DIY Elk hunt.

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by Whitetailfreak52, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. Whitetailfreak52

    Whitetailfreak52 Weekend Warrior

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    Hey guys, I'm am planning a DIY Elk hunt and was looking for some input. I'm not looking for anyone's spots or anything just some help getting me started on where to look. I'm going to be going after them with my bow and the more remote the better as far as I am concerned. Any info would be great.
     
  2. theleo

    theleo Newb

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    Look at Idaho, mainly any unit north of the treasure valley will have remote areas for you, remote meaning areas away from roads. You can't be in good enough shape especially if going in on foot. The best advice, get really buddy buddy with someone that has pack stock.
     
  3. trial153

    trial153 Grizzled Veteran

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    Don't make it harder then it needs to. Pick a state and unit with OTC tags and good public access. From that point start researching, access points, trail heads ect ect. Have more then one location and don't put all your hope in one spot. Be flexible in your thoughts and carry it over into your hunting.
    Elk are where they are if your not into them then move till you find them.
     
  4. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    Agreed on all points. I've been there/done that and can't argue with anything here. Don't make it more difficult than it has to be.
    Other things...don't overpack if you can help it. Also, I went to Idaho and will fully admit if I hadn't had a quad I would never have been successful. No way was I in good enough shape to hike those distances off the roads to where the elk were. And I wasn't in that bad of shape.
     
  5. Jake/PA

    Jake/PA Grizzled Veteran

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    Not much on finding a particular location because there's a lot of resources out there. Look at videos/articles from Elk 101, Randy Newburg, and Gritty Bowmen podcasts. Here are some quick points that I took from my solo trip last September.

    -Train a lot. Load up a pack and go hiking up some hills.

    -There will be days where you won't hear a single elk. Don't get discouraged.

    -You have to cover a lot of ground. Expect high mile days.

    -Find out every detail about the land you'll be hunting on. (Didn't know dirtbikes were allowed until I arrived at the trailhead.)

    -Get a friend. (Went solo and I could have definitely used someone there to keep me going when it got bad.)
     
  6. Whitetailfreak52

    Whitetailfreak52 Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks guys! It will be my first trip so I'm just looking to get out and see if I can get on some elk.
     
  7. bz_711

    bz_711 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Keep it simple...and learn to stay positive.
    As stated - you cannot be in too good of shape for chasing elk (especially solo which I would not recommend for a first trip)

    You almost just have to go once to fully learn and understand how different it really is than reading/researching it online. If you think you want to pack in 5 miles...it will probably only be 2 miles. I could not imagine being solo when I got my first elk, and I was only half mile from road...major chore to get an elk into game bags when doing for the first time.

    Don't mean to scare you at all - it's all possible - just really plan for everything. My biggest warning is to make sure you can get free every fall from here to eternity to chase elk...for those of us that have gotten the elk bug...there is no cure!

    Have fun - stay positive!
     
  8. Whitetailfreak52

    Whitetailfreak52 Weekend Warrior

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    I am planning on going with a buddy now who has been on a few of these. And as far as being in shape I'm not to worried about that so much. I train hard everyday for all kinds of events I get myself in to. I just started wearing a weighted pack on my runs and hikes so I hope it will pay off to help me get up and down the mountains.
     
  9. theleo

    theleo Newb

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    Elk are a chore to handle by yourself, and I say that even though I cheat and use mules. #1) Just the size of them makes it a pain for gutting and skinning.

    #2) Rarely do they fall on flat ground, so positioning them can be a hassle. It sucks to get them laid out the way you want then they slide another 20 yards down the hill. Or worse yet they die in a wallow and your stuck gutting and skinning with one leg always knee deep in mud.

    #3) The weight of the meat. Even though I have no room to really geipe since I use pack stock you need to understand how much weight in meat you're going to pack out. In a pinch I can pack two deer on a mule, half a deer on each side and one across the top. With any elk bigger than a spike I'm pushing it loading the front shoulders and hind quarters on one mule. Usually it's half an elk to one pack mule. Then there's the terrain to deal with getting it out.

    You can do it, I'm not trying to discourage, just go into it knowing it's likely to be battle to shoot one and get it out on your own. It's addicting, once you learn the ropes you'll be looking forward to chasing them 9 months before the season starts. The other 3 months you'll be thinking of much of a hell it was and contimplating other hobbies to pick up in September.
    [​IMG]
    But once you play in elk country it will have a hold on you you can't break.
     
  10. scarps23

    scarps23 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Read up and talk to as many people as you can to learn elk. I'm a novice, but have read a ton on it. Shot first bull last year on 2nd trip.

    Don't over-call or just don't call at all. You can be loud approaching elk if the wind is in your face and you have cover. They aren't a quiet animal going through the woods. If you hear an elk bugling.....get in the right wind direction and start moving fast to get near elk.

    Plan everything out. Your gear list. Don't overpack and try to share things with your hunting buddy. You don't need 4 knives, etc.

    Have a plan to get the animal worked up and how to get out. Have a back up plan if needed. The elk I shot last year ended up being 8 miles off the road. I was with one friend. We got the meat off the elk and walked out with loins/backstraps. Hired a guide service and I rode in with two mules to pack out entire elk. That was still a long 2nd day after shooting. I shot elk on the first day and we put on 18-20 miles that day. Don't get too far away from road without a good plan. (google....gutless method and know how to do that...good videos out there)

    Your feet are your most important asset. Get good boots and socks. Break in boots. Monitor your feet and let them breathe. Switch socks even if you don't think you need to. Moleskin is your friend for hot spots. Use to prevent blisters if you are putting on a lot of miles.

    I did all of these things except monitor my feet last year and ended up with huge blisters. I switched socks half way through day before shooting elk and they were fine after about 6 miles in. Then I lost track of them once I shot elk....along with not eating enough. We ran out of water tracking the elk. It went almost a mile. I hit the elk high and it was tough tracking. We gave the elk time and I should have been loading up with food while we were waiting. I was too excited to think straight....all I could think about was finding the elk.

    You'll be glad if you just stop and think about taking care of yourself. Nothing I've worried about in the past, but probably the biggest thing I learned for the future. Also, make sure to get enough food/water if you are putting on miles.

    Several other things I'm sure I've left out. This came to me off the top of my head.
     
  11. scarps23

    scarps23 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    This is a great picture.
     
  12. theleo

    theleo Newb

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    This one isn't as pretty but is much sweeter.
    [​IMG]
    Meat and horns on the mules back instead of mine.
     
  13. Oldcarp

    Oldcarp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Lot of good advice here. I have hunted elk since 1978 once its in your blood you cant stop:bow::moose:
    Just try to enjoy every aspect of the hunt
     
  14. Stykbow14

    Stykbow14 Newb

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    Heading out in 3 weeks! I can not wait to get back :biggrin:


    DSC_0022.jpg
     

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