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Joined: 10/13/2008
Posts: 2
Looking for some advice on base camp location

Im planning my long awaited Elk hunt for next fall and needed some basic field knowledge.
I have a couple areas picked out in the idaho mountains.
Elevation is around 7000 to 8500
The hunt will take place in late September

I want to set up camp so I can hunt in different directions as needed. I want my camp to be far enough away to not pressure the hunt areas. Campfire smoke, human voice, simply human presence.

My thoughts now are do i need to be in low elevation , so camp is not so exposed to the elements. Or can a guy get away with camp at a high elevation (vantage point) , not freeze at night, and not have to climb the mountain each day to get a vantage point?

What are your thoughts on making myself "not present" to the elk herd.

Joined: 01/22/2007
Posts: 118
Looking for some advice on base camp location

I don't find that my camp scares off the elk. My presence does. I leave my tent set up for several weeks and come and go as my work schedule allows. I have often rode into camp after being gone several days and found elk tracks in and around camp. We even had several small bulls come into camp one night and chase our horses around a bit. We had to step out of the tent and shoo them off.

When camp is occupied, the elk seem to avoid it. I suspect the activity, human voices, the extra smells we bring with us are the reason. We camp at 8200' and have shot elk with in 300-500 yards of our tent. That said, My camp is 7 miles back up a canyon from where I parked my truck. We have no ATV's, chain saws, don't shoot guns in camp, No kids running around, no campfires, the nearest road is 7 miles away. So we have minimal impact on the area.

I camp in the floor of the canyon. The ridge tops are much more windy and considerably colder. When we get up in the morning we hike up to the ridgelines to hunt. Mostly so we the have the higher position to glass from.

Our tent is right below the orange quakies in this photo. We have killed several elk on the large grassy areas just above those same quakies. We get up in the morning and hike up the hill to find 50-100 elk grazing that area, and they are only 500 yards from our tent. They don't seem to be worried about our camp, but as soon as they smell us or see our movement, they are gone.

Here are 3 rag horns I watched a couple of weekends ago. I'm maybe a 1/2 mile from camp, it's located to the left of the yellow quakies in the bottom of the canyon. Just past the edge of the picture . I watched these elk out in the open for 30 minutes before they winded me and trotted off. It was during a drizzling rain, which maybe helped to supress my scent.

I'm sure that elk in other areas, may behave differently. How much pressure they get will make a huge difference. Each hunter will have his opinion, And will probably be the right way to hunt his area.

Location: Muskogee, Oklahoma
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 6
Looking for some advice on base camp location

painted horse could you tell me how you set up that tent. i am looking to buy one and it seems you dont have a frame. thanks dustin

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