North Dakota Bull Elk Hunt - O.I.L. TAG

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by MnMoose, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    *Disclosure* - This tag will likely be punched by means of a 300WSM although I can use either rifle or bow.

    4EEB0CB0.PNG The fun begins my friends!


    I was blessed to draw a ND Bull Elk Tag in E3 on my first try! I know many who have been applying for decades and have not yet gotten drawn, so I will make damn sure to do this tag justice!


    Six months ago a series of events took place in my life that caused to me change my entire view on fitness and nutrition. I didn't know how or why I was working so hard towards my goals, but I knew one day I would be happy I did that work ahead of time. That day was last Thursday when I found out I drew a OIL Bull Elk Tag - One of the best tags I may ever draw. Now I am feeling really happy that I am down 42 lbs from last Elk season, the lightest, leanest, and most conditioned I have been since highschool. Hard work always pays off!


    I cannot get out to the badlands to do some scouting until Mid-May. In the meantime, I am upgrading the optics on my rifle of choice for this hunt, a Tikka T3 300 WSM to be paired with a Vortex PST Gen II 5-25x50. I will also be filling the next month is as much E-Scouting as possible, learning the terrain of my unit, the landmarks and roads, finding resources and people with any information possible. And ofcourse, continue training my ass off as I have been the last 6 months and following my coach's meal plan to a T.


    After taking Easter weekend to step back and just enjoy the excitement of drawing this tag, I am now ready to fire up the stonewheel and let the grind begin. Stay Tuned.
     
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  2. Oldcarp

    Oldcarp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Good job on reaching your fitness goals. Congrats on drawing the Tag. keep us posted on how your scouting and hunt goes.
     
  3. cml5895

    cml5895 Weekend Warrior

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    Congrats on drawing! I can't wait to hear about this hunt.
     
  4. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    I will try to keep this a living thread, posting updates as the offseason progresses! Hopefully an exciting update once September 6th rolls around
     
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  5. davidingle

    davidingle Weekend Warrior

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    Excited to hear about ND, good luck!
     
  6. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    ND Elk Training Day 5:

    My lifting and nutrition coach changed up my workouts over the weekend to focus on endurance and conditioning, yesterday was the first day on the new plan and my arms were dead.

    Also ordered the optics that I am going with for this hunt, a Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP scope. VERY excited to get this dialed in!
     
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  7. jstephens61

    jstephens61 Weekend Warrior

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    Nice draw. Good optics, but way more scope than I’d want to pack around.
    Keep up the conditioning, it’ll pay off.
     
  8. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    It's about 32 oz, the 3-15-44 is 28 oz so not much savings for twice the scope. I train to pack half a bull off the mountain so I decided to take on an extra 4 oz on the optics.
     
  9. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Die Hard Bowhunter

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    A GOOD rangefinder should be the next purchase!
    D0nt matter caliber/ speed/.
    Anything over 350 ish is gonna have to be ranged.
    Good luck.
     
  10. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    I already have one, depending on how it performs this summer I may upgrade, its primarily meant for bowhunting.

    The rifle is a 300 WSM.

    I always range everything I shoot. I'm not taking any risks on an elk.
     
  11. jstephens61

    jstephens61 Weekend Warrior

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    [QUOTE="MnMoose, post: I train to pack half a bull off the mountain so I decided to take on an extra 4 oz on the optics.[/QUOTE]
    You’re planning on packing half a bull elk off a mountain in ONE trip?
     
  12. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    You’re planning on packing half a bull elk off a mountain in ONE trip?[/QUOTE]
    Planning to - No
    Prepared to - Yes

    It would be half an elk deboned in this scenario. My heaviest pack to date was 1.5 miles at 140lbs in a blizzard with 12" snow
     
  13. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    Hello All, Its been a while since I posted an update to this hunt!

    I was out scouting this weekend and found 75-100 cows, calves, and spikes. No bulls, which is normal for those types of herds in the summer. The bulls will be within a few miles of the cows and as long as I stay on the cows the bulls will show up.

    I got a tip on two good bulls, one of which is a once in a lifetime bull. The next trip I go on I will be focusing on finding him.

    I also found 2-3 ~150" mules and a couple nice whitetails, the biggest being a heavy 10.

    I forgot my phoneskope adapter at home, so here are some of the clear pictures from my DSLR.

    DSC_0222_1.JPG DSC_0235.JPG DSC_0247.JPG DSC_0248.JPG
     
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  14. Oldcarp

    Oldcarp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    When is your hunt?
     
  15. Mod-it

    Mod-it Weekend Warrior

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    A good bite type cow call will serve you well...the Mylar (sp?) type that you can get really nasal/whiney on...as well as a bugle for at least a locator call. What type of calls do you have? Any experience with elk calling? Knowing how to use a mouth call to at least do some cow calls on can be all the difference in stopping a bull for a shot...maybe not so important with a rifle in your hands. Sept 6 opener, when does it close? I'd assume it'll go through most of September meaning prime rut hunting. The hardest part should be holding out for a REALLY good one vs just a good one.
    Hope you get a monster!
     
  16. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    This hunt is in the badlands of North Dakota. If I fill the tag in time, I have an archery hunt in SW MT the week after!
     
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  17. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    67553409_706936006401321_2869797327852273664_n.jpg 67200732_706935923067996_7207206189296254976_n.jpg
    I've gone on an archery rut hunt the last three years, so I am familiar with calling and pretty good at it if I can brag. Our group is pretty active on ElkNut, Elk101, and Hunttalk so we havea lot of good resources when it comes to elk hunting that helped us get this far. I've bugled in a couple bulls in my day and been in on countless more calling situations.

    I plan to do some nighttime bugling once we get closer to September to see if I can locate valleys with bulls in them, and then try to stay off the bugle if they are vocal enough. I will stop a bull with a nervous grunt if needed.

    I have a tip on a great bull. I've got a pin from him last year and this year where a friend found him. This year he is an 8x7, I rough scored him off a picture at 419, my brother who is a little more experienced than me thinks he is closer to 390. Either way, he will die if I get a shot at him!
     
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  18. Mod-it

    Mod-it Weekend Warrior

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    That's a great bull! Good luck getting on him, that's a once in a lifetime bull for sure. He's pretty old too, look at that belly. He's nearly twice the body size of that 1-1/2 year old bull. I love all the extra points up top on his right side. Glad you have some experience already, that will serve you well for this tag. Elknut has great info and videos.
    For big bulls like that I think it's better to catch them before they get all cow'd up. Around here the smaller bulls will start collecting cows, they usually start around the beginning of September. Then around the 8th-15th the bigger bulls will come take the cows and run off the smaller bulls. Of course everywhere is a bit different on that time frame and how hot it is plays a role too. Catching the time frame when the bigger bulls are ready to take the cows is the time they are most susceptible to being called in. We called in the biggest bull we've ever seen in our area a couple of years ago during this time frame that charged off a timbered hillside to us mewing like they do when they are hot to get cows. He was an 8x6 that was in the 370 range, huge for a public land bull in our area. Of course neither my partner or I had a good angle to take a shot, he was quartering to me too much at 32 yards and was slightly off straight on to my partner at 25 yards. He had a stare down with my partner and then wheeled to leave, I gave him a couple short barks but he didn't stop. I've been using a quick bark for years and I think it's basically a nervous grunt like Elknut talks about, it works most of the time. His right side that was the 8 side looked like a red stag on top, points everywhere like the one in your pic above. Great mass, height, and spread, just a great bull. His extra points weren't near as tall as the one on the above bull you're hunting.
    He first answered a locator bugle (we always use a high pitch like a young bull for locating) and then we gave him nothing but cow calls after that and he came in fast, he was ready to get some cows! There is no better hunting than rut elk hunting IMO.
    I look forward to pics of you all smiles next to that 7x8. Once in a lifetime tag, hunt hard, pain and lack of sleep can be fixed later!
     
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  19. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    Quick update: Got back out to the badlands this last weekend and found some antler! The first night I saw a large framed bull (I am guessing a 325 class 6x6) from about two miles away. I got some video of him and a satellite bull.


    The next morning I set up on a bluff that cut the distance in about half towards where I saw those bulls disappearing. At first, all I was seeing was deer - and lots of them! I looked back towards the spot I was at the night before and sure enough there is a big bull working his way across a small meadow. I pull up the binocs and almost fainted. It was the giant 8x7 bull I got a tip on! It was 15 seconds of mad-dashing to get the phone skope set up, and proceeded to get lots of video and pictures of him. (pics and video to follow)

    That night, I wanted to move down the valley a little and see if I could spot any cows about a mile or two further down from where I saw him. It was a quiet evening with lots of deer again. I looked right below me (391 yards) at a water hole and sure enough, this big boy was working his way towards some green feed. I got a bunch more videos of him before he slipped in some cover. Didn't see any cows, which I would like to find so I can have an idea of where he will head once the rut starts up.
     
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  20. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    Hey guys, Here are some pics of my number one bull. I am trying to come up with a name if anyone has any ideas!


    20190810_062904.jpg DSC_0266.JPG DSC_0280.JPG DSC_0284.JPG DSC_0285.JPG
     
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