Where to Hunt Elk

Knowing how to read a topo map is also a great way to increase your chances of finding elk when elk hunting. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

One of the toughest things about hunting elk is finding them, especially if elk hunters are from the East and unsure of where to go elk hunting. Once elk hunters have picked out the state they want to elk hunt in, they should begin researching areas to elk hunt. They can purchase topo maps or aerial photographs of areas they want to elk hunt. After acquiring the maps and photos, elk hunters can look for areas off the beaten path that might hold elk. Things to look for include creeks, flattop ridges near secluded meadows and watering holes. After elk hunters have researched two or three elk hunting areas, they should call the wildlife biologists in the areas they would like to elk hunt. Biologists most likely reveal their favorite honey hole but if elk hunters do some research before calling them and ask them which of the three areas they looked at will hold the largest number of elk or the biggest bulls, they will often advise elk hunters on the best area, which provides a great starting point.

If elk hunters go to an area they haven't elk hunted before, they should plan to elk hunt for at least 10 or 12 days. Many elk hunters shoot themselves in the foot for planning an elk hunt that is only a week long. The problem with week-long elk hunts is it usually takes a few days to locate elk in a new area and it takes more to figure out a herds' patterns. If elk hunters only have a week to elk hunt, by the time they figure everything out it is almost time to come home. When some hunt elk, they try to have at least two weeks. This gives the elk hunter plenty of time to locate elk and figure out their patterns. If bad weather ruins a few days of elk hunting, it isn't the end of the world because you have five or six days to elk hunt. If bad weather ruins a few days of elk hunting and the elk hunter only have five or six days to elk hunt, half of your elk hunt will be wasted due to weather. In the western states it can be sunny and 70 degrees one day and snowing the next. Bad weather is something that often occurs on elk hunts. Prepare for it by planning on a long elk hunt.

It is not impossible to kill an elk if you stay at a hotel and hike into the mountains each morning, but the best way to hunt elk is from a base camp that is several miles off the road system. Most diehard elk hunters set up a large tent camp in the wilderness and return to it at the end of each day. If tent camping is something you plan to do, remember that you will want top notch gear that can handle the weather for long periods of time.

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Russell, MB
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