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Location: NW Minnesota
Joined: 09/23/2008
Posts: 2
1st time elk hunt with group of six units 23 24,12 any sugg.

bowhunter/ rifle hunter from minnesota but now its time to go for the big guys any ideas suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated. what to look for where to go also we are going the second rifle season. ty bud 56742

Bull Buster's picture
Location: Nebraska
Joined: 10/12/2007
Posts: 167
1st time elk hunt with group of six units 23 24,12 any sugg.

here is my .02. Be in the best physical shape you can be in. The moere you put into your hunt the better the chance of success. I have hunted elk in Colorado for 12 yrs and our camp has about an 83% success rate. We are willing to go to extremes to get our elk.

Also I think alot of guys disapoint themselves by setting their goals to high. If your not going to settle for anything less than a 330 inch bull you may be hanging your head at the end of the week. My goal every year is to see some wild elk sometime during that week. So far I have not come home disapointed and the years I actually filled my tag was a bonus.

You did mention that there were six in your group. I may suggest that you hunt in pairs. That way you have 4 eyes instead of 2 and you will find having another person with you will come in handy if you get one down.

Good Luck and Shoot Straight.

Location: NW Minnesota
Joined: 09/23/2008
Posts: 2
1st time elk hunt with group of six units 23 24,12 any sugg.

thank you for you advice on my first elk hunt. sounds like you guys also hunt hard. Im also looking for anybody with info on the area we are hunting. units 23, 24, and 12. I have checked out the land on google earth looks fun.

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
1st time elk hunt with group of six units 23 24,12 any sugg.

This will be my first time hunting in that unit. I have a cow tag (bull in first season units 3,4,5 etc), but will mostly be deer hunting during second season, so I won't give you my best spots, but I will give you some places to check out that I have scouted...
East of Vaughn Lake: Scenic and you can get waaaayyy back in there to some serious burns.
Skinny Fish Basin: Good early season if no snow.
Cyclone Park; Beautiful but you have to bust your butt
Wilson Mesa; once again, bust your butt and there will be a surprising amount of pressure and nowhere to park, but great sign and very huntable country.
I can go on, but since you know how to use Google Earth, you can take a lot of the guess work out. Also learn to identify old burns on the aerial photos, elk love them.

Other basics that I have repeated many times:
You must always factor in human psychology when hunting. Get a minimum of 1/2 mile from the roads. Do not hunt a terrain feature that is visble from the roads if less than 1 mile. 1 mile in elk country is tough!
Know some biology. Know your plants, learn how to identify what browsed vegetation looks like, know what plants are favored and what they look like without leaves.
Understand which of the three habitat components may be of limited supply and learn to exploit that. Food is usually a limiting factor when cover is abundant, so hunt food sources. When food is abundant, cover may not be, so hunt cover. Water may be limiting early in the season, but not likely during second season.
Understand how vegetation changes with aspect. South and west facing slopes are drier so the vegetation will be less heavily timbered, providing more food. Also warmer so hunt those after a snowfall. The brushy component is crucial after snow for elk and deer, although elk cope a little easier. North and east slopes are the places to be during a storm as the animals will be looking for cover to ride it out. You'll have to get in there and still hunt.
Have a good map with land ownership!
And good luck, I love to help and pass on what little I know. Most advice isn't specific enough for me and I wish it didn't take me so long to learn this much. (not that I'm old, still under 30)

Location: WA
Joined: 09/13/2007
Posts: 74
1st time elk hunt with group of six units 23 24,12 any sugg.

If you want to be a succsesfull elk hunter you must be willing to wake up at 2:45 AM hike in the dark 3 miles straight up hill and sweat your butt off then sit in the freezing cold while calling and locating the elk. You cant expect to get up at 5:00 hike in and get close to the elk. Most elk are heading up the ridge at 4:45 and you must time it perfect to catch the thermal's before they catch you! So get that flashlight and head out early. And if you are hunting the late season after the rut than you better be ready to hike you butt off for day's, up and down the ridge and, back up and down and, up and down again Brick Wall,) I like the late season but your best bet on getting an elk is durring the rut when you can bugle and locate the herd. Hunting in the late season is all about the spot and stalk method. Good Luck!!!

B.A.M.F's picture
Joined: 10/12/2008
Posts: 66
1st time elk hunt with group of six units 23 24,12 any sugg.

I have hunted up there and like the sleppy cat area and the 3 pionts mtn, and yellow jacket pass! Be ready to walk in after them and there has been a ton of hunters up there!

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