Over the years knowledge of elk hunting will be passed down from generation to generation, as well as through other hunters that you meet during your lifetime. There will be many different statements on techniques and tips, some of them are essential some of them aren’t very useful at all.
In today’s article we wanted to look at the 5 best tips that any elk hunter should take note of if they want to become more successful on the hunting ground.
Every elk hunters dream is to find a bull elk but many never manage to do this, and usually it’s through lack of knowledge that has them leaving the hunting field empty handed.
Perhaps our main advice to elk hunters is to get a grasp of the lay of the land. Many hunters tend to go in blind not really knowing what’s around each corner which can be a big mistake. Investing in some topographic maps will help you study the land, find flat spots and key areas that will help you gain advantage in the hunt for a bull elk.
Having a good knowledge of the land will also give you an idea of what’s around each corner, so you will never be surprised, always know what’s in front of you and it helps organisation and planning efforts tenfold.
If you think long and hard about this bit of advice you will realise just how important it is. When you are hunting you are putting your body under enormous pressure, whether that’s from the steep inclines, the miles you are covering each day or the heaving backpack that is weighing you down. Not only that but once you have bagged your prize for the day you then need to carry that 70 pound elk five miles or more back to the finish line.
You can see that elk hunting requires motivation, stamina and perseverance, so before any season starts you need to make sure that you are in good stead to content with all these elements, but also whatever the weather throws at you.
Think about swimming once or twice a week, running or jogging in your local park, anything that can help get your body into shape so that you have enough energy to keep up with the fast pace of elk hunting.
It’s no good heading out at 6am and then spending 6 hours of hunting to leave the forest at lunchtime empty handed. You need to do your research and find out the times where elk are more prominent. Usually heading out in the afternoon until the sun begins to set is the best time to set your targets on an elk.
Between 2pm and 4pm are prime times to get an elk, but also prepare yourself for sunset by taking a headlamp and torch out with you. Above all remember to take it slow, and glassing will also help get those elks close to your aim, and allow you to leave the hunting arena with your prize catch.
We can’t stress this enough, amateur hunters always get this wrong and they end up facing the wrong direction to the wind, which essentially will ruin the hunt for you. If you have your back to the wind your scent is going to be carried over to the elk group, and then this smell will spook them and they will make a bolt for it.
If you have to hike or walk an extra mile or two to get to an area with a downwind then just do that because in the long run you are going to have a much more successful experience by doing this. You may have already walked or hike 5 miles up a steep incline so another mile or two really isn’t going to hurt you.
With the wind hitting you face on your scent will be carried away from the elk and you will be able to get much closer to them.
Finally we wanted to touch on elk calling, and you don’t have to be first class at this but it does require constant practice and improvement to get it right, and for it to work. The key here is to keep things as simple as you can, so keep in mind cow calls, a location bugle and a challenge bugle. These three types of call are all efficient and will have you calling in elks from all across the hunting field.
If you have never called an elk before then it’s worth listening to veterans first and taking tips from them before you go in blind. If you don’t have those kinds of resources available then turn to the Internet as a great place for information, especially YouTube where you will be able to follow certain calling practices.
Strive for constant improvement in your calls and you will begin to notice how effective that they can be as you begin to master the art of elk calling.
Any time of hunting can be dangerous when rifles are involved so always make sure that you wear hunter orange when you are glassing and slow moving through thick or dense areas of the woodlands. This will be spotted by other hunters around the area and it will avoid any serious accidents that can easily occur because of hunters not being able to spot other hunters.
Using these five tips we have provided will also help you become a more efficient and improved elk hunter, so next time you head out on the hunt take all of these tips into account and you will instantly notice that your elk hunting experience becomes a lot more positive than it did before.
Stay safe, and have fun!