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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Me and my girlfriend went out for out first elk hunt in the McCall zone. We sent a whole 8 days moving around looking for decent sign or track. We started up around rainbow lake and saw nothing and heard nothing, we then went down to corral lake and saw / heard nothing lastly we went into lake fork road and went from trail to trail looking for sign and again saw / heard nothing. every day we would go in at least 7 miles adding up 75 miles after everything was said and done. I wasn't bugling like a mad man, I would maybe bugle 3 times every day and cow call about 5 times for every bugle. I would always check my wind. I'm just not sure what I should have done differently. any comments or PM's are more than appreciated!

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Me and my girlfriend went out for out first elk hunt in the McCall zone. We sent a whole 8 days moving around looking for decent sign or track. We started up around rainbow lake and saw nothing and heard nothing, we then went down to corral lake and saw / heard nothing lastly we went into lake fork road and went from trail to trail looking for sign and again saw / heard nothing. every day we would go in at least 7 miles adding up 75 miles after everything was said and done. I wasn't bugling like a mad man, I would maybe bugle 3 times every day and cow call about 5 times for every bugle. I would always check my wind. I'm just not sure what I should have done differently. any comments or PM's are more than appreciated!

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I haven’t much experience on elk then I can’t give you advice but I know you have a good time with your girlfriend. Good luck for next time


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I put a shock collar on my partner and if he went more than 400 yards without bugling, he got zapped.
3 times a day? Sometimes you gotta make things happen. And sometimes there aren't any elk around.
 

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Not sure the dates you were out, but the response from elk seemed to be a bit later this year. I was bugling my guts out this year. I’d get at least one response a day, but then they’d move out not showing any interest. After three days of that me and my hunting partner moved almost 100 miles before we started getting into more activity, same unit different responses. It can be rough when they don’t answer, don’t be afraid to try new tactics.


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Thats elk hunting one of the hardest animals there is imo

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Wapitibob, is spot on! You gotta be creative & get them to sound off. I hunt that zone from time to time, the elk are there sir, good luck!

Here's a bull from there this year I called in for my Son!

ElkNut/Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I put a shock collar on my partner and if he went more than 400 yards without bugling, he got zapped.
3 times a day? Sometimes you gotta make things happen. And sometimes there aren't any elk around.
Thank you for the response!

Looking back I had plenty of room to be more aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wapitibob, is spot on! You gotta be creative & get them to sound off. I hunt that zone from time to time, the elk are there sir, good luck!

Here's a bull from there this year I called in for my Son!

ElkNut/Paul

Thank you for the response!

I am going to try to get there on opening day next year and work my way down the mountain until I find them. Hopefully I can call a bull of that size in for my girlfriend one day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not sure the dates you were out, but the response from elk seemed to be a bit later this year. I was bugling my guts out this year. I’d get at least one response a day, but then they’d move out not showing any interest. After three days of that me and my hunting partner moved almost 100 miles before we started getting into more activity, same unit different responses. It can be rough when they don’t answer, don’t be afraid to try new tactics.


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Thank you for the response!
I definitely got that from other hunters we ran into. I think I should have done research on areas that are in completely different areas to see if that has anything moving around. All of my plan A, B, C, D and E were in the same united within about 20 min drives from each other which probably hurt me. As far as when we went, we were in the woods from the 14th - 22nd of sept.
 

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HERD BULL
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You didnt mess up! Consider that credits earned at the school of OTC elk hunting. Learn from it and use that feeling you have right now to fuel the fire for next year.
 

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Sometimes they aren't Where You Are. But I think you win a prize for one of the best girlfriends on this forum.
 

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The years I’ve logged chasing elk has taught me one thing.. they are where they are.. maybe not today maybe not tomorrow but they will be there. It’s better to have a few ppl that can go in different et directions each day to cross off that area.. pick a new one and go look there. It’s not whitetail hunting over food. Gotta put miles on and gotta make things happen.. my old partner quit on me after 3days once.. couldn’t understand why we hadn’t seen any elk.. I tried to explain to him it is a process and takes time.. could go 4 days without seeing a track to being thick into them the next...good luck on your next travels.. I’d try and hunt that area from google earth.. get a low down on ElkNut’s scouting dvd and find the elky areas...
 

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8 days and nothing? That's rough. I had a bad year. Really bad. Saw 26 or 27 elk first day all cows and a spike (4 different times with 3 of encounters under 60 yards), 2 a mile away 2nd day. Then practically nothing rest of the season. Had a 5 day stretch I logged 44 miles and only saw 2 and hard 2 bugles as it was getting too dark to shoot. I feel your pain. My experience is, at least in colorado, find where other hunters have good access then hunt the spots that are at least 1 to 2 miles in between. Additionally steep hillsides that are 40 to 50 degrees steep can be the best as people don't hunt them. I could go on.

As for bugling, 3 times a day isn't bad. I don't bugle a lot other than to locate a bull. Then I move in. I have better luck. They hang up often 100 to 150 yards when hunting solo so I have to make the distance.

Finding an area with lots of tracks using trails going both directions can be a good spot to just sit and call periodically every 10 at 15 mins. Many elk with come I quiet.

This year bad here and hot. The first time I finally encountered elk acting in the real rut was the last 15 minutes of the last day when 5 bulls were calling and the 2 main bulls started fighting. Was great but too little to late.
 
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