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Author Topic: Help me out first time elk hunting west side  (Read 1185 times)

Offline Ajj828

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Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« on: June 10, 2018, 06:26:56 PM »
So this will be my first year ever elk hunting and I have bought lots of gear so I am prepared for it now. I will be hunting the lewis river 560 unit for general season which I hear is a complete war zone. I need some advice on where I should start my scouting. Not looking for spots my question is should I scout 3000-4000 feet in elevation to get into more of a sub alpine environment with less trees? Or should I stick to thicker woods in the 2000 feet elevation? I want to find the steepest hills to get away from other hunters if possible Iím just wondering if the thick stuff is even worth hunting because I want to be able to glass around for elk. I have been using onx maps and I have several areas I want to scout from 2000 feet of elevation to 4000. Also are elk areas open for general season hunting or only for permit holders? For example upper smith creek. Also Iím worried about getting stuck in the snow if I hunt at a higher elevation area. I have 4x4 but Iím just worried about road conditions.

Online Elkcollector82

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 07:30:28 PM »
Scout, scout and more scouting. Put some boots on the ground. Start now and by season you should have an idea on some areas that hold elk. You will find areas that get pressured more then others. I will say that if you find a herd in a drainage in September. Doesnít mean they will be there come late season. If your 4x4 isnít equipped for deep snow. Then stay low. Nothing will ruin a hunt more then it turning into a survival situation. That goes along with your gear. Mt Adams area is no joke come late season. Weather turns quick. Just try and be prepared for it. Scout a dozen different areas in that unit. That way you have back up plans for your back up plan. Good luck.

One other tip. Carry a shovel, axe or saw. Least a shovel and axe. Never know when a tree can fall across a road and block you in or a shovel to help you get unstuck in snow or mud. Something you might have over looked.

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 08:08:31 PM »
Manage expectations, the average success in that unit is like an elk every 13 years.  Its a big challenge.  As Shockey says, "The sense of accomplishment is directly proportional to the degree of difficulty."


Offline Ajj828

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 08:50:52 PM »
Scout, scout and more scouting. Put some boots on the ground. Start now and by season you should have an idea on some areas that hold elk. You will find areas that get pressured more then others. I will say that if you find a herd in a drainage in September. Doesnít mean they will be there come late season. If your 4x4 isnít equipped for deep snow. Then stay low. Nothing will ruin a hunt more then it turning into a survival situation. That goes along with your gear. Mt Adams area is no joke come late season. Weather turns quick. Just try and be prepared for it. Scout a dozen different areas in that unit. That way you have back up plans for your back up plan. Good luck.

One other tip. Carry a shovel, axe or saw. Least a shovel and axe. Never know when a tree can fall across a road and block you in or a shovel to help you get unstuck in snow or mud. Something you might have over looked.

Thanks for the advice I will start gathering some of those tools up for my truck before the season starts. Iím planning on scouting a lot next month just to get familiar with the land. I wonít be disappointed if I donít see any sign I am just checking out the landscape

Offline elksnout

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 09:23:47 PM »
Regarding what I consider to be the "Mt Adams" area of 560.....

In a normal November rifle elk season there will likely be snow. This area will ball up quickly down to 3000' elevation and lower. I would highly recommend you camp no higher than that or at least have a solid camp and a well equipped 4x4. Hope like hell you're not planning on going alone. I've done the deep snow and ice thing with an R.V too. That's even harder to get a snow bound camp out of there. Better is a wall tent camp or similar.

Good luck.

Elksnout


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Offline kball4

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 06:41:01 AM »
The elk in that unit are spread out and the timber is thick.  Look for the most recent clearcuts or meadows that are off the main roads a ways.  Most people that have sucess in that unit seem to have been hunting there for 10+ years and have figured the elk out.   I hunted that unit for 2 years and saw 2 cows.

Offline paultanninen

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 07:38:58 AM »
Elk areas are almost all special permit only, unless you are a master hunter, then you can hunt the Pumice Plains. I hunted the Lewis River unit last year muzzleloader season and it was the Normandy beaches all over again. I saw just a couple cows, but with the lava beds, it is definitely the coolest place to go. I saw a huge 5-point up there a few years ago and have seen a few nice 3-points and 4-points.  WARNING: elk hunting is like drugs, you try it once, you will be addicted for life.
You know your hunt went well when you had a shot that was unethical and you never took it, even if you never got your bull.

Elk: I live it, hunt it, and eat it

Offline Ajj828

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 07:46:21 AM »
Elk areas are almost all special permit only, unless you are a master hunter, then you can hunt the Pumice Plains. I hunted the Lewis River unit last year muzzleloader season and it was the Normandy beaches all over again. I saw just a couple cows, but with the lava beds, it is definitely the coolest place to go. I saw a huge 5-point up there a few years ago and have seen a few nice 3-points and 4-points.  WARNING: elk hunting is like drugs, you try it once, you will be addicted for life.

Is there a limit on how far up you can hunt the mountain? Iím planning on sticking around Mount Saint Helens but I am not sure if I can hunt all
The way to the base of the mountain. I havenít been up there before so I have no idea. Is it easy to find parking up there? Like are there lots of parking lots or will it mostly be road parking?

Offline paultanninen

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 08:30:32 AM »
you will hit the monument which you can not hunt and that is about the limit. you did say you use onx maps and that should have the boundaries of the monument. but if you hit just out of the monument you should run into elk. i live maybe a half hour drive away and we hunt up there quite a bit. if you hope to jump a bear as well try hunting Cinnamon Peak. parking is mostly just along the road and if you get far enough in to where it's more brush, you can lose the crowds that turn the southern part of the unit into Omaha Beach
You know your hunt went well when you had a shot that was unethical and you never took it, even if you never got your bull.

Elk: I live it, hunt it, and eat it

Offline dyhardhuntr

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2018, 09:31:47 AM »
You mentioned upper smith creek which is not a general tag and is a special permit only. Study the boundaries and compare to the game regs. Iíve hunted up and around the Lewis river for years and there are good spots and good bulls. Itís an extensive unit and Iíve seen elk all over it. Like others have said there are a lot of people but donít let that discourage you. Not everyone hunts the same. Scout as much as you can and then hunt. Are you planning on archery or modern?


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Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2018, 09:40:57 AM »
Bring the best rain gear money can buy.
I could care less about what anybody says..............

Offline jeffitz

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2018, 09:45:07 AM »
Not illegal to hunt the monument- thats one reason every hunter should oppose the idea of turning the monument into a park
If you're gonna be dumb,you gotta be tough.

Offline Ajj828

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2018, 08:32:42 PM »
Bring the best rain gear money can buy.
.

Iíve been using cabelas rain suede for deer  which works pretty good but it is a bit bulky. I recently picked up some kuiu gaiters to really keep my feet dry so hopefully everything goes well

Offline Ajj828

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2018, 08:34:30 PM »
You mentioned upper smith creek which is not a general tag and is a special permit only. Study the boundaries and compare to the game regs. Iíve hunted up and around the Lewis river for years and there are good spots and good bulls. Itís an extensive unit and Iíve seen elk all over it. Like others have said there are a lot of people but donít let that discourage you. Not everyone hunts the same. Scout as much as you can and then hunt. Are you planning on archery or modern?


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I will be hunting modern so I am expecting a ton of people. Iíd like to get away from them if possible. People have told me that scent will be all over and the elk will be hard to pattern

Offline Ajj828

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Re: Help me out first time elk hunting west side
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2018, 08:38:09 PM »
you will hit the monument which you can not hunt and that is about the limit. you did say you use onx maps and that should have the boundaries of the monument. but if you hit just out of the monument you should run into elk. i live maybe a half hour drive away and we hunt up there quite a bit. if you hope to jump a bear as well try hunting Cinnamon Peak. parking is mostly just along the road and if you get far enough in to where it's more brush, you can lose the crowds that turn the southern part of the unit into Omaha Beach

Iíve been looking around that area because it is a lower elevation which I like because I would hate to be stuck in the deep snow if I went towards the base of the mountain. Iím really liking the area around ape caves but Iím already expecting an Omaha Beach scene there lol. I live about an hour away from swift which is why I like that area. I really want to hike in because I donít enjoy road hunting at all

 

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