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Author Topic: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...  (Read 2981 times)

Offline theleo

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2020, 01:28:19 PM »
I hover around %50. Change the area, depending on the terrain you put me in, and that'd go down some. If you really wanted to see it plummet though, just remove my access to stock. My success usually has to do with getting away from roads and foot traffic, then cover a ton of ground to find elk willing to play.

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2020, 02:04:22 PM »
Iíve got one each year the last 5 or 6 here in Washington.  One nice bull and the rest raghorns.  I think the number one key is effort.  Donít sleep in, donít be lazy and be persistent. Some years itís the first or second day and some it is tenth. 

One other thing that has really helped is learning how to seal the deal when the chance comes. Itís often unexpected and you have a second or two (literally) to get a good shot off.  Sometime itís more obviously but often it isnít.
agree, especially when you said on what day it can happen.  My biggest bull was on the last day, hunting partner already had our wall tent and everything packed up when I got back from my half day/ last day hunt.  One last cow call at 12:30 after eating lunch on the mountain and the woods blew up with elk, boom!  Hunt till the last minute, always!
ďIn common withĒ..... not so much!!

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2020, 05:29:21 PM »
I donít belong in the elk master Slayer category but over last 20 years I had 5 or 6 years straight punching my tag then started getting one every other year or 1 out of 3 years and last 4 years 100 percent again and a 2 of those years with multiple elk taken in same year. This year I havenít even gone out yet  :chuckle:.So I have had really consistent success, mediocre or periodic success and for me a run of great success. Looking back at the difference for me success has been tied all to effort and location especially just knowing where the elk are and actually hunting hard. I have had success with rifle, bow, muzzle so not sure weapon is a big factor. As far as calling great callers can make things happen when most people canít. I used to hunt with a guy who went I think 35 years straight killing an elk with his bow. He could get elk in when most people canít. I still donít think calling is that important because I have been out there on ďthatĒ day where I swore I could have farted and had a bull come screaming in.  :chuckle: itís knowing your hunting spots and effort for me which a big part of is time in the woods you hunt. I have gotten some of my best animals in a spot with low annual success thatís actually pretty crowded but I know it like the back of my hand. Also the elk slayers I know that have decades of filling tags hunt elk and then maybe deer hunt after they get an elk. Itís all about elk for them I actually enjoy hunting predators and deer too much to become part of that club. Good post Iím interested to see what others think are the keys to success

Offline Humptulips

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2020, 06:23:57 PM »
I went out in the garage and counted 32 sets of horns in exactly 50 years hunting. I killed one cow in that time too and all of them came from a circle  with a radius of about 15 miles from my house so I think that plays into the "know your country".
It took  me 6 years before I killed my first elk so I do believe there is a learning curve to it.
I hunted hard all season. I can think of several killed on the last day. One literally at the last minute of light, the last day.
I would be lost if I changed method or location I think.
When I was younger I could not always take time off work to hunt and that made it tough. Once I got out of only being able to hunt weekends my luck improved so time, persistence, knowledge are key IMO.
One thing that may play into things, I trapped that area also so I would see elk during trapping season and I always had another place in my head to go if a place fizzled.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline RClare1223

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2020, 07:31:28 PM »
It took me quite a few years to kill my first bull. Since then i have killed 7 in the last 9 years and guided my wife to her first last year. I have killed them in several gmus on the westside and one eastside bull. Some have been called in and some were just being in the right place at the right time. All of them have come down to spending time in the off season scouting and spending as much time as possible in the woods during the season. This year i have a gimme tag so im pretty sure ill be 8 for the last 10 years!

Offline dewandgin

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2020, 08:22:50 PM »
I am by no means a master of this by any estimate but have killed 37 elk in Washington since 1987 when I moved here from WY. I know that is more than the years available but my dad is a disabled hunter and I have a couple other friends that are also disabled hunters and have shot their elk for them where legal. I hunt from before sun up until after sun down every day of the season that is available to me. These have been in multiple different units on the westside with modern firearm. Couple of Toutle bull tags, Margret Bull tags and numerous cow tags. I like elk meat and if it is legal I am not a horn hunter by any means. Learning a new unit is exciting to me.

Offline Matth

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2020, 08:42:09 AM »
I am by no means a master of this by any estimate but have killed 37 elk in Washington since 1987 when I moved here from WY. I know that is more than the years available but my dad is a disabled hunter and I have a couple other friends that are also disabled hunters and have shot their elk for them where legal. I hunt from before sun up until after sun down every day of the season that is available to me. These have been in multiple different units on the westside with modern firearm. Couple of Toutle bull tags, Margret Bull tags and numerous cow tags. I like elk meat and if it is legal I am not a horn hunter by any means. Learning a new unit is exciting to me.

This seems reasonable to me. maximum effort, even in a new area usually prevails.

Offline luvmystang67

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2020, 10:09:44 AM »
These are some really great replies.

If I were to summarize from what I've gleaned from this (and I've experienced some of this myself):

1) Know your area.  Scout it, hunt it, go back year after year.  Find where the elk go and hunt there.  Avoid hunting where they're not and go to where they are.

2) Persistence... hunt hard.  Especially if you don't know your area.

3) Elk hunting isn't a sure bet, even for the people who get one every year.  Those that do spend a lot of time scouting, hunting and running hills.  Even with this, it doesn't sound like people are ever CONFIDENT they'll get a bull every year.  They put together a string of successes, but if you had asked them 10 years ago that they'd go 9/10 or 10/10 they'd probably have not necessarily predicted it. 

Keep the comments coming, I find this very interesting.

I guess my follow-up would be, how long did it take you to learn your area?  We are all always learning, but how many years into hunting an area did you kind of stop the exploring and settle into your "spots"?


Offline Henrydog

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2020, 10:15:10 AM »
A buddy of mine has shot 8 elk in the last 10 years all OTC.  A couple of things I have noticed 1) there is elk there 2) he hunts everyday and scouts weeks ahead of time 3) He is there at o' dark 30 and stays until the other o'dark 30

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2020, 12:22:17 PM »
Thinking more on this, I do know of 2 guys that do/did go long streaks at 100%. I think both guys were also done on opening morning. One guy was a rifle hunter and would hunt timber company and dnr he'd walk to from his house. Would shoot first legal bull. The other guy was archery and a logger. He'd hunt down the road from his place~2miles. He was only interested in big bulls. Had a ton of big racks in his shop.  Both guys were just always in the woods, watching elk year round. The one guy would keep track of certain elk since they were calves.

Offline luvmystang67

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2020, 02:31:15 PM »
What I'm beginning to understand is that the idea of using June, July and August to ensure my wife is happy before I leave for all of September is not a winning elk strategy.

Also, trying to conserve vacation days and doing add-ons to weekend warrior sprints is probably also not a winning strategy.

Changing locations every couple of years... probably doesn't help either.

I think I've identified the core issue... marriage.

Offline Reidus

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2020, 04:49:30 PM »
Some people are just lucky and shoot one or 2 every year.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2020, 06:00:33 PM »
What I'm beginning to understand is that the idea of using June, July and August to ensure my wife is happy before I leave for all of September is not a winning elk strategy.

Also, trying to conserve vacation days and doing add-ons to weekend warrior sprints is probably also not a winning strategy.

Changing locations every couple of years... probably doesn't help either.

I think I've identified the core issue... marriage.

Ding ding ding! Just kidding. My wife supports my hunting, but I do like you and spend most of July August with the family and bank those brownie points. I've killed elk 4 of the last 5 years, but much of that I attribute to crazy good luck.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline Bango skank

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2020, 06:22:31 PM »
Some people are just lucky and shoot one or 2 every year.

Thats not just lucky.

Offline TheHunt

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Re: Who gets an OTC bull every 1-2 years? Any state...
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2020, 08:40:04 PM »
I am over 50% with OTC bull and a few WDFW draws this is all archery.   
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