collapse

Advertisement


Author Topic: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies  (Read 2143 times)

Offline Aginor

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Tracker
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2020
  • Posts: 63
  • Location: Kitsap County
  • https://caltopo.com/m/B201
Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« on: September 16, 2020, 11:10:27 AM »
Iím a first time elk hunter heading out to the northern coastal units. My scouting trips have revealed that there are few places to ďget high and glassĒ and even fewer places to glass into due to how thick the forests are. So seeing as how I canít let my eyes do the walking, the only two options I can think of are finding a clear cut and staying there all day (yuck) or bushwacking the Olympics until I can find some sign and track them (yikes). Iím leaning towards the latter and maybe following river beds to avoid the thicker stuff, but Iíd appreciate some advice from Olympic elk hunting veterans on the best strategies. For reference, Iíll be using a rifle and backpacking in for the full General season. Iíve spent 180 days camping in the past three years, so Iíve seen it all weather wise.

Offline rainshadow1

  • RainShadow Game Calls & Custom Knives
  • Business Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2007
  • Posts: 2459
  • Location: Selah, WA - Sequim, WA
  • Custom Calls and Knives
    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/RainShadow-Game-Calls-Custom-Knives/133406026689512?ref=hl
    • RainShadow Game Calls & Custom Knives
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 11:46:50 AM »
Haven't hunted there for a long time, but last I tried it (Archery, on the Hoh) the typical MO was, "Drive, and Run!"

I know some guys who do well on big rosie bulls bushwhacking where life isn't fit for man nor beast... but they're crazy!
- - Steve
View and Purchase/Order Custom Calls!
Cougar Hunters!!! Check out Calling Products and Call-In Stories!
View the Blade Gallery, & Purchase/Order a Custom Knife!
 www.rain-shadow.com

RainShadow Game Calls & Custom Knives on Facebook

Offline JimmyHoffa

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Sep 2010
  • Posts: 12409
  • Location: 150 Years Too Late
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 01:44:14 PM »
Only known a few people that could catch up to them in the forest.  Most get to know a general route and trails. When they find tracks, they start leap frogging up to different points on the trails until they are ahead of the elk and then wait or stalk. The guys that get a lot hunt in groups and can all compare intel and readjust each day--tough for the solo hunters.

Offline Aginor

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Tracker
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2020
  • Posts: 63
  • Location: Kitsap County
  • https://caltopo.com/m/B201
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 02:00:35 PM »
Interesting idea... so say I find some fresh track closer to the park, I would go back out to the road and head in the direction of the tracks, then jump back in and try to find more sign? If thatís the best way to hunt them, then a group would definitely be helpful

Online Jpmiller

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Posts: 2744
  • Location: Wilkeson
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 02:12:18 PM »
It's been a long time since I've hunted there but my main take away from the few times I tried is that somehow a huge elk can run through brush and brambles I can't. Tracking them and catching them would be a challenge.

Offline deerhunter_98520

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 8715
  • Location: aberdeen, wa
  • Chief Executive Head Anarchist of YKWTSASFFRO
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 08:36:59 PM »
If you think its too thick the elk are in there. Best bet is just start wearing out your boots. On x maps is your friend. Track your routes, mark rubs, wallows, bedding areas, etc. You'll start seeing a pattern if you hit the area enough  :tup:
Official hunt-wa bigfoot field researcher!

Offline CascadeCruiser

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2019
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: Eastside
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 10:05:00 PM »
Not sure where youíre planning on going but a lot of the ground is very rocky so pitching a tent that requires stakes for structure can be a real problem. Just got back from 6 days in 615. Saw one bull the night before opener. Theyíre quiet but there is a lot of sign. Good luck.

Online Humptulips

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 5719
  • Location: Humptulips
    • Washington State Trappers Association
  • Groups: WSTA, NTA, FTA, OTA, WWC, WFW, NRA
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 01:04:58 AM »
I hope this doesn't sound like bragging but just putting my credentials out if you will. Here goes.
I have a little more then 50 years elk hunting, all on the west side of the OP. I can't say I get an elk every year but most.
The standard way we always used to hunt was to find elk tracks. Yes, we looked over clearcuts and I have gotten elk by spotting them in a clearcut but mostly we would find tracks and track them down.
A few things to consider when tracking. Never leave the track to try and short cut across where you think the elk are going because  often as not you will be wrong and you will make a time consuming lose.
The hardest tracking is when you are catching the elk. When they are jumped and running anyone can track them. Not so easy when they slow down. They slow down to feed and they eat brush so that is where you usually catch them. Keep that in mind when tracking and keep your eyes peeled. Listen a lot. Often you will hear them before you see them. I always feel their droppings. If they have any warmth they are close.
In the past when you jumped a herd they often would not go far before they stopped. things have changed in the last 20 years and elk go farther when jumped so I would say jumping them late in the day is tough but it gives you an idea where to go the next day.
All this worked well when there was timber to hunt in. I'm getting stove up and the steep hills are hard for me now so I have to stick to flatter ground which typically runs to doghair. Chasing them in that is not very effective. I end up still looking for tracks and trying to make an educated guess on their direction. Then try and waylay them where I think they might cross some opener ground. I find this to be a crapshoot but it is about all you can do because if you chase them in the doghair even if you catch them you rarely see them.
I think sitting in one spot and waiting for the elk to walk by is a poor plan especially if you have any get up and go. If you can't get around good there is some logic to it but it takes a lot of scouting because there are not many spots will it will work consistently.
OK, theres my  :twocents: If you use it or not, good luck. We all could use a little.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline HntnFsh

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 3841
  • Location: Toledo
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 05:55:25 AM »
Great advice Humptulips. Ive harvested many elk and missed many opportunities doing exactly as you described. A lot of those missed opportunities was because i lost focus when I was closer than I expected to be.

Offline Aginor

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Tracker
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2020
  • Posts: 63
  • Location: Kitsap County
  • https://caltopo.com/m/B201
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2020, 08:13:14 AM »
Wow, thanks, everyone for the great advice. I was looking at 615 in particular. I use a hammock though, so no worries on the tent.

What Iím getting out of this is that I should go with finding a trail and following it. Any advice on where they like to travel to help me pick up a trail? I often see tracks on riverbanks, but anywhere else in particular like gullies, ridges, benches, etc?

Offline WapitiTalk1

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 5396
  • Location: The Evergreen State
  • Groups: RMEF, NRA, US Army (R)
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 08:38:07 AM »
Good luck on your hunt mister!  Itís been a long time since I hunted the peninsula but what I do remember vividly is the weather.  Iíve done the bivy style hunts there and after a few years of shivering away at night and waking up to wet, cold clothes and boots. I changed to more of a base style camp with a way to warm up and dry clothes/boots at night. It makes a world of difference in your mental outlook/motivation to get after emí each and every day. It stands to reason, quality rain gear top/bottom is essential. Again, good luck on your hunt sir.
Darton Archery Maverick II
Traditions Vortek StrikeFire Smoke Pole
Weatherby VG-2 Boomstick
"Poking at a campfire with a stick is one of life's great satisfactions." Patrick F. McManus

Online Humptulips

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 5719
  • Location: Humptulips
    • Washington State Trappers Association
  • Groups: WSTA, NTA, FTA, OTA, WWC, WFW, NRA
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2020, 11:02:04 AM »
Wow, thanks, everyone for the great advice. I was looking at 615 in particular. I use a hammock though, so no worries on the tent.

What Iím getting out of this is that I should go with finding a trail and following it. Any advice on where they like to travel to help me pick up a trail? I often see tracks on riverbanks, but anywhere else in particular like gullies, ridges, benches, etc?
Go where the elk have been. If you see old sign eventually they will be back. Anyplace where there is a lot of browse is a candidate to look over. Cover some country, don't get too wrapped up in one spot because you see some sign though. It's a big country and the elk aren't in a lot of it so burn some shoe leather. I'm not much for road hunting as in where you can drive but there is nothing wrong with walking a road if there is no traffic on it. The point being you can wear yourself out dipping a canyon or walk around the canyon on an old road and probably get a good idea if there are elk around.
If there is good feed the elk will frequent it so let that be your guide. That being said weather and terrain are huge factors when tracking. It is much easier to track elk on steep ground and flat ground can be difficult. If there is a downpour all day or days it can become impossible so maybe you have to modify things as you go. Still look for tracks but maybe you can't follow them but it can give you an idea of direction.
I'm always hoping for nice weather but not too much. A little rain every third day would be perfect but the rain gods seldom listen to me.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Alchase

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Posts: 15725
  • Location: Tinker AFB, OK
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 11:49:11 AM »
I will add, when you think you are getting close to the elk in think cover, give a low cow or calf call every once in awhile. The other cows may answer you and give you their direction. I will always hear and smell them before you see them in thick cover.
If lucky they may think your are another cow, until you can get close enough.
I never had a single instance of a bull call working in the thick stuff on the OP. Every time they quietly exited the area after a bull call.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Bullkllr

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2007
  • Posts: 3610
  • Location: Graham
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2020, 12:40:40 PM »
Good luck on your hunt mister!  Itís been a long time since I hunted the peninsula but what I do remember vividly is the weather.  Iíve done the bivy style hunts there and after a few years of shivering away at night and waking up to wet, cold clothes and boots. I changed to more of a base style camp with a way to warm up and dry clothes/boots at night. It makes a world of difference in your mental outlook/motivation to get after emí each and every day. It stands to reason, quality rain gear top/bottom is essential. Again, good luck on your hunt sir.

 :yeah:

The advice here cannot be overstated. Staying comfortable enough to stay motivated to chase elk for two weeks is tough. Choosing a base camp up to and including a motel would not be "wimping out". Unless you have a roadless or backcountry spot already figured out you may find day hunts from a vehicle not much different in terms of getting into elk. We use to do late archery hunts going in 10+ miles- and back out again. Days are short, nights are long.
"yoogle that on your google"

Offline deerhunter_98520

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 8715
  • Location: aberdeen, wa
  • Chief Executive Head Anarchist of YKWTSASFFRO
Re: Olympic Peninsula Hunting Strategies
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2020, 10:12:53 AM »
Humtulips gives sound advice of a veteran peninsula  hunter  :tup:
Official hunt-wa bigfoot field researcher!

 


* Advertisement

* Recent Topics

Which shooting sticks? by Humptulips
[Today at 10:08:48 PM]


The wait begins by jasnt
[Today at 10:06:32 PM]


Chewuch Quality Deer by BLR 243
[Today at 09:59:25 PM]


Jim Shockey's GOLD!!! To All The Haters..... by Karl Blanchard
[Today at 09:57:54 PM]


Hunting Moose In Washington - Strategy by jrebel
[Today at 09:56:01 PM]


2020 Coyotes by Thermal Predator Control
[Today at 09:53:00 PM]


Wenaha West Help by Magnum_Willys
[Today at 09:51:13 PM]


How much does/did he weigh by Karl Blanchard
[Today at 09:49:05 PM]


To many cats by dmoua
[Today at 09:41:12 PM]


Goal Zero Yeti 400 generator by bornhunter
[Today at 09:40:49 PM]


Done in the 272 by jrebel
[Today at 09:38:44 PM]


WTB Stoeger M3500 - 28Ē camo by buglebuster
[Today at 09:22:55 PM]


RL23 and range reports by 7mmfan
[Today at 09:06:32 PM]


2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread by fishnfur
[Today at 09:05:19 PM]


hopeful by fishnfur
[Today at 09:01:44 PM]


Gray Wolf Delisting in the Lower 48 by Taco280AI
[Today at 08:59:09 PM]


FOR SALE: SPINNING LURES by Tiger1358
[Today at 08:57:54 PM]


Wtb: 18-20" ar15 barrel, 5.56, .223 wylde etc. by syoungs
[Today at 08:53:57 PM]


AS THEY LAY 2020 by fishnfur
[Today at 08:52:43 PM]


Kids need binoculars or a range finder? by lokidog
[Today at 08:50:41 PM]