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Joined: 02/08/2010
Posts: 22
Call Shy bulls, warm weather, what to do?

So ive picked the dates that im going to be heading to CO this year for my second DIY public land bowhunt.  My hopes are high as they were the first time (fall 2010), however, the first time i went out there like all rookies i was hoping to get into some serious Wapiti rut madness. Well that wasnt the case, it was hot 80 degrees hot. Although i did get onto some elk (which made me happy just being able to do that my first time out there), there were only two days where i actually heard them talking, and that was only for the first half hour in the morning and then at night. This time i want to be better prepared for a game plan if i encounter the same problem (non-verbal elk).  Ive talked to guys who both like and appose the idea of still hunting through an elks bedroom, do to the fact that if you bump them they are gone. I was just curious to what you guys do when either the elk are call shy from being hunted all season or the weather has them quiet? I know a lot has to do with knowing the area and finding them hot spots where they go when they are pressured and i think i have an idea of some of those areas after hunting this area for a year and scouting it that year. but im always up for new ideas to help me better understand this ghost on the mountain.

Thanks for the help

Pat

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
Been still hunting for 60

Been still hunting for 60 years. I wouldn't/couldn't do it any other way. I like to hunt all day, and I dodn't know of another way to do that without still hunting.

You have to be preparred for fast/running shots. That's why i've  never got tired of doing it. Elk don't always stay still all day either. They get up and stretch, and might feed a little it's it's available. The goal is to see them, before they see, smell, or hear you. Another fun part of still hunting.

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Location: SW Mtns. NM
Joined: 05/04/2008
Posts: 227
still hunting

Still Hunter wrote:

Been still hunting for 60 years. I wouldn't/couldn't do it any other way. I like to hunt all day, and I dodn't know of another way to do that without still hunting.

You have to be preparred for fast/running shots. That's why i've  never got tired of doing it. Elk don't always stay still all day either. They get up and stretch, and might feed a little it's it's available. The goal is to see them, before they see, smell, or hear you. Another fun part of still hunting.

+1 I can't see sitting all day if they shut down and head into the thick stuff. Or get nocturnal. I rarely use a bugle anymore either, mostly cow calls. If needed. Glassing and  moving slowly is key when you think they are around. 

Joined: 06/20/2011
Posts: 33
Still hunting through thier

Still hunting through thier bedroom works great but it takes alot of patience and practice. Most guys I take out it takes them along time to learn how to really slow down. I think we all have the tendancy to believe the elk are just over the next hill and we better hurry and get there. Last year for archery we mostly still hunted and went 5 for 5. Take your time take maybe 10 steps wait 5 min go ten steps more and remember the elk can be anywhere. Theres nothing like spotting them up close before they spot you.

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Joined: 02/08/2010
Posts: 22
If I do decide to still hunt

If I do decide to still hunt for them what should i be looking for habitat wise? Are there any areas that elk preffer to bed in other than they like the north, northeast facing slopes, bench's? Are you just reading sign, looking for droppings etc... Im a whitetail hunter from the east so still hunting is def out of my comfort zone but i know if i only have a week out there to hunt i want to spend it hunting!!! Its just hard because when i was out there two years ago for my first hunt alot of the time i spent still hunting (which wasnt much, more getting to know the land) i felt like i wasnt hunting the right area and i was wasting my time. I guess thats part of the hunt finding those bedding areas and knowing where they bed. Does anyone know of any good articles or books about still hunting? Thanks guys

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
Hard to put this in a post.

Hard to put this in a post. When it would take a book to do it justice. Still hunting is not something to be learned quickly. It takes years to get good at it. Most hunters don't realize just haw slow you have to move. It's called still hunting, because you're standing still more than you're walking. I take one slow step, and stop and look everywhere for any little glimpse of a deer/elk. You're not looking for movement, or the whole animal. You're looking for a nose, a piece of antler, a patch of hair. When you 've looked at every little nook and cranny for some sign. You then take another step. This gives you a new angle on everything. It take a lot of patience. You also have to always be aware of wind direction and your scent, because wind swirls in the mountains. Noise will also bust you. If you can hear your steps. The animal can too. You have to wear quiet clothes and boots. I wear moccasins. Next is movement. That's what animals notice first. You have to move is slow motion, and then freeze. Look with your eyes. Not your head. Keep your arms tucked in tight.

The next problem is there's no sense in still hunting an area if there's no elk there. This is obviously your biggest problem, because you don't live here, and don't have much time to scout. I scout at least 250 days a year. I hunt nothing buy timber, because I love it, and that's where they bed down. Especially when there's pressure. Even if they go completely nocturnal. You can find them during the day in the timber.

Obviously, spot and stalk hunting is much easier, and that's why it's more popular. It's more effective too. Still hunting is not for everybody, but I find it exciting and more rewarding. Going slow may not sound excited at first, but it's exciting because you don't know where the animals are, and they can be there in front of you at any time. It reminds me of bird hunting without dogs. Everything is quiet, and then all hell breaks loose. You have a split second to make a decision and take a shot.

I think of it as hunting like an indian, or a cat. Slow and quiet.

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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3868
Still Hunter gave you a good

Still Hunter gave you a good description on how to do it.  I will do it every now and then but I mostly spot and stalk.  Instead of moccasins I'll just put on a couple pairs of real heavy socks when it comes time to get in close, I'll also dump everything else that I am packing including my arrow quiver and just take two arrows with me for the final stalk and a lot of times I'll end up with just one arrow by the time that it is finished. 

One thing that I watched on how slow you need to go is watching a bear come into a bait pile.  They will always just take a step and check out everything that they can see or smell and may take over 15 minutes to cover 10 feet.  I know that there are a lot of DVD's out there on bear hunting out of stands but you need to find the right one to see just what that bear does. 

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