Hunting Elk

Tips For A Successful Elk Hunt

Elk hunting is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you can have as an outdoorsman. These animals are large, powerful creatures who need to consume lots of vegetation. So in order to consume what suits their diet, they are forced to move around.

Chasing down and hunting elk can be a difficult task for any newbie hunter. You have to stalk them and wait for the perfect moment before you take your shoot. It is something that needs practice and patience.

The elk population has risen up, evolving into a more elusive species, which makes elk hunting a more challenging experience than ever before. Also, the patterns of elk’s antlers no longer resemble that of a deer, and they have expanded their range to include more different terrain and food sources.

If you want to learn more about hunting elk, then you are in the right place. In this article, we will mention the most useful tips to have the best elk hunting experience.

Hunting Elk in Canada

When it comes to elk hunting opportunities, most people automatically think of one of the Western American states – Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico or Montana. But Canada also offers an opportunity to pursue the mountain monarchs. Alberta and British Columbia offer healthy herds and decent trophy quality. Also, they offer a lot of backcountry wilderness and OTC tag options.

Tips For Hunting Elk

What To Wear On The First Elk Hunt?

Dressing properly for an elk hunt is important. If you are headed out for your first time, try to dress warmly so that the cold wind does not affect how well things go during this exciting yet challenging adventure. If you are going to the mountains, make sure that your clothing is appropriate. You should wear layers so that your body can stay warm without sweating and dry out once you get out of the cold.

Finding elk is not an easy task. You need to wear good boots for your journey because it will take you on a long walk, so a good pair of boots is essential if one wants a successful big game hunting. Try to avoid wearing these colourful boots that attract elk.

Choose Your Hunting Weapon

The first thing to do is to choose your hunting weapon. You need a hardcore weapon for hunting elk. You can select a bow if you prefer archery or a rifle. Then you need to master shooting with your chosen weapon.

If you are a newbie, then going on a hunting trip with someone who has hunted elk before may be really helpful. Once you are done with the basics, you will want to practice often.

Learn To Call

When a bull bugles, it’s easy to react by instantly bugling or cow calling back. But too much calling can do more harm than good, and the same thing if you are not calling enough.

When you hunt on public land, keep in mind that all the hunters are out there blowing calls as well. The bulls hear this all and potentially scare them off.

So, it’s easy to get the perfect call down for elk but where, when and how much to call is something that only comes with hunting experiences.

If you are hunting elk for the first time, it will be your chance to use your call in a real scenario for first time. In this way, you will have a bit more knowledge of your success rate using it. Although your first try might not be too successful, it will be a step toward becoming a better elk hunter.

Stay Out of Sight

Elk have a wide range of sight because their eyes are on the side of their head. So when you are out on the hunt, keep an eye on which direction the elk is facing. 

But also, there is a downside that you can take advantage of, which is their poor depth perception. You can use this by hiding in the brush and obstructed views.

Go For Hunting Elk After The Rut

The elk rut is a time when elk in an area change their behaviour to attract potential mates. During the elk Rut, older bull elk start to show off and try to impress younger bulls.

When the elk are in a rut, they become more dangerous and violent. Therefore the rut season can be a risky time for hunters. They will get involved in dangerous fights. Therefore elk will become weak after the rutting season. This gives the hunters an opportunity to hunt these weakened animals.

Get Started Early In The Morning

In order to achieve a successful hunting season, you need to be in the right hunting area at the right time. The best time to hunt elk is early in the morning, when they are most relaxed and likely eating. So the elk won’t be alarmed by the noise.

Elk are generally found in the mountains and mostly in the Rocky Mountain range, from which they got the name of rocky mountain elk. There are some areas where you are most likely to find elk. Those areas include forests with dense vegetation or near river valleys and water sources.

Cover Your Scent

The elk’s sense of smell is much stronger than a human’s nose, they might pick up your smell even if you have not put anything scented on your body.

When you are on the hunt for an elk, you need to pay attention to wind currents. To prevent your scent from getting to the elk’s keen nose, you have to approach them from the downwind direction.

Also, using a scent-eliminating spray can be very helpful in minimizing human odour. Always keep multiple bottles on hand, you can keep one in your vehicle, in camp, and a small bottle in your pack. Another way to remove the body’s smell is by wiping some grass or dirt on your body, this will help you a lot.

 Give It Time

Once you take your shot, give your prey enough time to expire. You should wait at least one hour if your shot was in the vitals. However, if it was a marginal shot, then you should give the prey more time before taking up the trail. Learn to read blood signs. Tracking is a skill that requires patience and practice.

What To Do If Elk Attacks

Elk are aggressive and dangerous animals when they are in a group. When there is a herd, there will be a dominant member of the group. You will be attacked if they feel you are a threat to their safety.

The easiest way to avoid elk attacks is by staying close behind the tree, a fence that can go about as solid boundaries between you and your prey. And if possible, climb up high where they cannot reach.

Prepare For After

After elk tag, you will have a ton of meat that you have to keep clean, dry and cool. So before setting out, you need to plan for what you will do with all of that meat. As you surely do not want it to go bad after all of your hard work. You can buy a new chest freezer or empty out your fridge as you will need this space to keep all that delicious, fresh elk venison.