Hunting Cows

MTPlinker

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Oct 13, 2015
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Okay, to many of you this will sound sacreligious, but I'm not a trophy hunter. I am about filling my freezer and chasing cows is totally fine for these aging bones. I enjoy all of your posts and follow Randy with zeal but arrowing a cow would be just as exciting to me as arrowing a nice trophy bull. And, I'm assuming a bit easier.
So, to that end I haven't found any tactics for hunting a small herd of cows on the mountain. Much is written on finding those wiley bulls at the five distinct times of the season but little if anything is written on cows. Can any of you offer some advice for the last weekend of bowhunting here in Montana?
Blessings and thanks
 

Rooster52

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Feb 18, 2014
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Use cow calls. Cow elk are always talking ,sometimes I have had a cow come to my call.Keep a keen eye out as you walk and stalk,cows I believe can be more aware of human disturbance than a rutting bull.
I will be hunting cows next week in southern Wyoming ,but with my rifle this time. No success with my bow.Still going to do some cow talking,just to see if I get a reply.
 

hank4elk

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SW NM
I use cow calls for cow hunts and covering up my noise.
Taken 2 trophy cows the last 2 years. Have to settle for a bull mz tag this year,still using cow calls.
 

Duck-Slayer

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great state of Idaho....
I take my wife on a cow hunt here in Idaho every year, there are a few things too take into account, food, water, bedding/cover.... and knowing what they like in the particular area you are hunting, there are alot of clear cuts here that get over grown with brush after about 5 years, those are the places I find cows, steep, thick brush, with water in the bottom and no road/trail going through it, around the edge seems too not bother them. Thick as in I have walked up too 5 yards or less too cows/bulls and not been able too see them... the ridge tops are fairly bare, some grass a few trees left, they will be in this type of cover till the leave's fall, those leaves are there primary food source, after the leave's fall they move too steep south facing slopes with timber and grass close, along with a water source with in a mile or less. Spending time in the area and figuring out where they hang out i.e. where the sign is, is half the battle the other half is getting close enough for a shot, I personally have not had any luck in calling in cows, but I have limited experience and the area I hunt is heavily hunted, so they get pushed into these area's I have mentioned, good luck
Matt
 

HSi-ESi

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cows I believe can be more aware of human disturbance than a rutting bull.

I'll echo this one.

I spent five days last week with a cow tag in my pocket. We were very close to having a shot opportunity every day - but the rutting bulls kept blocking access to cows. Cows are still mentally sharp during the rut, bulls have other things on their minds.

I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend - so go get close to some elk and see what happens.

Good Luck!
 

elkantlers

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UT
Any one who thinks down on me for hunting cow elk can go pack sand. My family and I have had many, many great hunting trips as well as thousands of pounds of great meat from our cow elk hunts.
When bow hunting,I like to set up high and glass. Once you find some, try to get in front of them and let them come to you. If they are in a good spot for a stalk I will do that also, But I don't stalk unless the odds are pretty good, because once you bump them you may not get another chance at them. I would n't use any kind of a call for cows either.
 

oleefish2

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wy
You are the norm for most of us. I have killed 50+ elk and everyone from a calf to a 6x7 bull was a trophy to me. I kill the ones that give me the best chance to kill my elk and fill the freezer. Good for you.
 

MTPlinker

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Oct 13, 2015
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Thanks everyone. Some great sage advice. Last weekend of the bow hunt in MT. Looking forward to getting back out and giving it another try. Probably going to pack up my backpack and head up a mountain Friday night and see what Saturday brings me. Problem is, what mountain :)
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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Montana
I drew a B tag this ear (MT) so I have my sights set on a nice cow... I've yet to pop any game animal since my accident and plan to fulfill this portion of the return to the hunt. I've placed increased focus on my hunting intention, (each hunt since - less archery) and this hunt (10 days) in an area I am familiar w/ a B tag... m % for harvest will hopefully result in a nice meat eating cow. :)

This thread is a good one for dialing in on "the best" hunters in the field run into.

Good thread - thanks for starting it and thanks all for the info shared. :)
 

belly-deep

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Oct 31, 2009
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I'll echo this one.

I spent five days last week with a cow tag in my pocket. We were very close to having a shot opportunity every day - but the rutting bulls kept blocking access to cows. Cows are still mentally sharp during the rut, bulls have other things on their minds.

I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend - so go get close to some elk and see what happens.

Good Luck!

Same for deer too. Back when I would whitetail archery hunt, Bucks would cruise right by my stand. It was always some old doe who spied a weird shape in the tree and would blow and stamp her feet for 10 minutes
 

Rocky176

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Feb 26, 2013
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I have called many cows into range just calling with some soft mews. Best of luck and keep at it.
 

old man

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this was my first omo elk hunt and it seems to me, at this time of year it is just as hard to find a cow as it is to find a bull. because the cows are with the bulls. did see one bull but no cows.
 

Epfd217

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Eden Prairie, Minnesota
I also have a cow tag this year for my first ever elk hunt. The thing I learned this summer is find the elk. It sucks, but there really isnt a secret set of tactics for cows.

Cows are very social and rely on their groups for security. hey communicate a lot and will respond to cow and calf calls just as much as bulls, especially lost cow/calf calls.

One of the ways I was able to lure some cows/calfs away from the heard in Sept was by using a pleading cow call along with some chuckles so it sounded like a rouge bull was trying to steal a cow from the harem. Cows like to stay with the bull that has them.

The hardest part is finding a group of elk. Put eyes on elk and you will only have to close the distance.
 
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