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Thread: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

  1. #11
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    Aug 2016
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    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    The WK hasn't been quiet at all this year. Can't compare a couple days of hunting in one drainage and come to the conclusion that's how it's been for an entire region.

    Bulls are by far the most vocal when cows come into estrous and they're fending off other bulls. The last bit of bow season into the middle of September was clear skies with a bright moon which certainly would have had elk more active throughout the night.

    We had great action most days over our 10 day hunt. Picked up one of our bulls from the butcher on the 24th. He already had 38 elk in at that point and had to shut down for a couple days because they were full. Ran into a few guys who brought elk in and they all killed vocal bulls. It's all a matter of perspective.

    The WK jungle is thick and steep in most places which deters a lot of hunters. For us, it's a lot of scouting preseason and covering ground until we strike up a bull that wants to talk. Once they're talking, it's pretty straight forward.
    "The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom."

  2. #12
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    Feb 2009
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    7,647

    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    Don’t think anybody was concluding that.
    It was o e hunters experience in one area during one week.
    Anyone that hunts elk long enough goes thru it.
    High temps make for long days.
    But then again, some like me have experience 30+ temps, drop a bull at high noon, who came in from a click and a half a way, ripping up the airwaves and walks thru a 400 yard wide cut block to 30 ft, without a care in the world.
    Experiences are experienced, neither all right nor all wrong.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    10

    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    Quote Originally Posted by HighCountryBC View Post
    The WK hasn't been quiet at all this year. Can't compare a couple days of hunting in one drainage and come to the conclusion that's how it's been for an entire region.

    Bulls are by far the most vocal when cows come into estrous and they're fending off other bulls. The last bit of bow season into the middle of September was clear skies with a bright moon which certainly would have had elk more active throughout the night.

    We had great action most days over our 10 day hunt. Picked up one of our bulls from the butcher on the 24th. He already had 38 elk in at that point and had to shut down for a couple days because they were full. Ran into a few guys who brought elk in and they all killed vocal bulls. It's all a matter of perspective.

    The WK jungle is thick and steep in most places which deters a lot of hunters. For us, it's a lot of scouting preseason and covering ground until we strike up a bull that wants to talk. Once they're talking, it's pretty straight forward.
    I don't know who said only a couple of days. Personally, I've been out almost 20 days. Called high and low, spots I've had success in and new drainages. From west of Castlegar, Slocan, pend oreille, Salmo and up Duncan. I think I've clocked at least 60-70km on foot and near a thousand by vehicle. I only got elk calling back in the last week, where last year I had bugles from the 4th to the 25th no problem.

    Not saying they aren't talking, I went back and forth this morning for 2 hours with a fired up bull. It's just quieter than normal for me.

    Also, you've got in on every elk you got talking eh? The point of this post was tactics. What's your 'pretty straight forward' tactic that makes it so easy for you?
    Last edited by Dtripp09; 09-30-2022 at 08:14 PM.

  4. #14
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    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    Quote Originally Posted by Dtripp09 View Post
    Also, you've got in on every elk you got talking eh? The point of this post was tactics. What's your 'pretty straight forward' tactic that makes it so easy for you?
    If a bull is responding, he can be called in. Not too often a bull comes in on a string with only a few cow calls or bugles back and forth unless he’s young and ambitious or you’re right on top of him.

    A guy needs to understand what the bull is saying. A lot of hunters like to over-complicate that and sit tight hoping he’ll come in to some soft cow calling. I prefer being aggressive by cutting off the distance significantly and before much back and forth is had. Even a bull that keeps moving away will eventually get fed up and turn around when you’re close enough.
    "The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom."

  5. #15
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    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugle M In View Post
    Yup, you can be there and nothing seems to be going on, can’t find a damn thing etc.
    Like one season, we went 5 days straight, then one morning had a small 3 pt come out, cross the road, and give me a whistle, and that was it for the whole day.
    6th day no different in the morning, but went back in the afternoon just because o felt that little bull couldn’t be too far from other elk.
    Well, almost at the top, and I hear a bugle, then another bull beyond him bugles.
    And then from the opposite direction, another bull bugles and a 4th one beyond him.
    And I hadn’t done a damn thing yet, hadn’t even tried a bugle at that point.
    So, 6 full days and basically nothing, 1 sighting, spent everyday in there, either morning or night or both.
    And suddenly they are there and they have themselves all fired up (as you say).
    Go figure?
    Indeed, elk are a challenge!

  6. #16
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    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    Quote Originally Posted by mike31154 View Post
    Seems it's going to be another year with many illegally downed 5 points in that region. Good on you for making sure & taking a pass on the one you spotted.
    I don't understand how hunters could live with themselves after displaying such poor ethics..

  7. #17
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    Nov 2016
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    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    Quote Originally Posted by HighCountryBC View Post
    If a bull is responding, he can be called in. Not too often a bull comes in on a string with only a few cow calls or bugles back and forth unless he’s young and ambitious or you’re right on top of him.

    A guy needs to understand what the bull is saying. A lot of hunters like to over-complicate that and sit tight hoping he’ll come in to some soft cow calling. I prefer being aggressive by cutting off the distance significantly and before much back and forth is had. Even a bull that keeps moving away will eventually get fed up and turn around when you’re close enough.
    Well I appreciate the reply. I agree with what you've said. I did this exactly today, but unfortunately my body lost the fight of dogging this bull up the mountain.

    He was reluctant to call back as he moved away but did so as I got into around 50 yards multiple times. After starting from valley bottom to ridge top he launched down into the next drainage, just didn't have the time to chase anymore.

  8. #18
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    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    Quote Originally Posted by HighCountryBC View Post
    The WK hasn't been quiet at all this year. Can't compare a couple days of hunting in one drainage and come to the conclusion that's how it's been for an entire region.

    Bulls are by far the most vocal when cows come into estrous and they're fending off other bulls. The last bit of bow season into the middle of September was clear skies with a bright moon which certainly would have had elk more active throughout the night.

    We had great action most days over our 10 day hunt. Picked up one of our bulls from the butcher on the 24th. He already had 38 elk in at that point and had to shut down for a couple days because they were full. Ran into a few guys who brought elk in and they all killed vocal bulls. It's all a matter of perspective.

    The WK jungle is thick and steep in most places which deters a lot of hunters. For us, it's a lot of scouting preseason and covering ground until we strike up a bull that wants to talk. Once they're talking, it's pretty straight forward.
    This is pure gold OP. Read it and read it again.
    If the world is warming why are there so many new snowflakes?

    If we are all equal why do you demand special treatment?

    You can not comply your way out of tyranny.

    Fire them ALL!

  9. #19
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    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    I had a bull really perplex me one season.
    We came in mid day, saw a beauty WT that I totally muffed the shot on.
    Anyways. Spent the rest of the day looking for it.
    Before dark, came out from the timber at the top of a cut block and realized I hadn’t bugled at all (1st day hunt)
    Bugled and immediately got a bugle with chuckle back.
    Went back and forth with him, and he didn’t waste time in responding.
    Ge moved towards us and us at him, as it was getting late, and we closed the gap quick!
    Probably 800 yards between us ( nice bowl, great acoustics).
    Gig my buddy in Front of me by 40.
    Bull still coming, bugling, and then just about in my buddys view, and the bull veers off, still bugling and moves into deeper timber and keeps going while bugling.
    Wind was perfect
    Next evening, same thing, same place, same ending and he is vocal and alone.
    So, I tried the next day from above as I felt he was spending his time in thick crap, laying in or beside a creek during the day.
    Nothing all morning, just staying put.
    We napped at around 2-3pm.
    At some point I woke to a sound.
    It was a flunky sound, probably the bull rolling into his other side.
    I bugled, he chuckled, and game on.
    3rd time now, me going to him, him to me, but this time it was just him and me.
    And just as I know the gap is closing, almost coming face to face, the bugger veers off to the side but still moving up but angled away.
    This time I made a quick 90, and started hoofing it.
    I was on a game trail, but lots of overgrown evergreen patches to bust threw here and there.
    I came thru a bunch, and was looking off to my right thinking he should be there.
    Fact was, he was about 30 ft in front in me on the side of trail, broadside looking at me.
    All I saw was the whites of his eyes, head drop, quick turn to his right snd then the head and antlers flung back, and then it was elbows and an asshole for a couple of seconds as he lunged up the trail while I tried to count points.
    Positive he was a good 6x6, but I still needed to count and never got the chance but I did have a chance at a nice broad side shot I never took while he was full out.

    All I can say is, this bull was full on bugling and chuckling snd but tentative to engage.
    Made the effort to come my way and called while I made it to him, all 3 times simultaneously.
    And yet, it’s like he was putting up a good show, but never the intention to follow thru and kick my ass.
    And he was physically no slouch!

    No rhyme of reason, for why he was too shy at just the last second.
    Wind perfect, I had him convinced I was a bull, and with a couple of cows around.
    He played the invite, but wouldn’t take the dance.

    Never saw him again the rest of the week of even a peep.

  10. #20
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    Feb 2012
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    Nelson BC
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    248

    Re: West Kootenay Elk Hunters

    We had a bull bugling from 6.30am until 3 pm two days ago. Had to shoot it to shut it up. As others have said , take a longer walk - ugliest hill you can find. They are on the other side.

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