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Old October 12, 2009, 06:47 PM   #1
Balog
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Getting ready for my first hunt

I grew up hunting rabbits and ground squirrels to protect our family's garden, and for years I've wanted to move on to larger game. Finally finances, work situation, and a more experienced hunting partner are all lined up for this year!

I'm in WA and bought the deer+elk+bear+cougar+small game license. Although I'd love to get out after deer, it's looking unlikely. Been putting in huge amounts of overtime (to help pay for all the new hunting gear ) and there are work conflicts on the deer season weekends. So my first taste of big game hunting will be back packing in to the William O. Douglas wilderness for elk. Maybe not the ideal situation for a newb, but it beats not going at all.

I've been looking into the backpacking part of the equation, but I'm looking for a good source for info about the wily elk. Any online resources you all would recommend? I've found a couple anatomy charts as a guide for where to shoot, but I'm still looking for hunting strategies etc. Thanks all.
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Old October 12, 2009, 07:27 PM   #2
simonkenton
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I have hunted quite a bit of wild hog, and many, many deer.
Also a little moose.
I never have hunted elk, but you need to get a big rifle and shoot them in the lungs and they will die.
Practice a lot with your rifle so that you are a real good shot.
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Old October 12, 2009, 09:04 PM   #3
Balog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonkenton
I have hunted quite a bit of wild hog, and many, many deer.
Also a little moose.
I never have hunted elk, but you need to get a big rifle and shoot them in the lungs and they will die.
Practice a lot with your rifle so that you are a real good shot.
The bolded part made me smile.

I'm an acceptable shot; Uncle Sam's Misguided Children saw to that. And I'll be putting as many rounds downrange as I possibly can beforehand. I'm more concerned with the "getting to within rifle range" part, personally.
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Old October 13, 2009, 02:51 PM   #4
davlandrum
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You hunting west side or east side? Big difference in the hows and wherewithalls. West side is Roosevelt elk in dense terrain, east is Rocky Mountain elk in more open terrain.

My first suggestion for either (although you might already be done for this year??) is get a cow call. There are many types from ones that you blow to diaphram calls that go in your mouth. Although TV makes it look like bugling is the way to call them in, most guys I know that are routinely successful don't bugle. Roosies are not as willing to come fight someone, and would rather just take their cows and leave. Rockies might be more willing to fight. But both like a friendly cow

Disagree on a "big" rifle. .270, 30-06, 7mm Rem will do fine. Biggest elk I have ever seen killed was with a .257 Roberts.
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Old October 14, 2009, 08:21 AM   #5
Balog
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I'll be on the west side, down in GMU 513 near Mt Rainier. The season starts Nov 7, which (to my understanding) is after the rut. Would a cow call still be a good idea?
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Old October 14, 2009, 09:47 AM   #6
taylorce1
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After the rut there isn't a whole lot of use using any calls IMO as you might get a chirp but a cow call isn't really going to attract a whole lot of attention. Best thing you can do is find a good vantage point and sit down and glass. Once you locate the elk make your stalk and and go slow at it so that you can spot them before you spot them.

Sitting and being still behind a good set of binoculars will be very benifical to help you locate elk.

Good Luck!
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Old October 14, 2009, 11:14 AM   #7
davlandrum
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Trouble with west side is sitting with a set of binos is not going to be very helpful much of the time due to the vegetation.

We do a lot of walking on old logging roads, many of the blocked off so you don't have to dodge traffic and listening. Elk make a lot of noise in the salal. Out of habit I keep a diaphragm call in my mouth so if I crack a branch or make too much noise I can blow a little cow call - maybe they will think the "cow" made the noise.

Some guys will rig a carrier to a mountain bike so they can cover more ground, still sticking to the logging roads.

Lot of guys here from WA, so they might have more specific info. I was stationed there for a few years and did not get to hunt there very much.

Dave
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Old October 14, 2009, 11:29 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kenton
I never have hunted elk, but you need to get a big rifle and shoot them in the lungs and they will die.
You don't need a big rifle. You need to hit where you're aiming. People kill elk on a VERY regular basis with a 243.

You need to use a gun you shoot well. That means a gun that doesn't paralyze you with fear at the thought of pulling the trigger. 243, 25-06, 7mm-08 are all enough for elk.
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