Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bow Hunting => Topic started by: WildcatRanger on May 23, 2020, 11:31:04 AM

Title: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: WildcatRanger on May 23, 2020, 11:31:04 AM
I had this posted in the Elk section but I thought Iíd post it here instead.
New to the forum, I'm a greenhorn elk hunter. My goal is targeting north facing timbered slopes for September archery elk, south Cascades. I'm not quite sure how to approach it based on thermals and my lack of knowing how they work here.  Would I be better starting the morning locating elk from the creek/canyon bottoms assuming the thermals are downward in early morning? Then up high on a ridge in late morning? Or are these heavily timbered north slopes cool enough all day to draw a downward thermal? I'm assuming a lot of these elk hold mid-slope on the north facing timber. Thanks for any advice.
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: Crunchy on May 23, 2020, 11:48:32 AM
I wouldn't worry about thermals until after you have found the elk.  I would pick up high to start and cover ground until you find them.  Then get the wind/thermals right.  That said, elk are smart critters, and hunting them in heavy timber really doesn't give you much of an advantage starting above or below them necessarily.  I pick above because it is easier to go down hill then uphill once you find them.
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: Mfowl on May 23, 2020, 12:30:21 PM
You are not off base in your approach. But it is more important to find them first and then coordinate your plan of attack. Elk are where they want to be! If they are not pressured badly you might find them bedded in a clearcut on a S facing slope just the same. My best advice is don't commit to one certain thing you expect from the elk. They very likely will throw you a curve ball anyway. Good luck in your season and have fun out there!
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: WildcatRanger on May 23, 2020, 02:01:30 PM
Thanks guys, really appreciate your advice. I guess Iíll try to cover as much ground as possible until I find some action. One piece of advice I was told is donít be tied down to any particular place and be prepared to try different areas until you find elk. Seems smart.
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: Archry on May 23, 2020, 06:57:46 PM
Use  good Vantage points and glass. Good binos and a spotting scope go a long way.
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: Mfowl on May 23, 2020, 08:00:13 PM
Thanks guys, really appreciate your advice. I guess Iíll try to cover as much ground as possible until I find some action. One piece of advice I was told is donít be tied down to any particular place and be prepared to try different areas until you find elk. Seems smart.

That's good advice you were given! They can range widely with ease or vacate an area due to pressure or predators in an instant. When you do find them don't be afraid to be aggressive and get right after them. Opportunities can be hard to come by these days.
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: WildcatRanger on May 23, 2020, 08:07:29 PM
Just picked up a new 10x42 pair. This season can't come quick enough :tup:
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: WildcatRanger on May 23, 2020, 08:39:46 PM
Thanks guys, really appreciate your advice. I guess Iíll try to cover as much ground as possible until I find some action. One piece of advice I was told is donít be tied down to any particular place and be prepared to try different areas until you find elk. Seems smart.

That's good advice you were given! They can range widely with ease or vacate an area due to pressure or predators in an instant. When you do find them don't be afraid to be aggressive and get right after them. Opportunities can be hard to come by these days.
I see that success rates in the units I'm looking at are about 5-10%. But that seems to be the norm in WA. I'm just glad to live in a state with OTC tags and the health and ability to get after it.
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: coyotecrazy on May 23, 2020, 08:49:05 PM
If your able to scout the spots you have in mind, that helps a ton. Iím not sure if youíre after bulls or cows, but if you find fresh sign, donít be afraid to sit. Iíve gotten a few shots just sitting in the right place.
Title: Re: Finding elk in early archery
Post by: HAGEMANIAC on May 23, 2020, 09:07:50 PM
I wouldn't worry about thermals until after you have found the elk.  I would pick up high to start and cover ground until you find them.  Then get the wind/thermals right.  That said, elk are smart critters, and hunting them in heavy timber really doesn't give you much of an advantage starting above or below them necessarily.  I pick above because it is easier to go down hill then uphill once you find them.

I'd rather pack meat downhill  :chuckle: