3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/23/2010
Posts: 9
What to look for on Topo Maps

Im heading out to idaho in the fall with my father (Sept 17-25th) on an archery DIY elk hunt.   Have been doing our research, calling biologists and wardens in the area, getting our camping gear together and practicing shooting a lot, and also been spending  time on google maps and looking at different maps of the area that I purchased.  My question is, what am I looking for on the maps??.  So far ive just been studying the terrain so i somewhat know my way around once out there.  But what should i be looking for with the thinking of where the elk should/would be.  

The area we are heading to is vehicle restricted so I don't think i really have to worry about staying away from the trails as much as i would in other areas.  Would one recommend staying near tree line this time of year??   Im sure this topic has been covered before on this site, but i have not found it in my searches.   So if anyone has any advice or even a link to an article or previous post, that would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I also did some research of the area using  bing.com maps.  And the pictures or aerial photos are excellent, once you zoom in so far they switch to HD pictures which show the cover of an area excellent, much better then google earth, from my point of view, at least for the aerial photos.

thank you

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
Yeah, you're on the right track

Generally in mid to early september,  you're going to want to be as high as possible where there is still a little bit of cover.  That means treeline.  Actual elevation depends on the local factors which form the treeline.  But once up there, you'll need to find reliable feed water and cover.  Given their druthers and in unpressured country, the flatter areas are usually better.  It's easier for the elk to move, and retains moisture better for better feed and water.  I really like small north facing meadows surrounded by heavy timber, but those are less productive during archery season.  In archery season you have a lot of mouths to feed (or you should), so feed quntatity and quality takes high precedence for me during this time of year.

Location: Neveda
Joined: 07/22/2008
Posts: 234
Find the Aspens and you will

Find the Aspens and you will find the bucks in that area, he is right about the north facing slopes

good luck

Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 610
welcome to idaho. the replies

welcome to idaho. the replies are pretty accurate except for one thing.  the wolf.  alot of idaho the wolf is no big deal.  in other places it is a major objective to overcome.  Not becasue there is no elk.  Because the elk have changed their ways.  they are not in the open like they used to be.  They hold up in the timber.  The deep thick timber that no one likes.  the thicker the better.  In alot of areas of idaho, gone are the days of climbing to vantage points and just glassing.  If the wolf is not heavily present in your area, you can climb to the vantage point and glass.  So you have to change your way of thinking if the wolf is present.  also in areas that have wolfs.  the animals are bunched up.  a couple of big herds, versus a bunch scattered everywhere.


good luck and idaho still has lots of elk, you just have to take all things in to consideration.

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