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Elk Hunting University Headin West

Author Topic: What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2  (Read 494 times)

Offline WapitiTalk1

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What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2
« on: March 19, 2018, 02:28:38 PM »
Stick ní String season; bull only tag. 

Itís the third week in SEP and you and your hunting partner are working down and across a series of finger ridges on the side of XX Mountain in the Gem state. Its late afternoon and you know there will be elk in one of the smaller draws that run up and down the huge side hill youíre descending down and across. Youíre sweeping from south to north, as you hunt. Yep, a series of east/west flowing draws which means, youíre dropping down on all north facing slopes each time you crest a small ridge and descend. As you top each small ridge, you drop down a bit, set up and try to strike up some conversations with the indigenous population. After two of these endeavours with no results, you top the third finger ridge, listen for unsolicited elk sounds for a few minutes, then commence with setting up a bit down the sidehill. You decide to start with some whiney cow calls, 2-3, for this set up. Well, all heck breaks loose. From a small semi- flat spot on the bottom of the draw youíre looking down over (70 or 80 yards below and left) you hear immediate responses to your bugle from several cows! Across the draw, in a somewhat benchy area... two bulls sing back. One is a honker, who follows his bugle with some hard hitting grunts. The big bull is approximately 100 yards across and down; the smaller bull seems to be directly across the draw. Well, youíve just woke up the sleepy mountain side for sure. As you and your partner share a few, quick thoughts on how to proceed you hear immediate movement to your left 30 yards or so and hear a few calves nervously chirping for momma. Below the calves, down to the left, momma elk has moved up the side hill a bit and is now really talking (come back down here young ones). This all happens in less than 45 seconds. Well now youíve done it, it seems like youíve walked into a small herd that was on the move... seemingly, in your direction. You have calves to your left, a concerned cow down below you and to the left, several cows (3-5) down to the left in the small flat draw bottom, and two bulls across the small draw. Itís very, very thick in this particular area (timbered but tons of 5-10 foot tall alder and huckleberry brush) but there is a small opening on the bottom of the draw where there are cows having a nervous conversation. From where youíre currently sitting, there are a few shooting lanes out to maybe 20 yards in a few directions going downhill. Itís so thick here that moving to the right and across the draw will be noisy at best.  I know, lots going on here (real deal situation though).   

Would you:

a. Drop the shooter in place, head back up the side hill 20-25 yards, do some raking and throw out some excited cow sounds followed by a scream.

b. Give the shooter a few minutes to get down to the small opening on the bottom of the draw to set up (probably the best place for a shot). You (caller) will stay put and commence to throw out cow/calf talk first and if that doesnít work, then some bull calling cows to him bugles, perhaps some chuckles, in an attempt to pull one of the bulls across your partner.

c. Phone a friend for advise (oops, no cell service here).

d. Donít make another elk sound until you need a nervous bark to freeze a bull for the shot, split up, and try to sneak across the draw on elk trails through the alder to get close to the bull(s).
e.  OtherÖ.

What say you elk hunters? After a few post up their thoughts, Iíll tell you what I did a few Septembers ago when I experienced this situation. My chosen course of action resulted in my buddy drawing on the herd bull at 25 yards.
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Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 02:46:12 PM »
I vote option A.  The elk want to go your way and as is the bulls may think two small herds have bumped into each other. Play the jealousy card.

Offline Yelper Guy

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Re: What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 02:49:48 PM »
I like option A also, sounds like the herd is already heading your direction.
Too much movement could get you busted.

Offline Stein

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Re: What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2018, 03:10:54 PM »
A or I would be afraid of being busted by the first few cows moving through.  I want to get the bulls out front so I see them first.


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Offline Chet43

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Re: What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 03:25:53 PM »
A

Offline Shawn Ryan

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Re: What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 11:37:15 AM »
Combination of a and b.  Leave the shooter in place or small movement to maximize his lanes.  His positioning should be the optimal location for the bulls approaching or crossing the finger ridge.  Caller back out, but the bugle would not be a scream. I'd want option b's "calling cows" bugle with chuckles.

Slim chance that the shooter is sneaking down through this brush and through the herd to get to the better lanes in the bottom.  Thermals should be rising since its afternoon, thus, the elk won't smell us until they are on top or past us. 

What I really want is for some of the cows to crest the finger ridge, get out of sight of the bulls, then let the bulls hear my "I've got your girls and we're leaving" bugle. That should get the bulls hustling across the ravine and to the shooter.

Offline Calvin Rayborn

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Re: What Should You Do 2018; Scenario #2
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 01:22:30 PM »
Take the shot!  :tup: