Treestand location for elk

kunsangsean

Newbie
Joined
Nov 26, 2021
Messages
8
To all the folks who aren't bored by treestand hunting elk ;)

I just ordered a copy of John Erickson's book, but haven't got a change to read it yet. A couple questions I have for you successful treestand hunters. 1) how much activity in an area do you want in to see in order to sit a tree there? I've hunted 10 days this month, 4 out of trees. I have cameras at a number of locations, mainly travel routes and one waterhole. At one location I have elk on camera passing the trail 4 out of 7 days. Is that frequent enough for you to sit a tree all day, or do you want to see daily activity? I know the elk are on this slope daily, but there are so many trails they may take a different one each day. And many possible locations along the river that they could stop for water, though I have them on camera at one spot 3 of 7 days.

And 2) how far do you take your treestand or saddle in? I have been focusing on areas 1 mile or less from my car. My saddle hunting gear adds about 20 lbs to my pack. There is a slope where I have consistently found elk bedding that is 2 off trail miles which I haven't hunted from a tree yet. I think it may be easier to kill an elk over there but I have been focusing closer since there are elk on that closer slope and I want to be realistic about my pack out.

Thanks for the help! I have 5 more days I get to hunt before the jig is up. Though I've seen more elk running and gunning than I have from trees, I find it a lot harder to pull off a good shot from the ground. I know if I can get a close shot from a tree it's more likely to be a clean kill.
 

Hunt260

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2022
Messages
33
I have no experience with elk hunting at all but I have saddle hunted for years and you could cut the weight of your saddle stuff probably in half pretty easily if you wanted. Might help make your hike easier
 
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kunsangsean

Newbie
Joined
Nov 26, 2021
Messages
8
0B0634EC-AA9E-4EDA-8BA3-B14BBEDA2303.jpeg
This guy showed up one day, and yes I did sit from dark to dark waiting for him.
 

tracker12

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
782
For me to sit in a tree I would have to really know the area to feel confident elk would come by. I just spent 8 days in WY on an elk hunt and found no consistency in their movements.
 

WoodnotRust

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
28
Good morning Kungsangsean, I can't speak by experience, but I recently read a book by John Cleveland (The Practical Guide to Elk Hunting). In that book he occasionally hunts in a tree stand, but like @tracker12 says above...his stand is placed in an area where he knows that elk may come by.

The key though, is that he knows not just where, but WHEN they might come by. After years hunting in the same location he learned that when pressured from hunters in a certain area the elk had a tendency to move to the next mountain along a certain path. So...only when the situation is just right does he occupy the stand.

Let us know how the rest of your season went.
 

WoodnotRust

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
28
@North Idaho Stickbow Can I ask if you build you tree stand on-site or do you carry in a manufactured tree stand?

I was considering this strategy near a mountain saddle where I think hunting pressure will move elk from one area to another, but it is way to far back in to carry anything other than a small saw and cordage.

Wondering what suggestions people have for constructing backcountry tree stands.
 

WoodnotRust

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
28
That said...I could hike in on a scouting trip just for that purpose and carry a dewalt cordless, a saw and hatchet and two pounds of 5" construction screws....
 

Gerbdog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
664
Location
CO Springs
for Colorado - wildlife propertties - you will need to look up other property types and their respective specifications and rules

CHAPTER W-9 - WILDLIFE PROPERTIES
under prohibited activites:

"To build, erect, or establish any permanent structure or to plant any vegetation. Only portable blinds or tree stands and steps may be erected by the public on state wildlife areas. No nails may be driven into trees. Portable blinds or tree stands intended for use to hunt any big game or waterfowl during an established season may be erected on state wildlife areas no earlier than 30 days prior to the season in which they are used. All manmade materials used for blinds or tree stands during big game or waterfowl seasons must be removed within 10 days after the end of the season in which they are used. Any other portable blind or tree stand used for any other purpose must be removed at the end of the day in which they are used. The Customer Identification Number of the owner and the date(s) to be used must be displayed on the outside of all portable blinds and on the underside of all tree stands in a readily visible area. However, the erection or placement of any blind or tree stand by any person does not reserve the blind or tree stand for personal use. All such blinds and tree stands remain available for use to the general public on a first come, first-served basis. "

heh... they said erect...
 

WoodnotRust

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
28
That's a good point and I've actually tried to sort that out. This is National Forest land and it appears that one is allowed to build and hunt out of a tree stand. There is so much deadfall that finding building materials should not be difficult, but you are right to think about the part where any platform or ladder attaches to the tree. I'll contact my local Forest service office for clarification, thanks.

Wish I knew someone that would lend me a horse and a mule...
 

Rich M

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
3,617
Location
Orlando
Be careful with screw in steps - the regulation said nail but we can't screw or drive anything into the tree down here. Just make sure what you do.

My climber weighs 20#.
My lightest ladder stand is closer to 40#. Could put some wheels on that puppy and go hang it. Sure would be frustrating to hike in and find some guy in your stand - legally! Part of why we use portable stuff and carry in and out every day - or cable lock it to a tree after dark if returning in the predawn...

You guys bow hunting?
Seems like it would be easier to sit on the ground for rifle.

If I was hunting and had elk 4 out of 7 days - say days 1-3-5-7, Yes, I'd hunt it. Days 1-2-3-4, nope.

My tree stand stuff is deer hunting on short 3-5-day quota hunts. Have to be mobile and very aggressive. Will put out a couple cameras to see where the activity is and hop right on it - check cam and sit it if a buck is on cam - if not move to another spot. Mid-day go set the camera that didn't have deer, check next camera... The deer around here basically won't cross human scent - have watched em come by the tree, hit my entrance path, stop, stand for a long while looking around, then turn around and head back the way they came. See it often enough to hunt by it. No idea if elk may be the same way - if they are, you have to pay attention to your access and exit routes.
 

WoodnotRust

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
28
Does this mean you can't use a drill and screws to make a ladder out of downed trees? I wouldn't think so...?

Here's the basic building idea which doesn't involve screws or nails in any live trees.

I'll be Bowhunting and thinking about building the stand around a waterhole/wallow in very thick timber mid-July. If there isn't any sign, I guess I'd abandon the idea. No place is secret, but this area is off trail miles from the nearest trailhead. Yes, it would be terrible to find another hunter in the stand, but I know the rules for public and would just walk away.

Take a look at these stand locations...one uphill and the other downhill. Is the best choice the uphill stand? The clearing is about 100 ft in diameter. It's located only 800yds horizontal distance in the lee of a large mountain ridge, about 600' down from that ridge. There is a lot of mountain below that, so this water is pretty near the top and maybe only 400 yds from the tree line.

There is a saddle to the NE where I think elk will move from one side of the range to the other. There are also drainages to the north and south, so this water is kinda on a broad finger ridge between two drainages. I think elk will most likely approach from the north or northeast or from due south, but really who knows?

I'm guessing that the wind will be in the uphill direction most of the time [counter to the prevailing wind due to countercurrents on the lee side and normal uphill thermals?], but the little knob to the SE could cause some swirling...so who knows. Where would you place a stand...or two stands?
Tree_stand_possibilities.png
 
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cnelk

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
5,611
Location
Colorado
My son and I set this stand during the summer. He then sat in it opening day for 12 hrs and just before dark a herd of elk came in with a bull.

His arrow hit a branch on its way to the bull

You can see the type of terrain we use


 
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