It was hot and noisy saw elk but they were not rutting or coming to call's tried to put the sneek on them but could not get close enough for a good shot. They were all beded down so hopefully we get some rain before next weekend and they start rutting.
I was only able to hunt opening morning until about 4pm. an hour before shooting light had me 30 yards from 7 cows and young bulls feeding in the moonlight. They had moved off before the legal shooting light came around but there were two bulls chuckling lightly back and forth 500yards further. I was hunting an open bowl with randomly scattered trees. I was able to put the sneak on them and get to within 120yards by the time light rolled around. I spent the next two hours scurry, on hands and knees, from tree to tree as they fed, lightly sparred, and mosied around. One was a bull i have been tracking on trail cams all summer that is in the 290-300" range in my opinion. I'll be heading out after the holiday when there are hopefully less hunters and more talkative elk.
This was my first time archery elk hunting experience. I was hunting solo about 6 miles in bivy style. Learned a lot. I got into some elk, but then it went all wrong. I was doing my best elmer fudd impression to be very quiet while stalking down a steep deadfall hill to some critters about 200 yards below me. I tripped, fell, twisted my knee, and slammed my bow into a boulder sights first. That was the end of my trip. Luckily the knee wasnt too bad and the bow is fixable. Will be back out on them again in a few weeks. Overall a great trip and learned a lot.
I'm sorry to hear about your trip. Good news is you were into them and had an opportunity. I know you put in the scouting time which is imperative. Also glad to hear the knee was ok. Deadfall can be really dangerous and if you break something you are probably underneath a heavy canopy where S&R wont find you. Stay safe folks and try to carry a SPOT device or some other means of contacting help.
Got a late start opening morning and was hunting an area that I hunted last year but never saw a single elk in during the two weeks with my bow. After a lazy- but long afternoon trek to tree line I decided to backtrack and take another 2 mile stroll even higher up to get a better vantage point and wait for sundown. Once out the trees and into a meadow around 4:30 and out of nowhere I see an elk stroll out and start to feed only 500 yards away. I gently hit the ground and go into a low crawl mode to the tree line to find some cover and make a plan. With the bino's in hand one elk in the meadow become two, then 4 then a herd of around 15 with one spike. I made a plan to flank them from behind a ridgeline and come down on them. About halfway through my path I take another peak at the herd and the tree line and out walks a BIG ole herd bull (only counted 5 points but could have been hiding a small 6th). I have never seen an elk during archery season let alone a big bull! My plan was executed perfectly and I made the L-shaped stalk above and behind them without being detected. By 5:30pm he was screaming his head off and was right at tree line in a mud wallow fighting with a large tattered tree. I was 70 yards above him kneeled down behind perfect cover and while I wanted another 10 yards I was confident with my shot placement if he would step out of the wallow and present himself broadside. Only problem was the cows were on alert from a noise coming from behind me!!!! I was panicking not knowing WTF was crunching through the trees thinking another elk was above me. Not long after the crunching began the lead cow barked the orders and the moved south of the wallow with the bull never presenting himself from cover. Not even 5 minutes later my hunting buddy trots gleefully out of the trees- he was supposed to sit in his spot until pitch black dark-period- I almost fucking lost it. Needless to say after putting in over 100 miles on foot in the backcountry this summer, countless days off work, and my heart and soul into being prepared for my first successful archery hunt I will not be hunting with my buddy again.... Still grateful for the opportunity to be in the wild chasing the majestic wapiti and more than thankful that I was able to come so close to that herd bull and have him bugle out with such tremendous energy. That said, still pissed off like a mother fucker. Have a few more days to get it done this season but I am having a hard time keeping myself motivated after what some would consider a once in a blue moon opportunity on OTC public land.
My buddy and I always hunt together with few exceptions and have had great luck doing so. Calling and glassing are more effective and one guy can run the rangefinder. We have separate tags this year cow/bull so no competing either. We can read each other's mind in the woods, it's awesome.
I did hunt with a different guy years ago who didn't have a tag and wanted to learn hunting...so I took him. It was opening weekend of bow season and we were almost to the top of the mountain and it was not light yet. I told him we had to slow down and be super careful about how we moved. He repeadelty kept telling me how he wanted to see the sunrise from the mountain top and finally I gave in and told him to go ahead and I'd walk around the mountain. Not two of his steps later as he took off running did he spook an entire heard that was bedded down. He felt horrible and I was pissed. I feel your pain.
I feel your pain as well. I had a great oppurtunity last year. A huge 5x5 at 20 yards. I needed 5 more steps for a clear shot. Then my dad who was doing the calling started hacking up a lung and spitting. The bull put his head and ears up and then took off. 5 steps!
However, even though he has ruined a few oppurtunities he's helped with a lot more. Archery hunting solo is not the way to go. You'll especially find that out after you kill an elk all by yourself and have no one to help pack out the meat. Instead of hunting separate you should be hunting as a team. Sometimes it's hard to find a good hunting companion that you don't have to feed everyday and doesn't bark at night. I know solo hunting has gotten more popular lately but it's definately not the best way to go.
Just my two cents, curse the friend out sure, but make sure you still have him or someone else going whith ya. Could save your life in the future and make you more successful if you play it right.
Every year my Pro-Staff and I head to the woods to hunt the old wise Tom. We travel thousands of miles covering numerous states hunting these old guys. Lots of times we end up hunting public lands or private property that have been hunted already. That’s the last thing you want to hear when you just traveled 6 hours that someone else has already hunted the property. We had to come up with a game plan and one real fast.
The first thing we did was ask the farmer were they usually see the birds in...