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Author Topic: Elk movement question  (Read 1363 times)

Online yakimanoob

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Elk movement question
« on: July 17, 2017, 09:24:26 AM »
Hey folks!  Let's talk elk behavior/movements.  I was doing a bit of scouting yesterday evening in GMU 356/360 area in the higher elevations, and there seemed to be plenty of activity judging by sign, and I saw a group of nice mature bulls so I know they're using this area.

My question is this: at what point, and for what reason, do the elk generally start moving from the high elevations down to the lower areas?  Is it simply a post-rut activity (as if they're done breeding and then head for winter grounds)?  Is it related mostly to snowfall? Is it triggered by something else? 

My goal of course is to translate the observations I can make now (like there were 6 bulls feeding on green grass in a draw at ~5000') into practical strategies for the end of October. 

What do y'all think?

Online yakimanoob

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Re: Elk movement question
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 09:33:18 AM »
Follow up / additional thoughts:

I have a game camera set on a water hole near a ridgeline at ~5,000' elevation in a different area.  I set it 3 weeks ago and plan to retrieve it around the first couple weeks of August.  That one in particular is in the vicinity of quite a few meadows and other potential feed locations, with some DEEP timber on the north side of the slope for cover.  My instinct there is that they'll use the meadows and high(ish) alpine areas all summer long and then disappear into the timber come October, and given the difficulty of the hike in, I've all but given up on the idea of hunting that spot.  But I'm new at trying to predict behaviors so I'd welcome your thoughts.

Offline Alchase

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Re: Elk movement question
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 09:35:07 AM »
If it is hard to hike in, less likely other hunters will be there.
Hunt it.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline CP

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Re: Elk movement question
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 09:38:52 AM »
They will start moving down in early Sept. snow or no snow.

Online yakimanoob

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Re: Elk movement question
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 09:57:35 AM »
If it is hard to hike in, less likely other hunters will be there.
Hunt it.
Hard to hike in, but easy to ride a horse.  And this particular spot seems quite popular with the horsemen, so I may leave it to them.  Either way, when I retrieve my camera I'll be on the lookout (pun intended) for good glassing spots just in case I get motivated to hunt it after all. 

Offline olesmokey

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Re: Elk movement question
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2017, 12:54:35 PM »
Bulls tend to bachelor in high elevations where the grasses are lush and pressure is minimal.  As the days shorten and they start to get a bit frisky they will venture into lower elevations in search of the ladies.  They will however return to their higher hidey holes until snow pushes them out.  Just my two cents.

 

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