The following is gathered information that works. I generally tell the person I am going to hunt with my plans well ahead of time.
Elk Hunting Plans
1. Before the season starts I am going to scout the area we will be hunting. Specifically, I am going to scout 4 days in the summer and a couple days in the fall.
When I scout:
a. I will pick a couple of different camping areas.
b. From there, I will mark the areas relevant to our hunt. Things like interesting places, landmarks, game signs/sightings/trails, glassing locations, water holes, rubs, and anything else relevant.
c. We want to get away from the crowd. Find the most remote areas. We want to hunt the isolated meadows, far from roads, horse trails, and easy backpacking areas.
d. If there are no high elevation snow storms or potential for storms, we need to go high. If there is nothing to drive the elk down to lower areas, they will stay high, especially the large bulls.
e. I will try to find places where 2-3 adjacent draws converge and peter out into a creek or river bottom.
2. We need to get there early the day before the hunt starts. That way we can set-up camp, get comfortable, and check out my pre-marked areas for hunting. a. We need to try and hunt the entire 4-5 days of the season. That way we have plenty of time to harvest successfully.
3. Opening morning we will leave camp in the dark and if necessary drive to a pre-determined area. From there we will walk to the first place we are going to hunt and get comfortable before the sun comes up.
When the sun comes up:
a. We will watch and listen for elk on the move. I may even bugle in order to locate any elk passing by.
b. Once we locate elk, we then have a couple of options:
i. We can immediately stalk them, using a cow call to try and lure them into us.
ii. We can watch where they go and bed down. Then still hunt them.
iii. We can ambush them either when they come back out before dark or the following morning.
4. If we see no movement and hear nothing fairly close, at midday we have a decision to make:
i. Stay and see what the evening brings
ii. Relocate to another place d. In the evening, if we see elk, we may want to get closer and get a shot or return in the morning and try again.
Submitted by Ryan Kettler
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