View Full Version : How do you fare with hunting elk??

October 29, 2007, 02:03 PM
How often do you fill your tag?

How often with cows vs. bulls?

October 29, 2007, 05:58 PM
I bow hunt elk on the Oregon coast. Terrain is tough and the dense vegetation makes it even tougher. One guy that hunts the same area non-scientifically figures he walks 100 miles for each elk. Over the years, I have walk a heck of a lot more than that and am still looking for first blood. I have had shots that I missed and opportunities that just did not work out.

Deer hunting with a rifle fills my freezer, elk hunting with a bow fills my soul.

October 29, 2007, 07:19 PM
Well hasn't been hard for me I've filled almost every year I've drawn a tag since my first elk hunt in 1997. I've hunted Ranching for Wildlife areas most of the time. Every year I've hunted a RFW area I brought home a cow, haven't ever hunted for a bull yet.

I might get an either sex tag next year for bow, I guarntee I'll shoot the first legal animal that gets within range. I didn't fill both of my cow tags last year, because a friend got hurt and that ended the hunt before I got a shot on an elk. So I guess my average is 5 out of 7 tags, and 5 elk out of 6 seasons. Even though I live in Colorado I rarely hunt elk if I don't draw the area I want.

October 29, 2007, 08:05 PM
I'm like Davlandrum on this.I killed a raghorn 5X5 the first year I hunted them in 1986.Then I bowhunted them for about 15 years.Middle of Sept. so the weather is good.Elk are usually very vocal up til about 9 AM.And you will get to see some really good herd bulls.I have been within 100 yards of at least 20 huge bulls.A couple 375 or maybe better.But,closing that 100 yards down to 30 or 40 requires that everything be in your favor.Usually the bull wins.I have drawn back on a couple at 60 yards which is probably a shot I could make since they are not good at jumping like a whitetail.But, I decided not to,not wanting to wound one of these fantastic animals.
I cow called one satellite bull in to about 15 yards.I had 3 cow calls around my neck,all frozen.Had my bow on my shoulder on a sling,had my pocket knife out to unstick the reed each time I called,and the rascal blasted in right on top of me.As it turned out his head was behind a tree,but no matter,their was no way I could get my bow off my shoulder and an arrow knocked with out him seeing me.

I am kind of like that hunting.Sometime I'll tell you about the 6X6 I had at 30 yards with a sandwich in my mouth and rifle up against a tree 10 yards away.

As to the original question,I suspect you can figure out how to kill an Elk of some sort if you hunt the same area repeatedly.If you hunt an area you have never seen, it's a lot more difficult.But,the fun is certainly not in the killing for most of us.

Dave Haven
October 29, 2007, 10:52 PM
I'm 2 for 3 on bulls and 1 for 1 on cows.
3 for 3 in unit 4A and 0 for 1 in unit 4B.

October 30, 2007, 01:17 PM
Thanks for voting.
Just wondering because I read an article within the last year, by a professional hunter that claimed that if you hunt elk alone (non-guided) and you are able to harvest more than one elk inside of three years, you are very good at this difficult task. I've been taking an elk every year since I started hunting the beast, and I do think it is hard, but I know where to find them. I'm sure archery would be even harder. Maybe he was writing about bulls, or large trophy bulls, I can't remember. I hunt for one bull and one cow every year and have been lucky enough to come up with one per year. Maybe just lucky.
I've seen 'trophy shots' on Field & Stream's website where a hunter sent in his photo of his first elk after having hunted them in Colorado for over ten years! I've hunted them in Colorado and think that state has the easiest elk hunting, period. Just my opinion. I won't be surprised if I can't fill my tag some day.
Thanks again.

October 30, 2007, 01:42 PM
There is a lot of variables in this question. There are places in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, where IF I had access to the private land, could be pretty succesful. Roosevelt Elk (coast elk) are not as vocal as Rocky Mountain elk, so bugling to locate them is not effective (or at least for the people I know - I am sure there is someone who will dispute that...).

We hunt public land and one of the factors is how many other people you see. It seems in our area like there is some magic number of hunters that will keep the elk moving more - too few or too many keeps the elk hunkered down. Weather is a big variable. If you are in a "any elk" zone that is way different than bull only (the unit we hunt is cow or +3 pt).

The big elk states are a lot different than say Oregon and Washington.

October 30, 2007, 09:31 PM
The other thing to take into consideration on your poll is, some of us only get a week or 10 days to hunt from out of state.

I have been Elk hunting 4 times. All 4 times about 8 hunting days after hiking in and setting up camp etc.

One cow, one time. Some encounters but no missed shot. Every time out of state archery either sex. Some encounters at 125 yds. etc but no close encounters until one cow made the fatal mistake of investigating the cow call.

My hunting buddy shot a bull the first time we went, the second day we hunted, 500 yards from the truck. He has never laid eyes on an elk within 100 yards again.

4 years in Colorado. 3 years on public access, north of Leadville. One year, leftover tags for specific sections. Semi-guided, Hoss Port was our guide. No elk.

over 100 miles walked, at above 10k feet, from Texas, felt like dieing, carried one cow 7 miles in one trip with 4 guys afoot. Quartered and boned and packed by 4 myserable guys. Got back at camp thanks to GPS at 1 a.m. and slept until noon the next day.

I estimate the cost of the one elk to be $4,700.00 in gas, tags, supplies, and one guide fee.