A Hunting Trip of a lifetime in the Wenaha Tucannon Wilderness! Headin West Hunt Consulting

Author Topic: Elk novice needing strategy help.  (Read 614 times)

Offline cohochemist

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Elk novice needing strategy help.
« on: October 21, 2017, 10:31:01 PM »
I am still new to elk hunting, I have been putting in for points and waiting until I drew a multi-season tag to hit it hard. Luck would have it, this was my year!  I went to pull my cameras this afternoon and to my surprise, 4 days after my muzzy hunt, this boy walks through!!  For all the experts on here, what are the chances he sticks around in the same general area for the next couple weeks?  Do elk become more nocturnal closer to modern firearm and out side of their peak rut? Or, if I put in my time, would I have a good chance at finding this guy (or one of his buddies) come Nov 4th?  I found his main rub line and hunted near it a couple times during muzzy season but never saw this fella.  Came close with a couple cows.  Will he keep checking his rubs as season progresses or start to ignore them?


Offline Elknut1

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Re: Elk novice needing strategy help.
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 03:04:21 PM »
Anything is possible! He could & should be in the area unless there is a hunt going on there before you start your hunt, he could move from their hunting pressure! Too, folks with that tag could scout the area & move him around. Is it an area elk live in year around or do they migrate out? If they migrate out the weather can be a determining factor as to where he is during your hunt!

  As a sidenote, elk do not have rub lines like whitetails do, elk do not refresh them or keep track of them. The reason so is because elk will rub trees/brush for a variety of reasons such as displaying for cows, introducing themselves to other bulls, warning/intimidation, etc. -- I will add that the bull in the photo is on the trail leaving his bedding area heading towards feeding or similar area.


Offline cohochemist

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Re: Elk novice needing strategy help.
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 07:21:37 AM »
Thanks!  While I'm still new to the sport, I am finding animals and still having fun being outside.  I get itchy being stuck in the city, I grew up hunting whitetails and turkey in the midwest before moving here 10years ago for work.   So when I see a line of rubs, my mind reverts back to old training....   I am finding though, these things are more like turkey's than whitetail.  At least in how to hunt for them. 

The bedding area make sense given the sign. Found this place deep in the woods near a creek.  There is good over head cover and forest gets progressively more thick as near the creek. There is a pinch point that appears to be creek crossing, as the vegetation is very very thick right next to creek besides this one open spot.  Also, the ground gets very soft, almost marshy, near the creek and skunk cabbage everywhere (which was beaten and matted down).  The open patches in the trees that allow sun in are filled with thick big clover, there are rubs everywhere and the ground looks like a toilet.  Even to my untrained eye, it looked "elky". 

There is a big open meadow to the SE and a steep hill semi-thick cover to the West, further West on top of the hill is very dense new growth forest.  There is a well worn trail up the hill and into new growth, it is a very wide trail, but not wide enough for truck, I assume it is an elk.  My approach during muzzy was to sit on the hill, in between creek bottom and the very dense new growth at top of hill.  There is a logging road also on top of the hill, I can get in quite and have a nice covered place to sit with the downed old trees.  Around 11am I got tired of sitting and not seeing anything, I got up, moved down closer and before I could react, I heard a lot of noise and crashing down in the creek bed timber near where I got this photo.  (Further support of bedding area, I assume).    bonehead... After setting camera on a big rub (where I got this photo) i backed out and hadn't returned until this Saturday. 

In general this is a med-high traffic area, plenty of trucks near trail head, but 3miles in and about 1/2mile from any logging road.  There are a lot of clear cuts, which seem to attract more hunters than animals in my opinion.  I have a few pictures of elk since July and this latest one is during modern firearm deer, with a lot of folks marching around, so I am hopeful he will stick around for another 1.5weeks.

As for a new strategy, would it be better to punch into the creek bedding area early in the AM?   I assume they are in the meadow munching away at night and move in just before or after daylight.  Or, did I have a good approach with sticking to side of this hill?  Maybe the creek bed area is a staging area and the dense forest on top of hill is true bed???   

I know, a lot of variables, this is hunting, but any tips would be much appreciated. 


Offline WSU

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Re: Elk novice needing strategy help.
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 07:29:19 AM »
I assume you are hunting west side timber company property?  In any case, it sounds like the area you jumped the elk out of is their bedding area. You can hope to find that bull right at first and last light in the open feeding. The rest of the time, he'll be bedded in the timber.


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