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Joined: 08/18/2009
Posts: 5
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk

I've hunted whitetail in the midwest on and off my whole life. I moved to Utah last year, and am on my first archery Elk Hunt here in Northern Utah. I went out opening day and saw some good signs in the morning. In the afternoon and evening I saw next to nothing. My question is would it better to position myself in the afternoons up above glassing for movement and strictly looking for elk, or to position myself over water holes, areas where elk tracks, scat are etc in afternoon and evening? I want to hunt efficiently as this is my first time; any feedback would be much appreciated.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk

What general area are you hunting?

In my opinion the best way to find these elk on public ground with a general tag is getting the best vantage points you can find with a good spotting scope and glassing your till your eyes pop out at first light and last light. The more country you can see the better. Middays should be spent looking for sign and stalking very slowly in the timber. Also you want to stay FAR away from roads.

I too went elk hunting this past weekend and although I did see one elk within a mile of the trailhead ( a nice bull too at 50 yds but he winded us before we could a pin on him) all the rest were at least 2 miles in.

They weren't responding to any calling yet either so that makes it a bit touogher as well. As we get closer to September that will also help you as well. Do you have any elk calls?

The elk are so scattered on general hunts here in Utah sitting water holes can be real hit or miss. Sometimes you get lucky but for the most part the more country you can glass the better off you'll be.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3894
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk

I agree you need to get high and glass and then glass some more. Once you find a couple then you can decide on how to hunt him. As far as sitting on a water hole unless you see a lot of sign around one I wouldn't waist my time on one. I have seen elk drink water out of a mud puddle in the middle of a dirt road.

I'm a little bit different than rather_be_huntin is as far a mid-day is concerned. I have spotted a lot of elk laying down in the shade of an aspen or some oak brush during this time and have gotten quite close to them while they are chewing on their cud. You just have to be careful while doing this since you may end up in the middle of a herd and not see the one that you spook.

Also most calls that you hear right now are going to be other hunters. It needs to cool off a little bit more to get them talking.

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Joined: 08/18/2009
Posts: 5
Response:

Thanks for the responses. I'm up above the Echo area, south of Evanston. We do have a 'hoochie mama' cow call. I imagine a bugle call wouldn't do much right now other than stating you're in the area, or would it? I haven't heard any calling so far, even from other hunters. Where I'm at unfortunately has a bunch of roads so I'll have to see what I can do about avoiding them.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk

Anxious Elky PM sent.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk
Critter wrote:
I'm a little bit different than rather_be_huntin is as far a mid-day is concerned. I have spotted a lot of elk laying down in the shade of an aspen or some oak brush during this time and have gotten quite close to them while they are chewing on their cud. You just have to be careful while doing this since you may end up in the middle of a herd and not see the one that you spook.

Also most calls that you hear right now are going to be other hunters. It needs to cool off a little bit more to get them talking.

That does seem to work in the limited entry units here in Utah but I rarely see that with the shy elk in the general units in Northern Utah. I believe they just get too much pressure and are always very nervous. Once they hit the trees you just don't see them so I have better luck stalking timber. You risk blowing them out but it's just about the only way to hunt midday on the general units up north. Besides the area I hunt doesn't really have any aspen, just thick pines.

I learned a cool trick from Jim Horn about early season calling. The bulls will not be very vocal in late August but you can still have success calling. The bulls just come in silent. If you spot a bull and get close enough and start hot cow calling they will come in.......just keep your eyes peeled it does work. This last weekend I did get a bull to chuckle a tiny bit and he did come in. Unfortunately he came in down wind and blew out of there before we could anchor him. It's a common mistake to think that if a bull isn't bugling at you that he won't come to your calls early season. Just leave the bugle in camp for early season calling.

To do some hot cow calling I recommend a single reed style call. They are very easy to use.

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Joined: 08/18/2009
Posts: 5
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk

Thank you much. I'm looking forward to going back out tomorrow with this info. I'll keep you posted on how things turn out. I'll be prepped with the call, and I think I may give that a try if I see a bull, and not expect to hear him come in, but to keep my eyes open for him.

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Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 09/04/2009
Posts: 74
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk
anxious elky wrote:
Thank you much. I'm looking forward to going back out tomorrow with this info. I'll keep you posted on how things turn out. I'll be prepped with the call, and I think I may give that a try if I see a bull, and not expect to hear him come in, but to keep my eyes open for him.

If you still haven't gotten one I know a great area up by Kamas. Went up last week and saw a few good bulls and quite a few cows. You might start to hear some of them starting to bugle/call but its just too warm right now for the rut to kick into full effect. Brick Wall,)

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Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk

Thanks for the response! We've had the worse luck! If you know of a place, I would be indebted to you forever! My Cell number is 435-216-2939. When you get a second, give me a call and I'd be more than willing to receive any feedback. Each place we've tried thus far we've blanked. If you'd rather email me, that's great too.
Mike Holker

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Location: Longmont, CO
Joined: 09/04/2009
Posts: 22
Assistance appreciated- UT archery Elk

Mr. Anxious, I will tell you that everyone here has given you legitimat info reguarding your request, but I must add a few comments and agree with a few. I hunt on CO's west slope and a lot of it is in on the Roan plateau. The Roan consists of numerous lonridge line rangin from a couple miles lond to 10 15 miles long. On both sides of the ridges there are endless draws that that can go down 1000 ft or more in elevation. Most peaking out at 8500 ft to 9500 ft. There are a lot of hunters, but a lot of draws to work. I got really tired of starting up top to get down to where they are tucked into the deep dark timber, so I would find a way to access the bottoms and wwork up. I put my money on the evenings. This early, also being as warm as it has been, these areas cool off first. Also, they are not talking yet so you must be ginger in your approach.Pick an area that has dark timber leading as clost to a water supply as you can find. Set up there in the mid to late after noon and sit.... sit... and sit more. try to only drink enough water as you can sweat out to get to yout spot so you wont have to whiz for a while cause the afternoon winds tend to whirl in every direction. Once you loose the sun over the ridge the winds will pick up and swirl tirll the sun sets. Then you will get a constant down draft. because of this you do not want to go more that a third of the way up into the timber where you feel they will be bedded... you want them to have to come down to you from your up-wind side. If its getting dark in a hurry and you dont hear them comming out of the timber, give a few semi-estrouse cow caws to get thier attention. They WILL come in silent this early and they generally will tend to not want to get closer that 50-80 yard from the location they heard the call come from and they WILL always try to circle dwon wind to ease thier mind about approaching you. listen for branches breaking far away. They are incredibly dilligent in knowing your exact position when they hear you call, even if they are 500 yards away when they hear you. If they hear your call only once they will have you locked down and walk in right to your position to check you out. If you hear them circling down wind try to quietly beat them down 50 yards or so, so that when they think they are swooping down wind of you they will actually be wlking into your face.
One more thing, Loose the bugle altogether for good! Ditch the hoochi mamma ( all a hoochiemama will do is identify you as a mid-west whitail hunter to the locals... Cmon, youre a local now =) and pick up a couple diaphram cow calls and a primos single reed call. This will allow your to give a little character to your calls so you actually sound like an elk.
To clarify a little; dont get me wrong, the elk wont come runnning in to a water source as soon as the sun goes down. They rpobably wont even drink till the morning, but if you can find a location on the edge of dark timber that has water and feed close together, they will come.
This is exactly how I killed my bull on wednesday. This is a standard for me. Although it is very tough to kill a bull pre-rut, I choose to go early because everyone else piles in durring the peak and the bigger bulls, although active in the rut, will be very weary because of all the commotion in the woods. Good luck pal! Youll get one, just think like them,.... not a hunter.

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Joined: 08/18/2009
Posts: 5
Thanks

Thanks for the info. I could have done that yesterday and didn't. I went about it from the top down. I appreciate the feedback..

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