What kind of effect will the abundance of water have on elk. I am hunting in an area near a small creek and some water holes. Will the elk tend to use these now that there is more moisture available. What are good strategies for hunting water holes or creek sides?
Colorado's Cooler Weather Could Help Hunter Success Rates
Elk need water like any other animal. In the very dry years, when there are only a few places for the elk to get water, it is easier to ambush them around the very few waterholes that exist. In years like this one, where there are more places available for them to get water, they are going to be spread out more and you're going to have to burn more boot leather finding them.
Nonetheless, waterholes always have been and always will be a good place to hunt practically any animal.
What are good strategies for hunting water holes or creek sides?
With any well worked water hole there are usually paths into it. Paths being clearances in the brush created by cattle, elk, deer, etc. Game will use these paths to approach water points, try to position yourself opposite of one in a direction downwind from the path. Finding downwind is always fun, sometimes it changes by the minute.
Dawn and dusk are good times to work these areas, although if the game is being pushed around by lots of hunters, there may be no schedule to the activity.
Understanding wind currents and thermals in hilly, broken terrain can often be incredibly frustrating. I've found that collecting and storing milkweed seed pods during the late summer has made me a better hunter in the bluff country that I hunt. These little feather like seed dispersers will float on the lightest of air currents and will show you what the wind is not only doing right at you're location but more importantly down range. I like to use the off season to float them...