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Thread: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    44

    Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Hi Everyone,

    I know I've been asking alot of questions about elk hunting lately, I'm just getting tired of getting skunked for 4 years.

    So I took everyone's advice about getting off the roads.
    My question is, do you just pick random game trails and start bushwacking? At what point do you stop and give up on a trail and walk out?

    I've found a few trails that show a lot of footprints(have trouble differentiating moose and elk). I walk down for about 3 kms look for signs and only saw a few old poop. What do you guys do in this situation? Do you keep going or turn around and look for another trail. How soon after entering a game trail do you realize it's not a good one and move to another trail

    When do you start walking? Do you go down a quad trail as far away from the road as possible then get off the quad when you see a good trail? Or do you just walk from camp?


    Second, do you preplan the trail before entering, google maps, looking for meadows etc? Or do you just pick the first one you see and go? I'm finding that some of the trails I enter eventually just get too thick to keep walking into.

    Does anyone ever just sit I'm s game trail and wait there?
    Last edited by bruce44; 10-02-2019 at 01:32 AM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    74

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Hi Bruce44.

    Have you tried sitting and glassing?
    Spot the Elk, make a plan, then hike in?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    276

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Look up Corey Jacobsen, Randy Newberg, meateater, or Huntin’ fool, and similar articles/mag/YouTube. These guys have lots to say you can try what you like.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    skeena river valley
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    832

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Just like with all game you should be hunting where it is....cover as much ground by truck, atv, or foot and find fresh sign and then start hunting.

    You have to hunt for a place to hunt.

    Know your game, keep the wind in your face, and be persistent.

    IMHO, this is what hunting is all about....good luck in your pursuit....

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    In the bush near a lake
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    6,906

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk-i View Post
    Just like with all game you should be hunting where it is....cover as much ground by truck, atv, or foot and find fresh sign and then start hunting.

    You have to hunt for a place to hunt.

    Know your game, keep the wind in your face, and be persistent.

    IMHO, this is what hunting is all about....good luck in your pursuit....

    And trail cams don’t forget trail cams

    Poking fun aside hawk-i is giving good advice. Something many hunters forget to do is stop hunting for a spot and they keep covering ground. If you find a spot with good sign with terrain that can give you a good shot opportunity stop put in the time to figure out the area and the animals in it. Just because you did not see anything when you were there does not mean your in a bad location

    I only started getting into elk hunting but I got to learn a bit from some experienced successful elk hunters. 2 things that they all preached is elk travel but they do return to locations it’s a matter of how long you need to wait an hour or a month and once you learn a herds habits you will know when to be where . Elk like to travel along rivers, creeks, and lakes so they make good areas to start your search if you have no clue on a new area

    I am an experienced hunter but a rookie elk hunter so don’t take my opinion as gold there is hunters with way more knowledge when it comes to elk on this forum

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    okanagan
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    2,990

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    elk hunting is not easy, and 4 years of not shooting one when you don’t really know how to hunt them is not out of the ordinary. You gotta put the time in. Most dedicated elk hunters start the process in July, scouting, setting up cams, and watching elk. If you’re in an area that you know the elk are in during the rut, learning how to call would probably be a good start

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Kootenays
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    4,134

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Quote Originally Posted by monasheemountainman View Post
    elk hunting is not easy, and 4 years of not shooting one when you don’t really know how to hunt them is not out of the ordinary. You gotta put the time in. Most dedicated elk hunters start the process in July, scouting, setting up cams, and watching elk. If you’re in an area that you know the elk are in during the rut, learning how to call would probably be a good start
    I agree with this. Elk hunting gets into your bones and you can't let it go. 4 years is not a long time. Old statistics used to project, a bowhunter makes 1 kill every 7 years. Not always the case for some, but there you go.
    Elk can cover so much ground. It is important to be able to identify elk from moose track, calf elk from cow.. and bull from either cow or calf. You have to cover ground. Once you get into fresh sign. Use your eyes and nose (you can smell them). Slow down, think about the time of day, what they might be doing, what their movement might look like and anticipate and set up, or stalk in.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    skeena river valley
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    832

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Knowing how to call is a big plus with elk...I worked in Hinton for a few yeasr when I was in my 30's and then in Jasper on construction.

    Me and a buddy practiced relentlessly on the park elk heard with diaphragm calls... we got really good at it and had tons of fun. One thing that sticks in my mind is you can move elk quite a distance with calling but they have a limit of territory that they just don't seem to move out of.

    I took my first bull elk in the upper Wild Hay valley with bow and arrow at less than 20 yards...this bull charged into my calling so fast he almost run me over before veering off at less than a yard from me...

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Kootenays
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    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk-i View Post

    I took my first bull elk in the upper Wild Hay valley with bow and arrow at less than 20 yards...this bull charged into my calling so fast he almost run me over before veering off at less than a yard from me...
    Ah yes, the proverbial "he's coming in" line we all love to hear. You know when you've turned a bull and in bowhunting, that's when things get interesting. Watch for his downwind swing coming in. They want to smell you and see you. Elk know how to use the wind. To their advantage.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1,722

    Re: Elk Hunting How far down the game trail you go

    Bruce...everyone is giving you great advice. Elk need a lot of feed and are constantly looking for food so they’ll move every few days. Generally...Undisturbed elk usually only move short distances but they can and will go a long way to find food.

    I’ve lived in elkford my entire life so I know this area very well and have a pretty good idea where to look for elk. My preferred way to hunt elk is spot and stalk but I also hunt areas that require going in blind and have to rely strictly on calling and lots of luck.

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