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Author Topic: Getting in close to the cows  (Read 777 times)

Offline simpleperson

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Getting in close to the cows
« on: June 18, 2019, 07:30:20 AM »
Hi! I've had some success at hunting deer, and now I've got the itch to get out there bowhunting cow elk.

I've been making trips to do some scouting, and, last weekend I got into a herd of ~100 elk. What a breathtaking sight! What surprised me is that the animals were making a ton of noise, bugling and mewing. I thought they would be doing that during the rut, but they were going crazy in June! It was a ton of fun, and amazing to observe.

I have so many questions, I'd figure I'd reach out and ask for help. One thing I should've expected is that when the animals are herded up like that, it only takes one to see/smell/hear you, and they take off. It was a perfect time to practice, so I got down and belly crawled. The closest I got was 65 yards. When trying to close the distance on a cow, with a lot of other elk around, with a lot of open ground, how do you close the distance without bumping them? Would cow calling attract cows? Are cows less cautious during the rut as well, or is that only the bulls?

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 08:02:57 AM »
THey are vocal all year long.    Thats part of the game getting past the alarm system.   Manage wind direction.   Scent will bust you 100% of the time, sound only about 5% of the time(youll notice they make alot of noise) and sight well, I suppose about ....%   Its about not triggering that flight response.   
Um, no.  They are not rut stupid.

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 08:13:12 AM »
Bull can be all worked up during the rut but the cows are still their normal self.  That bark gets them all MOVING.

I wouldn't count on any elk being less-cautious during the rut, just take advantage of bugling to learn where they are.  I mean obviously their behavior will change and become more curiuos and vocal but give a bull a reason to wise up and he will take it  ;)
ďKindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with too many facts.Ē

Offline Stein

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 09:16:28 AM »
I agree, cows are never less cautious.  Finding a big herd is fun, but very difficult to sneak up on as you noticed - many, many eyes and noses.

Cows can get curious and many people think the herd can tell the difference between an unknown cow sound (you or another animal) and ones in their herd.

I've had luck getting as close as I can and then making a variety of cow noises, breaking sticks, etc.  Sometimes one or more will wander over to see what is going on.

I'm not that good though, I would love to hear someone who knows what they are doing as it is easier for me to get a bull/spike to come over than a cow and the cow tags are so much easier to get.

Offline simpleperson

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2019, 06:12:06 PM »
Great feedback. It sounds like trying to spot and stalk will be better than calling. In general, do you prefer to try to find lone cows, or stick close to the herd?

It seemed like there might have been opportunities to coordinate and bump them towards me. Do folks use that strategy much?

Thanks again!

Offline Bullkllr

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 06:17:37 PM »
 Elk are considerably easier to hunt when they don't know they're being hunted. As soon as they know they're being hunted my chances drop to near zero. Lesson: do everything you can to prevent them from knowing their being hunted. Simple, but serious point. :twocents:
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 08:15:09 PM »
I have cow called in a lot of cows and have had a few come to the bugle. You can definitely call them in. Bone is right most of the time I get busted itís wind second is movement usually drawing my bow ha ha noise seems to help if youíre calling as long as its natural sounds breaking sticks etc

Offline nitroelk

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2019, 04:51:25 AM »
t seemed like there might have been opportunities to coordinate and bump them towards me. Do folks use that strategy much?

  "bumping" them into the way you want them to go is not very easy. once they know something's going on they are usually "outta here"

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2019, 05:22:04 AM »
THey are vocal all year long.    Thats part of the game getting past the alarm system.   Manage wind direction.   Scent will bust you 100% of the time, sound only about 5% of the time(youll notice they make alot of noise) and sight well, I suppose about ....%   Its about not triggering that flight response.   
Um, no.  They are not rut stupid.
That's 105% just doesn't add up

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Getting in close to the cows
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2019, 11:04:24 AM »
t seemed like there might have been opportunities to coordinate and bump them towards me. Do folks use that strategy much?

  "bumping" them into the way you want them to go is not very easy. once they know something's going on they are usually "outta here"

 :yeah: No on the bump strategy.  unless someone has a reason to "bump" them from Idaho to Canada or Montana!!  :chuckle:

 


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