Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Elk Hunting => Topic started by: yakimanoob on August 10, 2017, 02:16:38 PM

Title: Thoughts on hunting old burns
Post by: yakimanoob on August 10, 2017, 02:16:38 PM
Hey folks,

Curious on everyone's thoughts/strategies for hunting burns.  For those who aren't aware, onXmaps just updated their system and you can turn on a historic burns layer and a current fires layer, helping you do escouting.  So I'm looking at potential areas near home (Bethel, Rimrock, Bumping, Umtanum, etc.) thinking about finding some old burns to scout. 

Do you guys suggest a certain rule of thumb for when to hunt after a fire?  3 years?  8 years?  And if so, and most importantly, why?

Is there a particular kind of vegetation that springs up after a fire that elk like?  Or simply an age range of plant re-growth that elk like to feed on?  What is it about old burns that elk seem to like so much?
Title: Re: Thoughts on hunting old burns
Post by: Woodchuck on August 10, 2017, 02:23:31 PM
The last big fire over here, the animals were right back in the middle of it 2 weeks later and we continue to hunt it every year since.
Title: Re: Thoughts on hunting old burns
Post by: Stein on August 10, 2017, 02:24:53 PM
Two reasons: 1) grass will start growing again due to the sunlight now having access to the forest floor, and 2) you can see the animals with all the vegetation gone.

The new layers are indeed sweet, I just wish there were not a million bugs.  I talked with them yesterday and the response is that they are working on it with no known ETA.  Not awesome for those of us that may be trying to use it in the next couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Thoughts on hunting old burns
Post by: dvolmer on August 10, 2017, 02:41:11 PM
We drew 5 Dayton big bull tags back in 2006.  We were very familiar with the area we wanted to hunt.  That summer before the season the area we liked burned like nothing else!!!  It was fried!!  one of the worse fires in the Blues in years.  Due to this we hunted the first 5 days in an area we hadn't hunted much.  Saw some bulls but no luck.  At the end of the first week we decided to just go check out our favorite area that was all burned up.  We shot our first big 360 class bull in the burn that day.  We ended up shooting 4 big bulls that year right in the burn and only a few weeks after it was all put out!  I was amazed.  We killed the biggest bull bedded down on a hillside that was completely fried with no sign of any vegetation at all.  Didn't see any cows but the big bulls like their territory or so it seemed.  The bulls stuck out like sore thumbs too with all the vegetation burned up!  They were easy to locate.  The next year the elk were in their thick as flies!