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The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

September 2004 Feature Article:

The Art of Hunting Cow Elk

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

I like the article. This year I got my first elk - a cow. And I'm elated. In Idaho this year they opened up an early antlerless season - starting Aug. 1. The bluebird hot summer by day and the full moon at night opening week made it a difficult hunt. The elk came out only at the last moments of light. It was a fantastic intro to elk hunting. The cows are stealthy enough as is to be a trophy.

In a way a similar article could be written about antlerless deer hunts - fabulous way to enter the sport.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

When I first started elk hunting I had no success the first four years chasing bulls. If thats what you want to call it, I didn't see a bull those first four years. So I decided to get a cow tag. I tagged a cow on the second day of the hunt and I was one happy camper. (No pun intended) I might as well have shot a 350 inch 6x6 because I was that excited. Since then my confidence has grown and I have taken at least one elk every year since and some years two.

Congrats on your first elk Serious.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

Dear Rather be ... thanks for the congrats. I sent company the embellished article of my episode ... perhaps they'll publish.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

Dear Rather be ... thanks for the congrats. I sent company the embellished article of my episode ... perhaps they'll publish.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

Good article and includes a number of very good points. On the other hand, I have to say that it sounds like it was written by an outfitter who spends most of his time on private land or limited-hunt areas. When he says that you should have no problem finding a cow within a couple of hundred yards of a jeep trail, and that if you're any kind of hunter you'll see 5 or 6 herds during your hunt, my response is WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU HUNTING!!??!!

These statements are most certainly NOT true in the public lands areas that I hunt in Colorado. Maybe I'm going to the wrong place, but if I stayed within a couple hundred yards of the road I would probably never even SEE an elk--cow or otherwise--let alone get a shot. And as for how many herds I see, if I actually see a herd that's within stalking, let alone shooting, range during a week of hunting I count myself lucky. The elk I've actually taken have always been in groups of twos and threes--not what I'd call a "herd."

But, beyond these comments, I still think this is a well-written article and certainly has good information for any elk hunter.

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Location: Colorado
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The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

Donmillion, not sure where the author of this article was hunting, but I do know that the northwest corner of Colorado has an abundance of elk. Like the article stated, the late seasons (the later the better) are especially good. We see many more elk than deer throughout the late fall & winter months - and yes, multiple herds, both on private & public land.

Where do you hunt elk?

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Location: Colorado
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Posts: 394
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

Well, I've been hunting the SW corner of the state. I've also done some hunting in the North-Central portion. I guess I need to check out the NW corner if it's normal to see 5-6 herds within 200 yards of the roads up there on public land!

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)
donmillion wrote:
Good article and includes a number of very good points. On the other hand, I have to say that it sounds like it was written by an outfitter who spends most of his time on private land or limited-hunt areas. When he says that you should have no problem finding a cow within a couple of hundred yards of a jeep trail, and that if you're any kind of hunter you'll see 5 or 6 herds during your hunt, my response is WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU HUNTING!!??!!

These statements are most certainly NOT true in the public lands areas that I hunt in Colorado. Maybe I'm going to the wrong place, but if I stayed within a couple hundred yards of the road I would probably never even SEE an elk--cow or otherwise--let alone get a shot. And as for how many herds I see, if I actually see a herd that's within stalking, let alone shooting, range during a week of hunting I count myself lucky. The elk I've actually taken have always been in groups of twos and threes--not what I'd call a "herd."

I have to agree with you on this Don and while I was reading the article the very same thoughts you had crossed my mind. Certainly there are areas both in early and late seasons (late season is definitely better) that hold great numbers of elk and the author is correct. However to write an article and make a blanket statement that everyone everywhere should have this kind of success does suggest that the author hasn't hunted anything but "premium" elk country.

I for one have hunted both worlds and your abilities as a hunter sometimes has nothing to do with how many elk or elk herds you see. I've been on 2 cow hunts on public, heavily hunted land and never saw hair the whole trip after hiking my keester off for days. On the other hand I've been on cow hunts in better areas (harder to get a tag in these areas just like the bull tags in Utah) where we saw a herd once every hour or two.

But I think on the majority of public elk ground you definitely will not see cows a few hundred yards from a jeep road. You usually hike your tail off and see a small group once or twice a day.

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Location: Colorado
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The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

Not seeing any elk is no reflection on a hunter's abilities. However doing your homework beforehand and scouting specific areas can help tremendously. Some areas simply do not have large numbers/herds of elk. This northwest corner of Colorado has a large population. Mid-winter we have more dead elk than deer along the highways.

If anyone is interested in info I would recommend contacting the Craig Chamber of Commerce, they have a sportsman's info center as part of the chamber.
http://www.craigchamber.com/hunting_info.html

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
The Art of Hunting Cow Elk (Feature Article)

Cowgal you are absolutely right however in places like Utah you have to draw 100% of rifle cow tags. Meaning only so many people get the "premium" tags and the rest are forced to hunt heavily hunted land with low elk density. You can scout your guts out in these areas and the elk can very simply move on by the time the hunt rolls around. I can at anytime go to the right area and see elk everywhere but good luck getting those tags every year.

I'm not trying to start a debate with you, I just think that to if Joe hunter goes on the average elk hunt he shouldn't expect to see what the author of the article described.

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