Outdoor Articles

Public Land Elk

by Pursue The Outdoors on August 29th, 2006 in Bow Hunting

The elk were there we just had to find them, but how? Hunting is not like fishing. It is not as easy to get help in finding the hot spots from a bait shop or game warden. They hear the same questions from every hunter they see, so they pretty much give the same answer to everyone,”The elk are up high and they are not vocal yet.” Well this year I didn’t get much scouting in but it only took two days to figure the elk out. Don’t get me wrong, every year brings a diferent senario, but I will give you my best advice on figuring them out. The truth is about everywhere elk are hunted there is private land close by. Every year elk in Colorado anyway are starting to stay on the private land all year long. Although this creates a problem because you can’t hunt them on private land, the truth is you can learn alot by watching the elk on the private land. This year I watched a herd of over 100 elk on private land and noticed that every one of them were either a cow, a calf, or a spike. Not a shooter bull in the bunch!

So the question that needed to be answered was, where are the shooter bulls? Well by reading articles and reading books i have learned that during calving season and througout the summer the cows will not let the bulls near the calves. So the bulls group up in what they call bachelor groups and spend the summer months together at higher elevations to get away from the bugs and heat. Well when I noticed the shooter bulls where not with the cows yet I checked the high elevations and in one afternoon I found three diferent groups of bulls together.

Finding them still in these groups told me that they were probably still in their summer patterns. All summmer they are trying to put on weight and usually fall into a routine. So I watched two days in a row and sure enough they all did the same thing everyday.

Although they were not bugling or trying to gather cows yet like they usually are at the begining of archery season, they were still very huntable because they were very patternable. So the moral of the story is that instead of cursing the private land elk herds, they are a very helpful tool in figureing out the public elk in the area. So watch them and be observant and you can learn as much from them in a day as you can in a week of scouting.


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