Elk Hunting 2017
For those new here benefit, I love Elk Hunting.
I love watching them, I love the chase and most of all I love to eat them.
This year was a year of new techniques, and some eye opening results.
It was a little brisk this year early mornings. I think 24 is wonderful to get the blood moving. Not so wonderful when my hands don’t work.
Late season mouth calls.
The newest technique we used this year was very different from my normal strategy hunting public land. My success was due to keeping an open mind, trying something new and keeping at it once I found the areas which actually had Elk in the proximity.
My standby is as always what I discussed in this post
We used mouth calls to bring the Elk in to us, but not like early season hunters do. This was a revelation to me, especially with my history of hunting Elk.
The real secret is learning to imitate calf elk and their different noises when they are disturbed or lost.
You will have to put in the time to practice with these before the hunt, listen to the sounds of Elk calves and imitate them.
No free lunch here boys.
Shocking but true, the Elk will come in, and if there is something to keep their eye like a decoy it works great.
We put out 2-3 decoys to hide behind while we called and it worked amazingly well, with the Elk expecting to see movement in the area with the calling.
These decoys “look” like full grown Elk, but they are the size of an Elk calf, further adding to the set up.
You aren’t trying to fool them thinking a long lost cousin is back to the herd.
You just want them to see what they expect to see, fitting the noises you are making with the calls.
Now for the hard part. It takes 20-30 minutes of constant calling to bring in the Elk.
The Bulls will stay back in cover for 8-10 minutes after the Cows come out to get the “all clear” and its a very nerve wracking time when the cows are at knife fighting distance, waiting for a Bull to show a shoulder.
On a high traffic public land hunt, you want to be extremely careful using a decoy. Getting yourself shot is a bad idea. Some fluorescent orange or red flagging tape on the decoy will hopefully keep the dummies from shooting you.
A really good idea is to also set up as far from roads as you can, most hunters wont leave the front seat of the truck and a 100 yard walk to a small draw or other cover not visible from the road is a good idea.
These decoys fold so they are only identifiable as elk from front and back, keep the thin sides pointed toward the trafficked areas and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Fine tuning the technique
Call for 30 minutes, give or take while in a good observation point. Wearing hunter orange while near the decoys is a good idea.
Glass constantly, and carefully watch the thickest cover in the area. An Elk can hide behind a road cone it seems, and suddenly appear in your lap with no warning at all.
From my experience so far, 40 minutes is plenty of time for things to happen. If there’s nothing there, pack up and move 1/2 mile and set up again.
If you can keep a terrain feature like a high bank, steep hill or other restriction behind you to limit the number of directions Elk can approach it will be a help. Always use what nature gives you to increase your odds of seeing the animals first.
I cant stress enough, if this technique doesn’t work for you, there aren’t Elk close enough to hear you call. Locating the Elk is a primary goal.
Don’t stick in too small an area, be open minded enough to move 2-5 miles from the area you are working.
Elk move a lot, 10-15 miles is not a big deal when they are pushed. Move around and scout out more than the small area most hunters stay in , and don’t be afraid to try something new.
Elk Hunting 2017