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Location: Michigan
Joined: 08/31/2009
Posts: 6
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp

Any advice for a coulpe guys flying in... We are going to be around the unit 16a and 17 for the middle of October. i have heard that it will be a "post rut" time however the early reports show that no bugling has started yet and it has been hot. Think that we may hit the rut? Let me know what you think. thanks in advance

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp

First let me give you the true definition of the "rut" and the common definition.

The true definition of the rut is a time period when elk have any hormones that drive them to any behavior where the final intention is to procreate. There is no identifable trigger for that process, meaning moon phase, nor temperature control when that happens. There are a lot of elk rutting behaviors like tearing up trees, gathering cows, fighting other bulls, searching for hot cows, bugling, chuckling, glucking, rolling in wallows, and many other more sutble behaviors. When it's hot out they are quiet because....well it's hot. They just wait till it's cool at night. When the moon is bright they just wear themselves out all night with their romance because they can see and are quiet during the day from being wore out. But niether temp or moon phase affects the start of the rut.

The common definition for the rut is "the elk are buglin". This causes many hunters to think the rut is early or late because they hear elk bugling on cool days or they don't hear bugling on hot days.

With that being said the rut generally starts in late August and ends sometime around the end of October. Why August? Simple the first cows come into heat. Why so long? Because cows can go into heat 3 times and in rare cases 4 times at 30 day intervals if they have not been bred. If a cow comes into heat in late October and a receptive bull is around she will get bred. That would clasify as a rutting to me.

With that being said the peak activity period is in mid to late September and the time you're talking about most bulls will be leaving the herds wrought wtih exhaustion so there will be minimal rut activity but you could potentially have some success with some hot cow calls on satelite bulls. For big bulls they will be most tuckered and calls will largely be uneffective for them. Lost of glassing and walking will be the way to find them.

If the weather is hot even during the peak of the rut you may have to change tactics because elk are less active during hunting hours. If it's cool then you may be able to call a bit more and have more success with calls during hunting hours.

Hope that helps.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 611
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp

I wouldn't except them to be bugling much at that time of year. You hear them occassionally in mid october but not very often.

Hunt the timber hard, almost like hunting whitetails. The elk patterns have changed here. You will be in big beautiful country. Be prepard for hot weather one day and snow the next.

tim

Location: Michigan
Joined: 08/31/2009
Posts: 6
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp

Thanks for the feedback. Your definition was spot on and guess i could have been more specfic in my question. I got what I was looking for. I was seeking out information about the how vocal they will be at that time. 22 days and 14 hours. Assuming I wil start high and work lower looking for individual bulls at that time.

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Location: Tennessee
Joined: 02/27/2008
Posts: 14
IDAHO 16A,17

SOunds like you have the same hunt we have. We are there for October 11-18 in the same unit. Who are you all going through, how many are going? We have four and can't wait.

Location: Michigan
Joined: 08/31/2009
Posts: 6
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp

We are heading up 10/8-10/18 we are doing a drop camp with Neven Zugg and there will be 5 of us total. 3 from Alaska me from MI and buddy from AZ. We are packing out frmo Dixie. How about you? If you want to chat off line and compare notes shoot me an email.

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Joined: 01/22/2007
Posts: 120
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp

I frequently see herds of 200-400 elk in October, There will be 40-50 bulls in those groups. I hear them bugle clear through Oct. but I think the rut is over. I doubt they would come to a bugle. They are just talking. If the rut was still in process, the big bulls would chase off the smaller bulls and they wouldn't be bunched up in such large groups. They are just herding up for the winter.

If it's warm and hunting pressure, you won't see them in the large groups. More of the 6-15 elk per group. If the snow is two foot deep and you are in secluded canyons, you will find the larger herds.

My point being, Just because you hear an elk bugle doesn't mean they are in the rut. They make noise all year to find each other as they move around.. You just hear a lot more of it during the rut.

I use more cow calls late in the season. The elk that respond are not coming in to breed or fight but often looking to bunch up with others.

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Location: Midwest
Joined: 12/17/2007
Posts: 64
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp

I did the same drop camp in the same area last year. I'd say that you need to get out there before dawn and stay out until dark. It is very tough to do much glassing. The one bull that our group got was from a still hunt along an old logging road...using a cow call every 15-20 minutes. The bulls will be quiet and usually alone if there isn't any snow pushing them around. The best advise that I got was to get my tail out of bed early and hike or ride (horse) as far away from camp as poss....it's a tough hunt - but I enjoyed the land. I will be trying a different (more open) area next time so I can actually more elk.

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Location: Teton Valley, ID
Joined: 08/01/2008
Posts: 106
Idaho Elk hunt 10 day drop camp
ginkgo72 wrote:
I will be trying a different (more open) area next time so I can actually more elk.

I don't know for sure about the area you are headed to, but, the elk here have been hanging in tight timber due to pressure from wolves. This has been confirmed in a conversations with a few biologists. Both elk and wolf biologists.
Good luck and enjoy your hunt!

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Location: Tennessee
Joined: 02/27/2008
Posts: 14
Home!!

I just got home yesterday after a LONG drive. Congrats to Mark and my uncle Danny. Mark got a 5x5 and my uncle got a 6x6 that allowed Mark's to easily slide between Danny's. Scoring is being certified and will pass when we get. Harvested over 400 # from the 6x6. Great hunting guys!!!! Thumbs up

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