Author Topic: Move areas or stay put working???  (Read 797 times)

Offline NorseNW

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Move areas or stay put working???
« on: September 15, 2019, 08:40:07 PM »
Only my third year hunting elk so I don't have high hopes by any means but it would at least be nice to see some animals.  Here is the basic scenario for the area I hunted so far:

2018 had a bull and cow come in while hunting this area (winded shifted and off they went)

August 2019 - scouted the large meadow attached to the timber I had the encounter with them the previous season.  Stumbled upon a herd bedded in the meadow at 3 p.m.  About 20 elk, 2 shooter bulls, 4 calves and the rest cows.

September 2019 - hunt first 3 days of the opener.  Some fresh sign in the area, covered about 25 miles via bike and hiking only elk seen were 5 cows running across the road at mach 50 while driving back to camp one evening.

September 2019 - took two days off hunting to refit camp and return to the same meadow area.  Hunted 3 more days.  Came across fresh bedding sign in a meadow one night - returned for first light the next morning hoping they would return.  No luck.  Moved around the area to other possible spots they may be (all back up spots were within 10-20 miles of the meadow I was hunting).  Promising areas but no fresh sign.

After giving the area essentially 6 days of hunting and not seeing anything I left and now I'm stuck doing day trips from the house.  One other factor - no elk were talking.  Didn't matter if I cow called or bugled.

Just curious what opinions are - decent idea to spend that much time due to the sign I was seeing?  Stupid and should have pulled out after how many days?  Trying to learn the ropes of this type of hunting.  I grew up whitetail hunting in Pennsylvania so not very common.  Can't seem to find a person or crew that is willing to help out with learning the ropes.  Did the Elk 101 university thing and that seemed helpful.  Try to read as much as I can about the techniques and get in the woods as much as possible to understand the terrain and try to learn the animals.

Sorry for the long post.  I appreciate any feedback you all may have for a mid-40's new elk hunter.

Offline ASienkiewich

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Re: Move areas or stay put working???
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 08:27:08 AM »
Honestly one of the biggest things I have learned over the years is to have as many “spots” as possible. If a herd has that many elk in it they will probably move fairly often to find more food, and might not return for a week or 2. So you have to be able to be flexible and try to find where they are at the moment (Fresh Sign). We used to have 1 main area we hunted for elk, but when they weren’t in there or we pushed them out or someone else was hunting it, we were kind of SOL. My info might not be so helpful for this year, but scout scout scout for upcoming seasons to have as many “spots” as you can! It will be a game changer! Good luck to you!

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Offline NorseNW

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Re: Move areas or stay put working???
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 04:25:00 PM »
Thank you ASienkiewich!  I kind of thought that might be a solution as well.  As I spread out looking for elk I was hunting and scouting for next year at the same time.  Not the most efficient way to get the job done but I was putting down miles and finding places.  As I hunt more I find more areas to add to the list to hit as I move around.  I appreciate the input very much!

Offline theleo

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Re: Move areas or stay put working???
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 09:55:37 AM »
It's always a huge risk to leave elk to find more elk, and the elk gods can be cruel to those that do it. That being said, I'm not one that will keep banging my head against the wall getting no where with animals that won't work with the strategies I have at hand. Being that you're only 3 years into this adventure, my suggestion would be keep at that area learning what the elk do this year and how they react to pressure. If you grew up fitting the stereo type of the east coast tree stand hunter you've actually got most of the knowledge you need to be successful elk hunting when the elk aren't talking. Find active wallows, identify how elk are accessing them, find the best spot to setup up on them with how the wind/thermals are acting, and wait till a legal animal comes in. It may not be the funnest way to hunt elk, but it can be effective when nothing is talking. 


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