Archery Talk Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys and gals. I hope this isnt too general or a stupid topic.

I'm going on my first ever Elk hunt and I'm going with a bow because it's been a life dream of mine and I'm thinking I better get started while I'm in good condition. I'm currently and accurately shooting German kinetics (grouping with field points very well) out to 60 yards thus far. My goal is to practice to 80 yards, take ethical and clean shots to 40 yards.

Once i'm comfortable with my setup for a certain yardage, I'm Trying to shoot in awkward positions, hills, standing on uneven surfaces, and up hill and down. Assuming my bow is in optimal tuned condition (thanks to you all on here), what is some advice on some things to consider when preparing for shooting at elk? My pins are set at 25, 35, and a floating pin at 45, but will be adjustable to 80,but only for optimal or follow up shots if needed.

APA M34TF
65 lbs
Carbon Express, Maxima Red SD's
German Kinetics 125 grain



Thanks all
 

·
Colorado ELk Hunter
Joined
·
1,877 Posts
Furthest i have shot an elk....50 yards but most were 30 or less. I have killed 4 out of 5 elk with Silver flames. They are great. Sometimes blood trails can be challenging with a two blade, but knock on wood i havent failed to find one yet. Stay away from quartering to shots. My buddy shot one last year quartering to and it was a challenge getting back on him and finishing him off and when he did he slid down into a hell hole. Be prepared for anything. If you are eating lunch and you call , dont be surprised if they sneak in on you. Happened to another buddy of mine. He got that elk but only because he saw the elk sneaking in before the elk detected him. Don't give up. If you are not seeing much sign and no elk after a few days you may want to move.....and glass, glass, glass. Glassing will save you so much time and body wear and tear. and of course, play the wind. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,585 Posts
3 for me all at 35 yds. Son 1 at 40 yds. Mine 2 double lungs & 1 heart. Nothing traveled over 125 yds. Sons 1st was poor hit at 40 & 2nd was in the lungs at 40 also. All with 3 blade Fixed (Rocky Mountains) & arrow right at 500 grns.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Be prepared for the time of your life. Getting into a vocal herd is like visiting Jurassic Park. It’s magical.

It’s a game of movement and positioning. Ranges and angles change fast. You will be constantly faced with choices of sitting still, pressing, or falling back. When it comes together it will happen quickly and suddenly. Be prepared for quick ranging and small windows of opportunity. You can get away with more noise and faster repositioning than other animals. Elk herds are noisy. Sometimes you.ll be running to get to a position. Don’t use calls without intent. You’re speaking a language. Don’t “babble” when you’re “talking”. Be prepared to draw early and hold. Be in good shape and make sure you have the resources to get a horse sized animal to the freezer.

Farthest shot anyone in my camp has taken is 65 yards (double lung). Closest is 5 feet. I’ve had two bulls within arms length, one of them literally bugling in my face with his head inside a 5’ tall sapling I was standing behind. I could have tapped him on the nose. It was an incredible experience and I didn’t get a shot (straight in, jumped 180 degrees when he caught a scent after about 4 minutes of standing there screaming, walked out straight away). I actually considered trying to shoot him through the eye socket since I was stuck at full draw the whole time and my arrow was almost touching him.

Nothing beats elk hunting.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Geriggs, ahunter55, and Dfinch.......Wow, I didnt expect such great feedback and willingness to share experiences. Thank you for the replies. I wasnt really to sure what to expect and I was pleased to hear that you all have harvested elk in under 50 yds. Great advice on being ready for anything and to be ready to move and expect anything, even the unexpected. Man its exciting, hard to believe in Sept I'll be heading west. I better practice my breathing skills for maintaining my composure. Draw early and be prepared to hold a long time. I"m going to work on that.. maybe even time myself to check my improvement. Quartering to, a No, no, i understand. Glass, Glass, Glass, ok I'm going to do so. I've heard that wind can spoil a hunt quick in the western hills, I will keep that in Mind...Have fun and no pressure, good advice.

You guys have gotten me even more fired up than i am already.... thanks for the pics of the elk, those are awesome. Good hunting to you all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
Have taken 5 Elk on 8 hunts and only one was shot at 30yds ... the rest were from 5yds - 25yds .... Play the wind, use your ears, eyes, and nose .... They will come in quiet for sure especially to a cow call, They may but not always circle down wind or get higher ground above you, From what I have experienced.
Draw when an Elk is walking .... They stop to look at you ... If they are stopped they may spook .... If they are behind cover and see you move they may freeze ... Last bull I took was September 2017 ... came straight into my cow call ... I button hooked him getting the wind at his butt .... Plenty of cover thankfully .... He was walking straight in and stopped at 20 yds after turning his head sideways to fit his rack between two small cedars .... He started walking straight in again and I drew on him at 10 yds ... He jumped back to 20 or so and stopped to look back at me ... I about had a heart attack ..... Quarter away and he was down on 70yds .... Great hunt ...
I learned the most on a 8 day DIY private land hunt where I did not kill .... Was in Elk most days on that hunt ..... Was an incredible week I would trade for no other hunting experience. .... You are going to get addicted .... Have a great time and enjoy all of it .....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
My advise is to this question is always the same. If you are going DIY public land elk hunting give yourself enough time. 10-14 days if possible
 

·
One Shot
Joined
·
9,198 Posts
Decoys work.
The wind is your best friend and worst enemy.
Get a sceery special elk call and call softly.
Get a primos pack bugle. Put it in your pack and leave it there. When you are inside 80 yards and can see the bull, get out the bugle if you must. Bugle calls drive away more than than bring to you, especially at distance.
Get in better shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,767 Posts
My advise is to this question is always the same. If you are going DIY public land elk hunting give yourself enough time. 10-14 days if possible
I always say that if you have enough time you will get a good shot. It might be on day one and it might be on day 18...

The wind is your friend. You can fool an Elk's vision sometimes, you can fool their ears all the time, you will never fool their nose... Another reason why time is so important. In a 2 week timeframe, you will have a chance to have everything line up just right.
Be in the best shape of your life- Just in case you have to carry an Elk a few miles on your back.

Learn to call... Take the Elk101 University of Elk online class. It will teach you what it took me 10 years in the field to learn

Good Luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
After one trip to the mountains, I moved here...19 years ago...nothing beats challenging the mountain, the quarry and most of all yourself...

Break in boots NOW...climb stadium stairs 3X a week...altitude will exhaust you...good pack that hauls meat and always HAVE Game bags WITH you...I like Caribou bags, very light but strong..

Shoot alot, cardboard elk target? Bring water filter or purification tablets...

Ive sold alot of Berry's Thunderbugles...they work and easy

Havalon Knives are fantastic but BE PREPARED.. HAVE ice and know where the closest processor or cooler is in your region...get it off the bone immediately (likely 80+ degrees)

Scout on GoogleEarth, north facing slopes with wet spots.....

Bring bear spray!!!

PM me anytime...or call
Aaron
866-302-2555 love to chat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,001 Posts
Have shot 1 at 4 yards, was closer but facing me (DON'T SHOT FACING) hunting partner raking trees behind me got him to turn & shot went 35 yards partner called at him right after the shot & he stopped & tried to bugle but all that came out was the blood girggle. I called in another bull for partner & he was standing behind a aspen tree & bull walked up to the tree he was behind & started to rake his antlers on the tree & hooked his pants, he jumped & elk walked away directly in line of the tree. Had another bull in unit 2 CO. 400+ at 12 yards all I was doing was calling for a friend that is a resident & took 19 years to draw the tag. He had the chance at it but didn't get it put together. WOW what fun!
Addicting doesn't come close to the excitement that you can have when elk hunting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,537 Posts
Heart, Lungs and Legs. Better get them ready. If you are coming to the Rockies and never have been here before you will need to work your guts out with conditioning.

It would suck for you to come out here, hunt one day and then be crippled up the rest of the trip. Good boots, good socks.

I have taken guys out from the Midwest elk hunting before. The country intimidated them and they were not in good shape. Needless to say, they didn't get anything.

Bears, wolves and cats. Don't be afraid, but be smart.

When you think you are in great shape, then work harder! Elk move a lot and you will have to move with them at times.

Dress in layers. One day might be 80 deg. and the next might be 40 or worse. Have the right clothing for any type of weather. You might see it all in one week.

It can be 30 deg. and snowing, but if you don't open up them hip joints, the meat won't cool down.

If you are going to do stadium stairs, do it with at least 50lbs on your back.

If you are calling, don't be on your butt sitting. If you got to be on the ground, be on your knees. Practice shooting from your knees. Practice drawing with no extra movement like sky drawing. Practice drawing your bow from your knees.

I can't say it enough... if you want to have a great hunt and see some country, you really have to be serious about your cardiovascular system and your legs.

Like others have said, get boots broke in now. Make sure they are boots you can walk 10 miles in without stopping. If you don't take of your feet, you won't go far. Blisters are the debil!

Be ready to hunt in timber and in sagebrush. This is real big country out here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
If it's like last year it will be hot one day and raining the next. Have confidence in your equipment. I was injured in Iraq and can't walk like I used to but I still got into them. I use a good Broadhead (shuttle t or slick trick) and pop them lungs when you get the opportunity. They are big but a good shot, they go down fast. Not so good shot........They never stop. Most importantly HAVE FUN.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Don't underestimate the work it will take to harvest an elk. It often takes miles of walking in rough terrain to create an opportunity, and if that doesn't wear you out, packing hundreds of pounds of meat to your vehicle will. Assume you will be successful and be prepared. There could be nothing worse than sticking an elk on a warm September day and having the meat spoil because you don't take care of it properly. Watch videos on how to quarter an elk, and make sure you cool the meat as quickly as possible. Also, hunting with a partner can help. One can call while one sets up for the shot, and if you do kill one, two guys can pack it out faster than one.
 

·
Smilin' Bob
Joined
·
25,077 Posts
Man, you all make it sound tough.

Just hunt hard, every second of every day you have.

No stairs, long range practice, or top notch equipment will make up for a weak mind.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
If possible arrive couple days early and scout area out good.Its much more fun to be in the elk immediately when season starts then burning a couple hunting days getting on them.
 

·
My Elk Hunting Home
Joined
·
32,364 Posts
BAD Bugle calls drive away more than than bring to you, especially at distance.
There, I fixed it for you to make it more realistic.
 

·
Corripe Cervisiam
Joined
·
22,156 Posts
Just walk the trails after light blowing your calls every 100 yds like everyone else........Not!

Some good advice above. Key is finding them....and typically you have to cover a lot of ground to do that.

If I was a total rookie I would do one of the programs like the Chris Roe thing. Elknut and Cory Jacobsen have one too. You will gain many years of elk behavior in a short time....an advantage.

I've seen a pile of elk shot at close range with that frontal shot....its deadly if its close and you know elk anatomy. I've shot 5 elk at very close range with that frontal....its deadly.

One of the coolest kills I've seen, I was calling for my buddy in Oregon and had a bull coming in hard. My buddy [on his knees behind a big log] was tracking the bull [20ish yds] at full draw as it went L to R. The bull spotted his movement and spun like a cat to face him, "Ugh oh" I thought.

My buddy didn't hesitate and put an arrow right in his throat that ran through his entire body lengthwise and stopped in his hind quarter. The bull reared up pawing at the air for a few seconds [looked like Trigger the Lone Rangers horse] came down, took 2 steps and fell over right there. That one would have got some complaints from anti hunters if we could have got that on video.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top