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Author Topic: I've had it with WA elk  (Read 4309 times)

Offline ljsommer

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2022, 01:00:03 PM »
Out of curiosity, how many people here agree that if you're going 1-2 years without being full draw on an elk that you're doing something wrong? From my limited understanding of elk in WA, (including the oft stated line of "it takes WA hunters 8 years on average to get their first elk") the vast majority of elk hunters do not harvest. I have a hard time believing that it's an easy adjustment to be full draw on elk year after year.

Offline mendozer

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2022, 01:22:32 PM »
Lots of great input, thanks!

1. i definitely don't put in the time i'd truly like to. If i didn't work long shifts in healthcare i'd take the whole damn 3 weeks out there!
2. I'm rather impatient by nature and you may not believe it from my posts but i love being out in the woods. Constantly being "on the hunt" is exciting. I just would, you know, like some elk haha. One year in my elk spot i ended gathering several pounds on Chanterelles because I had nothing else better to do.
3. Most of my prep is done with sat imagery and i know nothing beats getting eyes on the land, but honestly i don't even think i'd know the difference. To me it's all ridges, drainages, trees, clear cuts, rivers. I can't read an area like the real pros out there.
Maybe it's just impatient arrogance but I tend to excel at other hobbies and goals in life so I just expected the same LOL. I've been served up a big ole slice of humble pie from y'all. doesn't taste very good, but it'll do me some good i'm sure. I've got to start prepping earlier in the year. I usually do early season mainly but I took advantage of the long september days to paint my house section by section and it took me all month hence why I had to go last weekend. So it really was spur of the moment only going to the place I knew from last year

And actually i rushed out the saturday after black friday to Raging River Forest near where I live because I thought that's an opportunistic area of any elk/deer. Little did I know driving all over that all the gates were closed so i hiked in past the gate at 2:30, sun went down at 4:30. I rush out the house so didn't even have my nice canvas rain hat, toothbrush, or handgun. Ill-prepared. Then I said screw it and went home knowing it was all new area and I'd spend the rest of the 3 day weekend just learning stuff on foot. So all in all, I basically donated my license this year. I normally prep much more, just had too much going on around the house in summer and early fall

"play the violin" waaaa

Offline buckfvr

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2022, 01:28:02 PM »
Success has always been and always will be relative to effort (mostly).

Offline blackpowderhunter

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2022, 01:52:12 PM »
Lots of great input, thanks!

1. i definitely don't put in the time i'd truly like to. If i didn't work long shifts in healthcare i'd take the whole damn 3 weeks out there!
2. I'm rather impatient by nature and you may not believe it from my posts but i love being out in the woods. Constantly being "on the hunt" is exciting. I just would, you know, like some elk haha. One year in my elk spot i ended gathering several pounds on Chanterelles because I had nothing else better to do.
3. Most of my prep is done with sat imagery and i know nothing beats getting eyes on the land, but honestly i don't even think i'd know the difference. To me it's all ridges, drainages, trees, clear cuts, rivers. I can't read an area like the real pros out there.
Maybe it's just impatient arrogance but I tend to excel at other hobbies and goals in life so I just expected the same LOL. I've been served up a big ole slice of humble pie from y'all. doesn't taste very good, but it'll do me some good i'm sure. I've got to start prepping earlier in the year. I usually do early season mainly but I took advantage of the long september days to paint my house section by section and it took me all month hence why I had to go last weekend. So it really was spur of the moment only going to the place I knew from last year

And actually i rushed out the saturday after black friday to Raging River Forest near where I live because I thought that's an opportunistic area of any elk/deer. Little did I know driving all over that all the gates were closed so i hiked in past the gate at 2:30, sun went down at 4:30. I rush out the house so didn't even have my nice canvas rain hat, toothbrush, or handgun. Ill-prepared. Then I said screw it and went home knowing it was all new area and I'd spend the rest of the 3 day weekend just learning stuff on foot. So all in all, I basically donated my license this year. I normally prep much more, just had too much going on around the house in summer and early fall

"play the violin" waaaa
elk hunting is SO SO much different than any other hobby, weather that is golf, snowboarding, crocheting, or whatever else floats your boat.
from your post ill give you a piece of advice.
PICK ONE AREA AND LEARN IT.
spend your summer camping trips with your family/friends out there, go over on a free weekend just to get a lay of the land.
mark things on your onx so when you are e scouting from home you can put 2 and 2 together to understand what it all means.
Find elk sign at different points in the year to understand patterns.
Elk hunting is a lot of work, extremely frustrating, very humbling, and then rewarding (maybe).
If you don't enjoy the process to get to the success, you arent going to enjoy elk hunting.
slow down and enjoy it. 

Offline medic6

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2022, 01:54:30 PM »
I rate my elk season based on shot opportunity. I expect to have 1 or 2 great shot opportunities every year. That being said I have gone a year or two without shooting an elk, but I don’t go a season without drawing my bow on elk (typically).  12 days of hunting in the early season on the west side. Two years equals  24 days of hunting and u haven’t been close enough to draw your bow back, I stand by the “something needs to be addressed in your approach to elk hunting”.  Add the 15 day late season with no shot opportunity and I would change something.  Just me and how I look at it. 

For a bit of insight I find I do things that most don’t. Example during the season I never drive to the end of a road or drive into a cut.  If I hear a bugle it may take me 20 minutes to figure out where it is, where are they headed and where are they going to go when or if the wind changes.  I tend to hunt areas where I know the answers before hand and will often hike 40 minutes around to make sure my approach is what it needs to be.  I suspect that most hear a bugle and run right after it.  It helps to slow down and ask yourself why are there elk there and where did they come from or where are they going.  It really is difficult to hunt elk and be successful. Once u figure out the little things,  they do something unexpected and you find yourself throwing your bow at them.   I love it!


Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2022, 01:59:26 PM »
I wouldn't say its doing anything wrong. But sometimes it seems like alot of folks dont understand the actual sacrifice/commitment  that goes into this consistent success. Its far from easy. It takes dedication, commitment and TIME. That cannot be stated enough. Stats are stats and if you want to be part of the stat line you can. Alot of hunters hunt weekends, or maybe one week. The guys that kill consistently, do whatever it takes. They will schedule the entire early season, then late season,  they fight to get out in the woods every day possible. They have a life and responsibilities,  but they MAKE time to hunt. I was fortunate to get in the game early enough to plan my career, wife choice, kid arrival, friends, around elk hunting.  It seems crazy to some, but thats the reality of killing elk consistently, for sure in this state and arguably anywhere. If your not in that boat thats probably smart,  :chuckle: just keep expectations realistic to the parameters. 

Offline mendozer

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2022, 04:47:58 PM »
well put, above. If i was starting from scratch I'd do that, but I can't.

I'll have to just learn more and be fine with mediocre 1 in every 7 yr success.  :( I'll see what prep work I can do this next season. Meanwhile my buddy shows me his muzzy kills of blacktail up near bellingham which isn't even a good area. two years in a row. Shaking my head like "why do I make myself do the harder archery hunting?" lol

Offline Maybach Outdoors

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2022, 06:22:38 PM »
I wouldn't say its doing anything wrong. But sometimes it seems like alot of folks dont understand the actual sacrifice/commitment  that goes into this consistent success. Its far from easy. It takes dedication, commitment and TIME. That cannot be stated enough. Stats are stats and if you want to be part of the stat line you can. Alot of hunters hunt weekends, or maybe one week. The guys that kill consistently, do whatever it takes. They will schedule the entire early season, then late season,  they fight to get out in the woods every day possible. They have a life and responsibilities,  but they MAKE time to hunt. I was fortunate to get in the game early enough to plan my career, wife choice, kid arrival, friends, around elk hunting.  It seems crazy to some, but thats the reality of killing elk consistently, for sure in this state and arguably anywhere. If your not in that boat thats probably smart,  :chuckle: just keep expectations realistic to the parameters.

This man spitting facts. A lot of people don't understand how obsessed and committed you have to become to get it done in WA. I've had to reschedule a lot of planned events with buddies because I needed to go scout in a unit. Waking up at 2-3 am for 4 or 5 weekends to scout because I had a busy school schedule during the week. MAKE TIME. Simple as that.

Offline Falcon

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2022, 06:29:50 PM »
I wouldn't say its doing anything wrong. But sometimes it seems like alot of folks dont understand the actual sacrifice/commitment  that goes into this consistent success. Its far from easy. It takes dedication, commitment and TIME. That cannot be stated enough. Stats are stats and if you want to be part of the stat line you can. Alot of hunters hunt weekends, or maybe one week. The guys that kill consistently, do whatever it takes. They will schedule the entire early season, then late season,  they fight to get out in the woods every day possible. They have a life and responsibilities,  but they MAKE time to hunt. I was fortunate to get in the game early enough to plan my career, wife choice, kid arrival, friends, around elk hunting.  It seems crazy to some, but thats the reality of killing elk consistently, for sure in this state and arguably anywhere. If your not in that boat thats probably smart,  :chuckle: just keep expectations realistic to the parameters.


 :yeah:

BVH:    I think you nailed that with your comments.  I like to hunt elk elk, but have never considered myself to be a hardcore elk nut.  I killed a really good Roosevelt bull last sep on a permit hunt.  That doesn’t make me a great elk hunter.   I am an average elk hunter who drew a super premium bull tag hunting bull elk the last 5 days in sep with a rifle.   Pretty much an OIL tag.   I will continue to hunt in my own state.  At some point, and I think I’m there, I just want to spend time in the woods with my hunting partners and take it all in. :tup:
p
Cast all your anxiety upon him, for he cares for you.    1 Peter 5:7

Offline High Climber

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2022, 07:02:38 PM »

Being extremely committed is true no matter what state you are hunting unless you are hunting a premium unit on a special draw or have some insider info. I 100 percent agree that success is proportional to time spent in the field! More time=more encounters=more opportunities. Even once you have intimate knowledge of a unit and a good hunting foundation because things change from year to year.. pressure, logging, gates etc

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2022, 07:26:18 PM »
It's not any secret that some of the GMU's have gone from decent elk numbers to essentially nothing. So no matter how much time you put in if the elk are not there your certainly not going to harvest them.
The only man who never makes a mistake, is the man who never does anything!!
The further one goes into the wilderness, the greater the attraction of its lonely freedom.

Offline jason stevens

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2022, 07:54:33 PM »
Do yourself a favor an hunt harder even without buying a pass for timberlands. There are plenty of elk in wa. Once you figure that out you'll be successful. Going out of state is fine but like it was said if you don't wanna pay access fees then out of state is a waste. Learn the elk an learn how to call. It will change your life. Good luck in the upcoming season.

Offline kball4

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2022, 06:29:27 AM »
I had this realization 7 or 8 years ago and started hunting Idaho but now their tags all sell out on Dec 1st when you could wait until spring or summer to buy a tag.  I've been soaked to the bone in 8ft tall salal and blackberry bushes enough times to know that I'm done with western WA elk. I now only hunt WA elk if I draw a cow/bull permit in the east side.

Offline MeepDog

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2022, 08:20:29 AM »
If you have 2 people of equal skill, but one hunts 10 days and the other hunts 20 days, the one who hunts twice as much will have MORE than twice the chance of success. He accrues more knowledge to make better decisions.  :twocents:

Offline snake

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Re: I've had it with WA elk
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2022, 06:30:49 PM »
You don't have to be smart, but you need to be dedicated. To be a decent hunter it needs to be a lifestyle, year round hobby.  There is never an off season. Set trail cams, go for hikes, go scouting, read about elk, think about elk. Look for elk tracks, elk poop, rubs, sheds, live elk, you dont need to be a pro. I would be willing to bet that there are elk killed on OTC tags every year within 1 hour of your house.  You can do it, just depends what you want to spend your free time doing. 

 


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