Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Elk Hunting => Topic started by: dvolmer on June 18, 2019, 05:57:17 AM

Title: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on June 18, 2019, 05:57:17 AM
I have the modern rifle tag in Dayton for this year.  It took 13 points for me to draw it.  Back in 2006 We drew 5 of the 13 tags in Dayton. we filled 4 of the tags.  We shot a 398 inch 7x8, a 358 inch 6x6, a 335 inch 6x7 and a 317 inch 6x6.  In 2007 my other buddy drew the tag and we helped him shoot a 315 inch 7x7.  My hunting partners family have hunted that area for Elk for over 35 years.  We hunt up by Edmonds Springs out on Page Ridge, Lewis creek, and Ireland gulch areas off of Skyline road.  About 6 or 7 years ago my wife drew the tag and on the opening day we hunted and a snow storm came in.  While driving off of the mountain on skyline we just about slid the Tahoe off of the side over a cliff.  Scared her so bad she literally refused to go back hunting and we had to eat the tag.

I have a few concerns.  First, I haven't been up there at all for the last 6 years hunting.  Second, my hunting partner hunted for deer up there with his son last year in the areas above that I mentioned above and in the areas we shot our bulls back in 2006 and didn't see a single elk.  He hunted hard for 3 days. It was so bad that he just decided to not go up for the elk hunt at all.  Third, it seems that the elk numbers are way down due to a combination of a bad winter in 2016/2017, cougars, wolves, and uncontrolled tribal hunting.  I'm not sure what of the things I listed above are taking the biggest toll but it is probably a combination of a few.

So I am open to any and all kind of help or intel.  I do know that scouting right now will not help me all that much.  Where the elk are now is not necessary where they will be during the season.  Scouting now would be a good thing if I didn't know the area at all and the access points and land lay-out.  But where the elk are after the rut is not where they will be now.  I know that when the season is going on the big bulls will be by themselves or in small groups of two or three.  I know that early mornings they will be half way up the mountain sides feeding and working their way back towards the bottom and into the thick stuff for the day.

So any ideas about current conditions or help would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: trophyhunt on June 18, 2019, 06:23:53 AM
Good luck to you, I know rosscrazyelk hunts there every year for spikes or when he draws, has been for many years.  Last year if my memory serves me correct, he didn't see a single bull much less a cow. He can correct me if I'm wrong though, sounds like your info a tough hunt but!!  I have to believe the wolves or natives didn't kill them all, not yet anyway.  I'm sure you'll get some good intel, I spent time in the east wenaha this spring and saw quite a few elk and more bulls than I've seen in a while. I have to think it's close to the same in the Dayton.  Git'r done!!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: nels1009 on June 18, 2019, 01:19:45 PM
The elk numbers are way down. First year I've ever seen where WDFW has not had drawings for any cow elk tags in the Dayton unit. Wolves are a big part of it. Best of luck to you on your hunt.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: 270Flat on June 18, 2019, 02:09:28 PM
Elk are there. Seems like they were driven real low this year with all the snow. So we know they are there.
Iíve seen a decline in numbers due to Wolves/cougars and people. Theyíll stick to the low pressure areas on private land lower in the unit. If you can access the timber lands as well as the feel free to hunt areas youíll give yourself a leg up. Good luck with your tag!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Pathfinder101 on June 18, 2019, 02:52:19 PM
The elk numbers are way down. First year I've ever seen where WDFW has not had drawings for any cow elk tags in the Dayton unit. Wolves are a big part of it. Best of luck to you on your hunt.

Agree with the above post.  Elk can still be found, but getting harder.  When wolves are introduced into an area it goes through some tough changes.  Unfortunately, I think we are right in the middle of that now.  I'll keep my eyes open this summer.  If I see anything of note, I'll drop you a PM.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: JWEBB on June 20, 2019, 09:58:07 PM
I had quality cow tag for the unit last year. Talked to all the big bull hunters while I was up there. Really slim pickings unfortunately. Not what it use to be. Yeah there are some pigs in the unit but far and few between. Good luck!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on June 20, 2019, 11:02:17 PM
I had quality cow tag for the unit last year. Talked to all the big bull hunters while I was up there. Really slim pickings unfortunately. Not what it use to be. Yeah there are some pigs in the unit but far and few between. Good luck!
Were you successful on your cow hunt?  I noticed this year they discontinued all cow hunts in Dayton.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: JWEBB on June 20, 2019, 11:53:18 PM
I had quality cow tag for the unit last year. Talked to all the big bull hunters while I was up there. Really slim pickings unfortunately. Not what it use to be. Yeah there are some pigs in the unit but far and few between. Good luck!
Were you successful on your cow hunt?  I noticed this year they discontinued all cow hunts in Dayton.

3rd day done. Didnít even see a bull on my hunt
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: 3dvapor on June 21, 2019, 08:11:59 AM
Great news on the tag.  Ive dtawn it for archery and have helped friends with the tag several times.  Theres still some huge bulls in there still.  Id spend my time finding the best ways to access all the hard to reach areas and find the best ways in and out.  Start on the western edge of the unit and work to the east.  Theres several hell holes that are super timbered up and brushy that are super hard to access.  Thats where the bulls will be in small pockets.  Theyll even still answer a cow call or bugle sometimes.  So Id also learn how to call.  Congrats on the tag!!!
 
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Pathfinder101 on June 21, 2019, 04:02:49 PM
Was up in the Dayton Unit yesterday for a bit.  Did see one herd of about 50 elk on the private across the road from the entrance to Cahill.  Mostly cows and calves, but did see 2 bulls.  One was branched and the other was smaller.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Wacenturion on June 21, 2019, 05:23:29 PM
Was up in the Dayton Unit yesterday for a bit.  Did see one herd of about 50 elk on the private across the road from the entrance to Cahill.  Mostly cows and calves, but did see 2 bulls.  One was branched and the other was smaller.

Were they up on the top of the hill above the N. Touchet across from the entrance to Cahill Mtn road?
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: NW_Bucketlist on June 22, 2019, 01:15:33 AM
I have hunted the muzzy season there the last 5 years for spikes. We usually meet a tag holder and help them find a shooter bull. Last year was the worst year we have seen over there but I think it was mainly do to weather. We did still see a few 330-350 bulls in the 7 days we hunted but you can definitely tell the numbers are down from when we started.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: meatwhack on June 22, 2019, 01:19:49 PM
Elk numbers in most of the blues are terrible right now. Predators have been a factor as well as over hunting. What scouting now will show you is how bad of shape the herd is currently in compared to ten years ago. If you donít have the tag filled during the week before the army of spike hunters roll in Iíd be worried
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: rosscrazyelk on June 25, 2019, 08:01:21 PM
The blues are not what they used to be. Last year was the worst  year I ever seen. Still saw elk but nothing to write home about.  I will be down there again this year helping my buddies. Not hunting for myself there. I am hunting a different unit and weapon this year, if that tells you anything...
Only thing I can tell you is to go deep and nasty.
Good luck
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on September 03, 2019, 01:13:52 PM
Anyone seeing anything up in the Dayton unit???  I just got back from a week in Alaska fishing and its time I started to scout a little bit.  Just wondering if anyone was seeing any bulls
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Rainier10 on September 03, 2019, 01:52:19 PM
I wish I had some information for you.  I am looking forward to hearing how this goes and wishing you the best of luck.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Boss .300 winmag on September 03, 2019, 01:58:12 PM
🤔
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: meatwhack on September 03, 2019, 03:56:09 PM
The pictures of the rag horn didnít last long.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on October 14, 2019, 01:55:20 PM
Just a quick check to see if anyone on the forum has been up in the Dayton area lately.  Anyone seeing any bulls and any information on their whereabouts???  Any help or information would be helpful.  Ill be up there this Saturday scouting and then back again early Monday morning for the Quality bull opener.  Just wondering if anyone on the forum is up deer hunting the National forest this week and if they are seeing any elk?
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Mr Mykiss on October 14, 2019, 08:31:41 PM
Iíll be up there starting Thursday, let you know if I see one, or two, or a bachelor group of 400Ē bulls...
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on October 15, 2019, 10:42:05 AM
Iíll be up there starting Thursday, let you know if I see one, or two, or a bachelor group of 400Ē bulls...
Thanks a ton Mr Mykiss.  Ill be up Saturday morning to check things out before my Monday opener.  I will be in a Forest Service Green Chevy Tahoe.  Fill free to stop me and beat some sense into me!  My wife would be much obliged! 
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on October 20, 2019, 08:03:58 PM
Heading up to hunt early in the morning!  Anyone seeing big bulls up there during their deer hunting?  Any big bull sightings and locations would be much appreciated!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: time2hunt on October 20, 2019, 08:14:45 PM
Take chain!!  I saw pic of the wenaha unit and itís getting deep.


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Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: emac on October 20, 2019, 08:20:51 PM
Chains would be wise. I am sure some deer hunters and there trailers might have an adventure getting out

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Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Rainier10 on October 21, 2019, 11:47:38 AM
Heading up to hunt early in the morning!  Anyone seeing big bulls up there during their deer hunting?  Any big bull sightings and locations would be much appreciated!

Good luck.

Anyone with information about big bulls should probably just send @dvolmer a pm and update this thread with a "pm sent" post.  No need to be broadcasting to the world wide web there is a 400" bull on no tellum ridge. ;)
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: meatwhack on October 21, 2019, 12:23:47 PM
400Ē bulls running wild. Iíd actually be surprised if thereís a legitimate 400Ē bull left in the unit.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on October 24, 2019, 06:57:34 PM
Hunt update:::  Hunted the opener on Monday.  Snow was so bad (12-14 inches of super wet snow) that i couldn't get to the spots that I wanted to hunt up off of Skyline road so I tried to hunt unfamiliar areas below the snow zone.  Hunted on the boundary off of Jasper Mountain road that bordered the Blue Creek area.  Saw lots of sign but no elk.  The day ended early due to a pretty heavy rain that started early afternoon.  Went back and hunted yesterday (Wednesday) after a major Chinook wind 35-40 mph that took place on Tuesday.  I didn't hunt Tuesday because I knew it was going to be a soup bowl of mud and muck with massive winds as it melted the 12-14 inches of snow, slush, and slop.

When I went up to hunt yesterday I wasn't sure what I was going to get from the weather and the snow melt.  The roads where all accessible and I was able to get where I needed to go and the weather was absolutely beautiful.  Just about too nice with no noticeable wind and blue skies. The only real problem I found was that the skid road that I wanted to hunt was shaded and not all of the snow had melted.  It froze hard that night and as I walked on the 2-3 inches of snow it was frozen and extremely loud.  I started running in to elk and on the hunt I saw a group of 5 cows, a group of 6 cows, and a group of 12 cows with a 5x5 bull with them.  I looked at the 5x5 for a long time and decided to pass on him.  Its hard to pass on a bull here in Washington but when you put in for years and years for a Quality permit in Dayton you need to keep telling yourself that this is not a meat hunt.  Fact is that most of the thousand plus applicants for the Dayton unit will never draw in their lifetime when they are only giving out 6-12 permits a year.  This year just 6.  I did see a couple of tracks in the snow a day or so old that were single elk by themselves and by the size of the tracks you could tell they were large size bulls.  I hunted long and hard all day getting in over 21,000 steps, 9.9 miles walked, and 43 flights climbed!  I'm truly feeling my 54 years!

I couldn't hunt today (Thursday) due to some other commitments but I will be back at it before shooting hours tomorrow morning (Friday) and Saturday.  If not successful I will take Sunday off (I don't hunt on Sundays plus after two days hunting I will need a day to re-boot) but I will be back at it Monday morning again bright and early.  Good luck to all and let me know if anyone in Dayton area has a hot lead on a big bull!

Side SAD note,  Like I mentioned above, I saw approximately 20 plus cow elk on Wednesday hunting.  They were all fat and healthy looking elk.  The sad part about all of this was that there were ZERO calves with the cows.  Not even one!!!  When the game biologist told me that the Dayton elk herd is 50% smaller then it was just two years ago, I can see why.  He told me that due to a few factors that we can all argue about here, they had just about zero calf survival rate and many of the cows that survived the last two winters aborted their calves or they died after birth due to the cows themselves being just about starved to death and not having the ability to nurse following two really bad winters.  I sure hope that this next winter is mild and the elk can recover and deal with the other factors including wolves, cougars, over harvesting of natives, and poaching.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: meathunter 4x4 on October 24, 2019, 07:20:07 PM
Have Been hunting Dayton unit for 12 years and it seems to be getting worse every year. Had the bull tag in there 4 years ago and it was a real struggle. Chasing spikes this year all year. If I run into something awesome I will defiantly let someone know I hunt hard will be putting on the miles for sure everyday. Hunted up there during rifle deer season and didnít see much but if you have a bull tag up there keep at it check everywhere you can lots of glassing and let me know if you need any insight. I will be camped up there all season and I know that area like the back of my hand. Good luck to all and smoke some slammers!!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: trophyhunt on October 24, 2019, 07:48:00 PM
Damn shame, from best herd in the state, to this in a very short time.  Complete failure !
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: one shot kill on October 24, 2019, 09:24:37 PM
And the zero calf crop which I have been seeing the last couple years, sure makes it hard to find a spike. One or two more years of miss management and those herds wonít be able to bounce back.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: MtnMuley on October 24, 2019, 10:34:42 PM
And the zero calf crop which I have been seeing the last couple years, sure makes it hard to find a spike. One or two more years of miss management and those herds wonít be able to bounce back.

Much like the NCW mule deer.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: huntnphool on October 24, 2019, 11:53:27 PM
And the zero calf crop which I have been seeing the last couple years, sure makes it hard to find a spike. One or two more years of miss management and those herds wonít be able to bounce back.

Much like the NCW mule deer.

+1
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Mr Mykiss on October 25, 2019, 04:35:35 AM
Youíve killed a half dozen big bulls in the Dayton unit in the last century...and none of those kill locations have elk/sign??
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: sjhgraysage on October 25, 2019, 09:38:44 AM
Dvolmer,
Hang in there.
In 2009 I had a tucannon bull tag and a similar weather scenario. First night of the hunt we got a dump of over a foot of snow. Didn't see any elk the next day in the waning snow storm (didn't see any the first day either). I ended up taking a 6x6 on the smallish side maybe 290 to 300 class on the evening of Saturday the first day of general elk season.
It only takes one bull to have it come together. Tomorrow morning with pressure elk will be moving.Be in prime bull spots glassing at daylight and also right before dark. Best of luck!  :tup:
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: BENCHLEG on October 30, 2019, 04:54:07 PM
I spied a Forest service green Blazer with a bull on the back. Great work dvolmer
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: elkchaser54 on October 30, 2019, 05:00:47 PM
I sure hope that rumor is true ! Go Dvolmer !
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: X-Force on October 30, 2019, 06:00:49 PM
I spied a Forest service green Blazer with a bull on the back. Great work dvolmer

 :tup:
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: LDennis24 on October 30, 2019, 06:34:07 PM
C'mon with the success thread!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on November 03, 2019, 03:32:10 PM
Itís coming. Iím still recovering!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: bowhunterforever on November 04, 2019, 02:15:42 PM
Well lets see it
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Birdguy on November 04, 2019, 08:11:20 PM
Itís coming. Iím still recovering!

Classic teaser!!! Congrats!!
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: Mr Mykiss on November 06, 2019, 05:24:10 AM
Holy smokes I just went back a read your first paragraph again...you been on 7, now 8 big bull hunts in that unit!!! This should be good...
.
.
.
eventually.
Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: GHETTO GUIDE on November 06, 2019, 12:32:45 PM
Inserts Jeopardy song here  ...

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Title: Re: Quality Dayton MF bull tag help
Post by: dvolmer on November 06, 2019, 03:06:48 PM
writing a separate thread for the story fellas