It can definitely pay off to have pre hunt elk strategies in place when it comes to hunting elk. One strategy that can pay big dividends is to pre scout the area you will be hunting.
Get a topography map of the area you are going to hunt and study it often. Make mental notes of terrain that affects the movement of the animals. Pay particular attention to streams, ridges, ledges, saddles and bowls.
Vegetation and timber are important because they are a source of food and protection. Elk tend to bed in evergreens and dark timber and elevated if possible. Elk even chew on aspen trees surrounding grassy meadows.
They like crossing a saddle on ridges and feed in more open areas like aspens with meadows. Bowls or the rounded areas where ridges meet are a great spot to look.
South and east slopes are better to hunt in the morning and west slopes in the afternoon. Water holes and creeks are good to watch because of the scarcity of water out west.
Large bulls will use cows and smaller bulls to set up a perimeter of protection around themselves. The largest bull we have ever seen used this tactic to evade our harvesting of him. We had trudged through knee deep snow for thirty minutes after spotting a herd of elk on a distant ridge.
When we finally peeked over the ridge into the bowl, we began to spot one elk, then another and another. Before long, we had counted eighteen elk, cows and small bulls. All of a sudden, a huge bull stood up right in the middle of the rest. We didn’t have a clear shot because there were aspens between him and us.
We estimated him to be around 250 yards. He got up and moved in a small area maybe 10 feet by 10 feet and then he disappeared. The “bull of the woods” kept plenty of cows and smaller bulls around him for protection.
In this type of area, a bull can escape quickly over a ridge without detection. We didn’t get to tag him but it made our day just watching him. It was definitely an incredible sight to see! Unbelievable!
Make sure you have pre hunt elk strategies in place and one of them should definitely be to pre scout the area you plan to hunt. Having some good elk hunting strategies in place can definitely make a huge difference. Hey, who knows, you might just get that “bull of the woods”.
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