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Old April 25, 2011, 10:55 AM   #1
Blacktail_Slayer
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Join Date: May 6, 2006
Posts: 224
Drew a Multi-Season tag, SW Washington. Help/Ideas?

I know this is a long post, but if anyone can bear with me through it and offer some advice, or share some experiences, or whatever, I would be very thankful.
For the past 5 years, while scouting elk for rifle season I find fully rutting bulls. Last year I had 3 mature bulls bugling less then 100 from me in any direction durring the early archery season. That was it, I dusted off my bow and am honing my skills for the early archery season. Got calls, been practicing shooting every day, been going up scouting, I already have 3 heards located, now I am working on patterning them.
Thats all fine and dandy, I have been able to pattern and fallow these elk before, my issue now is that I was drawn for a multi-season deer tag this year. I get to hunt the rifle season, bow season, and muzzleloader season. I normally hunt an either sex unit and just focus on filling a tag legally, not rack hunting for deer. The blacktail bucks are so damn nocturnal and sly that I only tend to see 1 buck for every 20 does or so. I see the sign very often, but not the actual animals. I still have to pay extra for this tag and I want to get a decent buck for my sacrifice. I hope a solid 3 point or better. I only have 3 deer under my belt, two does and a spike. I fully intend on being up souting heavy all the way up till season. The area I am scouting elk though is hit EXTREMELY hard for deer and elk after the early archery seasons. I have a few different less pressured areas to go after deer throughout the seasons. Now my mind is all over the place, before when I was focused on my first archery elk season, now with the two focuses... I have 2 old trail cams (the cheap $50 ones, the ones that were that cheap 3 or 4 years ago) I know one still works, the other I think I just need to troubleshoot. The main areas I go that I see the most animals are walking in on gated locked log roads. They open them for rifle season, but early archery and muzzleloader seasons Ill walk in. No one does this around here, everyone goes where they can ride quads, or drive in. I see A LOT of animals doing this, and since I am just slowly walking the road, it is EXTREMELY easy to stay quiet. On foot I can cover 20 miles or so of log roads, but my plan would be to do that till I locate some bucks and then start using the trail cams to see if I can pattern them. One place would actually be really easy to ride a bicylce in to, I could cover the ground REALLY fast. Its all level along the main log road for 20-30 miles along the river. Since there is no camping, or motor vehicle traffic allowed, that area gets very little pressure untill they open the gates for rifle hunters.
I dont have much money to try new toys (like treestand, new trail cam, spotting scope, etc) I have a good pair of Bushnell binos but 75% of the area I am in is timber or jack firs, the only open areas are the clearcuts, those get hit so hard every year, most the mature bucks learn to stay away unless its pitch dark. My selection of weapons includes, Browning A-Bolt 30-06 w/ Leupold scope (my baby, but since I hunt mostly in a firearm restriction unit, I have only got to shoot one animal with it) Mossberg 535 Pump W/rifled barrel and open rifle sights (what I use in the restriction unit) I will be borrowing a muzzle loader this summer, taking the last half of the summer to get used to it and comfortable with it before hunting, and a Fred Bear TRX 32 bow. I am having a hard time getting dialed in with my bow, I get the shakes real easy, not nervous or buck fever, just shake, no matter what im shooting at. I am having a difficult time even getting a 6 inch group at 20 yards, and thats unacceptable. My boss shot national competitions for Hoyt through his youth. He is good, but gets a little arrogant, anything thats not how he does it is wrong. I know hes just trying to help but I could use some other advice. Esp when It comes to releasing with back tention. He says its the only way. I practice for hours, just trying to release with back tention, but I am having difficulties being consistant with it. I have never been that great with this bow, my old one (4feet axel to axel, like 8 pounds haha)I did very well with but the cable system broke and cant find replacements. The Fred Bear bow I mostly have used for bowfishing. Trying to be consistant and accurate with it is killing me. I may be able to get $150 or a hair more for it if I wanted to try a different bow, but then I am limited with the money on hand. I am very short with cash right now. But I have heard of 4 or 5 guys I used to shoot 3d with, swear by thier older Martin bows. Not super old but old enough that they have all picked thiers up with all the accessories for less then $250. I just honestly am not sure what to do. Like I said, with all this My head is going in a bunch of different directions.
Any advice for anything I covered would be appreciated.
-Souting/patterning Blacktail esp in logging country
-scouting/patterning elk
-shooting compound bow
-back tention release with trigger style releases
-ANYTHING else you could say about my little rant & rave here..... haha
Thanks again.
Pete
HOOAH!
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Old April 25, 2011, 12:24 PM   #2
nathaniel
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Join Date: March 11, 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 600
Well I am not an expert but if your shooting more than 3 shots with the bow you could be getting tired, I know I do and Im a stout guy. I shoot 2 shots then rest for like 5 minutes. Ive gotten alot better with my bow since I started doing this.

As far as the elk and deer scouting put some miles on your hiking shoes, get to know where they water, eat, and bed down. Animals are creatures of habit just like us humans.

Any more specific questions you have I could try to answer?
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Old April 25, 2011, 02:28 PM   #3
Buzzcook
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Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
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Where in SW Washington?

I used to hunt blacktail in Gray's Harbor Co. That was in the late 70s and early 80s. I found that there were relatively fewer hunters.

I mainly hunted clear cuts and along power lines. My best efforts were at dawn. I walked inside the border of a clear cut and glassed the opposite side. The odds are that you'll walk past more deer than you see.
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Old April 25, 2011, 07:27 PM   #4
big al hunter
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Join Date: March 12, 2011
Location: Washington state
Posts: 922
I hunt western WA. The best time for bagging a big buck is during the rut. They get all love sick and do some truly stupid things. I usually see the best action during the last couple weeks of the rifle season. That is perfect for you to concentrate on the elk during the early archery season, when the bulls are being stupid as well. If you see a big buck while hunting elk, sweet shoot it but don't sweat it until the rifle season opens. You have all of September, October and most of November to bag the buck. But you only have 14 days in September to get a bull that is as stupid as can be.

For big bucks go where most of the other hunters don't go. An extra half mile will usually put you out of most peoples path and right where the bucks feel safe. I have been chasing a big buck for the last 3 years in just such a place. Most people avoid this area because it is a half mile down hill and they don't want to drag a deer uphill. He has a scrape line that I walk along and each time I see him something happens to spook him. ( Usually my son, he's 10 and loves to go with me but he hasn't quit got the "sneak" talent yet) So I keep trying. Last year we saw 4 big bucks and 3 small ones the last weekend of modern deer season and all of them were chasing does. about 2 miles from the road. ( Three different locations same day )

For the bow practice drawing and letting down without firing it will strengthen the muscles that you use to hold the bow at full draw.
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Old April 26, 2011, 06:16 PM   #5
Blacktail_Slayer
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Join Date: May 6, 2006
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Thank you

I am thankfull for the advice. I am on the border of Clark and Cowlitz couties. The units I have hunted and am in most often are the Battle Ground 564, Coweeman 550, and Toutle 554. If I were to get adventurous or feel like I am getting nowhere in any of those I might poke around the Yale, Washougal, Souixon, or Stella.
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Old April 28, 2011, 06:52 AM   #6
big al hunter
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Location: Washington state
Posts: 922
If you get a chance check out the winston creek unit it is a little north of you
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