View Full Version : Help for a new elk hunter
08-19-2004, 08:40 AM
I'm not going to ask for your spots. I've been deer hunting No Calif blacktail crosses for 20 years but recently moved to Idaho. I'm our of my comfort zone but eager to learn here. Can you veteran elk hunters give me some opinions on say 2 or 3 key things to have in mind when hunting elk. P.S. I plan to hunt the first week of November this year and I will primarily rifle hunt.
08-19-2004, 08:56 AM
ELK are much larger and require careful shot placement and bullets that penetrate deeply
hunt from before first light till dark , glass constantly,don,t expect ELK to stand in the OPEN like the ones you see on park pictures, look in the timber!!
ELK don,t always react even when fatally hit so follow up on any shots you think you might have missed , just because the ELK ran does NOT mean you missed!
ELK cover a HUGE area, your very unlikely to find ELK in the same place day after day, and once spooked they cover ground rapidly
use topo maps and GLASS constantly, ELK DON,T like BUZY areas and ROAD TRAFFIC look for areas that won,t have a lot of people simply because they are more difficult to reach easily
learn how to use a COW CALL and pay attention to wind direction and stay in the shadows when you can!
generally NORTH and EAST facing slopes and thick timber will be where ELK hang out rather than the more open and less timbered south and west facing slopes
while there are exceptions, Ive found most shots are under 300 yards, but bullet placement is critical, learn to shoot fast but acurately with a sling and/or bipod, and I would strongly advise useing bullets in the 260 plus sectional density range designed to open slowly as opposed to fragile fast opening deer style bullet designs,CAREFUL SHOT PLACEMENT IS STILL THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR
dress in layers and plan to walk ALOT over long distances,you need to cover alot of country to locate the herds
carefully plan HOW your going to move and cool and dress and clean and transport, a 300-600 lb DEAD ELK BEFORE you shoot NOT AFTER, hunt with at least one friend to help recover the MEAT, and DON,T shoot if your in an area where recovering the meat is damn near out of the question
08-19-2004, 10:18 AM
If you do shoot one and it runs off do not chase or follow for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Even when hit, if still on his feet, he can cover alot of ground.
If late in the day make sure to pay close attention to where he was standing when shot. A friend of mine carries a small roll of ribbon that we had to use in Oregon once. We wrapped it around several trees so we could recover a bull early the next day. Fortunately it snowed that night and we found him the next morning.
Practice shooting as much as you can stand. They are bigger than deer but you must place your shot well.
my bull (http://community.webshots.com/scripts/editPhotos.fcgi?action=showMyPhoto&albumID=78289137&photoID=78453834&security=njfTVK)
08-19-2004, 06:05 PM
These guys have nailed it on the head. I might ad though that your best bet in most of Idaho is to get on top of a ridge and follow that sucker to your death. I like to think of elk as stategic animals, because they'll take off strait up hill and you'll start making you way around the hill to go to the other side, but what you don't know is that a elk will turn around half way up the hill and head right back into a thicket. So observe them until you are sure of their "possible" location before you make your move. And be prepared to shoot up to 400 yds easy for a big elk aka "trophy." Something no one else mentioned also is that if you are on somewhat level ground/rolling hills you can cover a lot of ground on an atv and 9 times out of 10 you'll at least spot 'em. You can start your stalk from there. -But don't go zipping passed any closed Green gates on forrest land in Idaho. Big time ticket.
BTW: where in Idaho did you move to? My parents are in Caldwell, near Boise.
08-19-2004, 08:18 PM
Thanks to all for the info, I would love to hear anything else anyone can add.
LeeChul, I am building a home in Star, Id which as you probably know is very close to Caldwell and about 15 miles from Boise.
08-23-2004, 09:33 PM
Hello Quacker Wacker, I'm a newbie to this forum, but have been hunting/guiding elk hunters in Idaho for over ten years. I live in Eagle, just down the road, and will be happy to share some hunting info. There are some places you can rifle hunt during the bugle season and I would suggest those to a new elk hunter. Hearing a bull bugle on a frosty morning will change your life.
Take care, Rob
08-23-2004, 11:32 PM
You might want to send simpleman an email. He lives in CA but has a house in Payette. His son hunts anything that moves. He knows the area pretty good and might be able to give you a few places to start. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/two-cents.gif Good Luck
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