How far do elk move?

Bob-WY

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Messages
544
As my elk tag closed where I hunt (WY General) my wife still has several weeks on her cow tag. The issue we are having is finding them!

Well we have found them, just not where we can get to and it seems to be "all of them". Areas we hunted earlier are empty, late season areas from last year are empty, lots of old sign, nothing new. However we can see herd of 200-300 out our back window, they seem to have the same day to day pattern, mostly. They bed on, or just over the top of a ridge, and work down to a irrigated set of fields over night, then back up. We see them from our window via binoculars and spotting scope.

The issue is it's private, landowner won't allow any hunting, and best I can tell them never get closer than about a mile from the public land.

The area I expect them to winter in, where we have routinely found them in November is about 500-1000 feet higher and about 2-3 miles away. They've been camped on on/above this ranch for over a week, all snow has melted (we had 24 inches in October), Wife and I put probably 20 miles on boots this weekend and can't find any others.

How far will a herd move in a day?

Now that they are grouped up, will they stay that way, or will they break up due to the snow melting?
 

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
3,531
I watched a herd in Central Oregon do a circle roughly 4 miles in diameter leaving an irrigated field and getting bumped by hunters along the way. What kept them moving was every time they would bunch up, they would get bumped again. We tracked their dust in the evening light and by the next morning they were back in their field

We were bowhunting in September and we waited for the heat of the day to pull the cows into the junipers on Public for shade in the late morning.

Given your late season, and how deep on private they are , it seems unlikely they have incentive to move into your accessible area. That is unless the landowner does something to rile them up....That takes time to ascertain though
 

JAG

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
216
If you find some rocks downstream from this property, I do not think it would be ethical to return these rocks upstream with a slingshot that accidentally spooks the elk off said private land.
 

Bob-WY

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Messages
544
We've tried several ways. Found one that might work but not if they bed for the day on the hills we can see. If in the morning they wander over the top we might be able to get them and more importantly stay within packing range we are good with.

Running low on time
 

Bob-WY

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Messages
544
Thought we had them figured out, but matching the map to what we see out the window, close but.nope.

Watched them go up and over the furthest ridge we can see. We agreed using onx, that put them pretty far into public where they'd probably bed for the day.

Made lunch and off we went. Ran a ridge line to put us ontop of them. 3 hours later we crest the ridge running the public/private line.

Nothing.

We sat there, ate lunch when we saw them, couple of cows coming our way but on private. They dropped out of site about 800 yards into the private.

7 bulls came out of the trees at 500 and headed where the cows where. Then all 200 to 300 of them, heading away at 800+ yards.

Up and over a ridge they went. We hiked back down, 7 miles total

At the house, sure enough, there they were at the ridge we watched them feed over. Seems there's one ridge past that we can't see but still private.

Oh well nice walk but it cost me taking my wife out to dinner. It's her tag
 
  • Like
Reactions: JAG

ClearCreek

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
376
Bob:

Those elk have been doing that on that ranch for many, many years. They know where they are safe and that is where they will stay.

The previous landowner would let a few people in and they would shoot a cow on the alfalfa fields and the rest would go over the ridge to the west and stay there not going all the way to public land.

This new landowner is very strict on allowing hunting; to the point very few or nobody gets in there to hunt.

ClearCreek

P.S. I can see the same alfalfa fields and ridge with binoculars or spotting scope from my house.
 
Last edited:

Public Lander

New member
Joined
Nov 13, 2021
Messages
5
As my elk tag closed where I hunt (WY General) my wife still has several weeks on her cow tag. The issue we are having is finding them!

Well we have found them, just not where we can get to and it seems to be "all of them". Areas we hunted earlier are empty, late season areas from last year are empty, lots of old sign, nothing new. However we can see herd of 200-300 out our back window, they seem to have the same day to day pattern, mostly. They bed on, or just over the top of a ridge, and work down to a irrigated set of fields over night, then back up. We see them from our window via binoculars and spotting scope.

The issue is it's private, landowner won't allow any hunting, and best I can tell them never get closer than about a mile from the public land.

The area I expect them to winter in, where we have routinely found them in November is about 500-1000 feet higher and about 2-3 miles away. They've been camped on on/above this ranch for over a week, all snow has melted (we had 24 inches in October), Wife and I put probably 20 miles on boots this weekend and can't find any others.

How far will a herd move in a day?

Now that they are grouped up, will they stay that way, or will they break up due to the snow melting?
What unit in Wy?
 

MarvB

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Messages
6,393
Location
₵tral Oar-e-gun
As I’m sure you know well enough already, they’ll typically only move in response to food source (habitat), weather, pressure, or rutting activity. Sounds like your herd is in an indefinite holding pattern due to (or the lack of) all the above ☹️
 

Forum statistics

Threads
100,336
Messages
1,584,763
Members
31,492
Latest member
dustin.906
Top