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Author Topic: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between  (Read 826 times)

Offline WildcatRanger

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Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« on: May 22, 2020, 08:52:42 PM »
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.
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Offline CoyoteCowboy

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2020, 07:04:10 PM »
Hi there! Welcome to the forum! I would suggest signing up for Corey Jacobsonís Elk101 class online; a great crash course for beginning elk hunters. Would save you a few years of mistakes! Also, ElkNut app

Offline WildcatRanger

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2020, 08:05:48 PM »
Thank you, I have listened to probably no less than a few hundred hours of podcasts from Elk Talk, Randy Newberg, Nock On and others. Some great info. I probably will sign up for the Elk 101. At this point my  goal is simply finding elk and then I'll see how bad I screw it up :rolleyes:
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Offline NorseNW

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2020, 08:20:50 PM »
I did enjoy Elk 101.  I took lots of notes to refer back to it and found some things helpful.  Any knowledge gained is worth it in my opinion.  One thing I found at least from. my experience.  Elk 101 is based off of how Corey hunts in Colorado.  Not that there is anything wrong with that but the Cascades where I hunt are a different critter.  I've tried the thermals thing multiple times and found it does not work as advertised.  Funny thing was sometime this winter I watched a youtube episode where Corey and his brother were hunting Oregon I believe.  His remarks were mainly based around how much thicker the woods were and how trying to figure out the thermals did not work because the wind just did what it wants too!  My  :twocents:

Offline WildcatRanger

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 08:32:50 PM »
I lived and  worked for 10 years in the area Corey was raised- North Central Idaho, Clearwater County. It's thick and steep, not unlike west side WA. So you could see how the tough hunting shaped his knowledge and persistence.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 08:41:57 PM »
Welcome to HuntWA mister!  Since youíre new to the area, go there before season to scout  (end July into August) and find where the groups of cows are. Thatís where the bulls will be when their testosterone level rises, aka ďthe rutĒ. Come September, get to a place(s) where you can listen from afar (dusk till 10:00 pm or so). Hear bulls bugling, elk talking?  Thatís where they will be at the crack of dawn, right before they move to their bedding area. If you hear them during your nocturnal sits, you donít need to and shouldnít make an elk noise yourself...youíve already located your morning target. In the morn, hunt up into them (thermals) and keep them located by their chatter, again, no need to make any elk sounds. Dog em till they seem to slow, hang up...theyíve reached the motel. Now, get on their level and SIT and wait, watch, listen and smell. Oftentimes, you can get a shot at the herd bull moving through and around his cows doing a bed check. Nothing happening?  Throw out one or two MAX soft, whiney cow calls...be ready for an amorous sat bull to try and ďdateĒ you. The herd bull will oftentimes scream and chuckle back at you. Heís not coming to you, a cow, but calling you to him!  It takes 3-4 years to seriously get to know an elk area (travel patterns, escape routes, etc). Ok, Iím tired of typing :-). Swing over to WapitiTalk.com for some additional research, it canít hurt. Good luck in your fall endeavors, I hope you get the bug bad.
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Offline CoyoteCowboy

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 08:57:49 PM »
Agree with everything said. I hunt eastern WA and sometimes the pressure (predator, 2-leg, and 4-wheels) seems to trump typical elk behavior. Find the cows, then find the bulls for sure. And use your nose!

Offline Fullabull

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 09:24:37 PM »
If you don't hear elk before you start hiking, use location bugles. Don't wait till you get in a canyon or on a ridge. You can pass up elk everywhere if your not trying to locate them.

Offline WildcatRanger

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 09:54:11 PM »
Thanks guys, glad to be here, the support is awesome. WapitiTalk1 you shoot a Darton? How do you like it? Iím considering something a bit newer than my 1996 High Country. Slowly but surely getting back into hunting after a long hiatus.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2020, 08:53:12 AM »
Thanks guys, glad to be here, the support is awesome. WapitiTalk1 you shoot a Darton? How do you like it? Iím considering something a bit newer than my 1996 High Country. Slowly but surely getting back into hunting after a long hiatus.

WR, I love the Darton bows. Iíve owned them off and on for over 30 years. RJ
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Offline cb1989

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2020, 06:59:00 AM »
IMO theres no substitute for going and doing it. Can listen to podcasts all day but luckily you cant teach a guy to be a good hunter using the internet though a lot of guys make good money trying. Plus, once you finally have some success it's more satisfying to know you did it yourself and earned the knowledge. Least i think so. Success is meaningless to me unless it's earned.

Offline mburrows

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2020, 07:47:50 AM »
im no expert but steep north facing slopes away from pressure with some sort of water access is a pretty good bet for places to look for elk.

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2020, 08:10:53 AM »
3000 ft above or below you!   Big boys are 3/4 of the way down the steep canyon where brush is so high you canít se em til you get within 50 yards and swirling canyon winds allow them to smell you at 800 yards. 

Offline WildcatRanger

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2020, 10:21:21 AM »
IMO theres no substitute for going and doing it. Can listen to podcasts all day but luckily you cant teach a guy to be a good hunter using the internet though a lot of guys make good money trying. Plus, once you finally have some success it's more satisfying to know you did it yourself and earned the knowledge. Least i think so. Success is meaningless to me unless it's earned.
I don't think it has to be either or. Why not put in the hard work, get out there, plus listen to others who have been there done that? If there is endless knowledge to increase my success I'm going to take advantage of it. Hence the reason I'm on this site.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Offline WildcatRanger

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Re: Locating elk: Ridgetop vs Canyon or in between
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2020, 10:39:13 AM »
3000 ft above or below you!   Big boys are 3/4 of the way down the steep canyon where brush is so high you canít se em til you get within 50 yards and swirling canyon winds allow them to smell you at 800 yards.
So then what?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

 


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