I've spent my share of time in units 25 and 26 hunting various seasons as my work, buddies schedules, and preference points allow. This year it looks like it's going to be the OTC (with cap) cow elk season Sept. 15-30. Out of all the seasons I've hunted in these units, this cow only season has been the least productive. We've gone years without even seeing an elk. (OK, OK, I know the definition of insanity...) This year I’m thinking a different approach might be the ticket and I would appreciate any feedback.
We've always been the guys to be on top of the mountain at day break...and I mean the top of the mountain above the tree line glassing meadows/parks below. (Not to mention exhausting, it hasn’t been productive.) My most recent experience with these units, and this is what I need clarified, are the elk learn very quickly that the private land to the east offers a hunterless haven. Again, I don't know if this true or not, but it's almost always the rumor in the woods when none of the hunters see anything. (There’s even rumors that that ranchers use helicopters and horses to herd the animals onto private ground.) That being the case, or possibly the case, would there be any advantage to hunting the private land boundary, or close to it? Much of the private land is unforested, so the elk can't be there all the time.
The time of year would be the end of September and it's a cow only hunt, so we won't be taking anyone's trophy bull. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks so much.