What You Need to Know About Hunting Elk
What You Need to Know About Hunting Elk
Like deer, elk have keen hearing and an incredibly strong sense of smell
. If you're hundreds of yards away and the wind carries your scent their direction, that's enough to send elk deep into the forest, before you've even spotted any. Or maybe they'll hear you before you have any idea that there's one just a hundred yards distant. Or maybe they'll spot you while they're concealed in a grove of trees and you're walking through a meadow.
Understand this -- where ever people are most known to hunt you are most likely going to have the greatest difficulty taking down an elk. Elk are very sensitive to "hunting pressure"; expert hunters have said that the biggest deer and elk have a very strong survival sense -- once they're alerted in any way to human activity, they can simply begin eating at night and simply bedding down during daylight hours concealed possibly in a distant grove of trees -- and you'll never see them.
Best Elk Hunting at Dawn or Dusk
As it is the best elk hunting is in the dawn and dusk hours -- when they typically eat -- but that will go away if local elk or elk with a strong survival sense are spooked by the presence of humans and they simply change the times they eat in an attempt to survive. See: Nocturnal bucks - When deer are hard to find
. This applies to elk as well.
The tips we give today are going to be about hunting elk in a time of collapse -- when the laws of the land don't exist anymore and instead of just being on a recreational hunting outing with friends for a few days -- you are now living off the land, moving deep into the backcountry; where ever you set up camp from there places distant are now going to become your hunting grounds.
Hunting With Minimal Pressure on Elk
As said above, elk are sensitive to hunting pressure. The noise and scent of humans can drive them out of the area. To combat this, you and your camp are going to have to exist quietly, moving quietly, and hunting very, very quietly.
You'll want to practice natural means of concealing your scent -- or just minimizing your scent as much as possible -- as well as becoming very sensitive to wind direction so that you're always hunting downwind.
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In recent articles I've discussed that life in the mountains is possible, as well as warfare -- but if "warfare" comes to your area of the mountains and you are low on food stores, you may want to take this as a hint that it's time to pack up and move your camp even deeper into the backcountry due to the fact that elk (and other types of wildlife) may be spooked by gunfire and flee the area.
Preserving Elk Meat
Using primitive methods of food storage
such as smoking, drying, and salting, you can preserve elk meat for many years, if needed. If you take down enough elk in the late spring and summer months, not only can you feed your camp a rich meal for several weeks or months to come, but you can also preserve some of what you catch to help you get through the winter months, when deep snow on the ground and cold temperatures would make it easier to just hunker down in camp rather than be out hunting in snowy conditions and risk avalanche or a blizzard.
It is possible to hunt in the snow, but if you're in a higher elevation any elk are likely to drop down to a lower elevation with the snow fall. You would have to drop elevation as well for your best chances of taking down an elk.
Elk Are Migratory
You've heard of bird migration? Well now consider elk migration. While many types of deer will stay in a general area of the land year round, elk are likely to migrate -- that migration can come as a result of hunting pressure but typically comes from the changing seasons. As late spring and summer set in elk can move to higher elevations and by fall some may be found as high up as 10,000 feet -- depending on the mountain range of course.
In the summer months that means you'll want to head to higher elevations also because that's where elk are going to migrate (regarding areas near mountain ranges).
Elk Are Often Found Along Drainage Basins
Elk are often found along drainage basins
where creeks and small rivers empty into one larger river that carries the water from snow melt to the lowlands. As elk migrate and move to higher elevations as summer sets in, they'll still need to drink water -- and so (on a map) from the main river in a local drainage basin look for larger creeks further inland that descend from mountainous areas, and consider these to be possible routes that elk may take as the seasons change and they migrate to higher elevations.
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1. Elk Hunting - Ultimate Big Game Hunting
2. What You Need to Know About Hunting Elk
3. How to Spot and Stalk Elk, Hunting from Treestands, Hunting at Night
4. How to Hunt Elk in the High Country
5. Big Game Hunting: Final Points About Hunting Elk