just need some advise from the more experienced elk hunters here. I have been hunting elk for 3 years now and never got one, i came close last year and REALLY close this year. I will be heading up northern ab again this year and am wondering if i would have better luck trying early season with bow. I have been hunting opening with rifle and have noticed that the elk arent as vocal and dont move as much, its almost as if they are already spooked. Some advise would be appreciated.
8 replies [Last post]
Sat, 2006-12-30 18:35
need some advise
Sat, 2006-12-30 22:12#1
Lots of time in the field
The elusive elk(very true) I've been elk hunting for 16 years since i was 12. I've shot only 7(one with a bow). Wind Wind Wind is all I can say. Have the wind in your favor especially for bow hunting. I had three spike bulls under 15 yds last year(the closest being 5-6). I couldnt feel him breathing but damn close. For big bulls the advice I can give you if they are calling when they come in close stop calling( A mistake i made this year) they will pin point you and if they dont see whats making the call they will freeze up. Either that or use the buddy system with one guy 50-100yds behind you to pull him past you. Find game trails that they are using on a regular basis and wait. This is no bull(pardon the pun) I waited 6 days and finally a spike walked past me. And that particular trail was a super highway. Scouting is also key. Also I have hunted in Alberta and the hunters are far too many for my liking. One thing off topic what is with the 3 point rule( I wonder how many spikes and spike with two points are shot and left because of this stupid rule as well as big 5X5's in the 6 point zones) Any ways i know everyone will say know your target but what a dumb rule.
Sat, 2006-12-30 22:57#2
need some advise
Meadowhunt.....there are lots of dumb rules but the wildlife guys have to put in some rules of some kind. There are too many hunters to just leave it wide open. The other option is all draw and most guys do not want to go there.
There are sheep kicked down the side of mountains every year because their horns are an 1/8" too short, bull moose left because they did not have the right number of brow points on one side, mule deer and whitetail left because of point restrictions. Caribou that didn't have beams long enough or enough top points.............................that is life in this day and age and hunters can either live with it or go to more and more draws. It is that simple.
I have hunted in areas in BC with 6 point restictions and Alberta with 3 point rules and never found it to be too tough.
Elkhunter 28..............in Alberta I would efinitely look into archery as it is during the best time....things are winding down when rifle opens. Try the Peace Region.
Sat, 2006-12-30 23:32#3
used to it here i guess
In Saskatchewan it either has horns or doesnt. Just seems better that way. Cows do get shot I know but I dont think its a major thing. And I hope those who do either risk taking them home at midnight or reporting them so they dont go to waste.
Sun, 2006-12-31 10:00#4
thank you meadowhunt and makwa, your info is much appreciated, i like to talk to people and hear different opinions and thoughts....makes me wiser..(I HOPE!), and i hear what you say about the 3pt rule, its frustrating, as i had a beautiful spiker come out in front of me at 60 yrds this sept. but there are alot of hunters here and if they didnt regulate it all our animals would be gone, so i dont mind the rules, id like to have my kids enjoy the same and future generations. Here is a quick little story of my elk hunting this year.. along with the spiker coming out in front of me and the herd bull that was hiding back away, we were in a feild one evening about 20 mins before sundown, we were almost in the middle of a nice herd, they were just starting to come out, there were 2 spikes in front, a nice 4pt just starting to come out from the bush and a 6x6 in behing his cows. Just as i got excited about getting my first elk ever, this guy comes driving up, sees the elk in the feild, gets out of his truck, runs into the feild towards the elk with a bright red suit on and starts calling with some cheap call that sounded like a broken trumpet. Im sure you know what happend after that...yep.....GONE!.. That was the last time we saw the herd there. Well maybe this new year will be different!
Sun, 2006-12-31 11:19#5
need some advise
elkhunter28..............I lived in Alberta for 10 years and know your frustration. That province just keeps growing and there are too damn many people there now for my tastes, hence why I moved to quieter surroundings.
Shot a number of elk while I was there. In heavily hunted areas the key is to get them on the way to their feeding areas............as you experienced, if you see them, they are coming out just at last light or heading back into the timber just as it is getting light enough to make them out in the AM. So, you need to position yourself much as you would for big whitetail bucks that never arrive at the field until it is too dark to shoot........ambush them further back. You need to be ultra careful about your approach and wind direction to where you will sit.
As you know you do not get second chances.
You other alternative is to get away from the easy access and crowds by going way back with ATV's or horses. We use to pack in with horses, but even that was getting to be a gong show with lots of others packing in and grass getting hard to find.
The oil and gas boys are pretty busy creating access via pipelines, cutlines and service roads to what were once very remote areas in Alberta. I never could get use to seeing tankers running the back roads 24/7 from the battery sites many miles from the nearest town.
Sun, 2006-12-31 15:12#6
need some advise
Also, (and I'm not 100% sure on this) but I think that Alberta's rifle season is timed to be post-rut, which would also explain why the the elk are not nearly as vocal and aggressive as they would be during the rut.
Bow hunting is never easy. True, the elk may respond better, and it may not be much of a challenge to call an elk within 100yds, but from what I can tell getting them inside 40 is tough, and best done tag-team style with a caller positioned well behind the shooter as was mentioned above. Basically as soon as the elk gets to a position where he assumes that he should be able to see the "calling elk" he stops. If he can't see the cow or bull that's calling, they spook. It sounds simple, and like most things the concept is - it's the million other little details that will screw it up - a wind swirl gives you away; the elk circles around you heading for the caller and never gives you a shot; the elk comes charging in and pins you down because he's right on top of you before you can draw; or only offers you a frontal shot (just plain forget about that arrow penetrating the shoulder bones of a mature bull); a cow busts you when you try to draw on the bull...trust me there's a million ways to screw up an archery hunt even if you can call an elk in and stay hidden. Bow hunting is never easy.
Sun, 2006-12-31 15:20#7
need some advise
saskie.............yes. Archery hunters get the best kick at the rut.
Wed, 2007-03-14 17:47#8
I have connected with 26 elk in 36 years of hunting them ,i have been involved with 6 other hunts hear on the island for roosevelt elk and connected on all. What i would do is head there for the opener ,always get the first pick and they have not been pushed then. The elk will respond to your calling much more then latter in the season ,my advice go early and also play the buddy system ,works great ,good luck ,hunter 1947.