* Use camouflage colors to paint your face and hands -- the solid color of skin can be easily spotted by elk as it stands out in the forest. Painting your face and hands with dark, natural colors helps avoid being spotted.
* When no paint is available consider using mud and dirt, as well as tying (to a headband or hat) small branches and brush around your head and even hands and weapon (be sure to have plenty of string in your pack). The more you look like a small bush or tree the more you are going to blend into the environment with the ultimate goal of being invisible to elk.
* Elk are most active at dawn and dusk ... prepare to stakeout an area well before dawn (some hunters start as early as 3am and no later) and also well before dusk so that you are already in place and ready when / if elk appear.
* If you're going to hunt, get the best binoculars -- you're going to see more detail, further distances, have less eye strain, less eye fatigue and avoid headaches; finally, you'll also see better even when there isn't much light. Cheap binoculars can ruin the hunt before it's even started, making it next to impossible to pick out elk from the terrain and a lot easier to shoot something that isn't an elk -- like another hunter (make sure your fellow hunting companions are carrying good binoculars as well -- no sense in one of them taking aim at you because a tree branch you were crouched under looked like an antler).
* Don't take a shot unless you know for sure that what you see in front of you is an elk -- and don't shoot the elk unless you have a good aim on an area of the elk's body that is going to result in a kill. If you simply injure an elk rather than mortality wound it this is one likely to get away -- and have to suffer many days and possibly weeks. See: Elk Anatomy and Shot Placement.
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* Expert hunters advise to set treestands well in advance of any hunting (several weeks or months) in areas that elk are known to eat and then to wait until conditions are just right before journeying to your teestand and getting set up to stakeout the area.
* Conditions are right for hunting elk from a treestand when you know that elk should be in that area based on the season, as well as when the wind is in your favor, and finally following a storm. Elk will typically bed down during heavy rain but as soon as the rain lets up or is just a drizzle many hunters say that's some of the best hunting they've seen as elk come out to feed.
* Heavy rainfall can provide a good noise cover to get you to a distant treestand without being heard by elk -- as again during heavy rain many are likely to bed down and there's a good chance they won't be near your treestand when they do. Heavy rainfall is a great opportunity to trek into the forest and get into your treestand without alerting elk that you're in the area.
* Wait until conditions are just right -- which means weather (more on that below) and wind direction are in your favor.
* Wait until the setting is just right also -- that means the area you plan to hunt in has had minimal or no human activity in quite some time.
* Finally, if there is going to be any human activity in the months and weeks leading up to you hunting from one of these treestands you've placed well in advance, it should only be to place food that elk eat around the area. Let elk become accustomed to eating in the area you want to hunt -- of course this may not work for migratory elk as many may not be in the area at certain times of the year, but for some elk in some areas of wilderness this may work very well.
It can work very well with deer.
Major outfitters sell night vision goggles -- but the prices for these can be into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars; they can serve more than one purpose, even being used for self-defense and keeping watch over your camp in the evening hours. How would you like to be able to spot dangerous wildlife or simply intruders before they could sneak into camp and take one or more lives? Night vision goggles are tools of U.S. Special Forces such as the Navy Seals and Army Delta Force (who are reported to be equally or even more top secret than Navy Seals).
If you've got the dollars for night vision goggles be aware that most may run on battery power; so for these to be a tool in a time of collapse you have to have a power supply for keeping those batteries charged. Though you may be able to trade these to someone with a power supply -- a lot of people are purchasing solar panels and wind mills to generate electricity "off the grid"; one of them may be interested in your night vision goggles or simply enable you to keep your battery charged off their power supply; so not all may be lost during a time of collapse.
Research night vision goggles at major outfitters like Cabelas then check Amazon to see where you can get the best price for the model you decide on. There are cheap versions of night vision goggles as well, such as EYECLOPS, but these cheaper models may not be that effective for hunting at a range greater than 50 yards, from what I've read, though they were recommended by one hunter. If you get the EYECLOPS it's advised to use it with a good infrared spotlight that you can attach to your weapon. You won't be able to see the infrared light but the goggles will. That entire set up may cost you less than $200 -- a lot cheaper than the higher prices seen for night vision goggles that are $2,000 and up.
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