entrance points & you can branch off of them as you attempt to locate elk or head to one of your pre-determined elevated spots on your map. Do not feel you have to be 3+ miles deep to find hunt-able elk, it's not the case! It's not uncommon to find elk to hunt inside of a mile from roads in many areas.

A 2nd Choice- is done by e-scouting from home. Once I've chosen my zone or unit I generally have interest in certain parts of it. In those selected areas I look for areas between Trails & roads, Trails & other Trails, Roads & other Roads, etc. I'm looking for areas where most hunters cannot see or hear elk. In these so-called Secluded spots I look for small water sources that have no trails to them, in other words they are somewhat remote even though not that far in. Find water (still water) & elk are not far! Their sign will be there! These areas are generally in Dark Timber, my favorite, you are now in the Calling Grounds! Let your Bugle do the finding!

A 3rd Option Here! If burning boot leather for a couple of days isn't paying off, try this! Some of the best & quickest ways to locate elk is by bugling 1 hour to 1-1/2 hour before daylight, find areas during the day where you can utilize night calling off roads where areas look good or sound will carry! You could drive one mile or 20 miles, doesn't matter, stop every mile & bugle if unsure where to bugle from until you locate them. Don't think you will kill elk next to the road because this rarely happens on OTC DIY elk hunts, you are locating them; then going after them, they can be a 100 yards away or a mile at their first response, it all depends where you find them! Once elk are located or respond back, stop bugling, you can now grab your gear & head toward the bugles while still dark. Get as close as possible without alerting them, around 200 yards, watch the wind direction, you do not want your scent going to the elk! It's tough to say exactly what to do as it gets light, either slip in silent with no calling if terrain & conditions allow it or consider a setup & call them your way with a low volume low intensity breeding sequence as shown in the App video. They most likely will come in silent.

With the above thoughts in mind don't be overwhelmed by elk country but keep pushing forward. So, whether you locate elk via Bugling or Glassing you'll see the need to burn boot leather, in doing so you'll stumble on to waterholes, wallows, freshly used trails, bedding & feeding areas, escape routes & even places you didn't think elk would be. Take note of these areas as it's things such as this that will lead you to becoming familiar with your area & where elk may be found year after year. On future hunts you now have areas to consider since finding these newly found gems, these are very effective ways to hunt elk that are using the area! A trail camera in place on a few of these spots during your hunt can help to see if elk are using them right then & at what times! It's an education & a process that will lead towards your success at becoming a more complete elk hunter who knows his surroundings well! I like pulling out my 7.5 minute Topo Map & Phone app marking these various areas & spots of interest, in time you will get a pattern & an appreciation where elk are & why they are there. Having these topo marked maps for refreshing your mind during Summer prep for following years can prove invaluable.

ElkNut
 

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ElkNut1

WKR
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
2,393
Location
Idaho
I hear ya! This is a great recipe for locating elk, it's worked for over 40 years! If it ain't broke don't fix it! (grin)

I hope all those elk hunters that share posts on having issues finding elk read this, it will help them out! Thanks!

ElkNut
 
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